being jewels set in blood and iron," 34 one basic conclusion remains. Unlike politics or business, where individual failings are rarely lethal, military errors inherently involve the potential loss of life. The stakes are too high for anyone in or out of the armed forces to excuse military failings on the basis that everyone else is doing them.
Put another way, loyalty to the American ethic requires a dedicated effort on the part of commanders and officers to develop the art of leadership rather than fall back on raw "drivership," which is merely the offshoot of power. Perhaps the basic problem of conflicting loyalties and the American military ethic, including its relationship to the American ethic, can be summed up in a question posed by Walter Karp, one which he said "has never been precisely formulated, and we are in danger of answering it without even knowing what has been asked,"
The question is this: do men, as a matter of ascertainable fact, want serious demands made upon their courage, loyalty, generosity and understanding? Do men, in other words, care to be moral beings, and do we prefer a life that might penalize us somehow for being craven, faithless and ungenerous? If we do not, then there is nothing radically wrong with the world. It is being fashioned in every way to suit us. If we do, then there is a great deal wrong with the world, and it is getting worse. 35