Why Do We Fight?

This is yet another in a series that I write as part of my antiwar campaign.

The title is an excellent question that has many answers but only one to my way of thinking.

This is not the world of World War 2…….and there is no major threat, military threat, to speak of for the US to keep a watchful eye upon….yes there is China….or Russia….or ….that is about it these days.

But let us look at what The American Conservative had to say on the question……

Today’s political and military leaders have no choice but to project technology and strategic conditions into the future while they develop their forces today. However, before such multi-billion dollar investments are made, critical questions should be answered.

What is the real mission set? In other words, whom do we fight? Where do we fight? How do we fight? And how do we get there? On Memorial Day, we must take a step back to properly address these questions because right now it’s not so clear. What we do have is a military spending strategy that is out of whack with reality and setting us up for failure when real threats arise.

The United States is primarily a global maritime and aerospace power, not a global land power. Washington is known for exaggerating threats, but is the notion of spending to fight a near-simultaneous war with Russia and China in 2030 a realistic goal? Wars with continental powers like Russia, China, or even Turkey or Iran, demand the persistent employment of large and powerful ground forces projected over thousands of miles. U.S. military advantages at sea and in the air are relegated to supporting roles as seen in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

 
These days our foreign policy is more about meddling than trying to head off war……
But let me mention just a few of the things that we didn’t learn from the Mueller report. We didn’t learn that Russian agents appeared at Republican Party headquarters in 2016 with millions of dollars in donations to influence the coming election. (Oops, my mistake!  That was CIA agents in the Italian election of 1948!) We didn’t learn that a Russian intelligence agency in combination with Chinese intelligence, aided by a major Chinese oil company, overthrew an elected U.S. president and installed Donald Trump in the White House as their autocrat of choice. (Oops, my mistake again!  That was the CIA, dispatched by an American president, and British intelligence, with the help of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later BP. In 1953, they overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed the young Shah as an autocratic ruler, the very first — but hardly the last — time the CIA successfully ousted a foreign government.) We didn’t learn that key advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin were in close touch with rogue elements of the U.S. military preparing to stage a coup d’état in Washington, kill President Barack Obama in a direct assault on the White House, and put the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in office. (Sorry, again my slip-up and full apologies! That was President Richard Nixon’s adviser Henry Kissinger in contact with Chilean military officers who, on September 11, 1973—the first 9/11—staged an armed uprising during which Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of that country, died and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet took power.) We didn’t learn that, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian secret service agents engaged in a series of plots to poison or in some other fashion assassinate Barack Obama during his presidency and, in the end, had at least a modest hand in encouraging those who did kill him after he left office. (Oh, wait, I was confused on that one, too. I was actually thinking about the plots, as the 1960s began, to do in Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.) Nor, for that matter, did we learn that the Russian military launched a regime-change-style invasion of this country to unseat an American president and get rid of our weapons of mass destruction and then occupied the country for years after installing Donald Trump in power. (Sorry one more time! What I actually had in mind before I got so muddled up was the decision of the top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to launch a “regime-change” invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fraudulent claims that Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and install a government of their choice in Baghdad.)
 
States use war, or the threat of war, as a last resort to solve political disputes. For every state, the ability to make war is an indispensable tool to ensure its security. However, war cannot rebuild trust. War cannot separate truth from lies. War cannot defeat attacks on the social structures currently seen in the West. We must look elsewhere.
 
If war is not the answer why is there war?
 
This from Smedley Butler……

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.  

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy.

Our foreign policy should be….DO NO HARM……

We would have fewer opponents if we adopted this idea.

Advertisements

Where Are The “Patriots”?

WE are fighting endless wars across the globe…especially in Afghanistan and Iraq and the MSM has done an excellent job of NOT showing the horrors of war while chest thumping for more.

Look how the MSM is championing the possible use of military force against Iran….

All the bravado does not seem to influence the public to want to join up and do their part to protect the country from the “brown hordes” on the horizon…..

Recruiting goals are not being met and the fiscal year draws close the Army has tried bribery…….

The Army is handing out bonuses up to $40,000 for people who join the infantry as the military’s largest branch works to meet its 2019 recruitment goal with only months left in the fiscal year.

Army leaders believe the bonuses will help them increase the size of the service’s force and attract more recruits to combat-arms positions, said Kelli Bland, the public affairs director for U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky.

Recruits who select the infantry military occupation specialty could receive a bonus up to $40,000 depending on the length of their initial contract, according to Bland. The recruit would have to sign a contract for a six-year commitment in order to receive the maximum of $40,000 bonus, Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commander of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, told Military.com.

An average enlistment contract is about four years, Bland said.

The Army needs to fill 3,300 infantry spots by Sept. 30 and decided in mid-May to increase the infantry recruiting bonus from the maximum $15,000, according to Bland. The bonus is only available to recruits who leave for basic training before the end of September.

(Stars and Stripes)

Look for more fodder for the battlefield…..sacrifices for the M-IC…..

They would not have to resort to bribery if they were not fighting so goddamn many wars.

Just Saying!

Peace Out!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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”

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”

Closing Thought–02Jul19

The Quincy Institute

AS an antiwar activists, campaigner, etc I have often said there are not enough think tanks pursuing the peace this world desperately needs.

I am happy to report that there is a new think tank dedicated to the pursuit of peaceful solutions.

Stephen Kinzer comments on the creation of a new think tank, The Quincy Institute, committed to promoting a foreign policy of restraint and non-interventionism:

Since peaceful foreign policy was a founding principle of the United States, it’s appropriate that the name of this think tank harken back to history. It will be called the Quincy Institute, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle.

The creation of a think tank dedicated to “an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing” is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank’s focus will be entirely on foreign policy. The lack of institutional support has put advocates of peace and restraint at a disadvantage for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see that there is an effort underway to change that. The Quincy Institute represents another example of how antiwar progressives and conservatives can and should work together to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. The coalition opposed to the war on Yemen showed what Americans opposed to illegal and unnecessary war can do when they work towards a shared goal of peace and non-intervention, and this institute promises to be an important part of such efforts in the future. Considering how long the US has been waging war without end, there couldn’t be a better time for this.

Quincy Institute: A Think Tank Dedicated to Peace and Restraint

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/realism-resurgent-rise-quincy-institute-65116

I am pleased to see someone else joining against the fight for peace……embracing realism for a change.

Afghanistan–Exit Stage Right

I have been writing about our intervention of Afghanistan since 2005……I understand the 2001 attacks…it was to punish those that killed many Americans…..but to remain 17 more years was just lunacy…..

There have been talks with the Taleban lately trying to find a way out of Afghanistan for American troops…..and it looks like these talks may have been successful at least according to Pompeo…..

During a surprise visit to Kabul, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the US is prepared to remove its troops from Afghanistan, ending 18+ years of military presence in the country.

Pompeo says that the US has “made clear to the Taliban” that they are prepared for such a pullout, but said the two sides still have not agreed on a timeline for the exact withdrawal.

This echoes what the Taliban was saying last week, ahead of the Doha talks, which oddly US officials contested at the time. The Doha talks are meant to shore up an exact date for the US exit.

This has been the broad framework of a deal reported for months, that the US would leave and the Taliban would keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan. Other aspects of the final deal, including a permanent ceasefire and reconciliation between the Taliban and the US-backed government, are expected to come later.

(antiwar.com)

Wait!  Is this an exit strategy?

In talking up how ready he was for an Iran war, Trump dismissed questions about what his exit strategy would be, declaring “I don’t need exit strategies” to a gathering of reporters. He did not elaborate on what that actually meant.

Is that just for Iran?

What a dynamite diplomatic ploy dazzle them with confusion and baffle them with Twitter.

Closing Thought–27Jun19

More sad news to report…..2 more American soldiers have died in Afghanistan in a firefight with the Taleban…..

Two US soldiers were reported killed Wednesday in a firefight in Afghanistan. This brings the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to nine.

Details are somewhat conflicting, with the two soldiers, part of a Special Forces team, killed by small arms fire in a fight with the Taliban. US officials claimed the fight was in southern Uruzgan Province, while the Taliban said it was in eastern Wardak Province.

It isn’t clear why the two sides offered different accounts of where the fight happened, and it’s worth noting that the two provinces in question don’t even border one another. Early reports suggested that the Taliban had ambushed the US troops.

With 9 US troops killed in only the first half of 2019, their casualties are tracking a multi-year high. 13 were killed in 2018, and 11 more were killed in 2017. Though this is below the highs of early in the war’s first decade, the tolls have been rising over the past couple of years.

This reflects the Trump Administration’s decision to escalate the war in 2017. The war continues to rage,

(antiwar.com)

For more information about these deaths we go to the Stars and Stripes……https://www.stripes.com/two-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan-were-special-forces-in-close-quarters-fight-according-to-report-1.587645

Enough is enough…..it is time for war to be put to bed as a foreign policy technique……it is an election in about 18 months and what better time to make the cessation of war a prime policy for the candidates?

When will the American start to care about the deaths our presidents have ordered?

As the old song says….”Give Peace A Chance”……

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo” (I think therefore I write)