You Go to War With The Army You recruit

Kat Steiger notes that the US Army is using video games in its recruiting including one that features the delightful “curb stomp” move (speaking of which: go watch American History X if you haven’t seen it). Kay goes in one direction with this, but I’m curious as to how this sort of thing is supposed to fit in with the new kinder, gentler, counterinsurgency-oriented Army that’s decided things like “massive firepower” are “be of limited utility, or even counter-productive in COIN operations.”

Or, to put it another way, I’ve been approached twice by Army recruiters while playing Time Crisis II and never while browsing the Middle East History section of my local bookstore. There’s nothing surprising about any of this, but there’s an obvious tension here. If you genuinely want to reorient the force around a whole new approach to warfare, you can’t hold everything in place but then hand people a new manual.