He's a better historian than I, so I won't dispute whether the war in question is a half-century old, or a millennium and a half old. (Even if the war in question was quiescient for centuries, the most recent phase didn't take off until sometime after the dissolution of outside Imperial powers in the Middle East. Does that mean that lack of Western European Imperialism is a bad thing?)
However, I am reminded of a quote from a novel.
'It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master Warden...And those who have no swords can still die upon them. Would you have the folk of Gondor gather herbs only, when the Dark Lord gathers armies?'
Eowyn is a woman who had gone to battle (secretly) with the men of her land, and suffered a grievous wound while struggling with an evil being. After recovery in the Houses of Healing, she discusses the need for both armies and healers. The Warden of the House of Healing had lamented that battle had brought so many wounded into his care.-- Eowyn, in Return of the King
Eowyn warns him that a nation that does not keep an army can still suffer in war.