chapter  2
The American Practice of War: Cultural Tenets
ByAdrian R. Lewis
Pages 478

Americans hate war. But once they are provoked to defend themselves against those who threaten their security, they mobilize with unparalleled swiftness and energy. While the battle is on there is no sacrifice of men or treasure too great for them to make. In the post-World War II period many students of America's wars concluded that the traditional American practice of war and the cultural tenets that sustained it were no longer applicable. Because soldiering was considered an innate ability of all American men, those who served in the Army during peacetime were considered losers, individuals incapable of succeeding in America's competitive capitalist economy. Excess consumption is killing Americans. The affluence of much of modern America is diametrically opposed to the destitute conditions of the battlefield. Racism is a fact of American life. It has been and remains a major cultural tenet influencing every aspect of American society.