An unexpected thing happened this week on my mostly foreign policy & NatSec twitter feed: Domestic events took over. People who I follow for the best reporting & analysis Afghanistan, Iraq, defense policy, and conflict around the world were talking about Missouri. The ranks of confirmed foreign policy Twitterati were weighing in on a textbook domestic issue, en masse.
The NatSecverse reacted with shock and anger, as did most across the US. The difference has been perspective. Pens typically trained on bringing to light violence and conflict abroad were angry to find Missouri in their ink.
The Veteran Twitter cadre seemed particularly riled by the events in and the optics coming out of Ferguson. Their outrage came from experience.
Kelsey Atherton, who covers defense issues for Popular Science, compiled the reactions of veterans to the events in Ferguson into this Storify. It is well worth the read. As he notes in the intro, the general consensus seems to be that “if this is militarization, it’s the shittiest, least-trained, least professional military in the world, using weapons far beyond what they need, or what the military would use when doing crowd control.”
As things calm down in Ferguson, the FP/NatSec twitterverse is returning to Iraq and Ukraine, Afghanistan and the perennial debate over a general lack of coherent US strategy. I hope that Ferguson doesn’t just fade away. Racism, the justice system, and police militarization are big issues needing attention for many reasons. We, as a country, need to do better by our fellow citizens.