Anything less than 1000 for 1 is considered a serious waste of U.S. personnel. Let's see ... to have 50,000 American deaths in a war, this would require an enemy death toll of 50,000,000 souls. Hmmmm ... Most of the countries on Earth (that we might conceivably mix it up with) don't have that many people.
On the other hand, if we define a war as "killing five percent of the opponent country's people, then ... to lose 50,000 men on the American side would require that we do battle with a country of 1,000,000,000 souls. That leaves us only China and India to fight with at a Vietnam life loss level (~50,000 KIA) which would be deemed an "acceptable kill ratio" (the afforementioned 1,000 to 1).
But if we mix it up with China or India, we automatically "go nuclear" which nullifies the need for infantry. See?
Not using the infantry destroys it.
By failing to deploy the infantry in this conflict, the government has effectively killed it as a "machanism of mayhem". This is because everything that IS ... has an IDENTITY. The identity of the infantry is "to fight" mano y mano.
Let me be more clear.
Part of the he identity of man is "to breathe". What happens if you don't breathe? Right, you're dead. Now, what must the average G.I. Joe think as he waits for the deployment that never comes? Right ... "I'm not a soldier. I'm just playing at it. I'm a toy soldier."
If there ever were such a conflict where real soldiers would need to be deployed to actually fight, our's would cut & run at the first sight of opposition. They have no "real" experience. They "just practice" real hard.
I submit this for your perusal ...
If American forces cannot be deployed to actually fight ... in this conflict ... with the most obvious and deplorable of provocations ...
The answer is plainly clear. They can never be deployed under any conceivable circumstances whatsoever. Ipso facto ... the Army of the United States has philosophically "ceased to exist" ... because ... it has, at the most fundamental level, lost its identity.
There is only one other alternative.
What we are witnessing is the end of personal, individual, armed conflict on wide scales. Certainly, there will be a continuing need for a squad of infantry here and there ... maybe even a battalion. But we no longer need a standing army
So ... let's be done with it. Save some bucks and consolidate and reduce the armed forces. 20,000 standing Marines, some nuclear Navy subs, aircraft carriers, Air Force. I no longer think we need to maintain a standing army of more than 100,000 total. This could be a huge financial savings.
When we have a war, the "soldiers" just man their Nintendo game consoles and send a remote controlled fighter and at the same time ...