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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why the USA can't win wars

VDH considers the question:
Given that the United States fields the costliest, most sophisticated, and most lethal military in the history of civilization, that should be a silly question. We have enough conventional and nuclear power to crush any of our enemies many times over. Why then did we seem to bog down in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? The question is important since recently we do not seem able to translate tactical victories into long-term strategic resolutions. Why is that? What follows are some possible answers....

The most obvious answer is why we argue over the results of our interventions is an inability to articulate our strategic objectives—what exactly do wish to see follow from our use of force and for how long and at what cost? Do we wish to rid the world of Bashar al-Assad? We could do that quite easily and probably without ground troops. But would the region be more or less stable? Would Iran suffer a blow or find ways to fund more terrorists? Would the collateral damage from funding insurgents or bombing be worse or not as bad as the current Assad toll? Would the insurgents prove reasonable, or more like those in Egypt and Libya—or even worse? Many of our problems seem to hinge on explaining to the public what we wish to do, why so, how, at what cost it is to be accomplished, and what we want things to look like when we’re through.
The real answer is that we don't articulate a strategy because we don't have one that is palatable to the American people. Most of our actions are not in the American national interest, so naturally the objectives underlying those actions can't be explicated in a simple and straightforward manner because they would be rejected. There was no national interest at stake in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Serbia, or in Uganda. There is none in Iran. And where there is no coherent and strictly delineated objective in the national interest, there is no strategy, and where there is no strategy there will be no victory regardless of the tactical excellence.

61 Comments:

Anonymous SouthTX May 27, 2012 1:59 AM  

Vox, I have friends (senior grade) and son's of friends who have been torn up. That's why I talked my oldest son out of West Point, although they were recruiting him. Thankfully he listened. It would have killed me inside to know my kid got blown to shit supporting the dipshits in charge.

Anonymous Praetorian May 27, 2012 2:03 AM  

Vox,

Can you expand on what you think the primary interests being served are?

Anonymous SouthTX May 27, 2012 2:07 AM  

Correction. (Senior grade) military folks. Talking to senior NCO's. A LTC who took a RPG too close. And is disabled. I don't want my spawn anywhere near that.

Anonymous Scintan May 27, 2012 2:08 AM  

You can't negotiate with crazy or fanatical, and the U.S. is no longer willing to finish wars via body count.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis May 27, 2012 3:24 AM  

I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power. This means that our nation is preoccupied with preventing potential regional powers that could seriously challenge our hegemony. That is ultimately why we supported Iraq in the 80s and turned on them in the 90s, they had gotten too powerful and the US was afraid of an Iraq that could potentially acquire Saudi Arabia. No nation at the top will tolerate a rival if it can help it. In short the US seeks hegemony. The political leadership cannot articulate this to the American public because it is so unpalatable.

I would also argue this is why we find our troops bogged down in these nations. The US often is able to use economic coercion or even limited military force to achieve its ends. However, there are times when that fails, or is not an option. The US public, and by extension its leadership, is unwilling to 'subjugate' a nation. By subjugate I mean truly conquer. It would be an incredibly bloody affair, even more bloody than what we see in Iraq or Afghanistan. There are plenty of examples of nations doing just that up to the 20th century, however the pacific front would be an example of how bloody an affair it would be. It displaces and culls entire populations so that they are incapable of mounting any real resistance. Once again look at the pacific front. The US was willing to utterly destroy the Japanese if it had to.

Anonymous Roundtine May 27, 2012 3:31 AM  

The U.S. political establishment is rotten to the core. Foreign policy is just one subset. You'd have trouble going through domestic policy and finding things in the national interest.

Anonymous Roundtine May 27, 2012 3:39 AM  

This means that our nation is preoccupied with preventing potential regional powers that could seriously challenge our hegemony.

Exactly right, but if you have roaches, you don't hire a full time exterminator to live in your home.

I've seen very, very few people talk about how Iranian nukes may be actually intended to balance Pakistan (Sunni nukes). The U.S. does what it does because it can, not because it is sensible or cost effective. Given U.S. power, it could probably get away with being one of the laziest in terms of foreign policy and still achieve its objectives.

Blogger Jason May 27, 2012 3:59 AM  

The "wars" in the Middle East following 9/11 were never about "winning." They were about occupying. It's that simple.

Anonymous TheExpat May 27, 2012 4:19 AM  

I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power.

Then stop getting into wars that you don't or can't "win." doh

Anonymous Boogeyman May 27, 2012 4:23 AM  

You can't negotiate with crazy or fanatical, and the U.S. is no longer willing to finish wars via body count.


Yea, this. Got to have a clear goal and be willing to do whatever it takes to get there. People today would be unwilling to support another Sherman in his march to the sea or Dresden bombing.

Then again I don't know how much good it does to bomb the enemy back to the stone age when they are already there.

Anonymous Anonymous May 27, 2012 4:25 AM  

The arms manufacturers don't want the wars to end.

Bombs are expensive.

The arms-makers get paid for producing lots of bombs.

Thus the arms-makers have a perverse incentive to sell solutions that manufacture more enemies.

The feedback loop of more money->more bombs->more enemies->more money will probably continue until the US dollar implodes.

Anonymous KC Chiefs Fan, thick skin required! May 27, 2012 5:30 AM  

Funny, we have no draft and a ten year plus war. National interest will not match the strategy when one percent of the population fights the war. Average American has no skin in the game. Abort a generation and hire immigrant soldiers of misfortune. Out sourcing is what we do best, followed by debasing currency. Since Americans can't fight we should build up India and let them fight the war. They speak English so outsource it over to them along with our call centers. Get used to outsourcing because we outsourced our power base a long time ago. American hegemony is long gone. We are at most a regional power if even that. We can't even secure our own border and enforce Article 4 Section 4 of the US Constitution. Our one fortune has been that no enemy has been strong enough to seriously fight back conventionally. The past decade has allowed our enemies to strengthen. Consequences for the actions we took in the Middle East are coming soon. Do you honestly think we create fear in any part of the world with our Army? Be thankful for what you have now because in ten years we will have to contend with Germany running Europe, a strong Russia, a strong China and a strong India. We made it all possible for our love of manufactured junk purchased through a deficit, donated to the Salvation Army and resold back to the nations who built it for pennies on the dollar. Our legacy is the Goodwill store where our desire for material goods ends up along with the rest of our throw away, sell out, obese culture.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 27, 2012 5:51 AM  

$16 trillion, millions of unemployed and many 4closures isn't enough ruin.

Underwear bombers, breast implant bomb devices, those few Ohio boys attempting to blow up a bridge were all duped by Feds.

Dressing up to play war to bait the undiscerning into carrying bombs to ignite false flags to further a more complete police state of fear.

Who wins when the West maintains a love-hate relationship with made-up groups?

Dopium, neoconners makers of body scan machines and fear-freaks. Certainly not the American people, the people lose every time. Isn't true we haven't won a war since WW2? Isn't true that whatever benefits or death pay troops families' were to receive were not given to them (stolen)?

The problem is that losing western media like CNN/Foxnews can air (see 8pm to midnight programming for Cooper, Hannity or Billy-boy or Greta trotting Trump out to demonize China) fret reports about Iran or the terrrrible violence in Syria.

These narratives are not working and Americans are turning this sh-t off.

And if it's not the endless talk of war its the obsessive compulsive freaks like Algore having a mental health day about AGW.

Blogger JDC May 27, 2012 6:22 AM  

Quote from Cogitans Iuvenis
I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power. This means that our nation is preoccupied with preventing potential regional powers that could seriously challenge our hegemony.

Well said. Ironically, in continuing to attempt to Occupy X Country (Iraq, Afghanistan, S Korea, ...) we are undermining our status as a world power. I have to think that China and Russia sit back and laugh as we pour money and resources into these conflicts....killing off our young men - all the while weakening ourselves from within.

Anonymous Rantor May 27, 2012 6:36 AM  

The question is about more than strategy, although having one would be helpful. I think Glub covers it well, aging empires are increasingly comfortable wallowing in their wealth and unwilling to enact the level of violence they were willing to take in their youth. In Iraq we went in wanting them to like us, to be celebrated as victors. We did not plan properly for an occupation force to establish law and order. We quickly turned over police powers to a vanquished nation unable to use them. This at the same time that we destroyed their military (fired a few hundred thousand unemployable young men with guns).

If you are going to settle issues with force, it must be overwhelming, it must be followed with an enforcement of the peace and the reestablishment of local force. This ultimately means you have to kill people, ruthlessly. You have to destroy enemy supply lines and production, you have to prevent the importation of anything you don't want the enemy to have. You must take control. So perhaps the only good news is that we don't want to be that mean, ruthless nation. Unfortunately we keep getting ourselves into wars which require a mean and ruthless person to win.

Why? because we are convinced that if we shove the bad guy around enough, he'll listen to reason. Truth is he gets pissed off and hates us and wants to kill us. Going to war happens because reason, on one side or the other, breaks down. Common action is impossible, force must be used to compel compliance. If you only use that force in a half-hearted way, you lose. Certainly having a good strategy would help, but having the will to see that strategy succeed is also required.

Anonymous Rantor May 27, 2012 7:01 AM  

@ KC Chiefs Fan, As for Germany running Europe, that is a joke. Germany is destroying herself little by little every day. A few years ago she shut down some major coal mines, she has closed and intends to close her nuclear power plants by 2020, she is continually down-sizing her military. I believe germany is now reliant on natural gas, piped in from Russia and oil from the North Sea and Russia for much of its power needs, wikipedia reports that 2/3 of Germany's power is imported.

Germany's last bastion of power is banking and that is collapsing with the rest of Europe, as I discussed above, old, comfortable nations lack the ruthlessness they need to succeed and collapse into their own shoddy future. Merkel must drive Greece and the rest of the PIIGS out of the Eurozone, or she must take Germany back to the Mark if she wants to remain economically dominant. Concomitantly the PIIGS would be better off if they went Icelandic on this, renounced their debt and pulled out of the Eurozone. We'll see if any of them have the stones for it.

Anonymous Cheddarman May 27, 2012 7:26 AM  

The nature of war has changed, and there is no way we can capture a vital piece of real estate in any of these countries (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq) that makes us the new and legitimate rulers of the random third world hell hole that happens to be in the humanitarian spotlight at the moment


The best thing we could do would be to stop trying to make the rest of the world "fair" and "democratic" and bring the troops home, and tell the rest of the world to take a flying leap.

And if any f@cks with us, killing americans, we respond as if we were Romans armed with nuclear weapons.

Anonymous aero May 27, 2012 8:20 AM  

Its the United Nations stupid.

Our congress failure to do their job, define the enemy and let the military destroy it. Instead they go to the United Nations for a nonsensical resolution.

The First rule of engagement. Should be a declaration of war. before we send any troops.

We have not won any wars since we joined the United Nations and they all have lasted longer then they should.

Its a poor strategy to let others determine how you should fight a war. Especially when your enemy's have a voice in it. Our Economic and political enemy's are as bad as the physical ones we fight.

Blogger republicanmother May 27, 2012 8:23 AM  

I would direct attention to the LA Times 1962 article about State Department Memo 7727, recommending a world army under the banner of the United Nations. There is a graphic there depicting Stage Three, with national armies going decreasing and a world army increasing.

Since Americans love their blood and swash, I'd argue that they've become the UN's proxy army. All they have to do to get Americans to go along is play the national security card.

Blogger Markku May 27, 2012 8:25 AM  

I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power.

I'd say, maintain it for the expected lifetime of the old fart deciding on it.

Anonymous KC Chiefs Fan, thick skin required! May 27, 2012 8:41 AM  

Max Keiser: Teutonic Genie out of bottle, America punches itself in face. Good to watch as he lays out what the media here does not. The big issue is the German Gold in the USA. Believe what you want. US is now 16 Trillion in debt. What country has ever survived 100 percent plus debt to GDP? PS they call it Bankfurt now and Londinstan is in the UK.

Anonymous Rantor May 27, 2012 8:50 AM  

As for maintaining our position as a world power, the German model would be better for us. Strong export economy, big banks (OK there's are overleveraged, but we could limit that), world influence.

Instead we think in military terms, sending out military forces we can't afford, being a net importer, and reliant on foreign countries, including competitors, to prop up our economy.

Definitely a strategic path to failure. You would almost think that someone wanted to end US hegemony by touting the post-industrial, service economy and having us expend valuable resources fighting other people's battles around the world.

I am feeling very Paul-ish at this point. Exceptin' I would bring home the military, close the borders and use all the transportation capabilities of our armed forces to send illegals home.

Anonymous w May 27, 2012 9:13 AM  

@ KC Chiefs Fan, As for Germany running Europe, that is a joke. Germany is destroying herself little by little every day. A few years ago she shut down some major coal mines, she has closed and intends to close her nuclear power plants by 2020, she is continually down-sizing her military. I believe germany is now reliant on natural gas, piped in from Russia and oil from the North Sea and Russia for much of its power needs, wikipedia reports that 2/3 of Germany's power is imported.

Germany's last bastion of power is banking and that is collapsing with the rest of Europe, as I discussed above, old, comfortable nations lack the ruthlessness they need to succeed and collapse into their own shoddy future. Merkel must drive Greece and the rest of the PIIGS out of the Eurozone, or she must take Germany back to the Mark if she wants to remain economically dominant. Concomitantly the PIIGS would be better off if they went Icelandic on this, renounced their debt and pulled out of the Eurozone. We'll see if any of them have the stones for it.

So, Rantor, what you are saying is that if the nations, and therefore the people, want to save themselves, they will throw off the yoke of the Central Bankers. Bravo.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 27, 2012 9:35 AM  


The best thing we could do would be to stop trying to make the rest of the world "fair" and "democratic" and bring the troops home, and tell the rest of the world to take a flying leap.


Well, that would be nice, but the big businesses that make money from selling weapons and expensive munitions would not be happy. Nor would those* nations that get America to take risk for them.

* There's at least one, perhaps no more.

Anonymous WinstonWebb May 27, 2012 10:26 AM  

Nor would those* nations that get America to take risk for them.

ANTI-SEMITISSSSS!

Anonymous Rod Freeman May 27, 2012 10:38 AM  

I think I've heard Vox say it before - imperial conquest always fails without colonization.

Two million midwest American farmers moving their families to Damascus might change the long term outcome.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 27, 2012 10:40 AM  

Fighting insurgencies or reactionary forces or guerrilla forces is always, always difficult. It takes time. There is NO quick way to end insurgencies! So why is Hanson complaining about? That's right---He never served!

The first long time war was the occupation of the Philippines, 1899. What kept it from going longer was the brutality by the American forces against the Philippino insurrectionists.

What happened there is when America took over the Philippines, one of things it did was to remove the Catholic Church as the state religion!

This has been the raison d' etre of American involvement overseas---world revolution.

Vox is wrong to include Serbia. America won that war quickly, less than a year, for bombing the sh*t out of Serbia. It won that war! Iraq and Afghanistan are like the Philippines, it is about transforming those cultures, it is about Americanizing them, so American troops staying in those countries IS A NECESSITY! Our political elite, our ruling pseudo-aristocracry WANT IT LIKE THAT!

It is unbelievable how many Americans don't understand their own country. America is supposed to occupy other countries---in order to transform them---to Americanize them! For America is the seat of World Revolution. It always has been!

The Vietnam War was Won! I don't know what Hanson is thinking. We pulled out because of the Left/Marxist Academia fueled revolution in this country. The Communist Academia in this country committed Treason. They thought more of helping their communist brethern in the NVA than in helping America! The Vietnam war was Won after the TET Offensive when the Viet Cong was virtually wiped out during that time! The bombing campaing of the North was a Success! It was the American Leftist Quislings that undermined it and worked up public support to end the war by losing it to North Vietnam.

I do not consider the Vietnam War to be lost. It was won---and then given away at the point of victory!

Anonymous Matt May 27, 2012 10:47 AM  

But Oliver Stone movie told me we need the oil..

Anonymous Athor Pel May 27, 2012 11:07 AM  

"Rod Freeman May 27, 2012 10:38 AM

I think I've heard Vox say it before - imperial conquest always fails without colonization.
...
"


Yes, he has said it. Several times in fact. It was just years ago.
What is important about it is not that Vox said it but that history supports the conclusion.

Anonymous JohnS May 27, 2012 11:15 AM  

Cogitans-
"I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power."

I would argue that this serves the interests of the sociopaths who rule over us, certainly. However, it doesn't do very much for the common proles being robbed to fund the project.

I'll side with the proles on this one.

"In short the US seeks hegemony. The political leadership cannot articulate this to the American public because it is so unpalatable."

And the reason it is unpalatable is because the public, on some level, understand that it's just their children being used as cannon fodder in furtherance of the goals of a coven of delusional psychopaths that hold them and their little lives in contempt.

Anonymous Scintan May 27, 2012 11:20 AM  

Then again I don't know how much good it does to bomb the enemy back to the stone age when they are already there.

With the level of advanced weaponry the U.S. has at it's disposal, it's not about making the place a rubble-filled nation. It's about wiping out the opposition. We've got a nation where its own police force wants to be able to kill its citizenry from the air, routinely abuses its power, insists upon being held to a lower standard than the rest of the nation and doesn't really care what the press or populace think about that, but the national government is worried about bad press in foreign newspapers if some foreign civilians are harmed in the process of killing military opponents.

To say that we're a nation with screwed up priorities is to put it mildly.

Anonymous CMC May 27, 2012 11:28 AM  

Would it be correct to say that his statement, "we do not seem able to translate tactical victories into long-term strategic resolutions" is backwards? Putting the cart before the horse?

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 27, 2012 11:34 AM  

Maybe we should have an Emergency Supreme Court that will put decision- makers into one of five categories.

A number one category would approve the wisdom of a proposed strategy and allow it to be adopted in full.

A number two category would allow it to be adaopted providing there were minor corrections.

A number three category would require the course of action to be delayed indefinitely until more informatin was obtained.

A number four category is that the strategy is not constitutional and should be cancelled entirely.

A number five category is that it hurts the interests of the country, and should be investigated for treason.

Anonymous Scintan May 27, 2012 12:02 PM  

Maybe we should have an Emergency Supreme Court that will put decision- makers into one of five categories.

Who chooses, and watches, the watchers? It's not as if the current model with the 9 sainted idiots in black robes has been working properly in the past 100+ years.

Anonymous Godfrey May 27, 2012 12:12 PM  

The "USA" isn't fighting a war. The global banker elite are fighting a war via proxy using troops from the USA. It is probably best they lose.

Anonymous Knarf May 27, 2012 12:19 PM  

> The arms manufacturers don't want the wars to end.

I'd be stunned by the inherent idiocy of that statement except that I've heard it too many times before from too many highly educated ignorant simpletons.

The ideal weapon is one you never have to use, because your enemies are so certain you'll kick their sorry asses that they decide not to fight you in the first place. The whole point of arms industry R&D is to extend bewegungskrieg into the psychological realm.

Geez, kid, put down the bong and go off-campus once in a while.

Blogger Markku May 27, 2012 12:22 PM  

The ideal weapon is one you never have to use

Ideal for who? The guy who has money invested in the arms industry? Hell no. For him, the best weapon is the one you have to use every day.

Blogger Jim, May 27, 2012 12:23 PM  

If people would stop idolizing everything "military" in this country, young men would stop joining and thus enhancing the capacity for the seemingly endless role of "World Cop" and destroyer of boogeymen. There is real evil in all four corners of the globe, but the constant cheerleading from the churchianity pulpits is what is providing the "moral" justification for Generation Xbox. Parents and religious leaders need to stop feeding the war machine;there will be a sickening amount of sermons this weekend for all the "heroes".

Until this worship of killing slows, the war machine will keep chugging along.

And much of the worship is still for the most evil of all men to ever been born on this soil, the tyrant they call Honest Abe. He set the stage for all of the warmongering in the 20th and 21st centuries by using ex post facto moral justification even though very few, if any, of our wars, ever had real moral justifcation prior to our engagement.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 27, 2012 12:35 PM  

Obviously, Knarf's psychological warfare is working

Anonymous Yorzhik May 27, 2012 12:44 PM  

It must be true that the oil and cheap labor are a national interest to the US in all the places Vox mentioned.

Blogger Vox May 27, 2012 12:51 PM  

Would it be correct to say that his statement, "we do not seem able to translate tactical victories into long-term strategic resolutions" is backwards? Putting the cart before the horse?

Yes.

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni May 27, 2012 12:58 PM  

US military expeditions should be looked at as training missions, to keep our select forces up to snuff. Combat losses have been risible, barely more than training losses at home. We need a series of "Small Wars of the Empire" (vide Blackwood) to keep a combat-ready force available. It doesn't really matter if we "win" or "lose" these wars. The reason these training missions are so expensive and divisive is that we lose sight of this objective to incorporate more women and other hangers-on into combat and to spread democracy to goat herders, an idiotic and counter-productive endeavor if there ever was one.

Anonymous DrTorch May 27, 2012 1:29 PM  

Another tactical approach from leaders...to lose wars

Army bans hi-perform rifle mags

Blogger Doom May 27, 2012 2:25 PM  

Bah!

The reason we don't win is because winning means owning and owning means responsibility for the owned. We don't want their sandbox, even with oil. Sure, they did the "nation building" thing, which was just a means of getting Dems onboard or something. Well, at least the bleeding hearts. Winning isn't what it once was in the days of empires. Britain, France, Germany? They needed land and resources when they were the powerful. We don't. Not... worth... the hassle.

In, screw up the source of the problem, out. Repeat as necessary. Go big, go bad, then go home. Although I do like leaving a few bases for any future use, but not like in Europe and S.K. Europe just doesn't seem to want to be free and S.K. can't be so long as China is China. Out.

Anonymous onejohn512 May 27, 2012 2:33 PM  

Based upon the military actions of the U.S. in these places what do you think the articulate clear unpalatable to the American public strategy is?

Anonymous Matt Strictland May 27, 2012 2:52 PM  

Cogitans Iuvenis Says ...

I'd argue that the US national interest, or perceived national interest, is to maintain its status as a world power.

If thats the case almost everything we need to do is domestic. Innovation and maintaining a technological advantage is expensive and hard it requires a well off educated population. Ignoring the 900 lb race gorilla for a second, the economic strength of the typical younger American family is down by as much as 2/3 . That is not a recipe for progress.

And yes many of our possible foes have troubles too. They are at a stage where playing catch up has a much higher ROI. They probably can't beat us but they can get to the point where they inflioct enough harm that our internal issues destroy us.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 27, 2012 3:40 PM  

From the Wikipedia article, The Philippine American War:

"Stuart Creighton Miller writes "Americans altruistically went to war with Spain to liberate the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Filipinos from their tyrannical yoke. If they lingered on too long in the Philippines, it was to protect the Filipinos from European predators waiting in the wings for an American withdrawal and to tutor them in American-style democracy."

There it is in a nutshell!! From the the late 19th century, the Progressive spirit of America! This is what was behind the Spanish American War, the Philippino American War, (destroy the Catholic Church), WWI, WWII, Iraq, and Afghanistan! Change out the word "Philippino" and insert Iraq or Afghanistan and it still makes sense! America is the seat of World Revolution spreading "American democracy" and attacking royalty everywhere! Our CIA deposed the Shah of Iran didn't we?

Anonymous TLM May 27, 2012 3:46 PM  

We stopped winning wars when we switched to that 5.56 mm piece of s@it caliber rifle, banned the flamethrowers (im sure the door kickers in fallujah would have loved to had those with them in 2004), and ended bayonet training for most mos's. Not to mention a host of other reasons.

Anonymous III May 27, 2012 4:05 PM  

Who said this was all about winning wars? Besides the people behind the green curtain who lie to you. This about United Nations "rule of law."

Anonymous Hildebrandt May 27, 2012 4:38 PM  

Anyone who is familiar to Robert Welch and the John Birch Society already knows the answer.

Surely VOX knows this already but for the misinformed just watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co73TDl_F7E&feature=related

Anonymous KC Chiefs Fan, thick skin required! May 27, 2012 6:20 PM  

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/05/army-leaders-say-budget-cuts-will-be-disastrous-052612w/

Losing has consequences. This will hurt if it comes to fruition. I feel for the soldiers who put in ten years for this to happen. FYI, Germany is already running Europe and they have jobs in manufacturing and a real economy. Shocking but true...

Blogger Markku May 27, 2012 6:48 PM  

It's springtime for Merkel and Germany...

Anonymous 11B May 27, 2012 9:48 PM  

This will surely help us win more wars.

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — The Air Force has chosen its first female officer to take command of a fighter wing.

Officials say in a statement that Col. Jeannie Leavitt will take command of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in a June 1 ceremony.

Anonymous JI May 27, 2012 11:34 PM  

Arguable, Vox. It was in the US' interests to take down Islamic terror groups because one simply can't have 911-type events happening regularly. If you simply said that it was not in the US' interests to engage in nation-building in Afghanistan and Irag then I would agree 100%.

Anonymous Daniel May 28, 2012 1:07 AM  

Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and all the others are countries, not terror groups. As a matter of practical strategy, the US doesn't wage war on groups, but nations. The conquest of none of those nations is in the definable best interest of the U.S.

In fact, it is why "best interests" has become a pleasant countercode for "non-interests."

Anonymous john May 28, 2012 1:14 AM  

After the first attack on the twin towers,in 1993, we did nothing. The idea was probably not to give the ragheads the satisfaction of being taken seriously. After the second attack we changed plans. we decimated Al Queda in Afghanistan, and we hounded the bastards all over the world. Since taking the war to fockers there have been no more Coles, no more Kenya embassy bombings.

That was the goal of the war. We won.

We are unable to 'rebuild' the bastard's countries for them in the style of the re building of Japan or Germany after World War II. Thats clear. It was part of Bushes strategy that if the rag heads had a halfway decent country they would become people instead of goat rapists. Everyone makes a mistake now and then. That was his. Just like Clinton's mistake was thinking he could keep the fight totally clandestine.

The terrorists know we are far better at killing people than they are at this point. They will talk a lot, but they wont be back. If we nail them from time to time with an ICBM they will not forget either.

So in sum of a long winded post I think we have learned that (1) Terrorists are not some kind of multiheaded gorgon. If we shoot off their heads they die. And for murderous savages they are very poor at murder (2) Building them schools is a waste of time.

Anonymous Bohm May 28, 2012 3:21 AM  

It's very simple: The US wars against Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan were/are attempts to impose political settlements that are not wanted by the people of the countries in question. That is why US wars fail, no matter how many battles are won.

It's typically American to say wars fail because the strategies aren't "palatable to the American people". They fail because they aren't unpalatable to the Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans etc. On the other hand, to be fair, the American people kinda know when a war is bad -when they are the 'bad guys' - hence it becomes 'unpalatable'.

Anonymous Bohm May 28, 2012 3:24 AM  

they aren't unpalatable = are unpalatable

Anonymous DonReynolds May 28, 2012 2:56 PM  

Total war, Vox, seems to fit the American military mind pretty well...doing absolutely everything and everything we physically can to destroy the enemy....is something Americans can easily agree upon under the pressure of war. That was the practice in most of American history and results in what you know as tactical excellence in the field.

But to deliberately draw back from victory conditions or to avoid that which you know will destroy the enemy utterly or his ability or will to resist is not a failure or lack of strategy, nor does it suggest that Americans no longer know how to win. It means that the STRATEGY IS to not go for the throat, not go for the win, not go after the enemy in the usual way. I do not assume that the US military no longer knows how to win. I think it is very convincing they are doing EXACTLY what they are ordered to do, regardless of what a rational military policy would otherwise require.

What is the strategic objective since the end of the Cold War (which was containment of Communism)?? I am certain I have no idea.

Anonymous Anonymous May 29, 2012 4:13 AM  

By the way bilderberg is gonna meet at:
(31 May - 3 June) at Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, USA

The masters that really run the world will be there.

Blogger James Higham May 31, 2012 3:40 PM  

Found that interesting from an educated American.

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