Below is a famous quote from Herman Goering at the Nuremberg
|Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.|
Herman thought he had it figured, but he ended up committing suicide the night before he was due to be hanged. Apparently, he forgot something.
Like George W, he forgot to take account the resistance to his “victory”. You can drag the people into war, if you want, but they tend to resent it. To have a war, you also have to raise their taxes, or inflate their currency, or both. You have to deal with grieving relatives and friends of dead soldiers. You have to suppress opponents of the war policy. You have to deal with the actions of enemies created by wars of aggression. Oppressive rules and regulations proliferate in times of war.
In short, when a government declares war on a foreign enemy, it is also declaring war on its own people. This is a war that the people always win. Armies know how to fight, but they don't know how to work, and it can become difficult to convince others to provide food, housing, clothing, weapons, and ammunition when you become unpopular, even if you have guns.
If you have a gun and you shoot someone, he is not going to feed you. If you don't shoot your victim, he will only work for you when you are watching. The rest of the time he will work against you. No army is a match for a resistant population.
The US army has a total strength of 499,000, excluding Reserves and National Guard. The US population is about 298 million. That means there are more than 500 people in the US for every person in the active duty military.
Perhaps one should include others in the enforcement arm of the government, but if a government finds itself in serious conflict with its civilians, the government forces will likely split. Some members of the government enforcement community with balk at extreme actions against the civilian population, which is likely to include relatives and friends.
Governments always launch new campaigns. They may be major wars, like WW II, or they may be drives to collect more taxes, reduce teen pregnancy, lower drug usage, or reduce poverty. They always have the goal of confiscating property or labor from the general population and giving it to some elite group. They are always described by the government as actions designed to benefit the general society.
Government programs almost always fail in their stated, altruistic objectives, but the unstated goal of providing funding for criminal elites is often achieved.