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Question of the month. Could the US fight a war like WWII again.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by mrblond, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    What do y'all think? can this generation go through the horror of a war like WWII? Personally I don't think so. I think, as a group, we are weaker then the generations before. We are to spoiled and privileged and while I don;t want to take anything from the men and women serving now, they are all heroes. I think the nation would not stomach the mass causalities.
     
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    A global war on that scale.... I'd like to think we could, but I dunno. I think it would certainly separate the men from the boys though.
     
  3. Coffindodger

    Coffindodger Seattle Member

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    As a Veteran, the terms spoiled, privileged, weak and entitled don't do justice to those interested in the downfall of our great republic. If less than 60% of the population votes, then the 2 party system has failed and few consider our Constitutional duties. Not voting is a vote for a nanny state without rights. This generation would cower from ANY real challenge, all the while hollering for their free speech and not care about any other Constitutional rights.

    I took an oath to defend against threats foreign and domestic. To protect the Constitution at any cost, and I have payed. But not enough yet.
     
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  4. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Have you spent any time around the average teen or twenty something in this country? Not a chance. They will probably have to try though as we are deceived yet again into a invasion that most likely will start WWIII (Iran).

    Spoiled teens care about what you can do for them only. A draft would mostly be rejected as most would not show up for the party.
     
  5. michaelswilhelm

    michaelswilhelm Linn County, Oregon New Member

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    As a 'teen' I personally don't think that 95% of my generation would be able to stomach any conflict on that scale. My generation is very spoiled just like Burt said. They're weak and have been brainwashed into thinking that the government is there for them. They don't know how to think or stand up for themselfs. I personally think that a large scale conflict will be the only thing that has a hope of waking my generation out of their lethargic state.

    My generation doesn't speak for me. There are a few good young people but they're few and far between. May God help us all in the times ahead if this kind of thing happens.
     
  6. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    No Sir. Our military has no problem finding quality, young volunteers to join our forces. We've been at war now without a draft for eleven years and continue to meet our commitments worldwide. Percentage-wise, I'd wager that our teens are neither more nor less spoiled than any other group in this country. I do however doubt our country's ability to logistically support a WWII-scale war considering so much of our heavy industry is gone.

    Keith
     
  7. Zepoll

    Zepoll Keizer Active Member

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  8. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    no problem with finding people that could fit the standards because they would just lower the standards just like they did for the cops.
     
  9. kibs45

    kibs45 Portland Active Member

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    As someone who belongs to the younger crowd, I guess I have a few thoughts.
    1. There are always going to be some good guys. My brother in law (also in the younger crowd) is currently serving in the Army. So I do believe that we could probably field a large enough army, but that would be dependent on what kind of provocation did or did not occur.
    2. The biggest problem I perceive is not the ability to respond to a threat, but our stamina to respond appropriately. We are an instant gratification society, so I do see us struggling to field an adequate army for an extended period of time, due to military members commitment and general public attitude.
    3. Our society in general does not have the fortitude to deal with the consequences of decisive action. Our war casualties the last ten years have been incredibly low. That is not to take anything away from the people who lost loved ones, or have had their lives impacted. But truth be told, the amount of casualties we have suffered the last ten years could happen in a single day in WWII. The publics ability to cope with this loss is not adequate currently. On the flip side, we can't allow ourselves to actually win a war either. We have tried to cleanse war of all the ugliness and in doing so, have reduced the urgency to actually end the conflict (win).
     
  10. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sonuvabubblegum... are you kidding me?

    Guess I just get to be the angry thread-pooper these days.

    First of all, and probably more importantly (to the question asked), the US would never fight a war like that again. The world will not ever see a war like that again. The days of brigade scale battles through farmlands are over. A war between superpowers would involve some ground fighting, obviously, as occupying captured territory is still required for holding it- but large scale super-power-on-super-power wars will be pounded out from or through the air.

    Second of all- screw you fat, lazy older generations for thinking MY generation can't handle fixing YOUR bubblegumups. The gentlemen above mentioned the fact that we've been fighting the single longest war in American history without a draft, and simultaneously raising entry requirements and flat turning down candidates because we have TOO MANY VOLUNTEERS. Beyond that, my generation is the FIRST generation in SEVERAL generations that HAS stood up for their country. Most of you Vietnam bubblegumers were drafted.

    As a disabled infantry vet (non-combat, not my fault), and as the friend of MANY disabled infantry vets and many still currently serving- with their disabilities- you can seriously kiss my ***.

    I'll have more anger to contribute later.
     
  11. huthuthike

    huthuthike Hillsboro OR Active Member

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    I'm breaking this into 3 parts:
    1. These types of questions only work if you assume that previous generations just rolled out of bed ready to fight. They didn't; relatively few of the soldiers in WWII went from basic to the front. Many were in training for months or years before D-Day and offensives in the Pacific. The fighting before that was generally in self-defense and I do not underestimate the abilities of people fighting for their lives and/or family.
    2. The nation will stomach mass casualties for an easily understood just cause. The difference now is that the media is not controlled the way it was in the 1940s and we tend to see both sides of an issue. Another factor is that we expect to win quickly, the technological marvels we control give the people confidence and war fatigue would set in earlier but in an WWII-style all-out fight between nations I think victory could be quicker.
    3. Logistically, it would be tough to fight 2 major conflicts at once but that is countered by our global presence. We are in Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific right now and can strike anywhere in days, if not hours. The speed that our current forces deploy at is breathtaking. Some would say we have been preparing for WWII for the last 70 years so I think we have a better chance of fighting it now than we did then.

    Now answer this; What circumstances would it take for a WWII-style conflict to happen again?
    1. No nukes - countries would have to be fighting to keep land, not just kill people.
    2. Lack of information - radar, satellites, thermal imaging all expose positions. A lot of WWII effort was spent on gathering this with people
    3. Lack of speed - the fastest ideas for planes in WWII were 600 mph? About the speed of a 747 now. Everything else is faster now too, deploying men is at least 50% faster.
    4. Lack of precision - with current guidance a fixed position like Omaha Beach or a cave on Iwo Jima or factories near a city will not survive a single successful bombing run, it is not "a given" that bombers and paratroop planes go off-course anymore.

    There is probably another dozen or a hundred reasons that the USA could not fight a war like World War 2 again but I believe that it would not come down to personal fitness of 18-35 year-olds or the ability for the country to unite behind a cause.
     
  12. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Get the bubblegum off my generation.

    See, I resent you old bubblegums in ways you apparently can't grasp. You've poisoned the world, and my children. You've divided my countrymen into bullbubblegum opposing parties that have quagmired our political system. You've instilled fear of others, and the world around us, into us from the time we were babes in arms. You've perpetuated the crimes and debts and messes we have to try to fix. Then you sit there with your beer guts on your cases on ammunition and stockpiles of food and criticize US?
     
  13. kibs45

    kibs45 Portland Active Member

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    huthuthike-

    1. Agree. The only issues I take is that I do believe there may have been a higher work ethic in general. Certainly arguable. I also believe that as a general rule they were probably more familiar with firearms. However, I understand that just like today, that would be very dependent on an individuals background.

    2. I understand your point, I guess I would argue that today we seem to be on a moral relativism kick. It seems that we take it beyond understanding the other position to wanting to excuse it. This point would also be arguable. I totally agree with the second half.

    3. No argument there.

    Next Set:

    I understand the point you are making. In the conventional sense, WWII will never happen again. I do believe though that once the "power at be" collapses and it all reverts to guerilla style fighting a lot of those technological advantages dissappear, and it starts to look a lot more like wars past. Just look overseas to see what it turns into. That does depend on individual circumstances though.

    I am total agreement with the first half of your final statement, somewhat disagree with the second. Because of what I said above "I understand your point, I guess I would argue that today we seem to be on a moral relativism kick. It seems that we take it beyond understanding the other position to wanting to excuse it.".

    As to Bens points I am also frustrated by the previous generations calling us soft while leaving us their crap, but I guess it is just the way the world is. It becomes hard to argue against their point with the occupy protesters lol... There are good and bad people in all generations apparently...
     
  14. huthuthike

    huthuthike Hillsboro OR Active Member

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    I think we are on the same side of the argument here. My point in #2 is that we do not receive a united message from political leadership and the media. I should have said that we are presented another side of the story every 24 hours and get differing messages because people want to make a name for themselves. But I don't think anyone is on a moral relativism kick. If anything, everyone thinks anyone who disagrees is wrong. If people truly believed there is no right and wrong, we wouldn't argue so much.
     
  15. kibs45

    kibs45 Portland Active Member

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    huthuthike-
    Sorry if I came off like we were arguing. I was just opining a response in good natured conversation. We agree quite a bit. While I think we do suffer from moral relativism, in the further explained context of your argument, my original statement doesn't stand. I don't think there are many people who really don't believe in right or wrong, it's more that they expect people to abide by their exact standard.
     
  16. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I doubt the U.S. could find the political will to fight a war on the scale of WWII any longer.

    There is a line in the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche that reads something like:

    "What if Ike had felt Hitler was just going through a "rough patch" and needed time to get over it?"

    I believe that would be the case nowadays.
     
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  17. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Few people nowadays realize that the public and political will to continue WWII was waning severely after just a few years. The draft became absolutely necessary to meet recruitment needs (we wouldn't need one if it was a 'just' war, right?). The war bond drives had lost public enthusiasm and were generating next to nothing in revenue for the war effort. Miraculously, one propaganda picture reversed the public's sour opinion of the war and most likely determined its final outcome...

    Keith
     
  18. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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  19. davemata

    davemata Spokane, WA Well-Known Member

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    No. Look at the kids.
     
  20. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting question. IF you study history, there were A LOT of pacifists in 1940-41 who saw thw writing on the wall, and did NOT want the USA to get involved in the war in Europe, They had had enough of WWI, and were not so far removed from that war that it wasn't still fresh in their minds. If Japan had not declared war on the US, it may very well be that we never would have had "the Greatest Generation."
     
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