The airways are full of the opportunities out there for those thinking of making the jump to military service. “Be All You Can Be” sort of thing.
They even brain wash our children into thinking that it is something special by teaching them with ROTC.
Before anyone is considering the jump to the military to broaden their horizons maybe they should read this….written by someone who made the jump and their experiences….
Though the war in Afghanistan is over, its grim history is filled with hard truths about what it really means to serve in the American military.
Those truths are particularly relevant to anyone contemplating enlistment or commissioning in the armed forces. With that in mind, here’s a warning label informed by the grim lessons of Operation Enduring Freedom—the failed and futile 20-year war in Afghanistan.
After 9/11, the U.S. government was right to lash out at Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, that mission was largely accomplished by the end of 2001. As Scott Horton wrote in Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, within three months of 9/11, “there were not enough (al Qaeda) left alive to fill a seventeenth-century pirate ship.”
The balance of the war was a futile effort to replace the Taliban with a government more palatable to western powers. Today, after more than 2,400 U.S. service members were killed and more than 20,000 wounded, Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, just as it was two decades years ago.
Some of have asked for many years just how this country is so terrible at winning wars after such a success in WW2.
What was the last won by the US in the last 80 years?
….Pause here for further thought….
Can’t think of one?
Why is that?
Washington’s attempts to back pro-U.S. foreign movements against incumbent regimes have amassed a similar dismal track record. Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine in the 1980s, the United States funded and equipped a number of anti-communist rebel organizations that were trying to oust left-wing regimes in the Third World. The most prominent cases included the Contras in Nicaragua and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA faction in Angola. Both of those insurgencies ultimately failed to take power. In only one case was Washington’s support for an insurgency successful during that era – backing the mujahidin against the Soviet Union’s occupation forces in Afghanistan. However, that outcome was especially ironic, since many of the mujahidin alumni later showed up in the Taliban. Moreover, the collapse of Moscow’s client regime in Afghanistan foreshadowed what would happen to America’s client in that country. In both cases, a government that a foreign power helped install and prop-up eventually collapsed because of a lack of meaningful domestic roots.
Further thoughts on this is an article from 2018 that tries to explain the reasoning…….
“When I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war,” Trump told a group of US governors last February. “Now, we never win a war.”
Dominic Tierney, a professor at Swarthmore College and the author of multiple books about how America wages war, may know the reason why.
He believes the US can still successfully fight the wars of yesteryear — World War-style conflicts — but hasn’t yet mastered how to win wars against insurgents, which are smaller fights against groups within countries. The problem is the US continues to involve itself in those kinds of fights.
“We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home,” he told me. “That’s not what war is like now.”
The US military is currently mired in conflicts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It’s hard to see any end in sight — especially an end where the United States is the victor, however that’s defined.
A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
Let’s be honest wars of today are not really about saving the world, the rhetoric is but reality is that it is more about making cash out of destruction and death……the plans maybe about the end game but when since 1954 has it ever worked out?
Disappointing experiences should create an indelible lesson for future US policymakers. The United States usually cannot successfully identify and install capable governments in foreign countries. That point is especially true in societies that are vastly different from American culture in nearly every aspect. We can’t fully comprehend such key factors as their unique histories, religions, economics, and politics. In short, we don’t understand such alien cultures and cannot even begin to shape them effectively to serve Washington’s foreign policy objectives. US leaders keep choosing clients who make statements that echo American values. Even in the rare cases when such clients are sincere, they typically have little domestic support and even less ability to organize their faction effectively. The Afghanistan fiasco is just the latest confirmation of that reality.
War has become an extension to the term “business as usual”…..that needs to change and change NOW!
But as long as the corporations can own a representative then they are guaranteed a steady income for generations.
The people no longer have a vote in war….corporate owned media sees to that and in doing so mutes the voice and the will of the people.
There are many stories that go under reported because of the laser focus on Covid and infrastructure and other stuff by the MSM.
This report needed more coverage than it received…..
More than half of women soldiers who report sexual harassment say they are repeatedly harassed, according to a Rand Corporation study about sexual harassment and gender discrimination faced by soldiers. The most prevalent forms of harassment are attemptsat unwanted sexual relations, being “ignored,” “mistreated” and “insulted“ due to their gender and hearing they are not as good as men.
Rand released the results of a five-month study that was requested by the Army as part of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s February 2021 order to address sexual assault. The study,comprised of 1,582 female and 900 male active-duty soldiers who reported some form of sexual harassment to the 2018 Workplace and Gender Relations of Active Duty Members survey. It concluded that while men and women both face forms of harassment in the Army, women are more likely to face “serious” or “persistent” harassment.
The WGRA is a biennial survey mandated by Congress to asses the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and related issues within the military. In 2018 the survey sampled 735,645 active-duty service members across the military, with 17 percent of respondents self-reporting a form of sexual assault or harassment.
The most prevalent form of harassment experienced by women — reported by 53 percent of respondents — was being “ignored, mistreated,” or “insulted” due to their gender. In addition, 45 percent of women reported hearing that they weren’t as good as men at their job.
Once again in Afghanistan an occupying force pulls out and the Taleban expands its muscle…..that was the story in 1990 after the USSR decided to pull out of the country….and now it is happening all over again.
As the US pulls its troops from Afghanistan the Taleban jumps on the vacuum created to exert its dominance once again…..
It’s not as big of a lost like cities like Sar-e Pul and Kunduz, but shows that the Taliban’s huge weekend offensive did not necessarily end at the end of the weekend. This continues a trend that could rapidly leave the north of Afghanistan in Taliban hands.
In addition to those cities, the Taliban also took Sheberghan, Taloqan, and the southwestern capital of Nimruz. The Afghan government is focusing on a new propaganda push, focusing on selling the idea that losing five capitals in two days isn’t that big a deal.
Losing all these cities, including Kunduz and the already fallen Lashkar Gah, is already a big deal, and with the Taliban pushing on places like Herat, more could be lost. Afghan forces are off-balance and the Taliban is showing surprising confidence.
The loss of Aybak is another blow to the situation, doubly so because MPs say it fell without a fight. It’s not a big city, but given all the territory losses it would be strange for the government to not at least try to muster a defense.
The Taliban issued a statement later Sunday saying there had been no deal on a ceasefire yet, and warning the US against trying any further intervention. The Biden Administration has ordered B-52 bombers into the mix, and past comments suggest they’re going to continue to intervene to prevent a total Taliban victory.
The more things change the more they remain the same.
Just like when the USSR pulled out the Taleban has swiftly taken control……
Tuesday’s losses include the Baghlan capital of Pul-e Khumri and Farah, cutting deeper into territory in northern Afghanistan and the west. The Taliban also contested Mazar-e Sharif, though the military has so far managed to repel them.
EU officials are estimating that the Taliban now control some 65% of Afghanistan. Afghan officials had previously downplayed the percentages, arguing that the government controlled almost all of the cities. After the past few days, that’s plainly no longer the case.
The Pul-e Khumri loss followed one of the more disturbing trends for the Afghan military: the city fell without a major battle. The troops fled into the desert, and are headed to a nearby military base.
On top of all of this, Mazar-e Sharif is still on the table, as is Herat. Kandahar, one of the biggest cities of all, is also contested. These are some potentially big losses that could easily happen on top of what’s already happened.
Not to worry the US will continue airstrikes that kill without mercy or distinction….
Every bomb dropped is money in the defense industry’s bank account….so this will continue unmercifully….and civilians will pay the ultimate price.
I have been an anti-war advocate for over 50 years…..and in that time I have participated in many protests in the past….and during those protests there was a common slogan….”War is good business….Invest your children”……
But just how good is business?
These are the 100 top defense industries….and as you can see business is good for most of them…..
UpThe US has been in almost constant war since 1941….that is in case you are bad at math 80 years….
The American people have little to say these day about the endless war and endless interventionism….they are willfully ignorant…….
In other words, despite the occasional setbacks and disappointments of the recent past, this country’s global preeminence remained indisputable, not just in theory but in fact. That the United States would enjoy such a status for the foreseeable future seemed a foregone conclusion. After all, if any single nation prefigured the destiny of humankind, it was ours. Among the lessons taught by history itself, nothing ranked higher or seemed more obvious. Primacy, in other words, defined our calling.
Any number of motives, most of them utterly wrong-headed, had prompted the United States to go to war in Vietnam. Yet, in retrospect, I’ve come to believe that one motive took precedence over all others: Washington’s fierce determination to deflect any doubt about this country’s status as history’s sole chosen agent. By definition, once U.S. officials had declared that preserving a non-communist South Vietnam constituted a vital national security interest, it became one, ipso facto. Saying it made it so, even if, by any rational calculation, the fate of South Vietnam had negligible implications for the wellbeing of the average American.
80 years of constant warfare….the countless causalities both dead and wounded….you would think that we would search for alternate ways of flexing our so-called ‘muscle’……
After WW2 why did the world not make war obsolete?
We should have abolished war after World War II. That war was so lethal and so destructive, even before the dropping of the atomic bombs, that had people understood that there is a real alternative to deadly violent conflict, humanity might have taken another path. Instead, we took the path of nuclear deterrence which is a desperate and bankrupt policy that endangers our very existence.
Why have we not abolished war? The late Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institute said it is because people see a need to defend themselves from foreign occupations, coup d’états and/or dictatorial regimes, and we do not know there is another way. The mythology of conventional history as told by the dominators rules our minds. Sharp spent his whole life trying to educate and convince people that there is a more effective way to solve inevitable political conflicts. There is a practical nonviolent substitute for war and violent revolution.
The Pentagon is still not heeding SIGAR’s warnings. After the withdrawal, the US will still provide the Afghan military with funding even though assessments from SIGAR say it cannot be maintained. SIGAR predicted back in March that the Afghan Air Force would not be able to stand on its own since so many of its aircraft are entirely reliant on maintenance from Pentagon contractors.
Despite SIGAR’s warnings and the reality on the ground, the US is still planning to thrown billions at the Afghan government. For 2022, the Pentagon has set aside $3.3 billion for the Afghan military.
Sopko cited Vietnam as an example of how Washington hasn’t learned its lesson from failed wars. “Don’t believe what you’re told by the generals or the ambassadors or people in the administration saying we’re never going to do this again,” he said. “That’s exactly what we said after Vietnam: we’re never going to do this again. Lo and behold, we did Iraq. And we did Afghanistan. We will do this again.”
There is a way to make this a better world….a world without constant warfare…
As a combat vet I support any attempt to limit obscenity of war…..
Sadly profits before people will always win in a world that cares little other than the greed that war creates.
Hopefully the world will soon find some sanity and end this vicious cycle of death and destruction…..
But not anytime soon.
Especially when the president makes statements like this….
The US is constantly accusing countries like Russia and China of carrying out cyberattacks, and comments from President Biden on Tuesday suggest he could use these claims as a pretext for military intervention. He warned that if Washington ended up in a “real shooting war with a major power,” it could be the result of a cyberattack on the US.
“You know, we’ve seen how cyber threats, including ransomware attacks, increasingly are able to cause damage and disruption to the real world,” Biden said in a speech during a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “I think it’s more likely we’re going to end up — well, if we end up in a war, a real shooting war with a major power, it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence.”
We have finally decided to end our endless war in Afghanistan and now it is time to end the second longest war, Iraq…..
There have been attempts to drawn down…..and now the Biden has made a decision (for now) to pull combat troops from the sands of Iraq….
The US and Iraq expect to announce next week that American combat troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. The countries are working on a plan that would keep Americans there in an advisory role, to help with the fight against ISIS. “We don’t need any more fighters because we have those,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said, the Wall Street Journalreports. “What do we need? We need cooperation in the field of intelligence. We need help with training. We need troops to help us in the air.” The details are still being worked out, but the change will be announced Monday after President Biden and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meet at the White House, per Politico.
The number of Americans in Iraq might stay about the same—2,500—but the combat troops would be changed out, replaced by those who do other jobs. The idea is for them to help Iraq with tasks including logistical support, intelligence, and surveillance. The change could help Kadhimi politically in time for October’s parliamentary elections. While the US is completing a total withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s still making long-term military plans with Iraq. The US has more faith in Iraq’s troops than in Afghanistan’s, who are losing ground rapidly to the Taliban. US troops first arrived in Iraq on 2004. The transition from combat began last summer, though no end date had been announced. A joint statement in April credited the change to the Iraqi forces being better able to handle the job now.
This is a good move….there will be those that disagree….but for me any time when can bring our troops home to their families then it is a good plan.
Now we need to work on our intervention foreign policy….we need a fresh approach to the problems other than armed conflict and adventurism.
I am one of the few bloggers that keeps warning the readers about the new arms race…into space….China has launched their own space station in competition with the other station out there, the ISS….the race is on!
We all know about the saga of the Skywalker family and the galaxy far far away…..but with our newest military branch, the Space Force, could the idea of a galactic war be in the making?
The US proposal is plainly self-serving, coming from the Space Vehicles Directorate, and boiling down to needing space vehicles, since the US has yet to actually manufacture any costly space vehicles for warfare.
These sort of initiatives are a big part of what is likely to result of the Space Force, a continued litany of excuses to spend vast sums of money gearing up for nonsensical sci-fi wars across the solar system.
Terrestrial weapons projects often reach into the many billions of dollars, and investing in speculative technology to fight on other celestial bodies seem bound to quickly find themselves over-budget, with the only reassurance being that these wars are so unlikely.
You already serve overseas in our many many conflicts……(something I do not think is a good idea in this time of crises at home….you are needed here not in some far off country that few can find on a map)….
If you do serve with the NG then if I were you I would start to worry….it seems the plan is to use the NG more and more overseas…..
The top general of the US National Guard said the reserve force will be used “more, not less” in the coming years as the Pentagon shifts its focus and budget priorities.
“Given the uncertain future and budget priorities, we expect the Department of Defense to rely on the National Guard more, not less,” said Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, in a statement published earlier this year. “Therefore, we must be ready to execute our three core missions; fighting America’s wars, securing the homeland, and building enduring partnerships.”
Since last year, the National Guard has been deployed to deal with a number of domestic issues, including the occupation of Washington DC in the wake of the January 6th incident at the Capitol building. On top of the domestic missions, the National Guard is still deployed across the world.
According to Military.com, there are currently 20,000 National Guard troops deployed across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The Pentagon’s over-reliance on the National Guard to fight wars overseas prompted activists to push state legislation that would give the federal government less power to deploy National Guard to combat zones.
The Defend the Guard Act would prevent a state’s National Guard from being deployed to combat zones unless Congress had declared war. The legislation could give the power to states to block the use of their National Guard and has been introduced to multiple state legislatures.
As the Pentagon is shifting its focus to contain China, priority is being put on new technology research and advanced warfighting capabilities in the space and cyber realms. Reflecting this, the National Guard is looking to establish a reserve group that would focus on space, known as a Space Guard. In May, Gen. Hokanson told Congress that establishing a Space Guard is one of his most “pressing concerns.”
Not great news but hopefully ALL states will move to protect their citizen soldiers….from the obscenities of war on foreign shores.
Over the weekend the news out of Haiti is that the president has been assassinated and Americans were at the heart of the deed.
A judge in Haiti said Friday that the two Americans arrested after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse told him they served as translators for the conspirators. Judge Clément Noël said he interviewed James Solages and Joseph Vincent shortly after they were taken into custody, the New York Times reports. They said their only job was translating, though they admitted to meeting with other plotters at a hotel to plan the raid. The planning picked up in the past month, the judge said. Noël said the two had weapons and other items used in the crime on them when they were arrested after a shootout with police. He said Solages and Vincent said the plan was to take Moïse to the national palace, not to kill him. Neither of the Americans was hurt in the shoutout, the judge said. Moïse was shot to death at home early Wednesday; Solages and Vincent said they were not in the room when he was killed.
Government officials said they’ve asked the US for troops. With the situation in the streets becoming more chaotic, the government wants to ensure infrastructure such as airports, gasoline reserves and ports are guarded. The US State Department did not confirm the request, but the White House said FBI and Homeland Security officials will be going to Haiti to assess the situation. There’s a power void in the country now, per CNN, without a sitting parliament and with two leaders claiming to be prime minister. Ariel Henry was about to ascend to the post, replacing Claude Joseph. He said in an interview that “Claude Joseph is not prime minister, he is part of my government.” A leading judge said the order of succession is unclear. After Moïse repeatedly failed to hold national and local elections, many offices up and down government—including the parliament—are vacant.
US Troops for Haiti?
Not like that would be something new…..there is a history there….
Increased instability in Haiti in the years before 1915 led to heightened action by the United States to deter foreign influence. Between 1911 and 1915, seven presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policymakers’ fear of foreign intervention. In 1914, the Wilson Administration sent marines into Haiti who removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank in December of 1914 for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the U.S. control of the bank. In 1915, Haitian president Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was assassinated and the situation in Haiti quickly became unstable. In response, President Wilson sent the U.S. Marines to Haiti, claiming the invasion was an attempt to prevent anarchy. In reality the Wilson administration was protecting U.S. assets in the area and preventing a possible German invasion.
Following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Haiti is facing another crisis, the latest in seemingly countless crises over the past several decades. This could serve as yet another excuse for US intervention.
Haiti’s current government seems on board with the idea of having US troops ensure their ongoing rule. Not everyone is so comfortable with another foreign intervention, however.
Opposition leader Andre Michel argues that the solution to the latest crisis needs to be Haitian, and that there needs to be serious debate on what to do next. Many argue that the international community has for too long kept Haitians from making their own decisions, and that what’s left of the government has no legitimacy to call in foreign troops.
History is not on the side of intervention doing Haiti any real favors. The most US and UN interventions can say is that they brought relative stability while they were there, but time and again they left and watched as Haiti fell apart.
Will this be the US next long term intervention and occupation?
The US needs to keep our troops at home….we have had enough intervention of a lifetime….
Haiti offers a larger foreign policy caution. In recent years Washington seemed to take the Monroe Doctrine worldwide. America acted like it was entitled to intervene everywhere on earth and treat the entire globe like the Western Hemisphere. Hence the almost fanatical obsession with at nation-building and regime change, no matter how unsuccessful previous attempts.
That US involvement in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq were disasters should surprise no one. Social engineering gets harder as differences in history, religion, culture, geography, and politics grow. Yet Washington had ample warning nearer home, having failed to do much better in its own neighborhood.