Closing Thought–12Jul19

As a student and writer on armed conflict its management and resolution I am always looking at different wars/battles to see if any of them match up with the endless relentless wars we are fighting today.

And since the news is so damn redundant these days I have taken to reading more so than normal which is a lot…..

I read one by a retired service person on the top ten battles in history……do you agree with his list and rankings?

Battles win wars, topple thrones, and redraw borders. Every age of human history has experienced battles that have been instrumental in molding the future. Battles influence the spread of culture, civilization, and religious dogma. They introduce weapons, tactics, and leaders who dominate future conflicts. Some battles have even been influential not for their direct results, but for the impact of their propaganda on public opinion.

The following list is not a ranking of decisive engagements, but rather a ranking of battles according to their influence on history. Each narrative details location, participants, and leaders of the battle, and also provides commentary on who won, who lost, and why. Narratives also evaluate each battle’s influence on the outcome of its war and the impact on the victors and losers.

http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/topten/index.html

What a good American!  He ranks Yorktown #1.

Waterloo ranking will make my English friends happy…..and to help that…..The Battle of Waterloo was the last attempt by Napoleon to establish himself in France and Europe, after his defeat in 1814. Why was Napoleon defeated at Waterloo? It was a mixture of the stubborn British resistance, their superior cavalry, Wellington’s leadership and, most importantly, the timely arrival of the Prussian army on the battlefield. 

The problem for me is that England was not alone in this conflict….they were joined by others……https://dailyhistory.org/Why_was_Napoleon_defeated_at_Waterloo%3F

I think the Battle of Tours in the 8th century needs to be included for this conflict stopped the Muslim conquest of Europe.

In 712 the Saracens entered into France and began pillaging the region for treasure. In 725 Anbessa, the Saracen governor of Spain, personally leads an army across the Pyrenees Mountains into France and takes the strongly fortified town of Carcassone. During the battle he receives a fatal wound, and the Saracen army retires into the nearby town of Narbonne before retreating back to the safety of Spain.

http://www.classichistory.net/archives/battle-of-tours

I disagree with his choice of Cajamarca…..I feel that the defeat of the Mongols at Marj al-Saffar was more substantial because it brought an end to the western expansion of the Mongols.  Europe should be eternally grateful.

Or The Battle of Britain should be also for it stop Hitler in his tracks and his time table for Russia was moved up and that was a disastrous decision.

Do you have any battles that you feel should be on the list of the ten most decisive battles?

Let us know and explain why you think they should be included.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Patriots Left Out

We have just celebrated the call to arms with the Declaration of Independence….the document that set in motion the birth of the United States of America.

Sadly there is much about the beginning of our great nation that is seldom taught to our young……and I try to rectify that oversight.

In the beginning there was the word……

Once the document was written by Jefferson (a point that I dispute) it was signed by the reps at the Congress that ordered the document….but there are a couple of names that are missing from this historic document…Thomas Paine whose ideas were the very basis of the DoI…… https://lobotero.com/2010/07/04/thomas-paine-the-father-of-the-u-s-of-a/ ……and John Dickinson from Pennsylvania who refused to sign the document…and yes I said REFUSED.

In the decade before the American colonies declared independence, no patriot enjoyed greater renown than John Dickinson. In 1765 he helped lead opposition to the Stamp Act, Britain’s first effort to get colonists to cover part of the mounting cost of empire through taxes on paper and printed materials. Then, after Parliament rescinded the Stamp Act but levied a new set of taxes on paint, paper, lead and tea with the Townshend Duties of 1767, Dickinson galvanized colonial resistance by penning Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer, a series of impassioned broadsides widely read on both sides of the Atlantic. He even set his political sentiments to music, borrowing the melody from a popular Royal Navy chantey for his stirring “Liberty Song,” which included the refrain: “Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we’ll give.”

Yet on July 1, 1776, as his colleagues in the Continental Congress prepared to declare independence from Britain, Dickinson offered a resounding dissent. Deathly pale and thin as a rail, the celebrated Pennsylvania Farmer chided his fellow delegates for daring to “brave the storm in a skiff made of paper.” He argued that France and Spain might be tempted to attack rather than support an independent American nation. He also noted that many differences among the colonies had yet to be resolved and could lead to civil war. When Congress adopted a nearly unanimous resolution the next day to sever ties with Britain, Dickinson abstained from the vote, knowing full well that he had delivered “the finishing Blow to my once too great, and my Integrity considered, now too diminish’d Popularity.”

https://www.historynet.com/the-patriot-who-refused-to-sign-the-declaration-of-independence.htm

Those days there was nothing that was certain and our history instruction should give all aspects of those historic battles.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Peace In Our Time?

I wish I could say that with the urge to laugh out loud…..

Sorry I had to borrow a line from UK’s Chamberlain in 1938….but this time I am talking about America’s longest war ever….Afghanistan.

The latest round of talks between the US and the Taliban have ended with what is being called a “roadmap to peace” for Afghanistan. The agreement is non-binding, but points toward a formal agreement being not far down the road.

The talks effectively have an agreement on the US withdrawal and the Taliban fighting against ISIS and al-Qaeda, and commits both sides to a deal to end civilian casualties and negotiate with the Afghan government on power-sharing.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the head US negotiator, is expressing hopes that the deal will ultimately be finalized by September 1. This would be the day for signing the deal, though when everything would be implemented is still unclear.

A final deal is expected to both put a timeline to everything, and provide some mechanism of international guarantors for the peace deal, ending 18 years of US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Where was the “elected” Afghan government in these talks?

I asked and I received…..

The Afghan peace process “must be fully Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” former President Hamid Karzai said at the 8th World Peace Forum in China on Tuesday, according to Xinhua report.

“Progress is there between the United States and the Taliban, and hopefully, it is one that will ensure lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Karzai said.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad concluded the seventh round of talks with the Taliban negotiators on July 9 in Qatar. He was cited by reports as saying that the Afghans are closer to reaching peace than any time in the past.

Khalilzad said on July 8 that he had “lots of progress” on four key issues under debate in the negotiations.

The four issues which have been discussed by the US and the Taliban negotiators in the seven rounds of talks are counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks.  

Karzai lauded efforts made to push for national reconciliation and bring about peace in Afghanistan, such as the two-day intra-Afghan dialogue opened on Sunday in Qatar’s capital Doha with the presence of a 17-member negotiating team from the Taliban.

(tolonews.com)

Wait!

Did I see that the Taleban was fighting against AQ and ISIS?

And yet the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy…..then explain to all of us just why the Hell are we still fighting and dying in this region?

NATO has a different take on when  to leave…..

Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, the Resolute Support Commander Gen. Scott Miller, and NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative Nicholas Kay on Wednesday visited Ghazni to assess the security of the central province.

Addressing the meeting, Kay said NATO will not leave Afghanistan until the job is done.

“We are not leaving. We are not leaving until the job is done. If the Taliban think they can just wait us out, then they have miscalculated,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the acting defense minister said they visited the province to show to the security forces that the government is supporting them.

https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/nato-will-not-leave-afghanistan-until-job-done-kay

WTF?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Has Our Foreign Policy Failed?

AS a student and writer on American foreign policy I feel that ours in the last decades has been a failure.

I say this because in two decades we have gone to endless wars and the threat of even more to come…..Albright, Powell, Clinton and all the Trumpites…..confrontation and armed conflict has become the norm as opposed to the exception.

How to describe U.S. foreign policy over the last couple of decades? Disastrous comes to mind. Arrogant and murderous also seem appropriate.

Since 9/11, Washington has been extraordinarily active militarily—invading two nations, bombing and droning several others, deploying special operations forces in yet more countries, and applying sanctions against many. Tragically, the threat of Islamist violence and terrorism only have metastasized. Although Al Qaeda lost its effectiveness in directly plotting attacks, it continues to inspire national offshoots. Moreover, while losing its physical “caliphate” the Islamic State added further terrorism to its portfolio.

Three successive administrations have ever more deeply ensnared the United States in the Middle East. War with Iran appears to be frighteningly possible. Ever-wealthier allies are ever-more dependent on America. Russia is actively hostile to the United States and Europe. Washington and Beijing appear to be a collision course on far more than trade. Yet the current administration appears convinced that doing more of the same will achieve different results, the best definition of insanity.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/understanding-failure-us-foreign-policy-albright-doctrine-60477

Our failures have been shown to be forefront…especially with Trump’s favorite tactic….sanctions…..

The U.S.’s military might be the most powerful weapon in the country’s arsenal, but economic sanctions are being fully exploited to go after “enemies” real or imaged. The U.S. Treasury Dept. identifies 30 active sanctions programs that include, according to one estimate, 7,967 operating sanctions.

The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) defines an economic sanction “as the withdrawal of customary trade and financial relations for foreign and security policy purposes.”  It notes that the modern sanction era began in the wake of the Cuban Revolution and escalated following the 9/11 attacks when Pres. George W. Bush signed an Executive Order (#13224) that gave the Treasury Department officials “authority to freeze the assets and financial transactions of individuals and other entities suspected of supporting terrorism.”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/05/sanctions-failure-of-u-s-foreign-policy/

It is time for the US to re-learn the use of diplomacy as opposed to direct action…..diplomacy costs less (something that Repubs should be pushing if they truly are deficit hawks) in cash and lives.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”