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He is not at all familiar with the desperate struggle which was made by Washington, various Colonial assemblies and the Confederation of Colonies, to keep in the field even a small force of troops. He hears very little of the bickerings, mutinies, desertions and frequent changes of personnel which made the war a difficult one to conduct and served to bring out into strong relief the remarkable qualities of Washington—those qualities of patience, good judgment, discretion and again patience, and more patience, which made it possible for him to hold the illy-equipped, disjointed and discordant elements together, and to have always available some kind of a fighting force, although seldom an effective


We have as a nation neglected the lessons of past wars, and have learned little from the example of the great military nations, and, as Emory Upton truth

fully says: “Our general policy has followed closely that of China.” Perhaps this statement may be somewhat extreme in all which applies to conditions up to the end of the Civil War, but it is not in any way extreme when applied to conditions which exist today. The great nations with policies to uphold and interests to defend have made what they believe to be adequate military preparation.

The United States has been drifting for years. No real military preparations of an adequate character have been made. Military preparedness means the organization of all the resources of a nationmen, material and money-so that the full power of the nation may be promptly applied and continued at maximum strength for a considerable period of time. War today, when initiated by a country prepared for war, comes with great suddenness, because all preparations have

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been made in advance; plans have been worked out to the last detail, organization completed and reserve supplies purchased and assembled long in advance and the whole force of the mighty machine can be applied in a very brief period of time at any designated point.

Back of the machine itself is the railroad service, so organized as to be turned over immediately to the military authorities. Back of this come the civil hospitals, the bakeries, and the supply departments of all sorts, each with its responsibility fixed in case of operations within its area, or in case of a demand for supplies in other sections of the theatre of war. The capacity of every ship is known, and plans completed for her use as a troop ship, and when war threatens, the whereabouts of the shipping is closely watched, and ships are assembled quietly to meet any demand which may be required for over

sea operations. These are but an outline of what is meant by military preparedness.

Mere numbers of men and undeveloped military resources are of little value. It has been well said that in the sudden onrush of modern war, undeveloped military resources are of no more use than an undeveloped gold mine in Alaska would be in a panic on Wall Street. The comparison is not overdrawn. You must remember, all of you, that this country has never yet engaged in war with a first-class Power prepared for war.

You must remember also that once sea power is lost or held in check an enormous force can be landed on these shores within a month—a force sufficient to go where it will and to hold whatever it desires to hold.

Why have we failed to make adequate preparation? Partly because of ignorance of the true facts concerning our utter unpreparedness, and partly due to a conceit

fostered by the average Fourth of July orator and politician, through statements to the effect that we possess peculiar and remarkable military characteristics which make our soldiers trained and efficient without preparation, and as good as equally brave and equally sound men of other countries who have spent years in training. Again there is the curious Anglo-Saxon prejudice against a large standing army and the feeling that it is always a menace to civil liberty.

In our past wars we were not confronted by great nations with highly organized military machines; steam navigation had not appeared; our possible enemies were without standing armies of any size, and lacked entirely that complete military organization which characterizes them today. It took a long time to get troops together and prepare supplies for them, and a considerable period of time to cross the ocean.

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