Is Our Nation Willing to Sacrifice?

Pat Lang over at Sic Semper Tyrannis wonders out loud if we have the will to fight are we willing to commit the resources necessary?

The article by Andrew Bacevich he references can be found here.  He raises an interesting question, can a military of volunteers, a military that is chosen from the best physical, moral, and educated but does not represents all aspects of society truly win and represent the interest of the nation?

I do not know the answer.  Hopefully our readers will contribute their well reasoned thoughts on this matter.

About keydet1976

Retired as a Colonel in the United States Army after 33 years of service. Graduate of the VMI, MA in History at JMU, completed course work for Ph.D in History University of Tennessee.
This entry was posted in The Long War, Total Force, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Is Our Nation Willing to Sacrifice?

  1. burkemblog says:

    Both COL Lang and Skip Bacevich suggest that numbers are less important than strategy. In both Viet Nam and the Middle East, our strategy seems to have been wrong. We can have all the smart, dedicated soldiers we want, but there has to be some solid sense of what they should be doing first. And that is a national problem, as well as a military one. Our promotion system does not usually reward smart thinking.

    People who blame our ills on the self-obsessed, I think, are diverting attention from their/our own generation’s failures. I tend not to blame contemporary society for much of anything–I think it’s more the case that people feel the national government has failed them in one way or another–see Trump and Sanders voters, for example–and they seek to be well-led by someone who appears to know what he or she is doing. I also spend most of my day with young people of military age–they range from the abysmal to the super-smart. But when they are given an opportunity to volunteer, they do that enthusiastically. But they need to feel the project has both a purpose and a chance for success. I look forward to the Millennials running the country. They are natural entrepreneurs and are far less concerned with status or color or gender than we old guys are. I just hope they raise up their own smart politicians to lead them.


  2. vmijpp says:

    I’m not sure the answer is “No,” but I’m also not sure it’s “Yes,” either.


    • Mike Burke '73 says:

      I do think it’s a question of leadership and purpose–we forget that the entire country want not real excited about WWII–the draft not only managed the flow of men into the service, it induced the reluctant to join by essentially not giving them a choice. In the Civil War, one of the (many) reasons that both North and South went with conscription (which in the South caused a massive depopulation of white males to the western part of the US) was the inability of states to fulfill their quotas–Illinois, for example, usually provided only about 10% of what was asked–that’s why so many Irish and German soldiers served. Thus, Americans have always been reluctant to join large military campaigns, evem when the stakes are existential.


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