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"The Economist" magazine downplayed America's armed forces in a piece that implied soldiers are not that patriotic after all.

Americans have a "highly romanticised view of military service, which is inaccurate and counter-productive at best," said the a piece entitled "America’s love affair with uniformed men is problematic."

The author asserts that few soldiers who receive thank-you cards from American children thanking them for "keeping us safe" actually believe that is what they are doing.

"No soldier expects the beloved chumps back home to understand what he gets up to. He just needs to feel appreciated."

Soldiers' courage on the battlefield is mostly for the sake of their comrades-in-arms, not the flag, the author goes on.

Civilians' "soldier worship" also causes a "looming crisis" in the area of federal funding, it continues. The Department of Defense gets an unfair advantage in agencies' fight for funds.

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