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|In the Kallipolis, the guardians are the only people allowed to use force: they are the only ones trained for combat, and they might certainly become very good at it, but if their armies are destroyed in battle, the city would have to surrender because there will be no one to protect her.
In this regard, Plato is only half right: a professional army is generally better than a drafted one, but states should always make preparations in case that the armed forces are depleted; this is the reason behind the existence of modern reserve forces.
They might not be as good as professional warriors, but they can fill important places in logistical and rearguard forces, thus liberating more expensively trained and seasoned professionals for first-line duty, and in the event of disaster, second-rate troops are better than nothing.
Macchiavelli compared how France and the Ottoman Empire might fare in a high-intensity conflict: he said that France could be invaded more easily than Turkey, but also, that France would be impossible to maintain under control due to the fact that different groups would resist the invasion.
Turkey, on the other hand, would be defeated only if the Ottoman armies were utterly exterminated, but once this is achieved, the whole empire would fold and collapse.
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