Topic: "Citizen Soldiers" (2)
Stephen Ambrose wrote in "Citizen Soldiers," that the Germans and the British similarly replaced entire armies for rest. The Americans and the Red Army, he wrote, relied entirely on a system of replacements. By the time of the struggles in 1944-45, over fully half of all the front-line soldiers were individual replacements. The mixing of veteran and replacement in the same ranks became characteristic of the Americans, and spawned a plethora of new terminology and acronyms for the military; SNAFU and FNG come first to mind.
It must be recognized, specifically based on the review of these combat veterans, that there were flaws aplenty in the American methodology. It is not surprising that in today's military actions abroad, entire divisions come and go en masse between active duty and replenishment.
As stated many times, Frodo is not a soldier. Frodo, however, can't help but wonder, philosophically, if the demise of the "Citizen Soldier" of World War II has not proven to be a mistake. It goes without saying that the high cost of this Pre-Emptive War has fallen on the backs of relatively few families, and that an overwhelming number of Americans may not know anyone who has suffered the loss or injury of an immediate family-member. The unquestioned support of the homefront during World War II is not even on a comparable plane to the verbal exchange between those who "support" our troops, and those who "cut and run." Today, we have a lot less invested; all we expend is money. The ability of our "system" to adequately provide for and assist wounded veterans is, unbelievably, grossly, unacceptable. Frodo wonders if that would be the case if a few more Members of the recently-concluded 109th Congress had direct familial involvement.
When the Vietnam War was over, and the Selective Service mechanism was disbanded, Frodo rejoiced. The conflict between those who are soldiers, and those who are not, it seemed, would be forever resolved in Middle Earth. Soldiers would serve as they saw fit, Hobbits would be good citizens, and the Age of Aquarius was at hand.
Frodo was a fool.
Today, Frodo feels that the Draft should be re-instated, and that universal service should exist in the United States, as it does in Israel, in France, and in all those nations who recognize that War requires a total national investment, or it will become too inexpensive. If not, then passing references to activity outside the "Green Zone" will continue to be meaningless, and flights into Dover will increase exponentially.