A regular feature of the news, going back decades, is how the military is struggling to meet its enlistment goals. One reason for this is the Left’s antiwar past, which is a big part of their origin myth. The geezers in the cult still carry on about how they protested the war in college. There’s also the fact that the Left needs to believe the tide is turning their way and the people are rushing to their banner. That means the sort of white men who join the service are in decline. The result is regular stories about the lack of recruits.
The thing is though, volunteer armies don’t have a great history. In the French Revolution, there were lots of people ready to fight for the revolution, but nowhere near enough to man the massive armies required to fight the rest of Europe. Wide-scale conscription was necessary to meet demand. The same was true during the Napoleonic Wars. In the 20th century, both world wars were fought with conscripts. For example, 70% of the US soldiers were drafted, despite massive public relations efforts to get men to enlist.
America has been running the world with a volunteer army for about fifty years now, but the cost has been enormous. Official spending numbers put the defense budget at about $600 billion per year, but lots of stuff is off-budget. The microprocessor has also been the great force multiplier. The United States has the most technologically advanced war machine in history and a fighting ethos to go with it. That just raises the cost of operations, relative to the overall fighting strength, in terms of manpower and material.
As a result, there is a general consensus that the current US military configuration is inadequate to continue ruling the world. This is a big part of Trump’s push to delegate some of the task to Europe and Asia. There really is no reason why the EU countries need any support from the US to police the Continent. The Russians have nukes, but the bear is poor and the people are in no condition to fight a war. In Asia, the Japanese and South Koreans could do much more to help deal with Chinese aggression.
There is another problem though, one that the Europeans have, but are not willing to acknowledge. That is the lack of men willing and able to fight. This is a problem American warmongers are beginning to notice in America. Right-wing Progressives are noticing that the struggle to meet enlistment goals are not just rhetorical. The military is struggling to find young men willing and able to do the work of a modern soldier. Those with the talent are wising up to the reality of this age and the rest simply have the wrong stuff.
For starters, the sorts of men excited about taking orders from a girl are not the sorts of men you want fighting your wars. That only works in Hollywood propaganda. That propaganda, however, has had an impact on the culture. As a result, a decreasing number of men are physically able to meet the minimum requirements. A boy who spent his formative years playing video games and being asked if he would prefer to wear a dress, is unlikely to have the ability to make it through basic, much less be a good soldier.
Then you have the fact that white guys are starting to figure out that the government is their enemy, so signing up to fight for the government is not in their interests. Part of it is the fact that the public has figured out that the neocon response to 9/11 was a scam. They did not care about keeping the country safe from Islam. They only cared about keeping Israel safe from Islam. Importing millions of Muslims after 9/11 did not go unnoticed. A volunteer army relies on patriotism to fill the ranks. Fighting for strangers does not cut it.
There’s also the fact that whites are getting wise to what’s happening and public trust is plummeting. A volunteer army not only relies on patriotism, but it relies on civic duty. It is why we still call military service a duty. Some still call politics “public service” even though no one is so naive these days. The point is, like patriotism, civic nationalism is a social contract. Both parties have to uphold their end of the deal in order for it to work. It’s why blacks lack patriotism and they have never been willing to join the military.
The black issue is one to understand. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda about the heroic blacks in the military, but blacks have always been under represented in the services. Blacks, of course, are leading the charge against the national anthem. It’s not just a stunt by coddled athletes. Blacks in America have never felt a sense of duty to the country, which makes perfect sense, given the nature of black identity. If you see society as dominated by the people you hate, why would you feel loyalty to society?
Then you have the much celebrated browning of America. As of the last census, the majority of people under-18 are non-white. By the next census, it will be distinctly non-white. War fighting is a young man’s game. A military built to run on smart white guys with a sense of duty is not going to function when it has to rely on non-whites, who despise their host population. Inevitably, the military is going to start looking like a Chicano version of Stripes. No one says it, but everyone in charge sees the problem.
The response will be a greater reliance on high technology, but the cost of the robot warrior goes up faster than his effectiveness. No one bothers to notice that the space age war machine of the Unites States has been fought to a standstill by cave dwelling archaics in Afghanistan. Trillions have been spent trying to outsmart the locals and the graveyard of empires is going to win anyway. In the end, there is no replacement for human capital and there is no way to replace the premier human capital with cheap knockoffs from overseas.