Citizen Soldier's depiction of combat aims for a visceral reaction and challenges viewers to place soldiers’ sacrifices within the context of our ongoing wars. And it does an admirable job, leaving you tense and guessing about the outcome of the battles and ambushes the “Thunderbirds” fought their way through. The documentary’s focus on the trials of National Guard soldiers in our present conflicts, however, ignores the wider consequences of a repeatedly deployed and increasingly depended-on reserve echelon. The continued reliance upon and the “regularization” of the National Guard should force the Army, Congress, and American society to examine the role of the Guard in our current and future military operations, whether we want to watch it or not.
Threat drives technology. This has been the case for the U.S. military for the last 150 years. One could say that forecasting what the next threat will be is actually what drives technology. Two prime examples of this are coastal and air defenses of the United States in the beginning and middle of the 20th century. Now we are facing an ever-developing threat: cyber attacks against our nation’s infrastructure. These are becoming more invasive and dangerous to our national security, given how much a modern military relies on cyberspace for communication and command and control.