Thank heavens President Donald Trump is pulling our soldiers out of Syria. What he realizes, but dense politicians do not, is that America’s warriors are a precious and scarce commodity — one that cannot be squandered.
We need our warriors, as every society does. Indeed, the mere existence of a well-equipped warrior class prevents conflicts because no one wants to mess with you when you have one.
But warriors are not an infinite resource. At certain times they have been very hard to find. During the Revolutionary War no more than about 50,000 soldiers served in the Continental Army at any given moment. They were drawn out of a population of about 2.5 million. In other words, only about two percent of the population engaged in combat at any one time.
During other conflicts warriors were more plentiful. During WW II we had a population of about 130 million and about 16 million served in the armed forces, about 12 percent. Granted, not all 12 percent saw combat because many drove trucks, fixed planes and cooked food, but if only one out of four saw combat, that’s still 3 percent of the population.
Today we are a nation of about 330 million. If we had a warrior class of actual combatants that was 3 percent of our population that would be about 10 million people. But we don’t have that. We don’t have anything close to that.
Today less than 1.5 million men and women serve on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines combined. They represent a subsection of our population and more importantly, a subsection of our culture.
Our culture today is not like our culture during WW II. Today our people do not overwhelmingly agree on one set of values. If they did we would have a larger pool from which to draw potential warriors — but we don’t.
Our population today has too many members of the “entitlement class,” especially among the young who might otherwise be potential warriors. These people understand “rights” and how to demand them — but they have a poor understanding of responsibilities and how to fulfill them.
They demand free college tuition and free medical care. They demand LGBTQ rights and ABCD rights. They demand free housing, free Obama Phones and soon they will demand free DLSMC rights (Double Latte, Soy Milk, Cappuccino).
That is the reality we face. Not all young people are like that, obviously, but we simply don’t have as many warriors as we used to. So we need to save them for a rainy day when we really need them.
We can’t mindlessly send them into Cracker-Jack-istan or Guacamole-Ville to try to remake those countries into America. It doesn’t work. It fails, miserably, just like sending 30,000 Indonesians into Missouri wouldn’t turn St. Louis into Jakarta.
Foreign soldiers cannot change the host country’s culture. Every society has its own, and you don’t squander your warrior class trying to re-make theirs. Instead, you HIT REALLY HARD if terrorists from another society attack you.
You use your brains, your technology, your jets, your cruise missiles and your satellites to make their lives miserable. You make them wish they were never born, but you don’t make American boys from Wisconsin into double amputees. That’s a sin.
So I support pulling almost all of our ground forces out of the Middle East, keeping only those few needed to help send Tomahawk Missiles into the right tents. We can’t change their culture over there any more than Hessian Mercenaries were able to change ours over here. Trump understands this, and I am glad he stood up to the “professionals” who claim, like General Westmoreland did in Vietnam, that “victory” is only 100,000 men away. General Westmoreland was wrong. President Trump is right.
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