Tom Knapp has written something that you ought to read:
Since going back to an all-volunteer force after Vietnam, the military has depended on incentives to get young men and women to enlist. One of those incentives — unstated but definitely at play — is that while the kid is building a college fund and learning a skill, there’s a limit to the amount of tear-assing around the world on bullshit missions that’s acceptable. Yes, every kid who signs on the dotted line knows, or should know, that there’s a possibility of war in his or her future. But there’s also been a basic trust that America’s leaders would only take the country to war under certain conditions (the Soviets rolling their tanks into western Europe circa 1985; “peacekeeping” duty in Bosnia circa 1995). Catastrophic wars, yes. Short-term deployments for realpolitik, fine. Optional forever wars versus endless insurgencies in sandpits which represent no threat to the United States — not. The GI Bill can buy a high level of dedication, but raw credulity sports a higher price tag.
Knapp’s got street cred as a soldier in the first Gulf War and he’s not just some anti-war nut (a nut, sure, but a complex and subtle one).
…keep it real…