Peter Leithart notes that many soldiers find war to be more meaningful than normal life, according to Sebastian Junger’s WAR. Leithart’s musings are interesting:
First, Junger’s observations help to make sense of the fairly common historical combination of cultural degeneracy and war-making. When normal life seems pointless and decadent, war is an attractive alternative. War is a way to make a difference.Second, what does the US do with a sizable group of committed, well-trained, efficient soldiers who have been “ruined for anything else” but war? What happens to them when (if?) America is at peace?
Third, the churches should inspire and equip her young men for something like a “moral equivalent of war.” (“Like” it, because war is not per se immoral.) The church should give her young men a sense that even in normal life they are “in a world where everything is important and nothing is taken for granted.” To do that, we have to recover some deeper, real sense of what it means to be a church militant.