Thoughts on Generation Kill

Warning: Spoilers for Generation Kill

I finished watching the last episode of “Generation Kill” last night. It’s the second time I’ve watched the series, so I thought I’d write a short blog post with my thoughts on the show. As you can probably tell, since I’ve watched it twice, I do like the show. It has solid characters and, for a non-military person, it seems realistic.

That’s not to say that the show doesn’t have some flaws. Encino Man and Captain America, two of the officers, seem to be exaggerated versions of bad officers. I can’t imagine someone behaving that poorly and not being relieved of their command. However, never having been in an army, maybe things can get that bad.

What strikes you most about the series is that despite the best intentions of marines in a war zone, civilians get killed. This isn’t because the marines themselves are psychopaths, but that mistakes happen and innocent people get killed. If you look at real life statistics, the vast majority of people killed in war are innocent civilians and this goes some way to explaining why.

The show really brings home the futility of all-out war, without follow up, as a way to bring freedom to a region. The marines want to then help the civilians when the initial invasion has finished, but aren’t able to.  Their frustration at the end, that their entire invasion has been for nothing, is the most telling of all.

I’d recommend this show to anyone with even a marginal interest in the military, whether they are liberal or conservative. The show tries to tell it like it is; what you take away from that is up to you.


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