Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How Many More?

(Source)
Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of the attack on the United States which saw the deaths of 2,977 innocent men, women, and children. Over 6,000 were injured that day as well. Since then many more have died due to the injuries they sustained that day, or because of what they were exposed to, there in the streets of New York.

But that was just the beginning...


Our men and women are still being wounded and killed. And for what?

Iraq is a colossal mess, as is Syria.

The invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Was Saddam a bad man, deserving of his fate? Probably. But that was not for us to decide. Did Saddam threaten U.S. interests?

No.

Going into Afghanistan was the right move, that's where Al Qaeda was holed up, they were directly responsible for the attack on 9/11. Were they the only guilty parties?

Of course not.

Once upon a time this country knew how to fight a war. When we were attacked by the Japanese we went after them with everything we had. Same with the Germans.

Unconditional surrender.

Then Korea happened. Our politicians drew a line which could be interpreted to not include the Korean peninsula. So the enemy crossed it and we had to do something.

So we fought. Sort of. Korea is still divided and poses an even larger threat than it did in 1950. Why didn't we fight the good fight there? Two reasons. The politicians were afraid that the Chinese Communists and the Soviets would escalate the war, and the Joint Chiefs were afraid that Korea was a diversion to keep our attention focused away from Europe, which they felt was more important strategically. (Why is Europe so goddamned important anyway? Then AND now.)

What about Vietnam? Again, the politicians were afraid of what the enemy would do.

Afraid of what the enemy might do? What are we, Liechtenstein? Are we some second or third rate power who must tread lightly lest the bullies of the world take our lunch money?

If we're going to go to war, then damn it, go to war. Declare it, set the objectives, then go in and start breaking shit and killing people until the enemy says "Enough!"

Do that often enough and soon we won't have any enemies. At least not any that will admit to it.

Damn it, the enemy should be afraid of what we might do!

Why do our idiot politicians (in and out of uniform) always take counsel of their fears?

Of course, Congress has been abrogating their Constitutional duties for years now, the individual members more concerned with getting re-electing than doing their jobs. We have had a series of bad or incompetent Presidents who have been ill-advised by their advisers. Can't really blame the advisers for being idiots, if you pick bad advisers, then listen to them, well, who's to blame there?

We need to get out of the Middle East. Support Israel and those who wish to play nice with the Israelis (a pretty small group). As to the rest, let them sort their own messes out. If their squabbles spill out into the rest of the world, then crush them.

Afghanistan has become for us what it was for the British and the Russians, a sinkhole where we can spend the next century pouring money and treasure into it and have no result at the end. I truly think we could have won the thing if we had gone in hard. We should have slapped Pakistan hard as well. After all, that's where Bin Laden wound up and many trails lead to Pakistan intelligence (ISI) as the creators of the Taliban.

Good friends, neh?

What a mess. How many more lives will it take before we hold our government accountable?

I despair.



20 comments:

  1. Agree with this 110%......I believe the majority of politicians, both Democrat and Republican, think of themselves/their party first or second and this country a waaay distant third. It's the serviceman who pays the price in blood usually although lately more and more American civilians are also paying that price.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey AFSarge, I noticed that....People talk about the fanaticism of the enemy we face today and that you can't kill a belief....I demurred and stated "Yes we can" Pardon the pun. Well anyway I commented," we did it in WWII, we beat the Japanese in WWII,their code of Bushido and total willingness to die for the emperor. The pacific war was known for no quarter and savagery that was only equaled in the Russian Front. We pushed the Japanese back to their home island, and had to drop 2 nukes to show the futility of their actions. The problem is now we don't have any "stomach" for this, we are more concerned about what the rest of the world thinks, and we have to get past that. I would rather be feared than liked. If they fear you, then they respect you. Like can come later.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Many of us share that despair Sarge. Including the late (very great IMO) Dr. Jerry Pournelle. I applaud Rand Paul's efforts to force our Rep's to vote, up or down, on continuing the wars that we are engaged in all over the world. I would rather he not tie it to passing the defense budget- but it may be the best leverage he has. Our Reps need to remind themselves of the oath they took and adhere to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Precisely. The men and women in uniform face consequences when they violate the oath, so should our elected representatives.

      Delete
  4. The Afghan Al Qaeda were dealt with by CIA and a couple dozen A-Teams --- And on-call B-52's overhead that could deliver smart bombs or arc light a mountain into cinders and dust. Then Big Army decided that they needed to send divisions to 'civilize' the Taliban. And instead of spending millions we started spending the better part of trillions and things got out of hand - because inside every Afghan, there is not an American trying to get out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, we can no longer be 'cops with tanks.' No more not shooting them until they have shot back, no more not shooting someone who is not carrying a gun (oh, look, there's a gun at his feet, he sees us, but we have to wait...)

    Rules of Engagement should be "YES", a resounding "HELL YES" totally unleashing the complete power and savagery of the American Fighting Man.

    Oh, a doorway. Old rules - Knock nicely. New Rules - Blow the farker down, toss grenades, count the bodies, continue.

    Continue until the country has attained peace - that state which is defined by them running away, rolling on their belly in abject surrender or, well, make a desert and call it peace.

    Our diplomatic corps should be going to these nidiots and begging them to stop doing whatever negative thing they are doing because there is a large, nuclear powered, 6,000 ton, R.Lee Ermey sounding Gorilla standing over the diplo's shoulder just waiting to rain down fire and brimstone.

    Bomb them into the stoneages? Hell, bomb them back at least 3 ancestorial species.

    No more hunt and peck military. The military should be as powerful as the skilled 100+ word typist who can also answer phones while typing.

    No more "You can only fly these route packages." No more "You have to stop when you take this hill, and the enemy knows it." No more "Stop and Frisk" and "The enemy has rights, too!"

    They know the rules of civilized warfare. One of the basic tenets of civilized warfare is that if you don't play by the rules, then the other guys don't have too, either.

    We don't have to go all Soviet - kill all the children. We just need to kill every warfighter, no matter what age and sex, the enemy uses.

    Pirates? Roll up with a Marine unit, catch the bastards, HANG THEM IN THE TOWN SQUARE for all other future pirates to see what piracy does.

    Hostage takers? Well, sucks to be the hostage. Do our best to keep the hostages alive, but do like the Israelis do.

    Profiling? Hell YEAH! Profiling works because, well, we haven't had too many 6' blond blue eyed jihadists, yet. (The way Sweden is going, looks like we will in a few years, sigh.)

    This is the reason the US Navy still needs fire support ships. Some ship to roll up to an area and just gun the place flat. And then start digging a 500' hole with naval artillery.

    You don't use your Football players to play soccer. You use them to play football.

    It is now time to Play FOOTBALL!

    Casualties? Yes. Sorry, our piss-head politicians and our lazy civilians have given us a situation where we must crush the enemy or else.

    Go full Conan on them. Crush the enemy, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.

    It is either them. Or it is us.

    There is no middle ground.

    a

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, hell no. I watch too much porn to ever get elected. And I'm fat. And I hate people too much and tend to tell the truth in social situations (why is it required by society to lie to each other when dealing with people? I mean, darned it, best thing my dad ever did was when one of us kids did something wrong (and usually painful and bloody) was to say "What did you do that for?" and then laugh. Toughened us up somewhat.)

      Though if I had a chance to go into the State Department and replace or arrest all of those festering piles of dog-squeeze with more people that think General Mattis is a softie, I might consider it.

      And it would be fun to dress up as Taft. And have a Rottweiler as a White House dog. And practice full-contact sword fighting on the lawn. Fly the Confederate battle flag next to the National flag just to watch the heads explode. Set up a trebuchet next to the portico and fire water balloons at protesters. Have the Secret Service practice bayonet drills right next to all protests. Maybe invite sick kids to use the presidential water cannon on stupid marchers.

      Meh. Someone would shoot me within the first week.

      Delete
    2. Andrew for president in 2020 AND 2024!!!

      Or, alternately, OldAFSarge!! After all, if you retire soon you will be looking for something to keep yourself occupied. Go and ask these most excellent questions, and shake the Congress critters by the scruff until you get logical reasoned answers which should be when we go to war, we GO FIGHT A WAR and we can not declare victory until the leader of the country comes hat in hand to beg mercy and forgiveness!!

      IMHO we should have turned Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan into glass that glows for the next 10,000 years after 9/11/2001. And after Benghazi, you could have added Libya to the above list.

      Delete
    3. I won't argue with you Suz, on any of your thoughts.

      Delete
    4. There has been serious but underpublished reports that the way to pull the rug from under the muslim terrorists is to destroy the major holy sites all at once. Basically, "See, your god isn't infallible and all powerful, is he?" And serious scholars of that practice say that the whole cult would collapse within itself.

      Blow up the Vatican? You would get a ton of pissed-off Catholics and a butt-load of peeved protestants.

      I don't really want to test either hypothesis.

      And I don't like crowds. I 'speak' many much more better on the internet than I do verbally. I can self-edit so much better on-line, and people don't have to see Mrs. Andrew elbow the carp out of me for saying something stupid, or thoughtless, or truthful but...

      Plus, I think our current President and Vice-President are doing a pretty good job, considering all the flak that is being thrown their way. And, unlike the last administration, I wouldn't come out of it richer than I went in by a factor of 10-50 (really, how did he get so rich on $300k a year, especially since he was supposed to use a lot of that money to pay for his and his family's upkeep while on the job?)

      Delete
    5. I've often thought about that first course of action.

      I hear you on the crowds, a crowd is essentially a mob waiting to be panicked! They make me nervous.

      Delete
  6. re:
    Korea and Vietnam - you cant escalate at will when enemy has nukes (and this meant Soviets and by time of Vietnam, also China)
    In 1950 Soviets could roll up the entire Europe, and nuke the UK into oblivion. US could nuke them back but you cant liberate by nukes. and US was not interested in killing own allies.
    By 1960 they could annihilate the US many time sover with massive ICBM capability. MAD was full in place.
    Note that same mad logic stopped USSR from escalating into Pakistan after their own AFG camapign turned quagmire due to US support for rebels. Soviets WERE afraid of what US can do.
    Korea might be looked as half empty or half full - South is vibrant democracy with prospering market economy and a model for all aspiring to escape poverty of the third world. It has enough conventional forces to defeat North with US help, just is not going to risk hundreds of thousands civilian fatalities to do so. On the other hand none of the Kim has invaded for already 60+ years. Why? beacuase they DO fear what US can do.
    Why Europe is so important? Hint: it contains Germany. A country that took on worlds all-stars in world war trophy and came close to winning. TWICE. And besides, UK, France, Italy, and not least from my viewpoint, Poland :P
    Even now EU aggregate GDP is only slightly behind US and ahead of China. If you want to imagine, try out Soviets having that entire economic and intellectual potential for them (albeit with reduction factor for the communist system - but with bonus for military focus).

    As for the current war/whatever nomination you use, there is that part about finding militant in sea of ordinary civilians. Heck, most of post 9/11 attacks in the west were made by either long-settled immigrants or even citizens by birth.
    Finding the right target si the problem not the firepower. They do not have million-strong armies to be annihilated. They are mosquitoes not dragons. You defeat them with patience, resilience and prevention (draining the swamp). We have been ther e before - 1870-80s wave of letist terror in Europe was eventually defeated, in no small reason because the Soviet funding disappeared. It is hard to be part-time terrorist doing 9-17 regular work to support yourself. If I would be trying to defeat current wave, the follow and strangle the money would be nice start. That of course runs into the elephant in the room that is Saudis... and Pakistanis who keep their pet terrorists as a weapon aginst India (which by the way might precitpitate a nuclear war on the subcontinent, with casualties rivalling that of WW1)

    Naval Gunfire Support has its places, but against any adversary with modern ASCMs good luck even coming within range.
    Look what ARG side manged to do with just 4 Exocets and Skyhwaks raining iron bombs in air-launched inventory against RN in 1982.

    And to be sure remember in WW2 there was many things no modern conservatist would tolerate, from food and fuel reglamentation to 90% top income tax bracket. Not that either is needed against terrorists, mind you.

    AFG has its own sets of problems, btw, most important is that geography (landlocked, mountains and deserts alla round) means there is no logistical way to support COIN force capable of occupying the country.
    Lord Cornwallis "You can't fight the map" (not sure if the quote is true, had not been able to confirm but pretty much sums up the AFG problem)
    My solution? Make known "head exchange ratio" against any nation that originates mass-casualty attacks on the US.
    In case of the non-state actor, make the host nation responsible (see: Israel, Hezbollach, Lebanon).
    Note that Israelis themselves are engaing in serious restraint in their use of force.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All good points Paweł, I'm glad you chimed in on this topic.

      Delete
    2. He does have some good points, doesn't he? Especially about the Saudis. With fracking in ascendancy, maybe it's time to give the royal family an ultimatum. Stop the support of terror, or we'll pump you into poverty.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)