Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Army of the Pampered Western Generation

In the age of the Roman Republic, the Romans did not enjoy a significant technological and tactical superiority over their rivals. Their military victories are attributable to one quality: dogged persistence. The Romans would never give up. If their military was slaughtered by the enemy, they would return to the battlefield with a new military. When they ran out of men to continue the war, they waited for 12 to 15 years for a new generation of soldiers to arise and then they went to war again. Irrespective of the losses they suffered, they kept fighting till they won.

In the Battle of Cannae (2 August 216 BC), the Romans deployed an army of 86,000 soldiers against the 50,000 Carthaginian soldiers under the command of Hannibal. The Carthaginians surrounded the enemy in a double envelopment tactic and slaughtered the trapped Roman soldiers. About 70,000 Roman soldiers were hacked to death in just four or five hours. Most cultures would have given up after suffering such a great carnage and they would have surrendered to Hannibal. But the Romans were not like most cultures. Surrendering was not the Roman way. They continued to fight and in 201 BC, they decisively defeated Hannibal’s army and captured Carthage.

By the end of the second century AD, the Romans had become the most pampered, complacent, and decadent people of Europe. They had lost their spirit of dogged persistence. Their young generation did not want to fight in wars. Fighters from non-Roman tribes (like the Goths) had to be recruited to serve in the Roman army. After defeat in any major war, the Romans would find it difficult to continue the war against the enemy. In the fifth century AD, the Western Roman Empire was lost because there were no Romans left who would fight to save their homeland.

The military capabilities of present day West can be best compared to that of the Roman Empire after the second century AD. The spirit of dogged persistence has vanished from the Western civilization. If a small number of their soldiers die, they lose their courage and mind. Concern for the lives of soldiers is a good thing, but if you are unable to bear the loss of a few soldiers, why did you go to war? There cannot be a war in which only the Western side kills the soldiers and civilians on the other side. In wars, people on both sides die.

The only places where the West can still fight wars are Hollywood movies, the TV serials on Netflix, and video games. Despite their technological and tactical superiority, they cannot win real wars. The loss of ten to fifteen soldiers throws the West into an apoplectic tizzy. They start venting their trauma on social media. They flood social media with millions of pictures of their fallen soldiers. A public mourning over fallen soldiers when the war is far from over sends a signal to the enemy that the West is weak and lacks the will to fight.

During the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944, 10,000 Western soldiers died in the first wave. 90% of the population in the present day West would suffer from apoplectic trauma and depression if their nation had to fight a war in which there were 10,000 casualties on their side. The present generation of the West is convinced that they are entitled to live forever. I remember a line in the movie Conan the Barbarian: “Do you want to live forever?” Conan does not want to live forever, he wants to die fighting for the right cause, and he wins the battle of his lifetime. 

The present-day West is good in sexualizing its soldiers, they are good in propaganda, they are good in bragging, they are good in making war movies, TV serials, and video games, they are good in making preachy speeches, but they are not good in fighting actual wars. Never again should they send their soldiers to fight wars outside their country.

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