"In Syria now, you have Iranian revolutionary guards, you have al Qaeda, fighting it out on the streets. If we get involved with Syria, you better be willing to fight a total war, 'cause that's what it will take," West said. "You cannot fight a half-measure war with these very nebulous rules of engagement like we've seen in Afghanistan and Iraq and, of course, back in Vietnam."
The French Revolution of 1789 had seen the first attempts to harness citizenship and patriotism to a national war effort. In the ideology of revolutionary France, young men were conscripted into the armed forces as part of their duty as citizens, but the remaining population was also expected to make personal sacrifices for the war, blurring the distinction between civilian and soldier.
Known at first as "People's War," this idea developed in the 19th century as part of a growing sense of national identity. By the middle of World War One it was known as "Total War" -- the organisation of entire societies for war in a social, economic, and even spiritual sense.
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