Who are the aggressors? Historically, we are. On a personal, psychological level we all, male and female, have an ego; and by its very nature the ego is aggressive. But as a matter of U.S. military history the aggressors were the Trigonists (Circle Trigonists) a fictitious political party arising from the chaos and ashes of World War II, a faux government, and a mock military force, the raison d’etre of the Aggressors was to provide our military services, the army, navy and air force, with a realistic enemy to maneuver against in practice for the real thing. Such tactical exercise opponents have gone by various names for various types of strategic and tactical training exercises according to their scale and purpose; being sometimes designated simply as the Red vs the Blue army or perhaps the more modern and elaborate OPFORS (Opposing Forces).
For the enthusiast, a detailed description and explanation of the Aggressors can be found in downloadable form in the following U.S. Army field manuals:
THE MANEUVER ENEMY
FM 30-101 Department of the Army January 1953, v:
TROOPS ACTING AS AGGRESSORS ARE
AMERICAN SOLDIERS. DO NOT HARM
THEM OR THEIR EQUIPMENT
FM 30-101, The Maneuver Enemy, is one of the series of four Aggressor field manuals. The others in the series are—
FM 30-102—Handbook on Aggressor Military Forces.
FM 30-103—Aggressor Order of Battle.
FM 30-104—Aggressor Army Representation Operations and Equipment.
Users of these four field manuals are requested to submit recommendations for changes or corrections direct to the Commandant, Army General, School, Fort Riley, Kans.
My eldest brother was drafted in 1953, when he came home from the service in 1955 he told me (age 5) he’d fought “The Aggressors”. Some thirteen years later I tangled with them myself. While in Basic Training we were given a battery of aptitude and intelligence tests that lasted for several days. Afterward a handful of us were held back for additional tests. In one of these extracurricular tests we were tasked with translating what they referred to as a “made-up” language. Directly afterward I was offered OCS (Officer Candidate School) which I promptly turned down, much to my regret. It was only lately I discovered the language they wanted us to translate was Esperanto – the language of the Aggressors. It falls well within the sphere of possibility that I could have become an Aggressor myself. My next encounter with the Aggressors was in AIT (Advanced Individual Training) during an infantry patrol exercise.
Having taken a year of World History at university and also being an unemployed veteran for most of my life, I have had a great deal of leisure in which to read innumerable books on the subject of war; and especially time to ponder the very meaning of the word “aggressor”. In all wars there is a casus belli – a reason, weak as it may be, a spurious provocation or justification to go to war. In all wars there is a great deal of finger-pointing and laying of blame, and, just as a general rule, it falls to the victor (since their opponent is dead) to write the accepted history. Having grappled for a long time with the concept of a moral justification for war and seeing that war is rooted in hunger and theft, etc.; I come away with what I consider a simple yet universal and everlasting truth:
The soldier farthest from home is the aggressor.
No matter what the pundits, politicians, orators, propagandists and historians say:
The soldier farthest from home is the aggressor – always.