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In the War of the Revolution the basic military weapon was the smooth-bore flintlock musket with an effective range of fifty yards. Demobilization left the new country with a Regular Army of eighty enlisted men and with a universal conviction that "standing armies are ever a menace to the liberties of the people." Today we maintain peacetime standing forces numbering millions of men; they are armed with every deadly weapon up to the super-giant fusion bomb of intercontinental capability, while military plans and policies affect every aspect of our economy and politics and reach far into the personal life and liberties of the individual. This book is a history of this transformation.
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