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A nation must think before it acts.
Military history is not just operational history; there is also the relationship between war and the development of states. The U.S. arose as a result of a war of independence; through war it expanded from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and it was the Civil War that created the country we know. It is also through war that the relationships among states have been molded and influenced.
It is also tremendously valuable for students in the West to understand that much of the war in the world is not a matter of Western powers but is in South Asia or subsaharan Africa. Students need to understand what tribalism or ethnic conflict mean, if they are to understand the world in which they live, and that these pose real questions for the U.S. and other powers as to how to respond. Teaching military history is thus a key element of civic education.