Monday, September 10, 2007

America isn't at War - America is at the Mall

I've seen discussion of the draft a couple of places lately and I have to admit that I haven't read them carefully. Though I've no doubt that the commentary is fabulous, my opinions on the draft are fairly well set. While I find the issue interesting in a whole lot of ways I didn't feel I had a whole lot to add at this point.

But for this thought: While it's true that part of the disconnect between citizens and our military is due to the fact that so few people have military experience or even know anyone who is actively serving today, a larger military isn't going to help much. Even if we *doubled* the size of our military the totals would still be only a couple of percents of the entire population of this country. The (admittedly astute) observation I've put as the title of this post would *still* be true.

Even with a military doubled in size most Americans would have no experience with military service or military life.

We're probably better off looking at "America isn't at War - America is at the Mall" as a feature, rather than a bug.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I recently wrote a post about what would it mean if America was not at the mall using Ancient Roman history, on my blog. The debate at Neo-Neocon was mirrored over at Villainous Company.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think in some instances, people don't understand what it costs a republic to conduct a war.

They see costs as simply what they invest, rather than what might become bankrupt. They see the rewards but not the risks. The glory yet not the sadness.

This has been true for republics and democracies since time immemorial.

Because of a lack of military understanding, of both the causes and arts of war, people believe that numbers equal victory. That it modern or ancient warfare is about grabbing the largest army you can find and then smashing them against the enemy. The Romans believed this. The Spartans believed this. And so do the Left and other Americans believe this. Those that do not understand what how wars are won or lost.

I mean back in the past, the peasants didn't understand because they either didn't know how to read, didn't have anything to read, or didn't have the money to pay for such education assuming it was available. Education in war back then was done on the field of battle, win or die.

Now in modern days, there's no excuse not to know how to conduct warfare. If you can't conduct original research on your own because of time constraints, then modern technology and the internet provides you people with the time and expertise, such as David Kilcullen, Petraeus, COIN manual, Grim Beorn, etc etc.

There is no excuse. And yet people still believe that numbers will win the day, just so long as you push them unto the breach.

More and more they say, it will solve our problems. No, it won't. Not least of all because the enemy does not play fair.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

One of the tactical and strategic habits I've noticed with humanity, is that humans tend to focus on what they themselves are doing rather than planning for what their enemies are doing. The best tacticians and strategists essentially saw through their opponents, and were able to win because this prescient knowledge allowed the military geniuses to essentially outthink the enemy along the OODA cycle.

The reaction time of a fighter appears as fast as light if that fighter knows when and how the enemy will attack. If you have to wait and react, however, then you need to be faster than the other guy. There are always people stronger and weaker than any single individual, yet military geniuses continue to win again and again. Why do they never then battle their equals? Because their strength is not in muscles but in the mind, in trickery and deception.

With deception, even the strong will fall as easily as the weak.

A republic is based upon the consent of the governed. Yet there are people convinced that they can use government power to force people and coerce them into agreeing with the minority. If there are no fatal security threats on the horizon, then how do you justify a draft to the citizens without secret police powers and oppression, which simply benefits terrorism and revolutionary forces? Without an economic collapse so that joining the military would benefit the families of those unemployed, how do you justify to civilians that they must be poor in order to satisfy your requirements for a "good America"?

People have to want to fight. Whether they be motivated by money, vengeance, hatred, duty, or honor. If they are not motivated by such, then you need to motivate them first before they will be in fighting shape. Hitler motivated people. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Yet the question remains, such leaders are never like Bush. Hitler had far more charisma than was shown in those German speeches on tv. People think Bush is Hitler probably because they never understood Hitler or his power.

This is part of military expedience. Soldiers have to be motivated into fighting, and trained to withstand hardship and see challenges as good things. There are specific methods to do so. The military could apply those methods to American civilians, but that would remake America into a Spartan state one way or another, with a Praetorian Guard possibly in the future. But perhaps people wish for glory more than they wish for endurance of principle. There is no need for a draft, yet people wish to impose it upon everyone else for they deem it "important". Just as important as they deem banning handguns to "safeguard" their safety.

Plato saw the Athenian people vote to execute Socrates by poison. He understood what the "people" truly means.

Often mobs are decided by their lowest common denominator. It brings out what is worst in the group, rather than what is best.

War for Oil and resources and Imperialism, the say Synova. Then the next thing out of their mouth is that if we have a draft, such would not exist. Then we would war for good and justified reasons. Which essentially means, the government being constrained, can only take action against our enemies when those enemies are good and ready to kill people that don't matter.

A professional army would have stopped Hitler in his tracks on the first try. A draft army takes horrendous casualties and then learns the tricks of the trade. But I suppose it is okay if people die needlessly so long as the cause is "good", which reads as "near hopeless because the enemy has grown so strong".

8:57 AM  

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