Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News War too easy?

  1. Jun 16, 2010 #1
    Has war gotten too easy for the nation?

    We can maintain two wars at a time without any really serious impact on the average American.
    We are in a time and age when the US (and other world powers) maintains a large enough volunteer army that we can declare and maintain a war without the average non-soldier or non-military family really feeling the impact of a prolonged war at home. Have we found a comfortable middle ground where we can maintain a bloody war without it getting bad enough that we dedicate the force neccessary to bring clear success and end the war quickly?

    Should changes be made to make war more “terrible” so we can endeavor to avoid it more fervently, or fight it more violently to end it faster?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2010 #2
    we're not so much fighting wars as police actions, anyway. there is no government to accede to us, only what amounts to a bunch of organized crime that must be suppressed in order for business to proceed unhindered.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2010 #3
    Along the lines of what Proton is saying. The war we are in is not a traditional all out war. No bombing campaigns, no air to air combat, no artillery to speak of, no heavy armor engagements. If we were at war with an actual world power, we'd be feeling it.
     
  5. Jun 16, 2010 #4
    I guess the difference here is the strength of the two parties fighting. Why do we tone down our capabilities to fight a weaker force on their terms? What made unrestricted warfare more acceptable in WW2 than it is now?
    Why do we try to describe what we fight today as a war?



    (I understand the ethical implications, but I'm talking this out for the sake of argument.)
     
  6. Jun 16, 2010 #5
    988278~Team-America-World-Police-Posters.jpg
     
  7. Jun 16, 2010 #6
    What would your way of life be like if "business" was permitted to be hindered at the will of outside forces?
     
  8. Jun 16, 2010 #7
    like living in Mexico or Afghanistan, i suspect. how do they stand it?
     
  9. Jun 16, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Consider the flip-side: we have become so war averse that a few hundred military war deaths a year is considered a tragicly high price and even accidental civilian deaths are treated as criminal.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2010 #9
    Because clearly, war is something we should condone and endorse!
     
  11. Jun 16, 2010 #10
    I think the disconnect happens in between the soldiers on the front and the people in the rear.

    To the soldier on the front this is a real war where real lives are being lost.

    To the people in the rear this is a nation building attempt in which armed soldiers are fighting an unseen enemy and hurting a poor and often defenceless population.

    They don't feel the impact of a loss of life for the populations where we are fighting or the stress and pain an American or allied soldier is placed under in the fight.

    Should war be a state in which the nation is placed so that we can be most effective and most rapidly successful should it be decided that war is the only solution.
    A draft to increase the ranks of the army. A purposeful defence budget increase that makes the US fighting force as effective as it can be.

    Obviously this would rule out your in-between and gray areas, but perhaps this would show that new definitions need to be created when it is decided that we are going to fight, and at the same time try and maintain our current standard of living and reduce the impact on the national economy at the same time.

    No more beating around the bush, just declare to the world that we are going to change the government of another nation and not hide it under the guise of a war against a particular group in the country and a way of thinking that is poorly defined at best.
    (Again there are a lot of problems with a statement like this, but is shows an extreme solution to what I think is a problem today. If not an extreme stance, then what?)
     
  12. Jun 16, 2010 #11

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We already changed the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now we're trying to make sure they don't change, which is not at all the same as for example the action in WWII.

    I don't know if you noticed, but the process of kicking out the old governments was ridiculously fast and easy
     
  13. Jun 16, 2010 #12
    I guess what I meant by changing the government would be creating a stable new government.

    There wouldn't be much point in the whole process if you simply let a new government with the same philosophy as the old come up after you left wouldn't you agree?
     
  14. Jun 16, 2010 #13
    Were you unable to comprehend what Russ wrote?
     
  15. Jun 16, 2010 #14
    The intention of it could go either way.
     
  16. Jun 16, 2010 #15
    I think russ usually advocates for the hawks rather than the doves.
     
  17. Jun 16, 2010 #16

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I disagree - why do you think we should condone and endorse war?
     
  18. Jun 16, 2010 #17

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Agreed.
    That's not a real accurate characterization (even if it is accurate about what the perception is), but in any case, what does that have to do with war being "too easy"?
    How is that different from other wars? Is it just because the death toll is lower? Why is that bad?
    Echoing Office_Shredder, the two wars were basically that.
    A draft isn't necessary or desirable. Making war painful just for the sake of making it painful makes nice slogans/poetry, but it isn't really logical.
    If we're artificially making war more painful than it needs to be, then we aren't maintaining our current standards of living and reducing the economic impact.
    There was nothing ill-defined about either war. What part of those wars don't you understand?
     
  19. Jun 16, 2010 #18

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That is the goal, yes.
    Agreed. And again, that's the goal. I'm really confused - you aren't saying anything here that contradicts the goals of the wars, but somehow you seem to think you are.....could you explain how you see these wars being different instead of just saying how you think they should be?
     
  20. Jun 17, 2010 #19
    I interpreted your message as seeing adversity to war as something negative, and as such responded in a sarcastic manner.
     
  21. Jun 17, 2010 #20
    Russ, I will try and clarify what I mean.

    I don't mean that the war is actually easy, I mean that our nation may not be put under that strain that a decision to pursue armed conflict should require. It seems frustrating to me that one of the reasons that we have trouble putting down the Taliban is that we don't have enough troops in the areas they are known to occupy to capture or kill them.

    The political responce is to try and send just enough troops to meet whatever short-term goal is decided on. A surge to make a single publicized move into a presumed hiding area. If we as a nation decided that this war is something that we must win, why didn't we commit ourselves in a way that would overwhelm any resistance.

    I'm not talking about whether or not the war is right. I'm talking about how our nation thinks a war should be fought. If we fight a less well equiped and less organized military, we should use our advatages to the fullest to overwhelm and seek out the Taliban wherever it is located. Using our current strategies to occupy certain areas attempt to pacify and then move out just doesn't cut it.

    Shouldn't a war be a movement with the full force of the entire nation? Use all the tools we have available to win the war quickly?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook