Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance
We had been told, on leaving our native soil,” wrote the centurion Marcus Flavius to a cousin back in Rome, “that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred on us by so many of our citizens [and to aid] populations in need of our assistance and our civilization.” For such a cause, he and his comrades had willingly offered to “shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes.” Yet the news from the homeland was disconcerting: The capital was seemingly rife with factions, treachery and petty politics. “Make haste,” Marcus Flavius continued, “and tell me that our fellow citizens understand us, support us and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the empire.”
“If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware of the anger of the legions!”
Be sure and check out this Washington Post article. I think it was quite good.