The Yankees Are Coming Home: The Taliban Won. Get Over It

American soldiers can still win wars, but it has to be a real war where there is something genuine at stake, like protecting one’s home and family.

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research, April 09, 2021

Strategic Culture Foundation 8 April 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

***

It hardly made the evening news, but the New York Times reported last week that after twenty years of fighting the Taliban are confident that they will fully control Afghanistan before too long whether or not the United States decides to leave some kind of residual force in the country after May 1st. The narrative is suggestive of The Mouse that Roared, lacking only Peter Sellers to put the finishing touches on what has to be considered a great humiliation for the U.S., which has a “defense” budget that is larger than the combined military spending of the next seven countries in order of magnitude. Those numbers include both Russia and China. The Taliban, on the other hand, have no military budget to speak of. That enormous disparity, un-reflected in who has won and lost, has to nurture concerns that it is the world’s only superpower, admittedly self-proclaimed, which is incapable of actually winning a war against anyone.

In fact, some recent wargaming has suggested that the United States would lose in a non-nuclear conflict with China alone based on the obsolescence of expensive and vulnerable weapons systems that the Pentagon relies upon, such as carrier groups. Nations like China, Iran and Russia that have invested in sophisticated and much cheaper missile systems to offset U.S. advantages have reportedly spent their money wisely. If the Biden foreign policy and military experts, largely embroiled in diversifying the country, choose to take on China, there may be no one left around to pick up the pieces.

Those who are warning of the apparent ineffectiveness of the U.S. armed forces in spite of their global presence in more than one thousand bases point most commonly to the historical record to make their case. Korea, fought under United Nations auspices, was a stalemate, with the peninsula divided to this day and a substantial American military force continuing to be a presence along the DMZ to enforce the armistice that not quite ended the war. Vietnam was a defeat, resulting in more than 58,000 Americans dead as well as an estimated 3 million Vietnamese, most of whom were civilians. The real lesson learned from Vietnam was that fighting on someone else’s turf where you have no real interests or stake in the outcome is a fool’s game, but the Pentagon instead worked to fix the mechanics in weapons and training at great cost without addressing why people fight wars in the first place. The other lesson was that the United States’ military was perfectly willing to lie to the country’s civilian leadership to expand the war and keep it going, a performance that was repeated in 2001 with the “Iraq is supporting terrorists and will have nuclear weapons” lies and also with the current crop of false analogies used to keep thousands of Americans in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

As a veteran of the Vietnam War army, I can recall sitting around with fellow enlisted men reading “Stars & Stripes,” the exclusive in-house-for-the-military newspaper that was covering the war. The paper quoted a senior officer who opined that the Soviets (as they were at that time) were really envious of the combat experience that the United States Army was obtaining in Vietnam. We all laughed. That same officer probably had a staff position away from the fighting but we draftees knew well that the war was a very bloody mistake while he may have tested his valor post-retirement working for Lockheed-Martin. The “Soviets” in any event demonstrated just how much they envied the experience of combat when they fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s, eventually withdrawing with their tails between their legs just as the U.S. had done in Vietnam after they lost 15,000 men. The “Grave of Empires,” indeed.History: Reversing the Vietnam Verdict

Since Vietnam there have been a number of small wars in places like Panama and Grenada, but the global war on terror has been a total disaster for American arms. Afghanistan, as it was for the Russians, is the ulcer that keeps on bleeding until it ends as a major defeat for the United States with the Taliban fully in control, as they are now predicting. Likewise, the destruction of a secular Iraq, regime change in Libya, and a continuing war against a non-threatening Syria have all failed to make Americans either safer or more prosperous. Iran is next, apparently, if the Joe Biden Administration has its way, and relations with major adversaries Russia and China have sunk even lower than they were during Donald Trump’s time as president. The White House has recently sent a shipload of offensive weapons to Kiev and the Ukrainian government has repeated its intention to retake Crimea from Russia, a formula for a new military disaster that could easily escalate into a major war. What is particularly regrettable is the fact that the United States has no compelling national interest in encouraging open warfare between Moscow and Kiev, a conflict that it will be unable to avoid as its is supplying Ukraine with weaponry.

There was almost no discussion of America’s wars during the recent election. One should take note, however, of a recent article by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb that appeared on National Review which seeks to provide an explanation for “The Real Reason the U.S. Can’t Win Wars Anymore” in spite of the fact that it is “the most powerful country in the history of the world.” To be sure, Kolb largely blames the policymakers for the defeat in Vietnam, aided and abetted by a culture of silence in the military where many officers knew that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which escalated the conflict, was a fraud but chose to say or do nothing. He also observes that the war itself was unwinnable for various reasons, including the observation by many working and middle class Americans that they were little more than cannon fodder while the country’s elites either dodged the draft or exploited their status to obtain national guard or reserve commissions that were known to be mechanism to avoid Vietnam. Kolb notes that “…the four most recent presidents who could have served in Vietnam avoided that war and the draft by dubious means. Bill Clinton pretended to join the Army ROTC; George W. Bush used political connections to get into the Air National Guard, when President Johnson made it clear that the reserve component would not be activated to fight the war; Donald Trump, of course, had his family physician claim he had bone spurs, (Trump himself cannot remember which foot); and Joe Biden claimed that the asthma he had in high school prevented him from serving even though he brags about his athletic exploits while in high school.”

Kolb also reveals how America’s presumed prowess on the battlefield has distorted its “democracy building” endeavors to such an extent that genuine national interests have been ignored. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, success in overthrowing the Taliban was derived from critical assistance from Iran, which correctly regarded the extremist Sunni group as an enemy. But the Bush White House, far from showing gratitude, soon thereafter added Iran to its “axis of evil” list. A golden opportunity was wasted to repair a relationship which has poisoned America’s presence in the Middle East ever since.

One might add something else to Kolb’s assessment of failure at war. Most American soldiers have been and are proud of their service and consider it an honor to defend their country but the key word is “defend.” There was no defending going on in Vietnam nor in Afghanistan, which did not attack the U.S. and was willing to turn over Osama Bin Laden if the White House could provide evidence that he was involved in 9/11. Nor was there anything defensive about Obama’s destruction of Libya and the decades long “secret” wars to overthrow the Syrian and Iranian governments. Soldiers are trained to fight and obey orders but that does not mean that they can no longer observe and think. Twenty years of “Reconstruction” duty in Afghanistan is not defending the United States and the morale of American soldiers in the combined Democratic and Republican Parties’ plan to reconstruct the world is not a sufficient motivator if one is being asked to put one’s life on the line. Sure, American soldiers can still win wars, but it has to be a real war where there is something genuine at stake, like protecting one’s home and family. That is what the people who run Washington, very few of whom are veterans and most of whom first ask “But what’s in it for me?” fail to understand.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.orgaddress is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Biden’s Diverse Strangelove Pentagon Bombs Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Breaking News Syria News

Biden’s diverse Strangelove Pentagon dropped an undisclosed number of bombs on undisclosed areas of eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, around 1830 Langley time, 25 February.

Taking a war criminal page from little urchin Hollande who war criminally bombed Syria after a French national engaged in terrorism in Paris (who then bombed Syria again after the Frenchman magically escaped to Brussels, which is in Belgium which is not Syria), Centcom reported on the Pentagon statement that the US aggressive bombings were of an Orwellian self-defensive nature, somehow in fascist retaliation for the recent bombings of some US military bases in Iraq, which is not in Syria.

No mention was made that after the Trump assassination of Soleimani in Iraqi, the Iraqi Parliament had taken the first step to formally eject US troops from its country.

War criminal Centcom utilizing Newspeak for US war crimes.

The Biden diverse Strangelove Pentagon issued a statement “attributed to” Press Secretary John Kirby who was adamant that the latest round of US war crimes against the Syrian Arab Republic were “defensive.”

The Pentagon paid perfunctory lip service to President Biden being in charge of the most recent war criminal bombing of the SAR by the US, but let us show some integrity in sharing this pre-inaugural screenshot when Dr. Jill let go of hubby’s arm for a moment, and he started to wander just prior to the time they were to head down the ramp:


At this writing, the Syrian Arab Republic has not released an official statement of the Biden regime/Strangelove Pentagon war crimes against the homeland.

This is the 4th US/ Israeli illegal bombing of Syria since Biden’s diverse regime took over from his predecessor war criminal Trump, blatant aggression against a sovereign state and founding member of the United Nations by a permanent member state of the Security Council supposedly responsible for painting peace and security around the world and upholding international law and the UN Charter, not breaching each article of them the way the US is doing with no accountability.

— Miri Wood

Please consider supporting Syria News:

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

المجمع العسكري ـ الصناعي الأميركي ورسائل ترامب تجاه البنتاغون

معن بشور

في معرض الردّ على تصريحات منسوبة إليه يهاجم فيها الجنود الأميركيين فتح الرئيس الأميركي النار على قادة البنتاغون قائلاً: ربما يكون كبار المسؤولين في البنتاغون لا يحبونني لأنهم لا يريدون فعل شيء سوى خوض الحروب، ولذا فإنّ كلّ تلك الشركات الرائعة التي تصنع القنابل والطائرات وكلّ شيء آخر ستكون سعيدة.”

وجاءت هذه الإشارة السلبية من ترامب تجاه البنتاغون في سياق عملية تجاذب منذ ان هدّد ترامب باستخدام قانون التمرّد للاستعانة بقوات إنفاذ القانون خلال الاحتجاجات التي أعقبت وفاة المواطن من أصول أفريقية جورج فلويد على يد أحد ضباط الشرطة في جريمة وحشية ما زالت تداعياتها مستمرة حتى اليوم.

يومها أعرب الجنرال مايك بيلي رئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة عن أسفه لانه سار مع ترامب في ساحة لافييت.

ويعتبر هذا السجال المتصاعد بين الرئيس الأميركي وكبار جنرالاته الذين عيّنهم بنفسه، كما عيّن أيضاً وزير الدفاع مارك اسبر (الذي كان مسؤولاً تنفيذياً ومقاول دفاع في شركة “رايثيون” التي تعدّ من أكبر الشركات المتخصصة في أنظمة الدفاع) تعبيراً جديداً عن عمق الأزمة البنيوية التي يعيشها النظام الأميركي، كما كان يردّد دائماً أخي وصديقي الدكتور زياد حافظ منذ عشرين عاماً، والتي يبدو أنها على ملامح انفجار كبير مع الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية في اوائل نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني المقبل حيث يعلن الطرفان الجمهوري والديمقراطي رفضهما منذ الآن لنتائج الانتخابات اذا لم تأت لصالحه الى درجة انّ أحد كبار المسورلين في الحزب الديمقراطي قد أشار الى دعوة القوات المسلحة الأميركية الى إخراج ترامب من البيت الأبيض في حال رفضه الاعتراف بهزيمته.

لكن هذا السجال المستجدّ بين البيت الابيض والبنتاغون، المضاف الى سلسلة سجالات تملأ الساحة السياسية والشعبية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية الأميركية، يذكر بمقولة ردّدها الجنرال دوايت ايزنهاور رئيس الولايات المتحدة بين عام 1952 -1960، عشية مغادرته البيت الابيض محذراَ من مخاطر “المجمع العسكري الصناعي على الدولة الأميركية وسعيه لانتهاج سياسات حربية تؤمّن لشركات السلاح موارد لا تنضب، فيما تؤمّن هذه الشركات وظائف مجزية لكبار الجنرالات بعد مغادرتهم الخدمة العسكرية.

اليوم يأتي ترامب، وهو رئيس “جمهوري” أيضاً، كما ايزنهاور، ليشير الى هذه العلاقة بين كبار الجنرالات وكبار المقاولين في تعبير عن غضبه من عدم تجاوب البنتاغون مع خططه بإعاد انتشار القوات العسكرية الأميركية خارج الولايات المتحدة (وهو مطلب يرتاح اليه المواطن الأميركي)، كما لعدم تجاوبه مع رغبته بتطبيق قانون التمرّد الذي يضع بنظر أميركيين كثر، أكثريتهم من البيض، حداً للفوضى الأمنية التي تعيشها المدن والبلدات الأميركية منذ أشهر.

لا شك انّ هذه التحوّلات تستحقّ دراسة معمّقة على أكثر من صعيد، ولكن لا بدّ من دراستها على مستوى تداعياتها على حجم النفوذ الأميركي خارج الولايات المتحدة، وخصوصاً في بلادنا، حيث ما زال الكثير من الحكام والمحللين أسرى تحليل قديم يرى بأنّ “واشنطن قدر”، وأنّ سياستها تمتلك من القوة ما لا يسمح لأحد بمواجهتها.

انّ اشارة ترامب الى العلاقة بين كبار الجنرالات وكبار المقاولين، مجدّداً تحذيرات سلفه في الرئاسة والحزب الجمهوري، دوايت ايزنهاور، من تغوّل “المجمع’ الصناعي العسكري، الذي لا يستبعد بعض المحللين دوره في جريمة اغتيال الرئيس الديمقراطي جون فيتزجرالد كنيدي عام ١٩٦٣، وشقيقه روبرت عام ١٩٦٦، ليصبح الأمر تماماً بقبضة “المجمع” الذي لم يتوقف عن شنّ الحروب على شعوب العالم، وبشكل خاص على الشعوب العربية والإسلامية…

انها قراءة من خارج السياق، ولكنها ضرورية لكي نفهم أكثر السياسة الأميركية في منطقتنا او بالأحرى اللاسياسة الأميركية التي لا تحركها إلا مصالح الكيان الصهيوني وأمنه…

انها قراءة ضرورية لكلّ من يضع كلّ أوراقه بالسلة الأميركية وهو التحليل الذي أدخل الأمة كلها منذ عام 1977(زيارة السادات للكنيست) في اتفاقات متعدّدة باسم “السلام” الذي لم ينجب سوى الحروب لهذه المنطقة…

الأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Trump Says Pentagon Chiefs ‘Fight Wars to Keep Arms Dealers Healthy’

Trump Says Pentagon Chiefs ‘Fight Wars to Keep Arms Dealers Healthy’

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump accused the Pentagon’s top brass of starting wars in order to hand billions to arms makers, drawing shocked reactions from his liberal critics and foreign policy hawks – some playing both roles at once.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me – the soldiers are,” Trump said at a White House press conference on Monday.

“The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy”, he added.

Trump went on to say there was “one cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another”, championing the withdrawal of American troops from “endless wars” and condemning NATO allies for “ripping us off”. 

His comments come as his latest response to a September 3 story in the Atlantic, which said that Trump had denigrated fallen American soldiers throughout his time in office, reportedly dubbing them “losers” and “suckers.”

Trump denied the allegations, which were based on the claims of anonymous officials and aides, reiterating on Monday: “Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that.”

His scathing critique of the Pentagon’s top leadership prompted a new wave of controversy, however, as a number of media pundits, Democratic lawmakers and bellicose foreign policy commentators lined up to voice horror at the “unprecedented public attack” on the military.

Despite his withering attack on the Pentagon’s revolving door, Trump has frequently boasted of “rebuilding” the US armed forces with vast military expenditures, which continue to outspend the world’s next 11 largest military budgets combined. He has also repeatedly touted multi-billion dollar weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and other allies, insisting they support American jobs and bring money into the country.

الأميركيّون يخسرون البحار ويتخوّفون من پيرل هاربر صيني

محمد صادق الحسيني

بعد أن اجتاح وباء كورونا حاملات الطائرات الأميركية، ومن بعدها المستشفى العسكري العائم العملاق، سفينة المستشفى كومفورت (Comfort)، الرئاسية قبالة شواطئ نيويورك، ها هو فيروس كورونا يجتاح القوات الأميركيّة، المرابطة في كوريا الجنوبية منذ عام 1957، والبالغ عديدها 30 ألف عسكري، يتبعون من ناحية قيادة العمليات لقيادة المحيط الهادئ، التي تسمّى بالانجليزية (PACOM) انتصاراً لكلمة US – PACIFIC COMMAND.

وعلى الرغم من أنّ مصادر عسكرية خاصة أكدت أنّ قيادة القوات الأميركية في كوريا، وكذلك البنتاغون، على علم بانتشار هذا الوباء بين القوات الأميركيّة في كوريا الجنوبية منذ 20/2/2020، إلا أنّ البنتاغون لم يتخذ الإجراءات الصحية الضرورية لمواجهة انتشار الوباء بين جنودها، المرابطين في القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية دايجو، ولا زالت تواصل فحصهم بواسطة شمّ خلّ التفاح، كما نشرت صحيفة «ستارت آند ستريبس» الكورية الجنوبية يوم 6/4/2020، التي نقلت تطوّرات انتشار الوباء عن قائد القاعدة الأميركية، الجنرال ادوارد بالانكو، الذي ظهر على وسائل الإعلام وهو يحمل علبة فيها قطعة إسفنجية، مبللة بخلّ التفاح، ليشرح للصحافيّين طريقة فحص جنوده، التي قال إنها تتبع أيضاً في مستشفيات كوريا الجنوبية.

علماً انّ وباء الكورونا يواصل انتشاره بين القوات الأميركيّة في اليابان ايضاً، مما أجبر القيادة العسكرية الأميركية، وعبر إعلان قائد هذه القوات في اليابان شخصياً للصحافة، اللفتنانت جنرال كيفين شنايدر، يوم أول أمس الاثنين 6/4/2020، عن حالة الطوارئ بين صفوف القوات الأميركية هناك، بسبب انتشار وباء الكورونا بين أفرادها، البالغ تعدادهم 38 الف جندي أميركي، الى جانب خمسة آلاف متعاقد مدني أميركي و25 ألف متعاقد مدني ياباني.

وعليه فقد أصبحت هذه القوات ومعها القوات الأميركية في كوريا الجنوبية وحاملة الطائرات ثيودور روزفلت ورونالد ريغان خارج الخدمة. أيّ أنّ 80 % من القدرات العسكرية الأميركية في غرب المحيط الهادئ وبحر اليابان وبحار الصين اصبحت خارج الخدمة. وهو أمر كانت محطة «سي أن أن» الأميركية قد اشارت إلى خطورته قبل أيّام قليلة.

من جهة أخرى فمنذ أيّام عدة، وتحديداً منذ 4/4/2020، أعلنت وزارة الدفاع الأميركية عن إصدارها أمراً لحاملة الطائرات الأميركية هاري ترومان بالتحرّك، مع المجموعة القتالية البحرية المرافقة لها، من منطقة عملياتها في بحر عمان، من دون أن يحدّد أمر العمليات هذا وجهة انطلاق الحاملة. الأمر الذي دعا المتابعين للاعتقاد بأنها ستحلّ محلّ حاملة الطائرات، ثيودور روزفلت، التي خرجت من الخدمة في منطقة عملياتها، غرب المحيط الهادئ/ قرب جزيرة غوام، وذلك بسبب انتشار وباء كورونا بين بحارتها وإخلاء اربعة آلاف منهم الى اليابسة، وبقاء ألف جندي فقط على متنها، لمتابعة تشغيل المفاعل النووي الذي يولِّد الطاقة اللازمة لعمليات الحاملة وحركتها.

ما توجّب طرح السؤالين الرئيسيين التاليين حول:

الجهة التي اتجهت اليها حاملة الطائرات هذه، التي تحمل على متنها ما مجموعه 90 مقاتلة ومروحية قتالية أميركية، ولماذا صدر هذا الأمر لها ولمجموعتها القتالية الكاملة بالانتقال الى منطقة عمليات أخرى؟
ولماذا لم يصدر أمر التحرك للحاملة فقط، مع الإبقاء على القوة المرافقة، /مجموعة قوامها عشر قطع بحرية بين مدمّرة وبارجة وفرقاطة وزورق حراسة وسفينة إنزال وسفن إمداد/ في منطقة عملياتها، بحر عمان، حتى إصدار الأمر، أيّ حتى يوم 4/4/2020؟
وللإجابة عن هذين السؤالين يجب على المرء أن يعود قليلاًً الى الوراء، ودمج الإجابة عن السؤالين في إجابة واحدة، ويتذكّر عنجهية الرئيس الأميركي، وتهديداته لجمهورية الصين الشعبية، واتهاماته لها بخرق القانون الدولي البحري، في بحار الصين المختلفة.

آنذاك، وتحديداً في النصف الثاني من شهر أيلول 2019، قرّر الرئيس الأميركي، بعنجهية لا حدود لها، إرسال فخر سلاح البحرية الأميركية، حاملة الطائرات رونالد ريغان، التي وصلت تكلفة صناعتها الى ثلاثة عشر مليار دولار، دون سفن مرافقة، أيّ دون مجموعتها القتالية، الى بحر الصين الجنوبيّ.

وقد وصلت هذه الحاملة العملاقة فعلاًً إلى بحر الصين الجنوبي، يوم 28/9/2019، وعند اقترابها من جزر سبراتلي (Spratly Islands) الصينية، الواقعة في أقصى جنوب بحر الصين، قبالة السواحل الفيتنامية غرباً والفلبينية شرقاً، أطبقت عليها خمس قطع بحرية أجنبية وقامت بتثبيتها في نقطة تمركزها، حسب الأصول القانونية المتعلقة بالقانون البحري، وأجبرتها لاحقاً على تغيير وجهتها واستخدام ممر بحري حدّدته لها القطع البحرية الصينية، التي أوقعت هذه الحاملة في كمين بحري محكم، لم تتمكن رونالد ريغان لا من اكتشافه ولا من تفادي الوقوع فيه، لمتابعة إبحارها شرقاً، بعيداً عن المياه الإقليمية الصينية، حسب المعلومات ووصول الأقمار الصناعية التي نشرتها صحيفة «سوهو» (Sohu) الصينية يوم 28/9/2019.

هذا هو الدرس الذي تعلّمه سلاح البحرية الأميركي، من الحضور الدائم والاستعداد الكامل للقوات البحرية الصينية، في مختلف بحار الصين وتلك المحيطة بها شرقاً وغرباً.

وهو الأمر الذي أرغم قيادة سلاح البحرية الأميركية على عدم الإفصاح عن وجهة حاملة الطائرات، هاري ترومان، واضطرها أيضاً الى تحريك المجموعة القتالية البحرية المرافقة لهذه الحاملة الى بحر اليابان، ومن ثم الى منطقة جزيرة غوام، وذلك خوفاً من الكمائن البحرية الصينية التي لا تراها الأقمار الصناعية الأميركية.

أما الأهمية الاستراتيجية لهذا التطور اللافت فتكمن في انّ الصين الشعبية قد ثبتَت سيادتها على كلّ تلك الجزر، التي يعتبرها الأميركيون متنازعاً عليها، وأنها (الصين) لن تسمح لأيّ سفن او طائرات عسكرية أجنبية بالاقتراب من هذه الجزر، سواء كانت طبيعية او صناعية، لانّ اختراق أجوائها او مياهها الإقليمية يعتبر خرقاً للسيادة الصينية. وعليه فانّ الصين، وفي حال إصرار الولايات المتحدة على تحرشاتها بالصين فانّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية ستجد نفسها مضطرة لوضع حدّ أبدي لتلك التحرشات وذلك من خلال إنهاء خط الدفاع الأميركي الممتدّ من تايوان، الصينية المنشقة، في بحر الصين الجنوبي، الى كوريا الجنوبية، في البحر الأصفر شمالاً، وصولاً الى اليابان وكلّ بحر اليابان وحتى غرب المحيط الهادئ، على سواحل اليابان الشمالية الشرقية.

وباختصار: إنهاء الوجود العسكري الأميركي في تلك المنطقة من العالم والى الأبد.

من هنا فقد ذهبت مصادر عسكرية أميركية الى الاعتقاد بانّ الصينيين ربما يفكّرون جدياً في تكرار هجوم على أحد الموانئ الأميركية الغربية لتكرار سيناريو پيرل هاربر، ولكن صيني هذه المرة كما تتحدّث عن خطر قيام الصين بهجوم مفاجئ على تايوان لاستعادتها للسيادة الوطنية الصينية، أيّ الاستيلاء على الجزيرة في ظلّ شلل أميركي تام بسبب كورونا، ‏وأن يمتدّ الهجوم ليشمل كلّ البحار المحيطة، ‏وصولاً الى غرب الولايات المتحدة من هونولولو الى كاليفورنا وفلوريدا، ‏وهو ما تشبّهه تلك المصادر بهجوم اليابان على ميناء پيرل هاربر الشهير في الحرب العالمية.

فهل من مدّكر!؟

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Pentagon Divided Over Prospect of Escalation in Iraq

Pentagon Divided Over Prospect of Escalation in Iraq

By Staff, Agencies

The US Pentagon issued an order last week commanding top generals to come up with a plan to step up the action against Iraqi resistance group which the US claims is the force behind a string of rocket attacks at bases hosting international troops, New York Times reported Friday.

Citing officials with knowledge on the matter, NYT said the Pentagon was seeking a plan to destroy Kataib [Brigades] Hezbollah in a drastic escalation against the resistance group which is formally operating within the Iraqi chain of command.

The order was authorized by US War Secretary Mark Esper, the officials told the paper.

However, Lt. Gen. Robert White, who is head of Operation Inherent Resolve — the alleged US mission in Iraq against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] — reportedly pushed back on the order.

In his memo, as cited by the NYT, he warned that a campaign against Kataib Hezbollah could result in a full-fledged war with Iran, as they claim it is the side backing the resistance group. It would also require additional troops and resources at a time when the US military is seeking to cut its footprint in the region to re-deploy with China’s containment in mind.

On Thursday, two rockets landed in Baghdad’s Green Zone in an apparent attack at the US diplomatic compound, which is located in the area. Earlier, two Americans and a Briton were killed in another rocket attack at Taji airbase near Baghdad.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Mike Pence Wants to Start the Space Wars! Claims Cosmos Belongs to US Government!

August 26, 2019

 

US Leaves INF Because “Russia,” But Points Missiles at China

 

August 9, 2019 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – We’re told that the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty singed in 1987 between the US and Soviet Union was based on claims that Russia had violated it.

While we continue waiting for Washington to provide evidence to prove these claims, the US itself admitted it had already long begun developing missiles that violated the treaty.

A February 2018 Defense One article titled, “Pentagon Confirms It’s Developing Nuclear Cruise Missile to Counter a Similar Russian One,” admitted that:

The U.S. military is developing a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile to counter a similar Russian weapon whose deployment violates an arms-control treaty between Moscow and Washington, U.S. officials said Friday. 

The officials acknowledged that the still-under-development American missile would, if deployed, also violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Just as the US did when it unilaterally walked away from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, the goal is to blame Russia for otherwise indefensible and incremental provocations aimed at Moscow. For example, after the US walked away from the ABM Treaty in 2002, the US began deploying anti-missile systems across Europe.

But if Russia is the problem, why did the US also begin deploying similar missiles in Asia?

It is Washington’s goal of hemming in its competitors anywhere and everywhere that is at the heart of these serial treaty terminations, not any particular “violation” on Moscow’s part.

China Too   

That the US already had missiles under development that would undoubtedly violate the INF Treaty before it accused Russia of such violations, is one indicator of Washington’s true intentions. Another is the fact Washington is rushing to encircle China with both defensive and offensive missile systems as well.

China is not a signatory of either the ABM Treaty or the INF Treaty. Its missiles are deployed strictly within its mainland territory with no plans by Beijing to deploy them anywhere else in the future.

The only threat they pose is to any nation that decides to wage war on China, in or around Chinese territory.

Washington’s behavior post-INF Treaty indicates that it was its intent to violate the treaty all along, creating the same precarious security crisis in Asia the treaty sought to prevent in Europe.

The New York Times in its article, “U.S. Ends Cold War Missile Treaty, With Aim of Countering China,” would explain:

The United States on Friday terminated a major treaty of the Cold War, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement, and it is already planning to start testing a new class of missiles later this summer. 

But the new missiles are unlikely to be deployed to counter the treaty’s other nuclear power, Russia, which the United States has said for years was in violation of the accord. Instead, the first deployments are likely to be intended to counter China, which has amassed an imposing missile arsenal and is now seen as a much more formidable long-term strategic rival than Russia. 

The moves by Washington have elicited concern that the United States may be on the precipice of a new arms race, especially because the one major remaining arms control treaty with Russia, a far larger one called New START, appears on life support, unlikely to be renewed when it expires in less than two years.

Here, the NYT admits that despite Washington claiming its termination of the INF Treaty was prompted by Moscow, its own actions since indicate Washington was already well underway of violating it itself. It did so not only to threaten Russia, but also to threaten China.

After months of accusing Russia of undermining the INF Treaty, the NYT itself reveals it was Washington who solely benefited from it, and specifically in terms of targeting China:

…the administration has argued that China is one reason Mr. Trump decided to exit the I.N.F. treaty. Most experts now assess that China has the most advanced conventional missile arsenal in the world, based throughout the mainland. When the treaty went into effect in 1987, China’s missile fleet was judged so rudimentary that it was not even a consideration.

The prospects of the US signing a new treaty with either Russia or China (or both) are nonexistent. The NYT article also reported that:

Chinese officials have also balked at any attempt to limit their missiles with a new treaty, arguing that the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia are much larger and deadlier.

The NYT fails to mention the other, and perhaps most important factor preventing Beijing from signing any treaty with Washington; Washington has already demonstrated categorically that it cannot be trusted. It just walked away from the INF Treaty based on deliberate lies implicating Russia while Washington all along was developing missiles it planned to deploy around the globe to hem in both Russia and China.

Dangerous Desperation 

While the Cold War is remembered as a precarious time, it was a time when agreements like the ABM and INF treaties were not only possible, they were signed and for the most part adhered to by two global powers who could agree an uneasy balance of global power was preferable to large scale war (nuclear or not) between the two.

During the Cold War, Washington was confident that it could not only maintain that balance of power, but eventually tip it in its favor, resulting in global hegemony. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the US invasion of Iraq certainly seemed to prove those behind this mindset right. But the window was already closing on the establishment of an uncontested US-led international order.

Today, Russia, China and a number of other emerging regional and global powers have all but assured US hegemony is no longer a viable geopolitical objective. The confidence that allowed the US to sign previous treaties and uphold them along with their Soviet counterparts no longer exists.

We live in a world today where the US has become a tremendous danger to global peace and security. The inability of treaties to exist that were even possible during the tense days of the Cold War takes us into unprecedented and dangerous territory.

Only time will tell if both Moscow and Beijing can find other mechanisms to avoid a dangerous and wasteful arms race in their backyards as a stubborn United States not only refuses to leave, but insists on bringing in incredibly dangerous weapons that will wreck havoc not on the territorial United States, but on the nations of Europe and East Asia should Washington’s desperation progress even further amid its wanning global power.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

America Dumps INF Treaty. Time for Russian Missiles in Latin America?

Image result for America Dumps INF Treaty. Time for Russian Missiles in Latin America?
Robert Bridge
August 9, 2019

Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty is just the latest move against Russia that will serve to intensify an arms race on the European continent that is already underway. It may also force Russia to take things to the next level.

Aside from the unprecedented stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction on an epic scale, a whirlwind of regional developments are now underway that foreshadow extremely unsettling consequences. First and foremost is this month’s formal announcement by the Trump administration that it would be pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), signed into force by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan back in 1987.

With the INF consigned to the dustbin of history, the US and Russia are free to design and produce ballistic and cruise missiles within a 500-5,500 kilometer range (310-3,420 miles). Would any NATO country be so foolish as to host these American-made weapons on their territory, thereby opening itself up to a devastating first-strike attack in some worst-case scenario? Poland is one possible candidate. After all, Polish President Andrzej Duda last year offered the United States $2 billion in financing for the construction of a permanent American base on Poland’s eastern border. While the two NATO countries are still considering the idea, it is clear that the eradication of the INF Treaty promises to ratchet up tensions between Russia and its neighbors.

Washington’s pullout from the INF did not occur in a vacuum, of course. It followed in the tank tracks of George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, one of many opportunistic moves committed by the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. With the ABM out of the way, the United States was able to establish a missile defense shield in Romania, just miles from the Russian border. Washington’s overtures to Moscow that it would welcome Russian participation in the project were eventually revealed as a deceitful stalling tactic. Russian President Vladimir Putin was not fooled, however, and wasted no time researching and developing of a lethal array of new weapon systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range.

156 человек(а) говорят об этом
At this point in the updated ‘Great Game’ there is a temptation to say that the US and Russia have entered yet another ‘MAD’ moment, that is, ‘mutually assured destruction’ should one side or the other attempt fate with a first-strike attack. Check mate, as it were. After all, Russia has got its “unstoppable” nuclear-powered cruise missile and other fearsome hardware, while the US has its missile defense shield, as well as numerous NATO set pieces, bolted down in Europe. Everything is wonderful in the neighborhood, right? Well, not exactly.

Comparing the present standoff between the US and Russia to the Cold War realities is erroneous and dangerous for a number of reasons. First, the opportunity for some sort of mishap resulting in all-out war has never been greater. The reason is not simply due to the dizzying amount of firepower involved, but rather due to the proximity of the firepower to the Russian border.  During the Cold War standoff, Moscow, the nerve center of the Soviet empire, was well guarded by the buffer of Warsaw Pact republics. Today, that buffer has practically vanished, and NATO is not only encamped deep inside of Eastern Europe, but – in the case of the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia – smack up against the Russian border. Although the entire concept of time, distance and space has been made somewhat redundant by the exceptional speed of modern missiles and aircraft, this has not reduced the possibility of NATO and Russia accidentally stumbling into a very bad situation.

Now with the INF Treaty out of the way there is the possibility that Washington will place intermediate-range missiles in Russia’s backyard. Such a move would flush with Washington’s revised nuclear doctrine, which not only aims for increasing its nuclear arsenal, but – in pure Dr. Strangelove fashion – lowering the threshold for which nuclear weapons may be used. To think that Russia will watch passively on the sidelines as the US disrupts the regional strategic balance in its favor would be wishful thinking.

Even as the corpse of the INF treaty was still warm, Mark T. Esper, the new US secretary of defense said he favored the deployment of new American ground-based missiles to Asia, without specifying a precise location.

“It’s fair to say, though, that we would like to deploy a capability sooner rather than later,” Esper said while en route to Australia for foreign policy meetings. “I would prefer months. I just don’t have the latest state of play on timelines.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is reportedly moving ahead with the development of missile systems, including a cruise missile with an expected 1,000 km range and an intermediate-range ballistic missile with a 3,000 to 4,000 km range. With the ‘shield’ of a US missile defense system already established in Eastern Europe, Russia will not sit by idly and wait for NATO’s other hand to pick up a sword.

What options are open to Russia at this point? Aside from its Russia-based defenses already mentioned, Moscow will feel very compelled to move its strike abilities closer to the United States in order to match NATO’s newfound capacity just over the Russian border.

Putin has emphasized that Russia will not deploy ballistic missiles unless the US does so first. If he were required to respond, would Russia consider a permanent missile base somewhere in Latin America, just miles from US shores, mirroring the same situation that Russia faces in Eastern Europe? Imagine a situation where ‘Trump’s Mexican Wall’ became in reality a host of Russian launch pads. Although ti would solve America’s migrant problem, it probably won’t do much to help Americans sleep better at night. Impossible to imagine, of course, yet that is the exact dire scenario Russia faces on its own border with the Baltic States.

A more likely scenario, however, is that Putin, in the event Trump ‘goes nuclear’ in Eastern Europe, will deploy round-the-clock stealth submarines armed with ballistic missiles near the American shoreline as an insurance policy. It is a dreadful new reality to consider, yet as the United States continues with its reckless treaty-trashing posture it is a reality the world will be forced to live with.

معاهدة الصواريخ: آخر دوائر الاشتباك

أغسطس 3, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– أول الاستنتاجات التي يؤكدها اندلاع أزمة معاهدة الصواريخ الاستراتيجية والمتوسطة بين موسكو وواشنطن، هو السقوط المدوّي للنظريّة القائلة بأن كل اهتمام روسيا كان منصباً خلال العقدين الماضيين على كيفية التدخل في ملفات نزاعات إقليميّة سعياً للتحرّش التفاوضي بواشنطن والحصول على صفقة تعترف لها بدور ما وتمنحها بعض المكاسب. فالقضية في أزمة الصواريخ هي قضية روسية أميركية صرفة لا تتصل بطرف ثالث، كحال الأزمات الإقليمية. وهذا يعني أنه عندما تفتح هذه الأزمة، فيما لا تزال العناوين الإقليمية مفتوحة في أربع جهات الأرض، من أوكرانيا وكوريا الشمالية إلى فنزويلا وسورية وإيران، أن النزاع الأصلي الحاكم في العالم هو روسي أميركي، وأن كلاً من الطرفين يخوض حروبه عبر البحث عن تحالفات راسخة في خيار المواجهة مع الآخر، ولكن عينه على الطرف الآخر، وكيف يزداد قوة أو ضعفاً.

– هذا يجب أن يكون كافياً لطرد الفرضيات القائمة على مساومات يمكن أن تجريها موسكو على حساب مَن تحالفهم، بل ربما يكون العكس هو القائم، خشية روسية من تسويات منتصف الطريق التي قد يعقدها حلفاؤها، كما كان حال كوريا الشمالية في فترة، وكما أرادت واشنطن من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، لكن إيران فضلت مواصلة المواجهة مع واشنطن في سورية وفلسطين واليمن وسواها، عندما تثبتت من عزم موسكو على الاستمرار. وكانت التضحية بالاتفاق النووي ثمناً لا بد من دفعه على هذا الطريق المشترك الذي ترجم بالانتصارات المشتركة في سورية.

– في أزمة الصواريخ قضيتان يجب شرحهما، الأولى أن روسيا كانت مستعدة لمواصلة العمل بالمعاهدة شرط التزام أميركي حقيقي بمضمونها، لكن بدا واضحاً من ولاية الرئيس السابق باراك اوباما أن واشنطن عاجزة عن المضي قدماً فيه، بسبب ضغط جماعات الصناعات العسكرية لزيادة العقود مع الحكومة الأميركية وتضامن وزارة الدفاع وضباطها للخروج من المعاهدة، أو من آلياتها التطبيقية إذا صمتت موسكو على الخداع وقبلت مجرد الالتزام النظري، وهو ما كان مقبولاً لمدة في موسكو الضعيفة، لكنه ما عاد وارداً في زمن الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين، الذي قال مراراً إما التزام متزامن ومتوازن أو خروج من المعاهدة.

– الأمر الثاني في الأزمة هو ما بدا من توازن آخر في التهديدات المتبادلة، وهو يحدث لأول مرة منذ الستينيات في القرن الماضي وما عرف بأزمة خليج الخنازير حول كوبا بين موسكو واشنطن، ففيما تعلن واشنطن عزمها نشر صواريخ جديدة في الجوار الأوروبي لروسيا، ردّت موسكو بإعلان العزم على نشر صواريخ موازية في كوبا وربما أيضاً في فنزويلا.

أزمة الصواريخ هي آخر مساحات الاشتباك المفتوح بين موسكو واشنطن، بعدما امتلأت الجغرافيا ببؤر التوتر ودارت حرب العقوبات، ولم يتبقَ إلا الساحة الأصعب، وهي تعبير عن فرصة لا تزال مفتوحة للقوى التي ترغب بالتحرّر من الهيمنة الأميركية للاستثمار على موقع روسيا الحاسم في هذه المواجهة، حتى يتحقق التوازن المنشود على الساحة الدولية.

U.S. in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

US in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

November 15, 2018

The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report on Wednesday (Nov 14).

The National Defense Strategy Commission evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the US military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of “great-power competition”.

Meanwhile, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking regional hegemony in an attempt to project military power globally and pursuing defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States.

“America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree,” the commission said.

In the report, the commission found America’s focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

“The United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats;” thus, creating “a crisis of national security for the United States,” the report added.

The commission also said that American influence across Asia and Europe is being steadily eroded and military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.

“The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the commission added.

The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.

Though the Pentagon this year has a budget of more than US$700 billion, far more than Russia and China combined, the commission said the sum is still “clearly insufficient” to meet the goals laid out in the NDS.

Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defense budget.

SourceAgencies

 

Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars

or-41641.jpg

By William J. Astore
Source

As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran. (And given these last years, just how do you imagine that’s likely to turn out?) Honestly, isn’t it time Americans gave a little more thought to why their leaders persist in waging losing wars across significant parts of the planet?  So consider the rest of this piece my attempt to do just that.

Let’s face it: profits and power should be classified as perennial reasons why U.S. leaders persist in waging such conflicts. War may be a racket, as General Smedley Butler claimed long ago, but who cares these days since business is booming? And let’s add to such profits a few other all-American motivations. Start with the fact that, in some curious sense, war is in the American bloodstream. As former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges once put it, “War is a force that gives us meaning.” Historically, we Americans are a violent people who have invested much in a self-image of toughness now being displayed across the “global battlespace.” (Hence all the talk in this country not about our soldiers but about our “warriors.”) As the bumper stickers I see regularly where I live say: “God, guns, & guts made America free.” To make the world freer, why not export all three?

Add in, as well, the issue of political credibility. No president wants to appear weak and in the United States of the last many decades, pulling back from a war has been the definition of weakness. No one — certainly not Donald Trump — wants to be known as the president who “lost” Afghanistan or Iraq. As was true of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the Vietnam years, so in this century fear of electoral defeat has helped prolong the country’s hopeless wars. Generals, too, have their own fears of defeat, fears that drive them to escalate conflicts (call it the urge to surge) and even to advocate for the use of nuclear weapons, as General William Westmoreland did in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

Washington’s own deeply embedded illusions and deceptions also serve to generate and perpetuate its wars. Lauding our troops as “freedom fighters” for peace and prosperity, presidents like George W. Bush have waged a set of brutal wars in the name of spreading democracy and a better way of life. The trouble is: incessant war doesn’t spread democracy — though in the twenty-first century we’ve learned that it does spread terror groups — it kills it. At the same time, our leaders, military and civilian, have given us a false picture of the nature of the wars they’re fighting. They continue to present the U.S. military and its vaunted “smart” weaponry as a precision surgical instrument capable of targeting and destroying the cancer of terrorism, especially of the radical Islamic variety. Despite the hoopla about them, however, those precision instruments of war turn out to be blunt indeed, leading to the widespread killing of innocents, the massive displacement of people across America’s war zones, and floods of refugees who have, in turn, helped spark the rise of the populist right in lands otherwise still at peace.

Lurking behind the incessant warfare of this century is another belief, particularly ascendant in the Trump White House: that big militaries and expensive weaponry represent “investments” in a better future — as if the Pentagon were the Bank of America or Wall Street. Steroidal military spending continues to be sold as a key to creating jobs and maintaining America’s competitive edge, as if war were America’s primary business. (And perhaps it is!)

Those who facilitate enormous military budgets and frequent conflicts abroad still earn special praise here. Consider, for example, Senator John McCain’s rapturous final sendoff, including the way arms maker Lockheed Martin lauded him as an American hero supposedly tough and demanding when it came to military contractors. (And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.)

Put all of this together and what you’re likely to come up with is the American version of George Orwell’s famed formulation in his novel 1984: “war is peace.”

The War the Pentagon Knew How to Win

Twenty years ago, when I was a major on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, a major concern was the possible corroding of civil-military relations – in particular, a growing gap between the military and the civilians who were supposed to control them. I’m a clipper of newspaper articles and I saved some from that long-gone era. “Sharp divergence found in views of military and civilians,” reported the New York Times in September 1999. “Civilians, military seen growing apart,” noted the Washington Post a month later. Such pieces were picking up on trends already noted by distinguished military commentators like Thomas Ricks and Richard Kohn. In July 1997, for instance, Ricks had written an influential Atlantic article, “The Widening Gap between the Military and Society.” In 1999, Kohn gave a lecture at the Air Force Academy titled “The Erosion of Civilian Control of the Military in the United States Today.”

A generation ago, such commentators worried that the all-volunteer military was becoming an increasingly conservative and partisan institution filled with generals and admirals contemptuous of civilians, notably then-President Bill Clinton. At the time, according to one study, 64% of military officers identified as Republicans, only 8% as Democrats and, when it came to the highest levels of command, that figure for Republicans was in the stratosphere, approaching 90%. Kohn quoted a West Point graduate as saying, “We’re in danger of developing our own in-house Soviet-style military, one in which if you’re not in ‘the party,’ you don’t get ahead.” In a similar fashion, 67% of military officers self-identified as politically conservative, only 4% as liberal.

In a 1998 article for the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Ricks noted that “the ratio of conservatives to liberals in the military” had gone from “about 4 to 1 in 1976, which is about where I would expect a culturally conservative, hierarchical institution like the U.S. military to be, to 23 to 1 in 1996.” This “creeping politicization of the officer corps,” Ricks concluded, was creating a less professional military, one in the process of becoming “its own interest group.” That could lead, he cautioned, to an erosion of military effectiveness if officers were promoted based on their political leanings rather than their combat skills.

How has the civil-military relationship changed in the last two decades? Despite bending on social issues (gays in the military, women in more combat roles), today’s military is arguably neither more liberal nor less partisan than it was in the Clinton years. It certainly hasn’t returned to its citizen-soldier roots via a draft. Change, if it’s come, has been on the civilian side of the divide as Americans have grown both more militarized and more partisan (without any greater urge to sign up and serve). In this century, the civil-military divide of a generation ago has been bridged by endless celebrations of that military as “the best of us” (as Vice President Mike Pence recently put it).

Such expressions, now commonplace, of boundless faith in and thankfulness for the military are undoubtedly driven in part by guilt over neither serving, nor undoubtedly even truly caring. Typically, Pence didn’t serve and neither did Donald Trump (those pesky “heel spurs”). As retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich put it in 2007: “To assuage uneasy consciences, the many who do not serve [in the all-volunteer military] proclaim their high regard for the few who do. This has vaulted America’s fighting men and women to the top of the nation’s moral hierarchy. The character and charisma long ago associated with the pioneer or the small farmer — or carried in the 1960s by Dr. King and the civil-rights movement — has now come to rest upon the soldier.” This elevation of “our” troops as America’s moral heroes feeds a Pentagon imperative that seeks to isolate the military from criticism and its commanders from accountability for wars gone horribly wrong.

Paradoxically, Americans have become both too detached from their military and too deferential to it. We now love to applaud that military, which, the pollsters tell us, enjoys a significantly higher degree of trust and approval from the public than the presidency, Congress, the media, the Catholic church, or the Supreme Court. What that military needs, however, in this era of endless war is not loud cheers, but tough love.

As a retired military man, I do think our troops deserve a measure of esteem. There’s a selfless ethic to the military that should seem admirable in this age of selfies and selfishness. That said, the military does not deserve the deference of the present moment, nor the constant adulation it gets in endless ceremonies at any ballpark or sporting arena. Indeed, deference and adulation, the balm of military dictatorships, should be poison to the military of a democracy.

With U.S. forces endlessly fighting ill-begotten wars, whether in Vietnam in the 1960s or in Iraq and Afghanistan four decades later, it’s easy to lose sight of where the Pentagon continues to maintain a truly winning record: right here in the U.S.A. Today, whatever’s happening on the country’s distant battlefields, the idea that ever more inflated military spending is an investment in making America great again reigns supreme – as it has, with little interruption, since the 1980s and the era of President Ronald Reagan.

The military’s purpose should be, as Richard Kohn put it long ago, “to defend society, not to define it. The latter is militarism.” With that in mind, think of the way various retired military men lined up behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, including a classically unhinged performance by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (he of the “lock her up” chants) for Trump at the Republican convention and a shout-out of a speech by retired General John Allen for Clinton at the Democratic one. America’s presidential candidates, it seemed, needed to be anointed by retired generals, setting a dangerous precedent for future civil-military relations.

A Letter From My Senator

A few months back, I wrote a note to one of my senators to complain about America’s endless wars and received a signed reply via email. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it was a canned response, but no less telling for that. My senator began by praising American troops as “tough, smart, and courageous, and they make huge sacrifices to keep our families safe. We owe them all a true debt of gratitude for their service.” OK, I got an instant warm and fuzzy feeling, but seeking applause wasn’t exactly the purpose of my note.

My senator then expressed support for counter-terror operations, for, that is, “conducting limited, targeted operations designed to deter violent extremists that pose a credible threat to America’s national security, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), localized extremist groups, and homegrown terrorists.” My senator then added a caveat, suggesting that the military should obey “the law of armed conflict” and that the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that Congress hastily approved in the aftermath of 9/11 should not be interpreted as an “open-ended mandate” for perpetual war.

Finally, my senator voiced support for diplomacy as well as military action, writing, “I believe that our foreign policy should be smart, tough, and pragmatic, using every tool in the toolbox — including defense, diplomacy, and development – to advance U.S. security and economic interests around the world.” The conclusion: “robust” diplomacy must be combined with a “strong” military.

Now, can you guess the name and party affiliation of that senator? Could it have been Lindsey Graham or Jeff Flake, Republicans who favor a beyond-strong military and endlessly aggressive counter-terror operations? Of course, from that little critical comment on the AUMF, you’ve probably already figured out that my senator is a Democrat. But did you guess that my military-praising, counter-terror-waging representative was Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts?

Full disclosure: I like Warren and have made small contributions to her campaign. And her letter did stipulate that she believed “military action should always be a last resort.” Still, nowhere in it was there any critique of, or even passingly critical commentary about, the U.S. military, or the still-spreading war on terror, or the never-ending Afghan War, or the wastefulness of Pentagon spending, or the devastation wrought in these years by the last superpower on this planet. Everything was anodyne and safe — and this from a senator who’s been pilloried by the right as a flaming liberal and caricatured as yet another socialist out to destroy America.

I know what you’re thinking: What choice does Warren have but to play it safe? She can’t go on record criticizing the military. (She’s already gotten in enough trouble in my home state for daring to criticize the police.) If she doesn’t support a “strong” U.S. military presence globally, how could she remain a viable presidential candidate in 2020?

And I would agree with you, but with this little addendum: Isn’t that proof that the Pentagon has won its most important war, the one that captured – to steal a phrase from another losing war — the “hearts and minds” of America? In this country in 2018, as in 2017, 2016, and so on, the U.S. military and its leaders dictate what is acceptable for us to say and do when it comes to our prodigal pursuit of weapons and wars.

So, while it’s true that the military establishment failed to win those “hearts and minds” in Vietnam or more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, they sure as hell didn’t fail to win them here. In Homeland, U.S.A., in fact, victory has been achieved and, judging by the latest Pentagon budgets, it couldn’t be more overwhelming.

If you ask – and few Americans do these days – why this country’s losing wars persist, the answer should be, at least in part: because there’s no accountability. The losers in those wars have seized control of our national narrative. They now define how the military is seen (as an investment, a boon, a good and great thing); they now shape how we view our wars abroad (as regrettable perhaps, but necessary and also a sign of national toughness); they now assign all serious criticism of the Pentagon to what they might term the defeatist fringe.

In their hearts, America’s self-professed warriors know they’re right. But the wrongs they’ve committed, and continue to commit, in our name will not be truly righted until Americans begin to reject the madness of rampant militarism, bloated militaries, and endless wars.

%d bloggers like this: