What you have avoided is the professional vs. reserve ratio of forces, both American and adversary. A key factor in determining whether a force is likely to support democracy is the percentage of enlisted draftees. A high percentage means trouble (e.g. Saddam). A low percentage (e.g. zero for the UK) means support. Russia still uses draftees and is problematic. Even France & Germany use draftees and are worthless in projecting power for the purposes of bringing democracy. Conscription itself is anti-democratic!
If your readers have a subscription to Proceedings, they should read Our Naval Heritage Is In Danger in the December 2004 issue. My fifth great uncle, Benjamin Foster, organized the local citizens of Machias Maine to resist the British (celebrated by a road side marker as “Foster’s Rubicon”). On June 12, 1775 the citizen-sailors of Machias won the first armed action at sea of the American revolution. Shortly thereafter, George Washington, purchased three ships to form “Washington’s Cruisers”. Only after these citizens took action, did the government take action by ratifying their fait accomplis.
Having a force largely composed of reservists is a sure way of building in a commitment to support the troops and bring them home ASAP. That commitment in turn reassures the fledgling democracy that we are not a colonial power.
So we need more emphasis on creating the Citizen-Sailor (or Marine). And as the world knows, there is “no better friend” of children than the USMC Reserve and its Toys For Tots program! So do not provoke those citizen-marines and turn them into “your worst enemy”.