For the past six years we’ve marked the 75th anniversary of significant battles and events of World War II, the most deadly conflict in human history. Russia and Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Iwo Jima, VE Day; all those anniversaries culminate this month with the anniversary of the events that ended the war – dropping A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which forced Japan’s unconditional surrender to Allied Forces aboard the USS Missouri.
When WWII ended the United States stood alone as the world’s sole superpower. We were quickly joined by the Soviet Union when they developed their own nuclear arsenal. Communism’s dark ideology was in direct opposition to the freedoms espoused by democracy and capitalism. Those stark ideological differences resulted in a 46-year Cold War. For two generations, NATO forces, led by the United States, confronted Warsaw Pact nations, led by the Soviet Union, in a global struggle for world dominance. Each side possessed tens of thousands of nuclear weapons which meant apocalyptic war was a very real possibility. As a school child in the ‘60’s, I vividly recall “nuclear blast” drills in which we would scurry under our desks, look away from the windows, foolishly told those actions would save us from a nuclear blast. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and along with it the likelihood of another world war. So, why do I ask if America will lose WW III? Let’s look at the next war from the standpoint of when, mortality figures, and our national will.
First, consider the historical timeline. The United States has been involved in three wars of national survival – the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. If we had lost any of them, our country, and the world, would be far different today than it is. The Revolutionary War was followed 78 years later by the Civil War which was followed 76 years later by WWII. We’re now 75 years removed from 1945; so timing for the next world war is about right. Why’s that? Simple, 75 to 85 years is the number of years needed for those who fought the last war to die off, leaving only history books to teach the younger generations; as firsthand knowledge goes to the grave. Since history is barely taught today; the fighting-age generation mistakenly believes that as things are, they have and will always be. They never learned the brutal truth about war and freedom; freedom isn’t free, it’s won on the battlefield. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It (freedom) must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
WWII was total war. It wasn’t a “proportional response” war in which you only killed as many of your enemy as they killed of you. No, WWII was total annihilation. The belligerents were “all in” until their opponent surrendered unconditionally. If it took firebombing cities and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, that’s what you did to win the war. That’s no longer the case. With the exception of abortions, Western societies have become intolerant of death and completely risk averse. The US lost 400,000+ in WWII but only a generation later, one-tenth that amount had the nation suing Vietnam for peace. Same with the current Middle East wars; 7,000 deaths and we’ve had enough. A battle that produces a death count of 75+ KIAs (Battle of Fallujah - 2004) had the media demanding we end the war and withdraw immediately. And when civilians get killed, the media’s screams become deafening. If the war is being waged by a Republican president, the media suddenly cares about military deaths and has zero tolerance for any, touting each death as a national tragedy. We’ve even become so risk averse that we happily collapse our economies to questionably save lives from a virus. In short, we’ve lost the will to sustain large casualties. We’ve forgotten the simple reality that wars are won by killing more of the enemy than they kill of you. Given our risk averse national will, fighting a war of survival will be almost impossible because we have grown accustomed to wars with few casualties.
Continuing with the national will, Baby Boomers were raised by those who fought in or worked (Rosie the Riveter) to defeat the twin evils of Nazism and fascism. Boomers were followed by Generation X who, from their grandparents, still heard firsthand accounts of the horrors of war. Gen X raised the Millennials, quickly followed by Generation Z - the generations with the greatest prosperity of any generations the world has ever known, and the generations of military age (17-39). Do Millennials/Gen Z appreciate their fortunate place in history? Are you kidding? Not only do they not appreciate their place in history, they’re rioting in the streets to end the form of government and economic system that made it all possible. Instead of appreciating what they’ve inherited, appreciating the struggles that brought the country to where it is today, and appreciating the sacrifices made by past generations, they despise everything about this country. The recent and ongoing riots, in most major cities, are proof of their hatred of America. The entitled Gen Z / Millennials proudly denounce America and all it stands for, as they burn the flag, as they graffiti and firebomb another courthouse, as they destroy another statue, and as BLM screams “we’ll burn this country down.” When the time comes, who honestly thinks that generation Millennial will volunteer to defend a country they loathe? Even if conscripted, who thinks the pampered GenZ will serve once the fighting and dying starts? One of our military’s biggest problems is finding the 175,000-180,000 recruits required every year to sustain the force. Then, think how difficult it will be to recruit or conscript the millions required to fight and win World War III when it comes. And World War III is coming. Don’t believe me, believe history.