Viewing page 5 of 28

NATIONAL SERVICE IN A FUTURE WAR

The impact of science on war has been such that a war of the future is not likely to be solely determined by the clash of armed forces whose efficiency is the product of military leadership. The civilian on the home front has been brought into the conflict in such a manner that his influence is now so great that he alone has the ultimate power of decision between courses of action that will lead to victory and those that will lead to defeat. The fact that defeat in a future war will probably carry with it the loss of all held dear and the forced acceptance of all that is now abhorred makes it important that the role of the home front civilian be examined, with a view to determining the manner in which he can best influence his destiny, should his nation be required to fight for its existence.

This paper will deal with the problem of the effective utilization of the manpower of the United States in a possible World War III. This subject is of vital interest, when it is realised that a great nation of comparatively superior resources may well be defeated in modern war, because it failed to make effective use of its superior resources. Examination of our experiences in World War II and consideration of the progress we have made in planning for the utilization of our manpower in a future war give rise to the possibility that the United States faces this danger at the present time. The dearth of understanding of the manpower problem is further exemplified by the surprising lack of knowledge of the subject by relatively senior officers of the National Military Establishment and otherwise well-informed civilians. The 

1
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.