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Combat High -- America's addiction to war

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A great article on America's Forever Wars in the June issue of Harper's. In a forum at West Point, former officers who have fought in all our wars since Vietnam tell how we rarely if ever lose on the battlefield, but always lose afterward.

America's losing strategy of intending to win the actual fighting and establish a functioning, successful democratic government with an effective military of its own, has NEVER won. Not anywhere. After 17 years in Afghanistan, we still can't leave. Ditto for Iraq.

"Jayamaha: I am citing the empirical fact about direct-fire engagements. I would estimate we win 90 percent of the time. In my personal experience as a rifleman, we won every single time.

Bacevich: When you say we won, you're saying we killed more of them than they killed of us. They withdrew from the battlefield and we stayed.

Jayamaha: Exactly. But my point is that it would matter only if we rolled those victories into a broader strategy. In terms of being on the ground and taking control of, say, Baghdad during the surge, our plan did work. But then you go up to the policy level and we fail.

Bacevich: Because we don't have a coherent strategy."

In other words, we field the best trained and equipped troops, and we win almost every fire fight, yet we NEVER conclude the fighting. Name one of the dozens of countries we've been sending men to fight and die in over the last two decades. Then name all the countries we've helped become viable, democratic entities with a functioning military and economy.

That's right. Zero. Nada. Zip.

So if our tactics never work, why don't we change them?

Simple. Our real aim is to keep the wars going because it makes tremendous profit for our MIC.

So what in hell is there for us to feel proud about our country?

Reality.

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I agree. Ever since politicians started injecting themselves into every conflict (IMO starting with Vietnam) our military has had its hands tied. The only exception since Vietnam (which could have been won militarily in about a year) was Desert Storm where the stated objective was to boot Iraq from Kuwait (a strategic ally). This was done handily and we backed away from it. Perfect strategy, the military was given the objective and Bush Sr didn't interfere. The Mideast mess now is being run by politicians and is a disaster. Never should have gone back there in the first place. A Saddam Insane Iraq was a great counterweight to a radical Iran. Now look at the mess.

We need to be out of the M/E militarily NOW.

But I still feel proud about our country, the military is not our entire system. People aren't rushing to leave but there is an endless stream trying to come here. Wouldn't you think it's because the U.S. is still one of the best places to live? Having been all over the world I have to say yes.

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Wordslinger wrote:A great article on America's Forever Wars in the June issue of Harper's.  In a forum at West Point, former officers who have fought in all our wars since Vietnam tell how we rarely if ever lose on the battlefield, but always lose afterward.

America's losing strategy of intending to win the actual fighting and establish a functioning, successful democratic government with an effective military of its own, has NEVER won.  Not anywhere.  After 17 years in Afghanistan, we still can't leave.  Ditto for Iraq.  

"Jayamaha:  I am citing the empirical fact about direct-fire engagements.  I would estimate we win 90 percent of the time.  In my personal experience as a rifleman, we won every single time.

Bacevich:  When you say we won, you're saying we killed more of them than they killed of us.  They withdrew from the battlefield and we stayed.

Jayamaha:  Exactly.  But my point is that it would matter only if we rolled those victories into a broader strategy.  In terms of being on the ground and taking control of, say, Baghdad during the surge, our plan did work.  But then you go up to the policy level and we fail.

Bacevich:  Because we don't have a coherent strategy."

In other words, we field the best trained and equipped troops, and we win almost every fire fight, yet we NEVER conclude the fighting.  Name one of the dozens of countries we've been sending men to fight and die in over the last two decades.  Then name all the countries we've helped become viable, democratic entities with a functioning military and economy.  

That's right.  Zero.  Nada. Zip.  

So if our tactics never work, why don't we change them?

Simple.  Our real aim is to keep the wars going because it makes tremendous profit for our MIC.

So what in hell is there for us to feel proud about our country?

Reality.






Great topic title. Great TV series.

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Wordslinger wrote:
So what in hell is there for us to feel proud about our country?

I bet the South Koreans or any of the Eastern European vassal-states of the former Soviet Union are pretty happy the U.S. kept up the pressure on the Soviet Empire until it folded.

And now, with Putin grabbing Crimea and trying to hijack eastern Ukraine, I'm pretty proud of this country. The world is a better place because we won the Cold War. It ain't perfect and we've made a lot of mistakes but it's better than it would have been if we'd folded our tent after the Second World War and the Soviet Union had prevailed.

To say we do it JUST to profit Military contractors is stupid. Nothing's ever that simple or that black-and-white.

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This country and our propensity for beating up weak nations to feed MIC is the biggest threat to peace in the world. We have become the bad guys and everything is twisted and insane.

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(and in case anybody's wondering ... yeah, I served, so I can talk all the sh*t about it I want!)  

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EmeraldGhost wrote:









(and in case anybody's wondering ... yeah, I served, so I can talk all the sh*t about it I want!)  

CCR!!!! I always liked "Run through the jungle" Wasn't familiar with Starr but that was good too.

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EmeraldGhost wrote:









(and in case anybody's wondering ... yeah, I served, so I can talk all the sh*t about it I want!)  





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Love the Dropkick Murphys. Smile

If we're doing punk rock, there's a couple of L7 songs that are appropriate.

The Trump-specific:



and the anti-war-in-general:

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Vlad's favorite bad girls.

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2seaoat wrote:This country and our propensity for beating up weak nations to feed MIC is the biggest threat to peace in the world.  We have become the bad guys and everything is twisted and insane.

Prize winning comment of the evening: "We have become the bad guys and everything is twisted and insane." Reality!

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Telstar wrote:Vlad's favorite bad girls.


I'd like to point something out: In none of the liberal democracies under the umbrella of America's military, do we drag entertainers off to "corrective labor colonies"--AKA the Gulag--for expressing unpopular ideas.

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Deus X wrote:
Telstar wrote:Vlad's favorite bad girls.


I'd like to point something out: In none of the liberal democracies under the umbrella of America's military, do we drag entertainers off to "corrective labor colonies"--AKA the Gulag--for expressing unpopular ideas.




Give Spanky time.

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