A Soldier’s Point of View….

soldiersofthe_wallThe other day, one of the regular commenters on the site posted an interesting comment. Because the issue resolved around a hot button topic these days, I didn’t want to get this discussion lost in the threads where people won’t see it or get to comment on it. I am open to debate on my answers. I hope that other veterans will offer up their personal perspective. So this one is for you Just a Citizen. I felt your questions and your reasoning behind who you wanted answers from was valid, so we will have this discussion out in the open where we can all learn from it.

So our good friend JAC posted the following comment:

To US, SFC, and other vets on this site: Our founders never envisioned us sending our military around the world and getting enmeshed in other folks problems. I would like to ask those of you who have engaged in other places on our behalf a few questions.

1. Do you agree witht the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us?

2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)?

3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands?

4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasiion?

5. How do we address groups like Al Quida and countries like Afghanastan(sp?)? This goes to the question of how to respond, militarily, to an attack by a group who is supported, or at least allowed to exist within, by a govt who controlls a country by force, not election.

This is not a trap or trick. I just don’t like the fact that the folks who have been closest to carrying out this country’s military and geopolitical goals/missions never seem to be given a chance to address the key questions. What is the correct policy and how should we go about implementing it.

I address this question to you and not BF or the others of us here who like to wax and wane philisophical. I want to know what you really think–Please.

So before I give my answers I want to say a thing or two about veterans because I don’t think they are given enough credit in this country. I don’t often talk about the military or veterans on this site. It is a political site after all and I try to stick to that topic. Many people pay them lip service. Many politicians say horrible things about our military and then go on stage and say “thanks to the brave men and women…” because they feel like not saying that is like saying “God Damn America”, not because they mean what they are saying.

veterans-day-2007-posterSo I want to say Thank You to every single veteran who has served your country with honor. Not all veterans agree with why they were there, or what the politicians are saying. But they joined the military to serve their country, to give something back for the greatness we receive in this country. Veterans come from both parties and all walks of life, and they, with very few exceptions, love their country. Regardless of what anyone believes, these men and women provide the blanket of freedom that gives us all the ability to speak our minds the way we do in a forum like this. And they do so at great sacrifice, often torn from their families and doing so for pay that is below the poverty level in America. And many have seen and done things that plague them with horrible memories and dreams for the rest of their lives. We don’t do enough to recognize the sacrifice of veterans or take care of the ones who come home, and as a country we should be ashamed of ourselves for that. So thank you veterans, my true brothers and sisters, for all that you have done. I am a proud veteran of the US Army. I am nothing special or different, just one more vet who appreciates what sacrifices veterans have made. 

One quick personal note, I especially want to thank my father. Not only did my father teach me how to be a man, how to treat people, and how to love everyone who matters in your life, he served his country with honor and dignity. He left a part of himself in that shitty little country, and he never once asked for a thank you for doing so, but has taken the time to thank every single veteran he has ever run across, whether that man was the President or someone begging for change on the corner. He is the epitome of a great American and a good person.

So Thank You Dad. 

Thank you all for indulging me for that minute or two. Back to our topic at hand. I have to admit that I had to think a little bit as to whether I wanted to get into this discussion. I know my views are not conventional. I also know that there are some aspects of my past I would rather not discuss and others that I cannot. But the decision that I came to was that I owed answers to these questions. I get to spout off nightly and all of you good folks take time out of your day to come and read my madness. And when we are discussing how to move forward with the country, I kind of see myself as at a minimum “leading” the discussion here. So I felt you were entitled to these answers. So my responses, perhaps somewhat grammatically corrected from my original response…

1. Do you agree witht the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us? Yes and No. I believe that we should be able to respond to aggression, no matter where it is aimed. We should only be able to initiate that response if the attack was aimed directly at us. So that means to me a direct attack on an ally can provoke us using military force, but only if that ally is formally requesting our help and they are not the aggressor. At that point, assist in repelling the aggression for them and disengage. The key here is we are responding to direct aggression in those instances. I do, however, feel we have the right to attack an iminent threat as well. But in a very limited set of circumstances. We couldn’t attack Iran right now, for example. But if they launched a nuclear strike on Israel and told us we were next, they are now a credible threat and I do believe we should take away their ability to follow up on their threat. The bottom line for me is that I don’t agree that we should be as passive as Kent or BF would espouse. However, we are far too active today, and should be doing far less. If we did, there might not be nearly as much of a need for such a large military.

2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)? See above, lol, I should have read all the questions before I started to answer them. If they really are our allies, we have to stick up for them. We are the big guy in the group. If we went out with friends and one of us was a powerful brute and he didn’t defend us from some random guy in the parking lot who picked a fight, we would probably not be happy with him. I do, however, believe that this type of action must be in defense only. If England or Israel wants to pick a fight, they do so on thier own. And if the one they pick a fight with whips their ass, tough luck. We do get sucked in a lot now, but a drastic change in posture for us could change that and limit it greatly.

3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands? We cannot and should not. In terms of Iraq and Afghanistan, absolutely bring them home. But when one of our allies allows us to have a base in their country, I have no issue with that. The second that ally wants us out, we should be gone. This allows us the ability to have a forward defense. A missle defense shield in old Russia isn’t a bad thing if it can shoot down a missle before it gets close to us. The key isn’t having all bases here, it is a change in posture that moves us to a completely defensive posture in those bases abroad. One big thing to consider is that our bases abroad do a lot to prevent attacks on our allies. Bad intentioned people know that we will jump into the fight, and they know it won’t take us three weeks to get there. Knowing that the US Air Force has fighter jets in a base in England or Italy is far more likely to make enemies think twice. The alternative is that it would take 2-3 weeks to float an Aircraft Carrier Fleet elsewhere to defend an ally, which is not nearly as much of a deterrent. Again the answer is not closing bases in ally countries, it is switching to a defensive only posture no matter where we are. 

4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasiion? For invasion, No, for shooting back at those shooting at us, yes. I stop short of saying that we EVER had justification for invading Iraq. I will argue WMD proof verus not and the complete irrelevance of that argument to begin with, but that doesn’t mean I think we were justified to invade. Take some actions? Absolutely. Full scale invasion, which should be a last step taken against a country that is clearly offensive, No. An attack is just that, an attack. 9/11 was an attack. I know that the current environment makes identifying an enemy very difficult. How do you hold Pakistan responsible for the actions of a Pakistani terrorist? But I think moving to a far more defensive position can clear that up right away. We heard a lot about fighting terrorism in Iraq rather than here at home. Then we heard about how we couldn’t fight them because they don’t fight in uniform and they blend with the people. Let’s eliminate the second part by eliminating the first. Fight them here, on our turf, where they are clear aggressors and they don’t have the support of the innocent people. I will take fighting terrorists in my house over fighting them in theirs any day. But that is the tactician in me.

5. How do we address groups like Al Qaeda and countries like Afghanistan? This goes to the question of how to respond, militarily, to an attack by a group who is supported, or at least allowed to exist within, by a govt who controlls a country by force, not election. And there is the real question isn’t it? We address them by being who it is that we claim to be…. A better country that operates with a solid moral compass and stays out of the business of other sovereign nations. I will, at some point dedicate a post to this topic if you like. It is not easy dealing with Al Qaeda, but we should realize that they lose mass appeal the second that we are no longer a visible part of their world. It is much easier to convince people to fight us because we are the “Great Satan” when we are next door kicking in the door and holding people at gunpoint. 

This is not a trap or trick. I just don’t like the fact that the folks who have been closest to carrying out this country’s military and geopolitical goals/missions never seem to be given a chance to address the key questions. What is the correct policy and how should we go about implementing it. And I appreciate the sentiment. I did a job for this country that was nasty and that I do not and will not talk about on this blog. And it does give me a different perspective on things, even different than most veterans. Answering these questions takes much longer than I have taken here, because there is the other side of things that I have seen, such as the woman who thanks a soldier for making her life more bearable in Afghanistan or the children who won’t grow up under Saddam’s oppressive rule. I am willing to hash out the issue if it is a topic that people want to discuss.

So I look forward to people’s thoughts on these issues. My answers may not be what people expect, but they are my answers! I hope that more of the vets on this site will throw in their two cents as well. I don’t think there is any question that we can go to just about any country and kick their ass militarily if we have a good reason to. I think the question comes in defining when there is a good reason. We seem to find a good reason far too often these days, and I am willing to concede that a change in our posture would probably be a good thing for our image in the world, and a better thing for our fighting men and women who spend too much time away from the families and loved ones.

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Comments

  1. TruthSeeker says:

    I served 6 1/2 years in the Army and I was deployed in Iraq from March 2003 – March 2004 for OIF1. Ill take a stab at JAC questions:

    1. Do you agree witht the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us?

    Yes and No. I do believe in pre-emptive strikes. If we know that the enemy is preparing to attack us, I want us to stop them first. We should never have to wait for a war to get to our soil before we engage. Also, we have a dependency on resources from volitile places in the world. Since our leaders fail us in energy, we need to defend what we need. Now, I am against policing. Going to Africa is a police action and I am against it. They don’t have resources that we need.

    2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)?

    The benefit of alliances is that we have their permission to use their territory/airspace. I believe the alliances are more for World War, not 1v1. The problem we face is ideologues. If Israel was full on attacked by Iran and Israel needed our help, I am sure we should strike. I think the US should not engage in other countries war if it is 1v1. But if say Iran, palestine and lebenon attacked, I am all for engaging.

    3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands?

    We simply cannot pull all our troops from everywhere. Why? Because “if” and “when” something happens in the world, we wont have any infrastructure or the quick reaction neccessary to engage. We have huge assets in Germany, Bahrain and Kuwait. If we pulled out of those places, we would seriously be hurting. Now, I know you are probably leading to the fact of why those countries can’t defend themselves. That is a whole another arguement.

    4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasiion?

    I think cutting off oil is an attack on the USA. Taking pop shots at airplanes is not, however since it is a threat to the aircraft, I would give it permission to engage the hostile force, then go back to normal flights. If they launched missiles, then I would take out the base it came from. But, should we have been flying there in the first place? In my opinion, NO. That is a police action and I am against policing. If Kuwait was so worried, then they should of done it. Problem is that Kuwait is a launching base for the middle-east for the US. So it was a deal

    5. How do we address groups like Al Quida and countries like Afghanastan(sp?)? This goes to the question of how to respond, militarily, to an attack by a group who is supported, or at least allowed to exist within, by a govt who controlls a country by force, not election.

    After a certain period of time, and this continues, I would leave. I would pull out and tell them that since our blood and treasury isn’t enough, then they can spill thiers. We have given them a lot, and a huge chance for success. But now it is getting out of hand. I would firebomb all the popey seed fields while I pulled out. I told my colleagues (I am a DoD Civilian) that we shouldnt try to civilize people that don’t wish to be. Many counties in the past have tried to do so, and failed. Why should we try? If they show aggression, we can easily take care of it. They do not value human life like we do. You cannot kill an enemy that doesn’t value life.

  2. I have nothing to add but just wanted to say that I am really looking forward to the discussion on this topic.

  3. I was never a part of the military, so i have no basis to comment on this subject. I would, however, like to thank everyone who has been a part of our military and who have given of themselves so much. I never pass up an opportunity to thank military personnel…

  4. Black Flag says:

    As a very outspoken person on this blog challenging even the need for a standing army of the government – I see the challenge in both the questions and the answers (so far) quite problematic. The answers to these questions are based on some strategic necessity – and appear to me to be debating some general point of strategy – without any discussion of any policy that is creating the strategy.

    Saying “US military” should have a standing army, but defensive postured – then building a strategy from that point up is near-impossible. I’d ask “What strategy are you trying to accomplish?” and build the military to do just that.

    This question completely determines the means – for example, if the policy is, with untangled words, continue the global American hegemony then the use of the US military as an offensive military force is necessary.

    If it is ‘protect US interests abroad’, then, logically, that requires global American hegemony, and thus the same answer.

    If it is ‘protect the homeland’, then, that requires a retraction of the American hegemony – and subsequently, a radical change in the US military posture.

    So, I think the first question – to veterans and arm-chair generals alike, should be:

    (0)What policy do you think the USA should pursue in its foreign affairs?

  5. I think from a realism standpoint, USW has the best possible concept. In the ideal world, I would still prefer that we pull any and all troops to within our borders. Of course, Foreign Embassies are considered within our borders, if our bases are as well, then there is an argument there for keeping them. I understand the strategic value, I just don’t like the cost and the fact that those countries become dependent on our presence, even to the point of criticizing our military while living under its protection. I am sort of sick of spending money to keep Europe from getting socked in the nose while Europe ridicules our foreign policy and military attitude…

  6. TruthSeeker says:

    BF, as usual, you do not disappoint. In a perfect world, meaning we have our own resources, I would definately vote “Protect the Homeland”. But you know as well as I do that this world and today’s society is not ready for the Super Power to completely withdrawl all military influence. At the threat the US and western countries are currently in, it would be very bad if we isolate ourselves. Until we dominate the world and become 1 World Order, we simply cannot withdrawl all troops.

  7. TruthSeeker says:

    John Smith,

    You hit the nail on the head about Europe.

    I have always had a problem when Europe acts like it is so much more civlized and brutal then the US, and then turn around and tell us we need to stay and help defend them. Europeans are hippocrates. We spend tons of money maintaining bases and troops overseas. How come they can’t defense themselves? We can supply them with arms, and they can supply the troops. But that will never happen.

  8. BF: Sometimes it is not only OK but more appropriate to start the conversation from the middle and then work in either direction from there. You will see a policy, or more focused policy disussion, emerge based on the experiences of those who have lived through the one we have had. Be patient, listen and learn. There will be time for talk later.
    JAC

  9. Oh boy!

    OK, as the son of a vet, vet myself and father of three vets, none of us who were ever shot at (yet), thank God, I will put in my two cents.

    We are stuck with it. We have those tangled foreign alliances. Starting in the time of TR, we have been mixing it up with the world. Even long before, the Monroe Doctrine was a direct challenge to Europe. It is the nature of this beast to be on the world stage. If we were not there is an excellent chance we wouldn’t be here or at least not west of the Mississippi. Think about that! Wouldn’t that be interesting?

    So, essentially, it is time to put away the theoretical crap and realize who and what we are. Being the world’s policeman is not and never has been a good idea. Making the world safe for Democracy? Well that hasn’t turned out too well either.

    I think you have to take a very broad view of what constitutes a threat to us. Everything comes down to connecting dots and as dad used to say being, as in chess, three moves ahead at all times. If you are going to do the preemption thing, the intel had better be one hell of a lot better than last time.

    When I was young and dumb, I used to think the purpose of the UN should be to prevent any country from inflicting its will on another. Within it’s own borders it has a right to do whatever it wants. Yes, yes, I know, allowing genocide against lets say, left handed people is not nice but, it is the responsibility of left handed people in that country to rise up and tear down that government, not us nor the UN. I guess I am now old and dumb because I pretty much still feel that way. It would seem the least entangling of foreign alliances.

    As usual, regarding the former Yugoslavia, and Iraq, when it became obvious that we were going to wade in, I proposed that we move in, kill the bad guys, get it over as soon as possible and then leave. With Yugoslavia, I lost a lot of credibility when I said we should quarantine the damn place, (based on their history)airdrop as many munitions as they wanted and, after they had settled all those 1,500 year old scores, use the place(now vacant)as the new Palestinian homeland. Concept still works for me. With Iraq, hunt down Sadaam, kill the bugger and pull out cautioning them that next time we wouldn’t be so nice.

    It is sort of the Roman way to do things, does not necessarily make friends but then nothing the big dog does ever seems to make friends. Who cares?

    Having grown up on reruns of the Gary Cooper, Cary Grant genre of films about the Brit experience in Afghanistan, you learn that there will never be anything approaching anything civilized (by our standard) in that place. So, maybe it too has to be quarantined. Does the export of morphine base constitute a “clear and present danger” to all of the west? If so, then what?

    We have to be forward deployed. We don’t have months or even weeks any more. Despite the tendency to avoid those entanglements and to limit a standing army, it is not 1787 anymore and never will be again. The military should be big enough to scare the living crap out of anyone else on the planet and should get all the new toys it wants. R & D money is never wasted. While we stumble into trouble I don’t think we go looking for it and, in the real world, there is just so much jealousy out there of the US that we will constantly be challenged. If you don’t believe that about human nature, look around and see how successful da Bama has been in engineering class warfare here, at home, in the last seven weeks. On an international scale it has always been there.

    Clemenceau, said that war was much too important to be left to generals. I’ve always had a problem with this. In that butcher shop of the western Front, the politicians didn’t do such a great job, certainly not with the peace (also referred to as the time-out). I think we were luckiest in WW II when we had the soldier-politicians Marshall, MacArthur and Eisenhower. We have not been as lucky since. Moan and groan about FDR as much as you want, but he knew when to get out of the way.

    One thing that bothers me about JAC’s original question is that it would lead some to believe that soldiers should be involved in political rather than military policy. Not while you are on active duty, ever. That’s been tried.

    • Robert C says:

      As a veteran (Korean police action) and a 17 year reservist, Iagree almost completly
      with SK’s comments.
      I couldn’t said it better myself.

  10. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    Being in the Army myself at one time I have some views on the subject too. I, for one, tend to be a little bloodthirsty. I do not think we should be the world police. Having said that, if someone attacks us I believe we should kick their ass into the stone age. But, If we haven’t been attacked, then I agree we should not get involved unless an ally is being attacked for no reason. We should tell countries such as Iran, to go ahead, Develop your nuclear weapons. Use them however, and you will be slagged into the ground! If America does go to war though, it should be TOTAL WAR. War is violence and destruction. There is no such thing as a humane war. Sherman said it best when he said “war is hell”. We shouldn’t stomp their ass, and then turn around and rebuild their country for them. I also do NOT believe we should give ANY money countries money that hate us!!!!!!! I feel very strongly about this particuar point. Why should we give Gaza $900m to help them. Why are we pouring infrastructure money into Iraq? Why are we giving anything to ANY country in Africa? We should worry more about OUR country and a little less about others. My solution to the oil countries is to tell them we will give them a FAIR price for their oil or trade them food for it since most of them live in a desert. If they don’t like it tell them to EAT their frackin’ oil! My point I guess is, we should lead the world by example, not force. If you don’t like us, then stay the hell out and leave us alone. OR ELSE!

  11. Black Flag says:

    JAC

    I would disagree with this reason:

    If you start in the middle, you have no idea from where you came nor an idea of where you are going.

    “Wandering the Desert” policy creation would not be a probem unless human lives are at risk.

    Human lives, thousands if not hundreds of thousands, are at risk.

    Therefore, I would say – understand perfectly what you want to accomplish and build an appropriate strategy to accomplish that – otherwise, you are – literally – fire bullets everywhere and probably hitting things that will unexpectedly explode.

  12. G. A. Rowe says:

    I am a retired United States Marine. Viet Nam Veteran, and former United States Marine Corps Drill Instructor. To say the least, I am very opinionated. You asked, and I shall answer.

    1. Do you agree with the premise that our use of military force should be limited to only responding to those who attack us?

    NO. Reason? If you wait for the school bully to kick your butt before you put him in his place, you may not be alive to do that. Should we wait for this country to be attacked, like we did at the onset of WW2, in this nuclear age we may not survive the initial attack with enough force, firepower, or fighting men to respond.

    2. Should we form military alliances with others simply to prevent attack on them (this is one way we get sucked in)?

    This is not a clear question. However, since I am one who believes that freedom is the only thing worth fighting for, we should make alliances with those nations who value freedom as much as we do. The alliance should read “attack one of us = attack us all.”

    3. If you agree to #1, then can we defend our country by returning all military personnel to our own lands?

    I do not agree to #1. Again reference WW2, if we had no presence in the Pacific – like the Phillipines – then the next step Tojo would have taken would have been on the U.S. mainland. In this nuclear age, we cannot afford not to have a military presence within our allied friends – see #2 above.

    4. Your thoughts on what constitutes an attack on the USA, especially in light of the new enemy without a definitive country. Some folks forget Iraq was shooting at our pilots on almost a daily basis. If you were in charge would you have considered this adequate justification for invasion?

    Rules of engagement? What is one man’s attack is another man’s saber rattling. It is my opinion that any attack upon U.S. soil = this includes any and all U.S. Embassies. I believe had we responded to the Iranian invasion of our Embassy with that attitude back in `79 we would not have the mess we have today. Maybe a different one, but not this one.

    5. How do we address groups like Al Qaeda and countries like Afghanistan? This goes to the question of how to respond, militarily, to an attack by a group who is supported, or at least allowed to exist within, by a govt who controlls a country by force, not election.

    Large terrorist organizations need some sort of National support in order to carry out an attack like that which occurred on Sep 11, 2001. If a nation harbors and supports such a group, then they should suffer the consequences as if that group was their armed forces. GWB was right on when he had us attack Afghanistan.

    “This is not a trap or trick. I just don’t like the fact that the folks who have been closest to carrying out this country’s military and geopolitical goals/missions never seem to be given a chance to address the key questions. What is the correct policy and how should we go about implementing it.”

    We are not robots, we are not kept in the closet only to be let out to carry out death and destruction. We have the right to vote. One other thing is this – Our politicians cannot take a poll each and every time they think it is necessary to send our military into harms way. We cannot ask for volunteers on that issue either. By virtue of our enlistment contracts we have already volunteered.
    Having said all of the above, I feel that once our politicians have let loose the dogs of war, then they should stay back and let us fight the war our way. When the fighting is done, then the politicians can step in and take care of the peace in the appropriate manner.

    Korea was fought to a stalemate because they were supported militarily by the Soviet Union and Communist China. Viet Nam was lost only because after other nations who were members of that enormousely impotent United Nations refused to honor the agreement to help all member nations, same as in Korea. The Communist nations attempted, and were almost successful, a war of attrition against the west. We must be definitive in our responses. Unwavering in our commitments. Unrelenting in the defense of our allies. Unmerciful when fighting our enemies.

    The world does not hate us for our foreign policies. Our enemies hate us for our freedom. I have been to many countries in my life, and I find that this nation of my birth is the only truly free nation on this earth.

  13. Yours is not to question why.

    Yours is but to do or die.

    I lived by these words when I was a soldier and they served me well.

    Today I doubt that we have soldiers any place where they’re not needed,but I’m sure there are places where they’re needed and they’re not present.To bring them all home and just do a defensive role is folly.We have interests in the world that need soldiers around to see that the interests are protected,unless, of course, you believe in an oil free society.And no economy outside the borders.Soldiers are out there protecting our way of life.Our greed and excesses.Our great desire to be free and to bring freedom to others.Our religious beliefs or non-beliefs,as the case may be.

    American soldiers will be everywhere on earth as long as the country survives.If it should decline,another country’s soldiers will take their place.Different uniforms,different credo,different faces.Let’s keep our faces front and center for as long as we can.The world will be a better place for it.

  14. Black Flag says:

    Karl from Esom Hill

    Total War is a horrific distortion of something already quite horrible.

    It is interesting that you support Total War (the slaughter of innocent men, women and children), and appropriately quote the General who introduced “Total War” to the modern world – indeed, it was his strategy that turned War between Soldiers to War on defenseless Civilians. And, sickeningly, he is considered a great hero for doing that.

    Sherman’s greatest contribution to the war, the strategy of total warfare—endorsed by General Grant and President Lincoln—has been the subject of much controversy.

    Sherman’s advance through Georgia and South Carolina was characterized by widespread destruction of civilian supplies and infrastructure.

    “There is a class of people [in the South], men, women, and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order.” —General William T. Sherman

    “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today…The reputation of an individual is of minor importance to the opinion posterity may form of the motives which governed the South in their late struggle for the maintenance of the principles of the Constitution. I hope therefore, a true history will be written, and justice will be done them.”
    –Gen. Robert E. Lee

  15. Black Flag says:

    I believe the utter moral collapse of the military in all nations, just not the USA, can be traced directly to what really a soldier is.

    Old French sol referred to a coin and also meant “pay,” and a soudoior was a man who fought for pay.

    Thus soldier is parallel to the word mercenary, which goes back to Latin mercnnrius, derived from mercs, “pay,” and meaning “working for pay.” The word could also be used as a noun, one of whose senses was “a soldier of fortune.”

    I’m sure many will recoil back at me, claiming they are not mere mercenaries but patriots…who just get paid for protecting civilians.

    But words are powerful and their meanings poignant.

    Soldiers are not men defending their homes and families from invaders – they are mercenaries.

    Men do not need pay to defend their families from harm. Without pay they can’t afford to go fighting foreign wars. As soon as one has a paid military – it always finds away to create war to justify its pay.

    I know most chose to go into the military with one of the reasons being to defend their country. Laudable, of course.

    I do not believe the “Sherman’s” military is an honorable entity. I do not believe it should be the means in which to accomplish any goal no matter how laudable.

  16. Flag,

    Don’t particularly want to get drawn into a long back and forth debate on this but…

    There must always be an alternative position. If not Sherman then What? If not Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, then what? If not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then what?

    We did have an alternative to fighting the Soviets, it was called Korea, Viet-Nam and the Cold War.

    I think Citizen is rightly postulating a where do we go from here question rather than how we got here.

    Was watching “Them” the other night. Great 50’s SF flick. The professor character pointed out that man and ants are the only species that make war on this planet. I guess it is part of our nature no matter what John Lennon wanted.

  17. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF;

    War is not something that is “gentlemanly”. WW1 was fought on the ground as filthily as any war could, however in the air it originally was considered a gentlemans war. That didn’t last.

    “Total War is a horrific distortion of something already quite horrible.” That is the understatement of all time. The only way to fight a war is in total. Anything else is suicidal for your warfighters. If you do not want total war, then don’t engage in warfare at all. Be prepared to be a slave.

  18. Black Flag says:

    G. A. Rowe

    War is not something that is “gentlemanly”.

    The purpose of war is to inflict political will upon another.

    Destruction of civilian populations serves no purpose in accomplishing this goal.

    The only way to fight a war is in total. Anything else is suicidal for your warfighters.

    Total War ensures total war – the extinction of the human race.

    As long as the theory that killing innocent people holds, every human on earth is at risk of total annihilation.

    If you do not want total war, then don’t engage in warfare at all. Be prepared to be a slave.

    I do not need to kill innocent people to be free.

    • BF,

      If you do not fight those that want what you have you will end up either dead or a slave. There are things in life worth fighting for and the best one is freedom. Freedom is not something that is bestowed upon someone, freedom must be fought for and defended. Do you honestly think you would be free right now if others thought as you do and were not willing to lay down their lives for the freedom we all seek? Granted killing is wrong, but so is blindly thinking everybody can live in peace and harmony. There are evil people in this world who will stop at nothing to get what they want. If you stand in their way they will kill you quicker than you can blink and not think anything about it. What would have happened if nodody would have stood up to the likes of Hitler? Yes, innocents die, but how many more would have died if nobody stood up? I’m thinking a great many more!

  19. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    Black Flag,
    Sherman was is remembered as a hero to who? Remeber I am from Georgia, one of the states he destroyed! I only used Sherman’s quote of “War Is Hell”. Are you disagreeing with that premise? By “Total War” I mean we should never enter a war with rules of engagement such as Vietnam’s “don’t fire unless fired upon” which by the way my daddy went through. If it’s a war it’s supposed to be brutal or else it ain’t a war! No one has stated that we should get in one, God forbid! But there is no such thing as a fair fight. You should never start trouble, but when it starts you need to finish it in the fastest way possible. That is not by any means saying that innocent people should be slaughtered. But also, in war innocent people die. That is why Robert E. Lee also said “It is good that war is so terrible, else we would grow to fond of it.

  20. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr.

    There must always be an alternative position. If not Sherman then What? If not Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, then what? If not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then what?

    Defeat the enemy in the field.

    We did have an alternative to fighting the Soviets, it was called Korea, Viet-Nam and the Cold War.

    Korea, Vietnam et al were not our fights.

    Soviet Russia was not our fight.

    I think Citizen is rightly postulating a where do we go from here question rather than how we got here.

    To know how we got here is the key to know how to go forward. Repeating the same bad mistakes over and over again will most certainly get you killed eventually.

    Was watching “Them” the other night. Great 50’s SF flick. The professor character pointed out that man and ants are the only species that make war on this planet. I guess it is part of our nature no matter what John Lennon wanted.

    The universe is a violent place.

    We are not ants.

    We have intellect, if we chose to use it.

    Ants do not.

    If we wish to act like ants, we will not be human.

    With intellect, we create choice.

    We can chose violence or not.

  21. Black Flag says:

    Karl from Esom Hill

    Are you disagreeing with that premise?

    No, I disagree with Total War doctrine and the man who introduced the concept to the modern world.

    By “Total War” I mean we should never enter a war with rules of engagement such as Vietnam’s “don’t fire unless fired upon” which by the way my daddy went through.

    Sir, the definition of “Total War” is inflicting the horrors of war directly upon unarmed civilians.

    I am not aware if your definition equals this or not.

    But there is no such thing as a fair fight.

    But there is such a thing as a moral fight.

    I’m sure in a bar fight, you’ll kick where it hurts, bite, claw and thumb eyeballs. I do not believe you would therefore attack the bar maid in the same manner or at all.

    That is why Robert E. Lee also said “It is good that war is so terrible, else we would grow to fond of it.

    He meant the horror was well enough too much between warriors.

    He did not ever mean to deliver that horror upon innocent people.

  22. Flag,

    I’ll drop it after this

    1. What Field and at what cost?

    2. Based on everything I believe and have read, the Soviet Union was most definitely our fight, for survival. Korea, Viet-Nam were proxies as Afghanistan was for the Soviets.

    3. We know, quite well how we got here. The question is where to now?

    4. Of course we are not ants, of course we can choose violence or not. But, once the choice is made, then what?

  23. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF.

    As usual, you are attempting to rationalize your idea as to how we all should live and respond to anything said here.

    You are wrong. To rationalize war is insanity. Not everyone in this world shares you views. Get used to it.

  24. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    BF,
    Since you do not believe in having an Army at all, I think arguing the premises of war with you is pointless. Morality is all well and good as long as the other combatant has it also. US, I too honor all our veterans out there. Didn’t mean to get into a wordfest with BF, but you know how it is with two people who are passionate in their beliefs even if they are worlds apart. I watched my daddy come back from Vietnam a bitter person because they were not allowed to win the war they were sent there to fight. He always said that if the politicians had stayed out of it, they could have won it in 6 months. Isn’t it funny how the politicians can get us in a war we have no business in and then won’t let our troops fight it?

    • USWeapon says:

      Karl,

      No need to apologize, that is what the site is for. We are all passionate about our beliefs and I think we can all agree that we need to find a way to get our country moving in the right direction. Having these discussions with those who differ from us is the healthiest of endeavors. THIS is where we learn and grow. Define our positions and determine our path forward.

  25. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr.

    1. What Field and at what cost?

    The field where the enemy meets us and whatever cost necessary at the time to accomplish success.

    Remember, it is a failure of warfare to require a battle.

    Great nations need not fight to win great wars.

    2. Based on everything I believe and have read, the Soviet Union was most definitely our fight, for survival.

    I do not agree – the Soviet system could not sustain any protracted battle, let alone war – but that is for another thread or over beer where we can debate.

    Korea, Viet-Nam were proxies as Afghanistan was for the Soviets.

    Again over a beer – however, Vietnam had been fighting for independence from the French well before communists. Min was only a communist as long as it suited him – and fighting western democratic powers, it was appropriate for him to get weapons from communists; so what if he had to say “Marx is God”? As long as they gave him weapons, he’s say about anything.

    Korea was the same – centuries of domination by the Japanese, it was their war of independence. Matters not who they chose as their leader.

    3. We know, quite well how we got here.
    The question is where to now?

    I do not believe we do. I believe there are so many dangerous illusions that mask the truth that unless the country is willing to face them, the nation will be doomed to its destruction.

    4. Of course we are not ants, of course we can choose violence or not. But, once the choice is made, then what?

    Defeat the enemy. Make great care on who you chose to make an enemy.

    The best way to totally defeat your enemy is …. to make him your friend.

    Arrogance and hubris is our enemy. Our illusion is that we believe we are righteous and free. This masks our real attitude in foreign affairs. It is a grave mistake made at our peril.

    G. A. Rowe

    You are wrong. To rationalize war is insanity. Not everyone in this world shares you views. Get used to it.

    How always interests me that those who profess war is insanity rarely shy away from engaging in it.

    esomgazette
    Since you do not believe in having an Army at all, I think arguing the premises of war with you is pointless.

    Standing Army, to correct you.

    So, yes, arguing about the wrong premise is pointless.

    Morality is all well and good as long as the other combatant has it also.

    So, am I to assume that you believe a civilized nation should treat savages savagely?

    Or does a civilized nation act civilized?

    I watched my daddy come back from Vietnam a bitter person because they were not allowed to win the war they were sent there to fight. He always said that if the politicians had stayed out of it, they could have won it in 6 months.

    Unfortunately, no matter what fight your Dad did, his effort would end in defeat.

    The only way a foreign power can defeat the indigenous people of a nation that will never surrender is to kill them all.

    I do not believe your father would voluntarily commit genocide. Therefore, he was doomed to defeat.

    Vietnam is Iraq. The US could have/can occupy 100% of the ground – and be defeated – because the US is fighting/fought the wrong war with the wrong strategy.

    The Philippines is a good example. The US invaded to free the people from the Spanish, and turned the country into a US colony. The people, of course, attacked the US as they did the Spanish.

    From 1899 to 1913, the US fought the people.

    4,100 US troops died while killing 20,000 Philippians troops and 1,500,000 civilians.

    As concentration camps, forced relocation, starvation, begin to accelerate the toll – the survivors gave up.

    1897, there were 7 million Philippians. By 1913, there were 5 million – mostly starving to death.

    “Lessons from a successful counterinsurgency: the Philippines, 1899-1902” http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBR/is_1_35/ai_n15674070

    Interesting how 1.5 million civilians dead is consider a success…. but the article is interesting read, nonetheless.

  26. Just returned from the US Postal service.

    Flag,

    Going to make it personal now. Subjective yes, but personal. As I have said before, one of the advantages of getting old is that you meet so many interesting people along the way.

    I grew up in a neighborhood that was 40% Jewish. In the summertime, when we were in short sleeves I noticed that about half of that Jewish population had a number tattooed on their forearm. Didn’t take me long to find out what it was for. When the Mossad got Eichmann I learned even more. Not fond of the Germans since.

    I acknowledge that the post WW II Strategic Bombing Survey showed that contrary to what the Air Forces thought, they did not win the war. Boots on the ground won the war. However this is not to say that they did not significantly shorten the war. They did. My point is; anything that shortened that war, that saved truly innocent lives in those camps is justified. You can argue to me forever the innocence of the German people and I will agree with you but they were less innocent than the Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Homosexuals, political prisoners and religious minorities that were dying by the thousands day after day.

    Good friend of mine’s father died on the Battan Death March. Knew a few Chinese whose families did not benefit from the Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere. Come to think of it they didn’t benefit from Chairman Mao’s great leap forward either.

    Had an elderly friend who spent three years fighting the Bolsheviks in Russia. He had some good stories too.

    Lastly, and here it really hits home. I would not be writing this unless Harry S. Truman gave the green light on the bomb drops. My dad was being trans shipped to the Pacific. Eight uncles were either there already or on the way. Till the day they all died, they thanked HST for saving their lives. Only one was a professional soldier. The rest, just talented amateurs.

    To get back to the topic at hand. Sometimes the problems are just thrust at you and you have to deal with them. I do not believe that any American out there lusts after war. I do not believe that our soldiers are mercenaries who have to “justify” their existence by cooking up a war. I do believe that if this country wants peace, it should be better prepared for war than any other country on earth and not afraid to spend the money.

  27. Flag, only one comment, maybe below the belt.

    “remember its a failure of warfare to require a battle” BF

    right! ergo Hiroshima.

  28. esomgazette says:

    BF Said:

    So, am I to assume that you believe a civilized nation should treat savages savagely?

    No BF, But if those same savages attack me, then you takes your cahnces, you pays the price. You don’t want me to be brutal, then leave me the hell alone.

    The only way a foreign power can defeat the indigenous people of a nation that will never surrender is to kill them all.

    I do not believe your father would voluntarily commit genocide. Therefore, he was doomed to defeat.

    You’re right there. My Daddy wouldn’t want to commit genocide and also, we had no business being there in a shithole where our young men were in most cases involuntarily sent there and then being spit on and called “Baby Killers” when they got back by the same assholes who support abortion now. But “A nation that will never surrender”. I didn’t realize we were fighting South Vietnam. I thought it was the NVA we were fighting. But, whatever the rights and wrongs of it. It’s over now and my daddy has moved on

    Standing Army, to correct you.

    Oh, I’m sorry for that misunderstanding. I didn’t realize there was another kind. The only other armed forces I know of is called a Militia. Uh, that wouldn’t work today.

  29. First, I have never served, hope that doesn’t make me a chicken hawk. Have friends/family that have been in different branches. I have always liked R.A.Heinlein’s vision of only vet’s being allowed to vote.

    It seems to me that WW2 has to be what we base our military needs upon. Japan and Germany were seeking to impose their will upon the rest of the world. And that basic premise HAS NOT CHANGED. This weekend China had ships harassing a US ship in international waters. Both the religion of Islam and the communist doctrine call for them to spread their beliefs to the rest of the world?

    Karl, liked your points. Why are we giving 900 million to Gaza, which hates us just as they do Israel? It also seems to me most posts here have advocated a policy similar to Israels in dealing with attackers. That does not seem “popular” with world opinion. America strongly needs to decide where we stand on Israel and the middle east. Will we allow a second holocaust? How about Taiwan or Georgia?

  30. BF, your perspective of war is one of civility. Unfortunately, war is never civil in nature. It is extremely unfortunate that civilians die in war, but it is a fact that they do. It is not always necessary to kill everyone in a given country to win a war, simetimes it is enough to prove you can and will if need be. Japan is a good example of that.

    I appreciate your views, but they are one of a passive nature…in a perfect world it would be fine. This world is neither perfect nor passive and to survive, strength has to be gained and maintained. It is how that strength is used that separates us from the rest.

  31. Black Flag says:

    SK. Trynosky Sr.

    Just returned from the US Postal service.

    My condolences. I feel your loss.

    Not fond of the Germans since.

    Germany was arguably one of the most advanced, civilized nations in Europe. It gives great warning to how easy a nation can blind itself to great evil by living in illusions.

    Islam-aphobia is as great a danger to the minds of America as Semetic-aphobia was to the minds of Germans.

    Boots on the ground won the war.

    …and every war.

    So I submit you contradict yourself, sir.

    By your own statement, Hiroshima did not win the war. I agree wholly. Bombing innocent people has never won a war.

    However this is not to say that they did not significantly shorten the war. They did.

    I would strongly disagree.

    It has been shown that the bombing of Japan, Germany and Britain increased the resolve of the war effort – it did not reduce it.

    Germany manufacturing reached its peak in 1945 – therefore strategic bombing did nothing at all but slaughter innocent people from the air.

    My point is; anything that shortened that war, that saved truly innocent lives in those camps is justified.

    I have a hard time with the reasoning that killing 45 million civilians saved their lives.

    Good friend of mine’s father died on the Battan Death March.

    But you do not question why there were US troops in the Philippines?

    Knew a few Chinese whose families did not benefit from the Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere.

    I am aware of about 9 million Iraqis that do not benefit from the American’s Operation Enduring Freedom, either.

    Come to think of it they didn’t benefit from Chairman Mao’s great leap forward either.

    And about 2 million Vietnamese didn’t benefit from Operation “Death by Democracy”.

    Had an elderly friend who spent three years fighting the Bolsheviks in Russia. He had some good stories too.

    Have an acquaintance who Great-grandfather fought the US Armies invasion of Indian territories – he had stories….

    . I would not be writing this unless Harry S. Truman gave the green light on the bomb drops. My dad was being trans shipped to the Pacific. Eight uncles were either there already or on the way. Till the day they all died, they thanked HST for saving their lives.

    Interestingly, had the US simply accepted the Japanese surrender in 1944, your Dad wouldn’t even of had to worry about that – and a million innocent Japanese wouldn’t have had to be annihilated.

    But then, of course, the US wouldn’t have been in a position to show off its new super weapon to the Russians.

    I do not believe that any American out there lusts after war.

    I agree – but do you then wonder why the US has been at war with someone – without a break – for the last 234 years?


    1775-1783 – American Revolutionary War
    1776-1777 – Second Cherokee War
    1777-1794 – Chickamauga wars
    1786-1787 – Shays’ Rebellion
    1794 – Whiskey Rebellion
    1798-1800 – Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war with France.
    1799-1800 – Fries’s Rebellion, a Pennsylvania protest against war taxes.
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    1814 – Spanish Florida.
    1814-25 – Caribbean.
    1815 – Algiers. The Second Barbary War
    1815 – Tripoli.
    1816 – Spanish Florida.
    1816-18 – Spanish Florida – First Seminole War.
    1817 – Amelia Island (Spanish territory off Florida).
    1818 – Oregon.
    1820-23 — Africa.
    1822 — Cuba.
    1823 — Cuba.
    1824 — Cuba. In
    1824 — Puerto Rico (Spanish territory).
    1825 — Cuba.
    1827 — Greece.
    1831-32 – Falkland Islands. C
    1832 – Attack on Quallah Battoo, Sumatra, Indonesia
    1833 – Argentina.
    1835-36 – Peru.
    1836 – Mexico.
    1838 – The Caroline affair on Navy Island, Canada.
    1838-39 – Sumatra (Indonesia). – December 24, 1838, to January 4, 1839.
    1840 – Fiji Islands. – July.
    1841 – McKean Island (Drummond Island/Taputenea), Gilbert Islands (Kingsmill Group), Pacific Ocean.
    1841 – Samoa. –
    1842 – Mexico.
    1843 – China.
    1843 – Africa.
    1844 – Mexico.
    1846-48 – Mexican-American War
    1849 – Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey).
    1851 – Turkey.
    1851 – Johanns Island (east of Africa).
    1852-53 – Argentina.
    1853 — Nicaragua. March 11 to 13.
    1853-54 – Japan.
    1853-54 – Ryūkyū and Bonin Islands (Japan).
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    1854 – Nicaragua.
    1855 – China.
    1855 – Fiji Islands.
    1855 – Uruguay.
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    1856 – China.
    1857-58 – Utah War.
    1857 – Nicaragua.
    1858 – Uruguay.
    1858 – Fiji Islands.
    1858-59 – Turkey.
    1859 – Paraguay.
    1859 – Mexico.
    1859 – China.
    1860 — Angola, Portuguese West Africa.
    1860 — Colombia, Bay of Panama. –
    1861-65 — American Civil War
    1863 — Japan. –
    1864 — Japan. –
    1864 — Japan. –
    1865 — Panama. –
    1866 — Mexico.
    1866 — China.
    1867 — Nicaragua.
    1867 — Formosa (island of Taiwan)
    1868 — Japan (Osaka, Hiolo, Nagasaki, Yokohama, and Negata). –
    1868 — Uruguay. –
    1868 — Colombia. –
    1870 — Mexico. –
    1870 — Hawaiian Islands. –
    1871 — Korea. Shinmiyangyo. –
    1873 — Colombia (Bay of Panama). –
    1873-96 — Mexico.
    1874 — Hawaiian Islands. –
    1876 — Mexico. –
    1882 — Egypt. –
    1885 — Panama (Colon). –
    1888 — Korea. –
    1888 — Haiti. –
    1888-89 — Samoa. –
    1889 — Hawaiian Islands. –
    1890 — Argentina.
    1890 — South Dakota. Wounded Knee
    1891 — Haiti.
    1891 — Bering Strait. –
    1891 — Chile. –
    1893 — overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, January 16 to April 1.
    1894 — Brazil. –
    1894 — Nicaragua. –
    1894-95 — China.
    1894-95 — China.
    1894-96 — Korea. –
    1895 — Colombia. –
    1895-96 — Venezuela. –
    1896 — Nicaragua. –
    1898 — Nicaragua. –
    1898 — Spanish-American War
    1898-99 — Samoa. Second Samoan Civil War
    1898-99 — China. – November 5, 1898 to March 15, 1899. US forces
    1899 — Nicaragua.
    1899-1913 — Philippine Islands. War of Independence.
    1900 – China Boxer Rebellion
    1901 – Colombia (State of Panama).
    1902 – Colombia.
    1902 – Colombia (State of Panama).
    1903 – Honduras.
    1903 – Dominican Republic.
    1903 – Syria.
    1903-04 – Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
    1903-14 – Panama.
    1904 – Dominican Republic.
    1904 – Tangier, Morocco.
    1904 – Panama.
    1904-05 — Korea.
    1906-09 — Cuba. –
    1907 — Honduras. –
    1910 — Nicaragua. –
    1911 — Honduras. –
    1911 — China.
    1912 — Honduras.
    1912 — Panama.
    1912 — Cuba,
    1912 — China. –
    1912 — Turkey.
    1912-25 — Nicaragua. 1
    1912-41 — China.
    1913 — Mexico.
    1914 — Haiti.
    1914 — Dominican Republic.
    1914-17 — Mexico.
    1915-34 — Haiti.
    1916 — China.
    1916-24 — Dominican Republic.
    1917 — China.
    1917-18 — World War I.
    1917-22 — Cuba.
    1918-19 — Mexico.
    1918-20 — Panama.
    1918-20 — Soviet Union.
    1919 — Dalmatia (Croatia).
    1919 — Turkey.
    1919 — Honduras.
    1920 — China. – M
    1920 — Guatemala. –
    1920-22 — Russia (Siberia). –
    1921 — Panama – Costa Rica.
    1922 — Turkey. –
    1922-23 — China.
    1924 — Honduras. –
    1924 — China. –
    1925 — China. –
    1925 — Honduras. –
    1925 — Panama. –
    1926-33 — Nicaragua. –
    1926 — China. –
    1927 — China. –
    1932 — China.
    1933 — Cuba.
    1934 — China.
    1941 — Greenland.
    1941 — Netherlands (Dutch Guiana).
    1941 — Iceland.
    1941 — Germany.
    1941-45 — World War II.
    1945 — China.
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    1958 — Lebanon.
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    1964 — Congo (Zaire).
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    1965 — Dominican Republic.
    1967 –Israel. The USS Liberty incident
    1967 — Congo (Zaire).
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    1970 — Cambodia Campaign.
    1973 — Operation Nickel Grass.Yom Kippur War.
    1974 — Evacuation from Cyprus.
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    1987-88 — Persian Gulf.reflagging
    1987-88 — Operation Earnest Will
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    1988 — Operation Praying Mantis
    1988 — Operation Golden Pheasant
    1988 — USS Vincennes shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655
    1988 — Panama.
    1989 — Libya. Second Gulf of Sidra Incident
    1989 — Panama.
    1989 — Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. Andean Initiative in War on Drugs.
    1989 — Philippines. 1989 Philippine coup attempt.
    1989-90 — Panama. Operation Just Cause
    1990 — Liberia.
    1990 — Saudi Arabia.
    1991 — Iraq. Persian Gulf War
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    1991-96 — Operation Provide Comfort.
    1992 — Sierra Leone.
    1992-1996 — Operation Provide Promise
    1992 — Kuwait.
    1992-2003 — Iraq. Iraqi No-Fly Zones
    1992-95 — Somalia. “Operation Restore Hope”
    1993-Present — Bosnia-Herzegovina.
    1993 — Macedonia.
    1994-95 — Haiti. Operation Uphold Democracy
    1994 — Macedonia.
    1995 — Bosnia. NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs.
    1996 — Liberia..
    1996 — Central African Republic.
    1997 — Albania.
    1997 — Congo and Gabon.
    1997 — Sierra Leone.
    1997 — Cambodia. 30172]
    1998 — Iraq. Operation Desert Fox
    1998 — Guinea-Bissau.
    1998 – 1999 Kenya and Tanzania.
    1998 — Afghanistan and Sudan. Operation Infinite Reach
    1998 — Liberia.
    1999 – 2001 East Timor.
    1999 — NATO’s bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo Conflict.
    2000 — Sierra Leone.
    2000 — Yemen. USS Cole attack
    2000 — East Timor.
    2001 — Afghanistan.The War on Terrorism.Operation Enduring Freedom.
    2002 — Yemen.
    2002 — Philippines.”
    2002 — Côte d’Ivoire.
    2003 — 2003 invasion of Iraq
    2003 — Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War
    2003 — Georgia and Djibouti
    2004 — 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs.
    2004 — War on Terrorism: US anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.
    2006 — Pakistan.
    2006 — Lebanon
    2007 — Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni.
    2008 — South Ossetia, Georgia.
    2009– Pakistan

    I do believe that if this country wants peace, it should be better prepared for war than any other country on earth and not afraid to spend the money.

    I do not believe the government wants peace. I do agree they’ll spend all the money they can for as many weapons as possible.

    esomgazette

    No BF, But if those same savages attack me, then you takes your cahnces, you pays the price. You don’t want me to be brutal, then leave me the hell alone.

    And if you are actively bugging them, what should they do?

    But “A nation that will never surrender”. I didn’t realize we were fighting South Vietnam.

    We were fighting the Vietnamese – North or South, that is who they were – political affiliations notwithstanding.

    I didn’t realize there was another kind.

    There are many kinds – and a Standing Army was strongly warned against by the Founders as the greatest threat to the liberty of the citizens.

    The only other armed forces I know of is called a Militia. Uh, that wouldn’t work today.

    Why not?

    • USWeapon says:

      C’mon BF, where did you find such a propaganda list. South Ossetia in 2008? Having 125 advisors in Georgia does not equate to the US being involved in a war there. As I recall, Russia is who invaded, Georgia attempted to repel, US offered nothing more than advisory help and diplomatic efforts to get Russia to change course. You make many good points, but perhaps you should find a better place to get you information than a site that is obviously providing a very biased view of US actions. When you stray to the ridiculous in presenting the point, you lose credibility. You know better. Stick to facts not opinions. An accurate list of when America has been at war with someone would have been adequate and would have gotten your point across. Instead you provided a propaganda list and discredited much of the good you did in the rest of your comment. It is akin to Democrats providing information on global warming.

    • USWeapon says:

      BF Wrote
      There are many kinds – and a Standing Army was strongly warned against by the Founders as the greatest threat to the liberty of the citizens.

      We have been through this already. They did warn, although not that it was the greatest threat. We are seeing the greatest threat today in the form of Obama and the socialist movement. And while they warned, they did not outlaw, and that is because they saw the need despite the risk. That need has increased in modern realities. I see one other kind by the way, not many. That one is a militia. What are the others you refer to?

      Why not?

      Because a militia will get their ass handed to them by an organized force from another country. The argument that no one would ever attack us if we played nicer is foolish. That certainly hasn’t worked at any other point in history. Eliminating a standing army only weakens us as a country and opens us up for domination. It is at this point that your argument gets a little wacky.

  32. Black Flag says:

    terry

    BF, your perspective of war is one of civility.

    No, sir.

    I have seen war up close and personal – I have no misconceptions about it.

    However, the prosecution of war by a civilized nation must be in a strictly moral manner – otherwise, we are the same evil we are fighting and we shall become them.

    Japan is a good example of that.

    Japan did not surrender because of the bomb.

    If you believe that, then they should have surrender due to the Bombing of Tokyo and the million people who perished in that firestorm.

    They did not.

    Nor did they after:

    Yokohama 58% destroyed
    Tokyo 51% destroyed
    Toyama 99% destroyed
    Nagoya 40% destroyed
    Osaka 35% destroyed
    Nishinomiya 11% destroyed
    Shimonoseki 37% destroyed
    Kure 41% destroyed
    Kobe 55% destroyed
    Omuta 35% destroyed
    Wakayama 50% destroyed
    Kawasaki 36% destroyed
    Okayama 68% destroyed
    Yawata 21% destroyed
    Kagoshima 63% destroyed
    Amagasaki 18% destroyed
    Sasebo 41% destroyed
    Moji 23% destroyed
    Miyakonojō 26% destroyed
    Nobeoka 25% destroyed
    Miyazaki 26% destroyed
    Ube 20% destroyed
    Saga 44% destroyed
    Imabari 63% destroyed
    Matsuyama 64% destroyed
    Fukui 86% destroyed
    Tokushima 85% destroyed
    Sakai 48% destroyed
    Hachioji 65% destroyed
    Kumamoto 31% destroyed
    Isesaki 56% destroyed
    Takamatsu 67% destroyed
    Akashi 50% destroyed
    Fukuyama 80% destroyed
    Aomori 30% destroyed
    Okazaki 32% destroyed
    Ōita 28% destroyed
    Hiratsuka 48% destroyed
    Tokuyama 48% destroyed
    Yokkaichi 33% destroyed
    Ujiyamada 41% destroyed
    Ōgaki 39% destroyed
    Gifu 63% destroyed
    Shizuoka 66% destroyed
    Himeji 49% destroyed
    Fukuoka 24% destroyed
    Kōchi 55% destroyed
    Shimizu 42% destroyed
    Omura 33% destroyed
    Chiba 41% destroyed
    Ichinomiya 56% destroyed
    Nara 69% destroyed
    Tsu 69% destroyed
    Kuwana 75% destroyed
    Toyohashi 61% destroyed
    Numazu 42% destroyed
    Choshi 44% destroyed
    Kofu 78% destroyed
    Utsunomiya 43% destroyed
    Mito 68% destroyed
    Sendai 21% destroyed
    Tsuruga 65% destroyed
    Nagaoka 64% destroyed
    Hitachi 72% destroyed
    Kumagaya 55% destroyed
    Hamamatsu 60% destroyed
    Maebashi 64% destroyed

    So, given your theory they shoulda given up a long time ago.

    But they did not.

    Even after the nukes, they would fight to the last man – for the Emperor. Until the Allies accepted the single condition of surrender – do not humiliate the Emperor – the Japanese would have fought on regardless. That was the only condition the Japanese had since 1943-44. It was finally accepted by MacAruther, and the war ended.

    Every major city except for Hiroshima and Nagasaki was attacked.

    The reason these two cities were nuked was because they had not been attacked before – because they had no military value.

    Therefore, the US government chose – purposely – to nuke two cities of innocent civilians – so to evaluate the damage and death.

    It was merely a live experiment of killing.

    Savages act with savagery. It is our actions on others which will determine their actions upon us.

    God help us.

  33. BF
    And was it not their original act of aggression upon a then peaceful nation that brought the wrath upon themselves?

    You may have seen war up close, but your take on it resonates morality. If you did indeed see it up close, you know nothing could be further from the truth.

    I suppose it was merely a coincidence that they surrendered just after the two nuclear detonations…

    It is an arguable point that Japan was one of the first “civilized” nations…but ruthless and bloodthirsty they were. We would all be eating raw fish (if they allowed us to live) had they won. War has no morality…it is the survival of the fittest, and the most determined.

  34. Black Flag says:

    terry

    And was it not their original act of aggression upon a then peaceful nation that brought the wrath upon themselves?

    Since 1941, I aware of only two foreign countries (there maybe more – so I could stand to be corrected) that has purposely initiated direct attacks on US forces – and those are Japan, in 1942 and Israel in 1967.

    So, I’m not sure what countries you are referring to….

    I suppose it was merely a coincidence that they surrendered just after the two nuclear detonations…

    No more coincidence that they surrender after 70 cities were firebombed.

    But it is NOT a conicidence that they surrender when their one, single, term was accepted.

    The full cabinet met on 14:30 on August 9, and spent most of the day debating surrender. Like the Big Six before then, they split, with neither Tōgō’s position nor Anami’s attracting a majority. Anami shared with the other cabinet ministers that, under torture, a captured American B-29 pilot had told his interrogators that the Americans possessed 100 atom bombs and that Tokyo and Kyoto would be bombed “in the next few days”.

    It is interesting to note – that believing there was over 100 nukes ready to wipe out Japan; they still did not surrender.

    Continuing….

    Suzuki pushed the cabinet to accept the Emperor’s will, which it did. Early that morning (August 10), the Foreign Ministry sent telegrams to the Allies (by way of the Swiss government), announcing that Japan would accept the Potsdam Declaration but would not accept any peace conditions that would “prejudice the prerogatives” of the Emperor.… – that the Emperor of Japan would remain a position of real power within the government.

    We would all be eating raw fish (if they allowed us to live) had they won.

    Japan had no way of winning the war. Her best hope was to seize the initiative – strike hard, take the Dutch East Indies and sue for peace.

    There was no way, means, ability or will of Japan ‘conquering’ the USA.

    If it took two years of the largest industrial power in the world pouring men and materials into the ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ called England – our target in range of all Allied aircraft – us reading every communication of the enemy from their broken codes – using guile and misdirection to confuse the enemy – building new weapons and machines to aid us – and pulling every available sea ship in the region numbering in the multiple of thousands for direct tactical support – the largest invasion force in history and with complete surprise -…. was 24 hours from defeat at the hands of boys, old men and exhausted enemy troops.

    …and you seriously believe Japan – a small industrial power with few indigenous resources and no indigenous oil – could build a navy of any reasonable size, could sail thousands of miles of ocean, without thousands of tactical aircraft in support, land on 5th largest country in the world, a population personally armed to the teeth, the greatest industrial power, with (at the time) the largest indigenous oil, coal, mineral, and food resources in the world and had not tasted war on her ground for over 100 years…. that Japan could conquer the USA….

    War has no morality…it is the survival of the fittest, and the most determined.

    Survival and fitness of savagery is no hope for mankind.

  35. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon

    South Ossetia in 2008? Having 125 advisors in Georgia does not equate to the US being involved in a war there.

    The Ossetians see the US troops there as aggression against them. They are well versed in the US term of “advisers” – that’s what we had in Vietnam et al too.

    As I recall, Russia is who invaded, Georgia attempted to repel, US offered nothing more than advisory help and diplomatic efforts to get Russia to change course

    .

    Hmm, Georgia attacked a Russian peacekeeping observation post – killing Russian soliders, bombed Ossetian cities in the middle of the night, and invaded. Russia repelled the Georgians, and entered Georgia – threatening the capital – and Georgia relented.

    You need to expand your reading list to more than American MSM propaganda.

    Would you like some recommendations?

    When you stray to the ridiculous in presenting the point, you lose credibility.

    That isn’t even the comprehensive list of US military actions since 1775.

    Of course, we haven’t had a war since 1945, right? 😉 So I think I can be forgiven for saying “war” when the definition of “war” for the US is now anything….

    But, I’ll correct my point;

    “I agree – but do you then wonder why the US military has been fighting with someone – without a break – for the last 234 years?”

  36. G. A. Rowe says:

    I said it before, and now I will say it again.

    BF is full of BS.

    I thought this thread was supposed to give those of us who served a chance to answer the questions of JAC, however BF has seen fit to inundate this thread with all of his mundane and rambling BS.

    I be done, here.

  37. Black Flag says:

    “There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation and which place them so totally at the mercy of their governors that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument is a standing army.” –Thomas Jefferson

    That one is a militia. What are the others you refer to?

    That’s a good one – but there are insurgents, guerrilla’s, etc.

    The argument that no one would ever attack us if we played nicer is foolish. That certainly hasn’t worked at any other point in history.

    So let’s investigate why Sweden has been about to do that, and as you’ve noted, we haven’t.

    Do you notice a difference between how Sweden operates internationally and how we do?

    Perhaps that is a clue to the direction we should be taking – if we want peace.

    If we want American Hegemony – then you’re right.

    So back to my (0) question – what is your policy?

    Because a militia will get their ass handed to them by an organized force from another country.

    Afghanistan, Iraq seems to be putting a serious whipping on our troops.

    Hezbollah has given the most powerful military in the Middle East – Israel’s – a bloody nose…twice. Hamas seems to be bruising Israel too.

    I understand where you are coming from.

    When I was a boy, I played lots of board war games – strategic level and tactical level – Like “Third Reich” and “Squad Leader”. Later, in my teens, I put together and lead a Regional Champion Paintball team.

    They all have the same core principle – capture the flag. In “Third Reich”, you maneuvered to capture the capital city or other ‘strategic objectives’. “Squad Leader”, typically, was some tactical objective like a particular building.

    This is all 3rd Generation warfare thinking – that some Political object or seat of power needs to be seized and the population submits. Frankly, as a boy, I always wondered why that if Paris fell, even with the remains of my French army left undefeated in the field, the rules said France surrendered and my armies quit. Very strange.

    I am a natural 4G Warrior – no care on taking territory, no care on losing seat of power or no care on capital cities falling. A 4G warrior attacks the legitimacy of the State. A 4G warrior holds no territory and thus has none to defend. He will easily fade away back into the population while the 3G Army exhausts itself in the chase.

    Every battle the 3G wins gains nothing. They are expected to win so meeting an expectation makes no win for the people.

    Every battle the 3G loses is huge moral gain for the 4G army. They aren’t expected to prevail and when they do its a great victory.

    Every civilian killed by the 3G army demonstrates their cruelty.

    Every civilian killed by the 4G army demonstrates the 3G armies incompetence in preventing the killing.

    The 3G needs huge communication and supply lines, top down strategic direction, tactical infrastructure – all very vulnerable.

    The 4G is dispersed, distributed command/control structure. They live off the land. They are in their country and have natural communication paths. There is nothing to attack, except the population – because that is where they 4G bases itself.

    The 3G army becomes exhausted in occupation. The 4G warrior goes home to rest.

    I do understand where you come from – you are an American Warrior. Trained as your father was, and as how your son will be – a 3G fighter.

    Thus we will not win another foreign war again.

  38. Black Flag says:

    G. A.

    Sorry to rain on your parade…

    But as a warrior, what kind of position are you defending if you cannot defend it against a spirited assault?

  39. Perhaps Sweden is not perceived as a threat by anyone? Perhaps Sweden plays both sides against the middle. Perhaps Sweden shot its wad in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?

    If you are the last remaining super power, who wants to hang up your guns, some snot nosed punk will ride into town and try and get you in a gunfight.

    Regarding the rest, I am afraid we have to disagree. I can easily see us standing on the removal of the Japanese emperor. The bastard was up to his neck in that war. It was the Japanese who, after we let them save face, pretended he was more than a figurehead.

    I stand with Heinlein on dealing with the Empire of Japan, People are not the same all over.

    Rowe is making an excellent point. The purpose of the blog today was to discuss Citizen’s questions. We should stick to it. There are still others out there to be heard from and we are scaring them away.

  40. Black Flag says:

    Yep, Sweden figured out empires suck.

    France recently figured that out.

    England is still in the process, but they are getting the picture too.

    Spain didn’t figure it out, and they lost everything – and so badly, the world’s first global superpower became the sick sister of Europe – and still struggles today – hundreds of years later.

    As far as the questions – I think all of this pertains to it. I see contradictions in the answers already.

    I still believe that unless a policy is articulated, contradictions in the strategy will always appear.

  41. Black Flag says:

    To highlight what I mean by policy defining the military – please read this expose:

    American Vice-President Joseph Biden at the Munich Security Conference
    Since then prominent Washington officials have repeated their intention to antagonized Moscow.

    Russia has permitted the US and its NATO allies transit rights for non-military goods to assist the West’s expanding war in South Asia, though in the process is abetting the extension of the NATO military nexus from the Baltic to the Black to the Caspian Seas and hence tightening the noose around its own neck.

    How are the US and NATO demonstrating their supposed resolve to mend ties with Russia, not in words but in deeds?

    Starting at Russia’s northwestern most border and proceeding counter-clockwise, in the following manner:

    In nine days NATO will commence a ten-day military exercise, Cold Response 2009, consisting of 7,000 troops from thirteen nations in northern Norway, off the coast of the Norwegian Sea, adjoining the Barents Sea and the Russian coast.

    Moving slightly southwest, NATO has just completed the four-day Baltic Host 2009 exercise in Estonia, which Russia’s Novosti described as involving “a series of scenarios simulating the arrival and deployment of NATO troops in a member country.”

    Participating in the war games were forces from the United States, Britain, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in “the first exercise of this type in the Baltic region, which could become a regular event in the future to improve interoperability between NATO troops.”

    Continuing southward, nine days ago Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and insisted that American Patriot missiles would be deployed in his country.
    Two weeks ago US Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed a pact with his Polish opposite number Defense Minister Bogdan Klich “to bolster Poland’s special forces and enhance how it operates within the NATO military command structure” as the US armed forces newspaper Stars and Stripes reported.

    “We have to take this into account when we plan the future of the alliance.”

    Further pursuing the path south and east along the Russian border, the annual US-led Sea Breeze NATO military exercises in Crimea would “be of a larger scale regarding the strength and number of military personnel” than any of its predecessors.

    … within weeks of the signing of the US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership.

    NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer pledged that “NATO remains ready to assist Ukraine in undertaking comprehensive reforms in its defence and security structures. We are determined to continue to develop this strategic partnership.”

    Down the Black Sea coast, NATO’s annual Cooperative Longbow/ Cooperative Lancer month-long Caucasus military exercises are to be held in Georgia starting on May 3 and as the Georgian Times reported “Georgia’s participation in NATO trainings is seen as the first serious step NATO has taken after the August conflict and the subsequent creation of the NATO-Georgian Commission in September.”

    900 troops from 23 nations will participate in the exercises.

    US defense chief Gates reiterated that the Pentagon has a “continuing security relationship with Georgia both bilaterally and through NATO-Georgia Commission” and according to Civil Georgia “We’re involved in training. We are involved in military reform in Georgia.”

    On the western end of the Black Sea directly across from Georgia – and Russia – the US has begun the two-week Thracian Spring 2009 joint air and infantry exercises with the Bulgarian armed forces, starting at the US’s newly acquired Bezmer airbase.

    The US European Command spoke of its expanding military presence in Bulgaria and its Black Sea neighbor Romania: “It is larger in scale than it has been in previous years and we think that is an important consideration. If our current plans hold, we’ll cycle a number of U.S. companies through both Romania and Bulgaria under battalion-level leadership to partner with the Bulgarians and the Romanians for the training that will occur roughly from July through October. So a larger presence and for a longer period of time….”

    Southeast of Georgia and on Russia’s southern flank, US Central Command chief David Petraeus announced that Azerbaijan would be used as a transit route for NATO arms headed to the Afghan war theater. The US has also ordered more Azerbaijani troops deployed there to serve under NATO command and the US Missile Defense Agency is considering expanding its global missile shield program to include what is now a Russian surveillance base in Garbala, Azerbaijan.

    “We should work so that Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan do not become victims of the US-Russia dialogue….We should do everything to defend these countries.”

    Proceeding steadily toward the east, the Pentagon and NATO have recently secured transit rights for the Afghan war with Kazakhstan, which borders both Russia and China.

    “As a member of NATO, the U.S. is committed to helping Kazakhstan in improving its inter-operability with equipment and training to U.S. and NATO standards.”

    At the far opposite end of Russia from where this survey began, the Barents Sea, the US has begun ICEX-2009 by deploying nuclear submarines for simulated warfare exercises off the coast of Alaska and into the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The last such exercise, in 2007, included US and British nuclear submarines maneuvering under the polar ice cap.

    Several days earlier the chief of the Russian general staff, General Nikolai Makarov, warned that “Russia will respond to any attempts to militarize the Arctic,” as Reuters reported.

    A news dispatch of two days ago mentioned a recent poll that demonstrated half of all Russian adults fear military aggression from foreign nations.

    Small wonder.

  42. USWeapon says:

    BF,

    Look dude, I have told you before. I get it. I get that you are the guy who can go out to the internet and find whatever you need and spin it to look however you need it to look. I get that you despise government. I get that you don’t want a standing army. I get that you have your core, freedom, and everything evolves from there. I get that you feel the universe solves all problems and provides infinite solutions. I get that you think soldiers are evil, government is evil, politicians are evil. I get it. I don’t know where you are going to go with it, but I get what you believe.

    I also get that when it comes to what the world will or should be, you are completely clueless. You are the consummate devil’s advocate, and I can respect that, because I guarantee you that I can do that as well. No matter your position I can take the tactic of disproving it, whether I believe it or not. But you aren’t applying critical thinking skills to your argument. Either that or you assume no one else will and you can get away with it.

    Let’s take the Russian propaganda piece just above. Russian people are afraid of invasion from foreign nations because their government wants them to be, no other reason. The United States of America, arguably the most “connected” country in terms of news in the world, was led to an economic recession by the MSM and prior to that was led to give up freedoms for fear of imminent attack from terrorists. Yet you want me to believe that the people of Russia are all free thinking folks who see the realities of the world that Americans don’t see, and they have pieced together the mumbo-jumbo you just presented and determined they are in danger of aggression. That is an awful narrow telescope you are looking through. They are told they are in danger daily by their media and their leaders, That is why they believe that.

    I don’t see people’s responses above, least of all mine, as contradictions to the universe. I see them as people trying to make sense of the world and what lurks out there. It is a complex world, and you try to make it into a simple one for the sake of your ideology. In your simple world everyone plays nice and gets along so long as the evil US government doesn’t hurt their feelings. Unfortunately it isn’t simply our actions in the world that make people dislike us. Every country that hates us is driven by their government and their media. And they are primarily driven by jealousy. As such, they will always be driven to hate us, regardless of what we do.

    For the record, I did not note that as a reason to continue on our current path. I have specifically stated that the primary difference in our path is one of a changed posture that embraces defense only. THAT is a policy change that is plausible.

    Let’s be honest with each other here. You argue the point as though there is a statement that could be made in terms of policy that you would accept, when that simply is not true. Your belief is that government is evil and doomed to failure no matter what anyone does, so arguing policy with you is a futile effort. No matter what any one of these veterans say, you will argue against it. Your final fallback will always be that government is evil, so the policy, no matter what it is that someone comes up with, is evil because it includes government still existing.

    So that ball is now in your court. You are the guy with all the answers, the brilliant copy and paste skills from non-MSM sources. What is the answer? What is the policy that you will accept as not in conflict with the universe? And don’t give me that hoo-ha about you aren’t here to tell us what to think, only to point out the flaws in what we think.

    You spend a lot of time on this site and I value your input. But the time has come for you to do more than simply argue against every answer that someone has to any question. The time has come for you to start providing some answers rather than simply trying to poke holes in everyone else’s.

  43. Black Flag says:

    If you “get it”, but still dispute it – then prove it. Let’s see you defend your position.

    Otherwise, you are merely perpetuating an illusion – a very dangerous illusion – on you, you readers, and your children.

    Far better your children live in the hell of reality then the illusion of heaven, USWep.

    You can change what is, but it is completely futile to try to change what is not.

    No matter your position I can take the tactic of disproving it, whether I believe it or not.

    I have been waiting for your attempt – and I still wait, probably forever.

    Yet you want me to believe that the people of Russia ..

    What Russia believes has no immediate concern to me.

    What is obvious of a concern is the propaganda that Americans are fed.

    To believe Russia started the Ossetia/Georgian war and ignoring the reality of the situation only highlights the great and deep disaster this country will be facing.

    The American government is fully entangling itself with countries well within the sphere of Russia – to our peril.

    We are not messing with a 4th rate power like Iraq. Russia has thousands of real nukes – a massive military capability and in areas such as submarine, torpedo, ABM and SAM capability far more advanced than the USA.

    Russia is the largest country on earth, with the most resources on earth. Russia is unique that in every strategic resource in the world it is indigenous to its territory.

    Poking our nose in their sphere of influence is suicide.

    Are you willing to go nuclear over Georgia? Ukraine? Poland? Baltic States?

    Your government is.

    I do not see any respite. The American people – arrogant and full of hubris – and will blindly walk off the cliff.

    Spain, at their pinnacle of global power, literally paved their roads with gold. Their hubris and arrogance lead them to complete ruin.

    We are marching step wise with the Spanish Empire. They got off lucky – they lost everything but their homeland.

    We are truly following the hubris of ancient Athens. In a contest against Sparta – their incredible arrogance towards their allies and neighbors, their unshakable belief of invincibility, and their constant demands, intimidation and threat of war upon Sparta – all lead to their utter and complete defeat.

    Likewise, barring some incredible miracles, the United States of America will not exist in 2100.

    • USWeapon says:

      Defend my position? On the issue of the military, I have done so. Did you not read my replies to the questions asked above? What is it that you dispute. I will be happy to discuss it. But simply saying defend your position when I feel I have done so above by writing this post in the first place is certainly confusing.

      You love to say that I am afraid to post my thoughts, my solutions, my beliefs, my whatever. But I write this blog, and in doing so, I spend nearly 3 hours a night analyzing my positions and formulating how I am going to put my beliefs into writing for everyone to read and comment on. I think it is fair to say that I don’t have any issue with putting my beliefs out there for public ridicule. And ridicule is what I get from you, yet I keep coming back every night and posting more of my thoughts and beliefs, only to have you say I refuse to post my thoughts and beliefs.

      By “I get it”, I mean that I understand where you are coming from. I do my best to try to see the point of view from everyone who posts their thoughts. And I feel like I understand some of where you are coming from. I simply don’t agree with you on some points.

    • USWeapon says:

      BF,

      As for your points, my responses:

      No matter your position I can take the tactic of disproving it, whether I believe it or not.
      I have been waiting for your attempt – and I still wait, probably forever.
      Yet you want me to believe that the people of Russia ..
      What Russia believes has no immediate concern to me.

      I will not take the tactic of arguing something I don’t believe for the most part here. That isn’t the point of my blog. I am not concerned with proving to you that I am a capable debater, you already know so, whether you admit it or not. As for the Russian beliefs comment, that was the point of that entire posting that you made. You ended the entire thing with what Russians believe, with your premise being that they believe what they do because of all the things in that article. I refuted such a premise based on logic and you simply changed course and stated that their belief has no immediate concern for you.

      No I am not willing to go to nuclear war with anyone. I think I made that quite clear in my initial article when I said that we should switch to a completely defensive posture and philosophy. I am well aware of what “my government believes”. And the faulty beliefs within my government is why we are all here discussing things in the first place. If I believed what the government believes all the time, I wouldn’t have much to write about on a political blog, would I?

      On the flip side, do you suddenly think that Russia is any more of a threat to us than they were during the cold war? They are not “far advanced” in technology over us. In one or two areas they might be slightly advanced. We are also quite advanced over them in many areas. I never saw them as a 4th rate military. But neither are we. I don’t want to go to war with Russia, or anyone else. And I have been clear on my beliefs around our military strategy in the world. But I do not “fear” Russia any more than I did as a child during the cold war. They are a level headed country. They don’t want to launch their 1,000 nuclear missiles any more than we want to launch or 1,000 missiles. It is a lose/lose situation if that happens.

      Get past World War II, and when exactly has our stance on using nuclear missiles been what you claim? You said that we need to “Make a unilateral policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.” That is exactly what we are right now.

  44. Black Flag says:

    PS: I have given suggestions.

    Disband the US Army, Navy, and Air force. Perhaps, maintain the Marines as a quick reaction force. Reduce our nuclear force to no more than 100 nukes as a deterrent. Make a unilateral policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.

    Withdraw from every foreign nation, close every non-American base and come home.

    ‘Free trade with all, entangling alliances with none’

  45. US-W, I have been waiting all day for SFC Dick to respond. Do you anticipate his arrival? Also could you enlighten me as to what an MSM source or non-MSM source is? Your dealing with a guy who had to ask my son last week what lol was in these posts. I hear that…..Stop your damn laughing!

    To those vets who responded I thank you. I will be reviewing your comments carefully and will return with some thoughts of my own, very soon, hopefully Tuesday. For now I leave you with this:

    Dear God, the sins of my ancestors are theirs to bear and I leave their judgment to you. I ask that you forgive me those sins which I have committed. Help me to see the nature of the world I live in and to realize the full potential of my existence within it. Help me find the courage to change the things that I can, the serenity to accept the things that I can not, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen

    • USWeapon says:

      JAC,

      SFC Dick is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Hard to say when he will have time to jump back in and answer. Also impossible for me to say whether he is even willing to.

      MSM simply stands for Main Stream Media.

  46. G. A. Rowe says:

    JAC;

    Might I suggest that you begin by disregarding all of BF’s inane meanderings? I think that he might think himself an intellectual. I have come to believe that he is a legend in his own mind. His last post attests to that. (#47 on this thread, his insanity is glaringly clear)

  47. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    So, go on ahead and laugh! But, whar in the hell DOES LOL mean?

  48. Lots of Love???

  49. Black Flag says:

    For the Internet Slang challenged:
    http://www.internetslang.com/

  50. Black Flag says:

    LoL!

    (Laugh out Loud)

  51. SK and Flag: My son and daughter both told me LOL is lots of love. I suspect that is based on the context in which they use it with there friends. I see what we really have is two definitions which can only be applied based on context.

    A little like Russian, where the same sentence can be a statement or a question, depending on voice inflection.

    Oh crap, what if text message language is different than internet language. I fear a day I won’t be able to talk to anyone–LOL!!

    Good to see we still haven’t lost our ability to enjoy a humorous side trip.

    Best Wishes Gentlemen.
    JAC

  52. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    Thanks BF for the ref to Internet Slang. I don’t use texting and until recently, (November 5, 2007) did not blog. BF, I know where you’re coming from in the Constitution about no standing armies. I will even admit that in a perfect world we wouldn’t need one. And also, yes, the government has sent our army to many places they shouldn’t have. And stuck the nations nose where it didn’t belong. But I will also say this. During these days of Terrorism and Idiot Nations developing nuclear weapons like it’s cool to have a big stick to hit others with, we need that Standing Army. We need to have the most well trained, disciplined Army in the world so that when, not if, the fecal material hits the rotating wind generating device we can take swift, decisive action. Now. I already know you’re not going to agree and will have a lot of mumbo-jumbo to back your points, so I’ll just go ahead and say that we will just have to agree to disagree. Thank God we still live in an America where we can still do that. We might not have that right before long.

  53. Black Flag says:

    G. A. Rowe

    His last post attests to that. (#47 on this thread, his insanity is glaringly clear)

    Ad hominen will get you no where.

    As far as the disbandment – it will happen; either by choice or by requirement. I would suggest that doing it by choice would be far better and easier on the nation.

    USWeapon

    What is it that you dispute.

    My first post outlined my complaint. You offered strategy without offering policy. You (seemly) created contradictions in your answers. For example, you appear wary of defending allies unless they are ‘true’ allies. How is this measured? What determines an ally? Is it trade? Why are we allied with UK but not with China? How do you prevent being sucked in? As you said, if your buddy is in a bar fight that he started do you walk away?

    I believe that we should be able to respond to aggression, no matter where it is aimed. We should only be able to initiate that response if the attack was aimed directly at us.

    So, on the first hand you have “no matter where it is aimed” – and then immediately reverse that position with “was aimed directly at us”. Which one is it?

    Your contention that our bases deter attack, but why wasn’t Sweden threatened by the Soviet Union? Or Finland? We don’t have bases or jets there…. So why do you believe our bases deter attack? Do they deter the Vietnamese? Iraqi’s? Taliban? If they do not deter these guys, what makes you think they deter anyone?

    What if our bases makes enemies? What if our ‘allies’ are dictators we support and the people don’t want either our bases or our dictators? How do you tell the difference? How do you pick the difference between terrorists vs. freedom fighter? How do we know we are fighting on the ‘right side’? Should we defend all our allies all the way into nuclear response? Who and who not and why?

    What vital interest is worthy of defending? Why? to what degree ie: nuclear response?

    By what policy are you invoking to know “…a good reason… to attack another country or intervene into another country?

    Again, I see you attempting to apply a strategy without any real underlying (or at least articulated) policy.

    I refuted such a premise based on logic and you simply changed course and stated that their belief has no immediate concern for you.

    No sir, you did not refute.

    1) Neither you or I know what Russians believe – we are not Russian.

    2) I do know how I would feel if the Russians acted toward us, the way we are acting toward them.

    3) Therefore, when a poll demonstrates that the Russians feel the same way I would, I believe what they feel is justified – for that is the way I would feel.

    Since you’ve obviously not placed yourself hypothetically into their position, consider this:

    If Russia surrounded the USA – placed missiles in Canada and Mexico (while wooing them into an alliance), played war games on in the newly Free Republic of Texas (that just separated from the USA) so that Texas can learn all the C&C structures of Russia so to join an alliance with them, all the while Russia is engaged in a frantic war with Cuba and Iceland – and threatening nuclear attack on Greenland – all of this on your border…..
    How the hell would you feel??

    So, if that is how they are feeling – then stir in 75 years of distrust and suspicion of US intentions – do you think it would be prudent to carefully define and act intentionally within your very well articulated plain language international policy so not to prod an incredibly powerful, nuclear armed, nation into be coming our mortal enemy – by accident …..(or if this is by design, continue acting exactly the way we are, we will succeed in Aces.)

    On the flip side, do you suddenly think that Russia is any more of a threat to us than they were during the cold war? They are not “far advanced” in technology over us.

    Russia is incredibly more dangerous than any time during the Cold War.

    Please read carefully:

    During the Cold War, there were ‘buffer’ nations between Russia and our armies. Please remember they suffered a national disaster unseen in any other country during WW2 and arguably, one of the worse in history – they lost more than half of the entire war’s deaths and casualties – mostly civilian.

    This scar will not leave the Russia psyche for centuries.

    They stayed their hand against their ‘enemies’ in the West because there was no immediate .
    need to risk the Motherland as long as the ‘enemy’ was 1000 miles away.

    The Soviet Union disintegrated – and unlike empires of the past – Gorbachev decided to spare the world another horrific war (the entire world owes him great gratitude; he really did earn his Nobel peace prize), and allowed Russia buffer states to become independent – under an agreement with the USA (under Ron Reagan) that the USA and the West would not move into the buffer nations. That is, maintain the buffer states – but this time, in neutrality. The Russians would try to believe and trust the West, just one more time.

    The West has broken that promise.

    We have moved our armies to the border of Russia.

    We have begun to ally ourselves with the buffer states and we are arming them, including missiles.

    We are training them to operate with our C&C structure.

    We are actively provoking Russia diplomatically.

    Their great fear – a rabid West again – on their borders – while there are still living veterans of the worse and deadliest war the Russians ever fought.

    The danger is so much more extreme than ever.

    In one or two areas they might be slightly advanced. We are also quite advanced over them in many areas.

    There are significantly more advanced in torpedo and ASM technology.

    Please note: these are published capability. Their real capability is most likely able to exceed these….

    Their ASM (Sunburn) is, literally, unstoppable. We have no defense against it.

    The unique characteristics of the MOSKIT anti-ship cruise missile, i.e. its supersonic speed and extremely low flight altitude at mid-course and final trajectory, highly efficient penetration of the hostile air defences, enhanced anti-jamming protection of the seeker, advanced and powerful warhead add to the formidable combat efficiency of the MOSKIT anti-ship missile system.

    This is capable of sinking any ship in any strike group. The US power is based on the ability transit oceans – given the US is surrounded by them. The Russians have to merely walk to their objectives.

    Their ability to devastate, at will, our fleets puts all of our other weapon systems (other than SAC and ICBM) to uselessness. If we can’t deploy, all the weapons we have are pointless.

    There was an interview with a top US Navy admiral. During the interview, the interviewer noticed a large painting behind the Admiral’s chair. He said, usually Admiral’s have paintings of their command ships. This one was of the empty sea with birds flying over the waves.

    The Admiral said “So do I. This is a painting of the future of Naval Warfare – no surface ships, just subs and aircraft.”

    Thus, our Navy – our #1 capability that defines us as our super-power – is invalidated.

    #2 is our air force.

    The S-300MU2, range of ~200km and striking to an altitude of 95,000m – eliminates all of our tactical and strategic aircraft. We have no ability to out-fly this missile. This missile is also their primary ABM – and very capable against any of our Cruise or Ballistic missile systems.

    Our only advantage is that this system is expensive and deployed only around high value targets. If the Russians can economic capability, expect these missile systems to proliferate.

    #2, our air force and SAC, is invalidated.

    The Russians can’t beat our aircraft in the air – except by sure numbers. But they don’t have to.

    The Russians can’t beat our Navy on the sea. But they don’t have to.

    Our tanks are better than the Russians, but there will be no US tanks there – they will be fish houses.

    The Russians might be a handful for our troops. But our troops won’t get there – they’ll be learning to swim….

    The Russians understand geography. They focused all of their development to defeat our points of failure.

    PS: They are selling this capability to anyone who wants it.

    Get past World War II, and when exactly has our stance on using nuclear missiles been what you claim? You said that we need to “Make a unilateral policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.” That is exactly what we are right now.

    No, Sir, that is not where we are. Indeed, because we refuse to declare NFU, and our actions with the buffer states, Russia changed her stance as well.

    Our stated policy is “First Use”.

    As of October 2008, only India[1] and China[2] have publicly declared their commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons.

    NATO has repeatedly rejected calls for adopting NFU policy, arguing that preemptive nuclear strike is a key option.

    After years of unilaterally declaring NFU, in 1993, Russia dropped a pledge given by erstwhile-Soviet Union to not use nuclear weapons first.

    In 2000, a Russian military doctrine stated that Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to use of nuclear weapons against it and also “in response to a large-scale conventional aggression”.

    Our actions has caused a reversal the NFU trend…..

    So, again, what is your policy that you basing all of this strategy around?

    • You offered strategy without offering policy. You (seemly) created contradictions in your answers. For example, you appear wary of defending allies unless they are ‘true’ allies. How is this measured? What determines an ally? Is it trade? Why are we allied with UK but not with China? How do you prevent being sucked in? As you said, if your buddy is in a bar fight that he started do you walk away?

      I do offer policy: non-aggression, only defense. What part are you not understanding in that? You misunderstood my meaning. My word true referred to us not them. As in a true friend will help while one only claiming to be a friend will not. Defend all allies. That means China too. If they are the victim of an unprovoked attack and ask for our help we should give it. If my buddy starts a fight he does so on his own. I won’t let him be killed, but I won’t help him be an asshole either. When he becomes defenseless and the guy still attacks him, I will stop it.

      I believe that we should be able to respond to aggression, no matter where it is aimed. We should only be able to initiate that response if the attack was aimed directly at us. So, on the first hand you have “no matter where it is aimed” – and then immediately reverse that position with “was aimed directly at us”. Which one is it?

      We should be able to respond directly to an attack on us. We should only be willing to help an ally who is defensive, not offensive. I didn’t contradict myself, again you misunderstood my meanings. Responding to aggression=defense only. We should only be able to initiate response if it is done to us directly, however we should be able to respond to aggression aimed anywhere if the target asks us to help. Not a contradiction. The no matter where it is aimed means we can be asked to respond aggressively, but cannot make the decision to respond on our own without a request from the victim. If the attack is against us directly, we don’t have to be asked to respond before doing so. Does this make it more clear? Does it calm your contradiction problem?

      Your contention that our bases deter attack, but why wasn’t Sweden threatened by the Soviet Union? Or Finland? We don’t have bases or jets there…. So why do you believe our bases deter attack? Do they deter the Vietnamese? Iraqi’s? Taliban? If they do not deter these guys, what makes you think they deter anyone?

      Our bases in Germany and England deter attack everywhere in Europe. You are being silly here. You are being petty with your argument on this point.I won’t bother arguing a point of opinion. Your opinion is that our bases abroad do nothing good and my opinion is the opposite. Neither one of us can prove the other’s opinion is incorrect and we aren’t going to change each other’s mind, so I will drop it.

      What if our bases makes enemies? What if our ‘allies’ are dictators we support and the people don’t want either our bases or our dictators? How do you tell the difference? How do you pick the difference between terrorists vs. freedom fighter? How do we know we are fighting on the ‘right side’? Should we defend all our allies all the way into nuclear response? Who and who not and why?

      How do the bases make enemies if the change their posture to defense only? Not my problem who is a freedom fighter or a terrorist. If you attack a nation, and that nation’s government asks for our help, we now have the right to assist should our government choose to do so. You are looking for concrete answers to questions where the circumstances change in each incident. I can only assume you are doing so because you think it makes your argument stronger, when it only shows that you are unwilling to view the reality of the world and understand we can switch to defense only and make the best decision on a case by case basis.

      To what degree ie: nuclear response?

      No, a no first strike nuclear position is the only good policy for that type of weapon.

      No sir, you did not refute. Yes in fact I did. You presented a premise that we are causing the Russians to feel a certain way with our actions. I refuted that with the Russian people feel the way they do because their government makes them feel that way. You can claim all day that I didn’t, but go back and read again your premise and my reply.

      1) Neither you or I know what Russians believe – we are not Russian.
      you claimed to know, you ended with the statistic of what they believed and said you understood why.
      2) I do know how I would feel if the Russians acted toward us, the way we are acting toward them.
      We aren’t acting in any way toward Russia by having the war games you mentioned in the article. Again, we go defense only and your point becomes moot. As if it wasn’t already.
      3) Therefore, when a poll demonstrates that the Russians feel the same way I would, I believe what they feel is justified – for that is the way I would feel.
      Since you’ve obviously not placed yourself hypothetically into their position,

      You have no idea where I have hypothetically placed myself, or for that matter what I think of the Russians feeling of fear from aggression. I never once stated they didn’t feel a certain way or that they were wrong or right to feel that way. I said that your claim that they feel that way because of the war games was a faulty claim. You don’t know that to be true. They could very well feel that way because their government shoots out propaganda every day in order to control them. It works in this country, so what makes you think it doesn’t work in that one.

      Russia is incredibly more dangerous than any time during the Cold War.
      Please remember they suffered a national disaster unseen in any other country during WW2 and arguably, one of the worse in history – they lost more than half of the entire war’s deaths and casualties – mostly civilian.

      No, sir, that is incorrect. Almost all figures point to their losing approximately one third of the total war’s casualties, not more than half. I didn’t find any source to back the claim of more than half. And just about all sources also say about half of those were civilian, not “mostly civilian”.

      As for the rest of your post… propaganda. Well thought out propaganda, but propaganda none-the-less. The most laughable part was the parts comparing our militaries. Talk about a biased hype job. But believe what you want. Lord knows no one is going to change your mind.

  54. US-W: Don’t jump to policy first. That concept is equally flawed. We must first find the underlying philosophy to support our effort. Only then can we move back, or forward if you will, to matters of policy.

  55. Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 all blew our chance with Russia. Reagan had the idea to work with them, the first three wanted, for reasons known only to them, to continue the confrontation.

    After WW II we extended our hand to the defeated enemy. Here, we spit in his face like some schoolyard bully. God help me, but on this one I’m with Flag. Seems to me that I remember when Jack Kennedy almost blew up the world over missiles 90 miles off our shores. Why should the Russians feel differently?

  56. Black Flag says:

    JAC

    That is what I was saying – policy is philosophy of politics.

    So I agree with you! 🙂

  57. Black Flag says:

    Yes, the USA has picked up the “Great Game” torch thrown to us by the Brits –

    – we accepted this Sisyphus’ challenge and became him –

    …we, like him, “…promoted navigation and commerce, but was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travelers and guests.

    He took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his dominant position.”

    “As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was compelled to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again.

    The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus.”

  58. Black Flag says:

    Sorry, the “Great Game”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game

    The Great Game was a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia.

  59. Flag: The philosophy I am referring to is the one that creates the foundation from which to form a political philosophy or policy. It also forms the base from which we will determine our ethics, also necessary for the formulation of political philosophy. I do appreciate your thought but it appears we do not agree—-quite yet anyway!

    Since I am at it, the reason I wasn’t concerned with addressing the foreign policy issue from the middle is because I wasn’t looking for debate on the policy. I was looking for any common threads regarding our vets views of ethics, morality, liberty, justice and most importantly their hands on view regarding the reality of the world we live in. Several respondents seemed to understand my goal and offered more than was specifically requested. I think I was rewarded handsomely by their efforts.

    I can only hope that I am as worthy when I try to articulate a defensible strategy for taking back our country from the statists who now control it. That is when your views and theirs, on what I would call the more strategic issues above, will come forth in a political and foreign policy. But it will be one that is based on the foundation of a defensible philosophy and ethics.

  60. Black Flag says:

    Well, even with your clarification, I agree – I am a “First Principle” kinda guy (if you hadn’t noticed)

    I hope you get some responses.

  61. Flag: Excellent then. If we can in fact start at the beginning and if we can bring others along it is going to be very interesting to see at which intersection each tries to go another way. It should be an enlightening and I hope rewarding trip.

    Best Regards
    JAC

  62. G. A. Rowe says:

    JAC

    Were you originally looking to find a sort of national foreign policy idea from the answers to your questions? If you were, then you were asking the wrong set of people. Military types, those of us who have served in war, are differentiated by rank – Enlisted and Officers. Officers have much further education than the basic enlisted. Career officers who have retired at command staff grade usually have attended the pentagon’s war college. All of us have studied the basic concepts of war fighting, officers more detailed than enlisted. None of us have any idea on how to win the peace, which is what I believe foreign policy is all about.

    I also firmly believe that once the politicians let loose the dogs of war, leave the war fighting up to the dogs. When the fighting is done, then the politicians can win the peace.

  63. Black Flag says:

    Well, that is a honest statement and a tragedy.

    I believe those the pull the trigger are responsible.

    However, the government – as you’ve outlined – separates those that must to the ‘thing’ from those that decide to do the ‘thing’.

    This way, the trigger-puller has an out – “I was ordered to do my duty” and the decider has an out “I didn’t pull the trigger”.

    This is obviously by design.

  64. G.A. Rowe: Regarding my purpose I offer the following from my response to Black Flag earlier today.
    “Since I am at it, the reason I wasn’t concerned with addressing the foreign policy issue from the middle is because I wasn’t looking for debate on the policy. I was looking for any common threads regarding our vets views of ethics, morality, liberty, justice and most importantly their hands on view regarding the reality of the world we live in. Several respondents seemed to understand my goal and offered more than was specifically requested. I think I was rewarded handsomely by their efforts.”

    This explains some but not all. I was detecting some commonality in other commments and wanted to see if I could flush it out.

    One of the reasons I did not support Ron Paul and can not support the Libertarians is the notion that all of our troops should come home and if they did, the world would be a happier and safer place. I am and idealist but not a fool. I tried to point out to Ron Paul folks that when the founders put forth their concerns they were in fact valid from a principled position, but they also had a reality where in it might take another nation 1 to 2 years to build a navy and army to invade us. Today, it takes less than 30 minutes. I detected similar views in other comments and was curious how many vets shared my concern.

    The media has for to long tried to tell us what our vets believe about the various wars or actions we get involved in. Rember the efforts to start portraying Iraqi vets as disenchanted, demoralized and sick of it all……..just like they did to our generation in Viet Nam. The reason they do this, is to change public opinion, at the expense of the vet. I hate what they did then and I hate what they are doing now. They actively work to destroy the moral of this country when we need it most. Not blind faith in our leaders, just a solid conviction to WIN. If we can’t muster the national guts to do that then we have no business in any business…period.

    I want to use the responses in a much more general and fundamentally important way than just developing a foreign policy. The founders failed to complete and succinctly describe the philosphy that supported our new nation. That failure allowed the non-believers, statists, to creep in and go to work on our moral fiber. We need to ressurect (I use that word deliberately) our core essence from the ash heap of history. The reason I asked for the vets response is that those who have served overseas and especially in combat have a different view of the world than those who haven’t. The fog of combat creates a clarity later that only one who has been there can see.

    Your comment about command staff reminded me to address this point as well. Someone commented they were concerned with my questions because soldiers should not be involved in making political policy, only military policy. The fact is that our military command staff have been involved in all policy making for some time. Staff are assigned to DOD, STATE, CIA, NSA, etc etc, plus the Joint Chiefs. All act to provide input to civilian policy makers. Good ones will offer opinions (though strictly qualified) when asked. With the Area Commands of today, it is quite often the military that has a better handle on customs, issues, and hot buttons in any given country. They sure as hell had a better handle on the situation in the Middle East than the boys at State.

    Enough for now, before I really get wound up. The hour is late.
    Best Wishes
    And to all who have worn the uniform of this country, my most heart felt gratitude and thanks.
    JAC

  65. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF,

    I said; “I also firmly believe that once the politicians let loose the dogs of war, leave the war fighting up to the dogs. When the fighting is done, then the politicians can win the peace.”

    Since you are having difficulty understanding this statement I will clarify; It has nothing to do with who takes the blame for war, it has everything to do with how the war is fought. Military units are war fighting units, not police departments. The average grunt is trained to kill and destroy, not keep the peace. If you do not like war, then get off your ass and invent a surefire way to prevent it from ever happening! If you could do that, then you would have my vote, hands down! I have a Son on his second tour in Iraq, and a Nephew likewise in Afghanistan. I am a Viet Nam Veteran, I have been there, and I do not like the idea that wars still exist. However, I firmly believe that freedom is the only thing worth going to war over. We are not only fighting for our freedom but for our very existence, and if we walk away like we were forced to in Viet Nam by squeemish politicians, we will lose everything forever!

  66. TruthSeeker says:

    BF is clearly blind about Russia and US Military power. You are not in position to know anyones true capabilites. I can create a web page touting all of the US’s greatest weapons and capabilites. Would you believe it? Do not pretend to know a countries true Military Power unless you have the clearance and access to such information. You do not.

    A good example was the Stealth Bomber. It was made in the 70’s, and not revealed until the 90’s. You have no clue about our current abilites and technology. So please spare us the comparison.

    Your intellecutal analysis of war is a fallacy. There is only 1 purpose of war. And that is to defeat your enemy. Killing civilians is always unfortunate. The tactic of the A-bomb dropping was to break the will of the enemy. And it did.

    You post high casualties for WW2. You are wrong. I bet you believe that firebomb story over dresden? Since you posted a wiki link, I shall do the same:
    [html=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dresden_air_raids]Dresden Air Raids[/html]

    I bet you also believe we killed 1 million iraqi civilians? The terrorists share the biggest pot of killing innocent civlians. Not the US. But the media will distort that fact and simply say that 1 million civilians have died since the US invasion. You know as well as I do that the US military does its damnest to not kill civilians (in today’s age). The terrorists don’t care about anybody but themselves. So they don’t care who is around them when they attack. How can I prove that we don’t intentionaly kill civilians? We give them billions of dollars to rebuild and give them medical care and treatment. If we didn’t care, we would level the entire country and walk away.

    War is fought by soldiers.
    Peace is fought by politicans.

    You say soldiers should be held accountable for pulling the trigger. That is true, to a certain extent. A soldier can disobey an unlawful order. That means if my commander told me to kill an unarmed civilian, I can lawfully disobey that order. Now, you may say what about collateral damage? If a terrorist is launching motors on my company/base and was surrounded by 10 “innocent” women, and there was no way to get a clean shot on the aggressor, would you take out the area? Yes, I would. My life is just as valuable as the “innocents”. The innocents has a choice to not be shields. You may say there might have been forced, but so was I in defending myself and my fellow soldiers.

    War is ugly, and we all wish for total peace. But as long as there are people who want to kill you for simply not believing and living the way they do, there will never be peace.

  67. TruthSeeker: Your comment about stealth tech reminded me of events during my later teenage years. I was raised in Nevada. On a few occassions while camping with my buddies in the high Sierra we would see lights approaching at night. At first look it was a plane, we were all used to seeing airplane lights at night so we had no doubts. But then as it approached there was no sound, at least not what our brains were expecting. There was not the usual reflection of moon or starlight from the plane itself. Back then the air was clear at night and you could often see the glint from even the B52’s flying at high elevation. When it passed overhead you could see a faint silhouette, like nothing we had ever seen.

    Needless to say, it was spooky as hell. We were all convinced we had seen a real UFO. We swore never to tell anyone because we didn’t want to be called crazy. Many years later standing in my living room watching the news my jaw about hit the floor when I saw that same shaped craft lifting off from some base in NV or CA (cant remember now), it was the day they unveiled the Stealth Bomber.

  68. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    One of my Ancestors fought at Kings Mtn. and Cowpens in the Rev. War. One of My GGGranddaddies fought with Thomas’ Legion in the Civil War. Others fought in other units both North AND South. My Graddaddy fought with the 30th Division in WW1, Uncles who fought in WW2 and Korea including the Chosin Reservior. Dad was in Vietnam. I and several cousins were in the peacetime Military. Have Family in Persian Gulf and Iraq and Afganistan. Soldiers and Sailors all. I put this here not to brag, but to show that my family has always been there when their country needed them. For someone to say they shoud not have fought for their country is an insult to them and to me. If you don’t think your conscience will allow you to do your duty to your country is fine, but PLEASE do NOT denegrate those who did and do for their nation every day. We, as Americans should thank out vets every day for their sacrifices and for fulfilling what they saw as their duty to this great nation of ours. (insert picture of me standing and saluting these fine men and women).

  69. Black Flag says:

    Just A Citizen

    Today, it takes less than 30 minutes.

    No invasion can occur in 30 minutes by ships or army or air by any nation on earth upon any nation on earth – even the USA does not have this ability.

    ICBM Nuclear attack – which is not an invasion – could occur in 30 minutes.

    Having a Standing Army/Navy/Marines/Air Force is pointless in a Nuclear Attack.

    Therefore, stating that a Standing A/N/M/AF is required to stop the 30 minute attack is flawed.

    If you wish to move to a dialogue on nuclear deterrence, most certainly. But this, again, has nothing to do with having US Marine boots on the ground outside of the USA.

    The reason they do this, is to change public opinion, at the expense of the vet.

    There are vets who were/are against these wars.

    I see you articulating the same way you claim the some of the media – portray a particular view as exclusive.

    They actively work to destroy the moral of this country when we need it most.

    You capture the moral of the people by making moral choices.

    The people will engage in moral action – however, they will retract from immoral action.

    If there is a retraction of moral support – it is probably an indication that the moral reasons for such action is deteriorating (or has been discovered false).

    Not blind faith in our leaders, just a solid conviction to WIN.

    Victory in evil is ‘not a good thing’.

    Since you are having difficulty understanding this statement I will clarify; It has nothing to do with who takes the blame for war, it has everything to do with how the war is fought.

    Exactly.

    Since you are the tool to execute such, you have a choice – to pull the trigger or not.

    You have a decision – either you make the direct decision, or you defer that choice to someone else. There is nothing in between.

    If you defer to someone else, you have two new choices trust their decision or not.

    If you trust them, you – therefore – will pull the trigger. It later is found that you have killed innocent people and did ‘wrong’.

    Who will and who should suffer the consequence of this mistake?

    TruthSeeker

    I can create a web page touting all of the US’s greatest weapons and capabilites.

    You make a fundamental mistake – called ‘hubris’.

    I am very aware of many of the capabilities of NATO armed forces.

    However, I am very aware that the Russians are incredibly intelligent people – and suffering from a resource limitation have focused the majority of their efforts to defeating NATO’s points of failure.

    The 6,000-pound Shkval rocket torpedo has a range of about 7,500 yards and can fly through the water at more than 230 miles an hour. …The Shkval flies underwater inside a giant “envelope” of gas bubbles in a process called “supercavitation.”

    The Shkval is so fast that it is guided by an autopilot rather than by a homing head as on most torpedoes.

    There are no evident countermeasures to the Shkval and, according to weapons experts, its deployment by Russian and Chinese naval forces has placed the U.S. Navy at a considerable disadvantage.

    SS-N-26 Yakhont Anti-ship Missile
    – Range 300km
    – Mach 2.5
    Sea-skimming and countermeasure avoidance technology.

    Would you believe it? Do not pretend to know a countries true Military Power unless you have the clearance and access to such information. You do not.

    Sigh.

    Again, you are mistaken. Every known weapon system has their minimum capability known. The reason, sir, is that they are for sale to other countries. Their specs are available.

    Further, it is to the benefit of countries to advertise this capability. Why do you think there are demonstrations and air shows? The benefit is deterrence. When your opponent is aware that you are able to inflict harm, he is likely to avoid confrontation (usually).

    A good example was the Stealth Bomber. It was made in the 70’s, and not revealed until the 90’s. You have no clue about our current abilites and technology. So please spare us the comparison.

    We are aware of its capabilities – and so are ‘they – which is why they were withdrawn from service in Serbia – and reused in Iraq. Serbs had radar capable of detecting the Stealth and Iraq did not.

    Your intellecutal analysis of war is a fallacy. There is only 1 purpose of war. And that is to defeat your enemy. Killing civilians is always unfortunate. The tactic of the A-bomb dropping was to break the will of the enemy. And it did.

    Your reasoning is missing.

    If the firebombing of Toyko – which killed more people than the nuclear weapons – did not break their will, the Atomic bombs wouldn’t either.

    I presented the Japanese deliberations – but of course, your myth is far more powerful.

    You post high casualties for WW2. You are wrong.

    I am accurate.

    But I can see you wish to determine evil by the number of dead – not whether their killing was moral, right?

    I take it if you kill 10 innocent people, you’d be 10x more evil than if you killed 1 innocent person, right?

    I bet you also believe we killed 1 million iraqi civilians? The terrorists share the biggest pot of killing innocent civlians. Not the US.

    How many millions of these people died before the invasion?

    Zero.

    But the media will distort that fact and simply say that 1 million civilians have died since the US invasion.

    And they are correct, aren’t they?

    You know as well as I do that the US military does its damnest to not kill civilians (in today’s age).

    So when they knew there was innocent women and children in the building they bombed to kill a ‘terrorist’, they did their damnedest to avoid dropping that bomb, right? It just released itself….

    The terrorists don’t care about anybody but themselves. So they don’t care who is around them when they attack. How can I prove that we don’t intentionaly kill civilians?

    …by not killing them.

    We give them billions of dollars to rebuild and give them medical care and treatment. If we didn’t care, we would level the entire country and walk away.

    The US doesn’t care or they would walk away. Most of the billions of dollars seems to have been stolen.

    War is fought by soldiers.

    War is fought by human beings.

    Peace is fought by politicans.

    Politicians love war – it increases government power.

    You say soldiers should be held accountable for pulling the trigger.

    Yes, since its their finger on the trigger. If they do not pull it, the gun does not fire.

    That is true, to a certain extent. A soldier can disobey an unlawful order. That means if my commander told me to kill an unarmed civilian, I can lawfully disobey that order.

    But how can you tell he is unarmed?

    The police in US cities can’t tell whether citizens are armed or not – how the heck are you able to make this decision while immersed in a citizenry actively insurgent against you?

    You will no doubt make far more mistakes in a war zone then the police in a US city.

    Now, you may say what about collateral damage? If a terrorist is launching motors on my company/base and was surrounded by 10 “innocent” women, and there was no way to get a clean shot on the aggressor, would you take out the area?

    No, I would retreat.

    Better, I wouldn’t have a company of soldiers there at all, nor would I have a base near civilian populations.

    I would treat ‘terrorists’ like criminals – not as soldiers – because, you are correct, soldiers destroy and kill, and are not suitable to exist in any society as such.

    A terrorist goal is not to take land or buildings or ground – but to destroy the legitimacy of government in power/occupation.

    The more you kill civilians, the more recruits they get. The more they kill the occupiers, the more recruits they get. The longer the occupation, the more recruits they get.

    Therefore, the strategy should be to end occupation, stop killing civilians and turn it into police work.

    Ms, I would. My life is just as valuable as the “innocents”. The innocents has a choice to not be shields. You may say there might have been forced, but so was I in defending myself and my fellow soldiers.

    You are there by your choice – they are not.

    • USWeapon says:

      BF,

      You said: Again, you are mistaken. Every known weapon system has their minimum capability known. The reason, sir, is that they are for sale to other countries. Their specs are available.

      Let me make this clear. You are mistaken. Their specs are not available. As someone who had the clearance and access to plenty of information in this sphere, you are correct that their minimum capability known. Almost none have their maximum capability known. I know the ones that I worked on and what the world knows their capability to be. I also know what their actually capability is, and the world does not. Nor do you. Nor do the people writing the article you referenced. Because if they did, they couldn’t write the article. I also know of several weapons developed that the world does not know anything about yet. This is an area where you fall into the trap of thinking you know, but you don’t. Not trying to knock on you, and I cannot be any more specific than I have, but you are wrong on this one, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

  70. Black Flag says:

    You are mistaken.
    you are correct
    you are wrong

    Take a night off.

    Any time you contradict yourself within a sentence, and then again in a paragraph means ZZZZ-time.

    🙂

    • USWeapon says:

      I did not contradict myself, go back and read it again.

      You are mistaken. You are mistaken on your overall statement that their specs are known
      you are correct You are correct that the minimum specs are known to the world for known weapons
      you are wrong You are wrong in the overall statement because the maximum specs are not known to the world

      Just because I gave you some partial credit doesn’t mean I contradicted myself.

  71. Black Flag says:

    USWep,

    I was right in what I said.

    Further, the specs are known – as I pointed out, because the systems are for sale.

    I have no doubt that there are weapons systems that are not for sale – thus, only min. capability is known.

    I have no doubt there are secret developments – but they don’t count, since they are not deployed systems and thus, do not count toward capability.

    The hubris of Americans in believing they have all the best toys will cost lives and will probably lose the next big war.

    • On the contrary BF, there are systems for sale that the true specs are not known for. I know this for fact, I worked on one of them. This is one of those times that I really wish I could say more because I could give concrete evidence to back this up, but I cannot. So I will have to let this particular one drop. I hope you understand. I don’t believe that we have all the best toys. I just don’t believe the Russians do either. Trust me, we can hold our own with them or anyone else that wanted a shot at the champ. A war between the two countries would be devastating with both inflicting massive damage and casualties. With any luck it won’t come to that.

  72. It appears as if this site has gotten a little off post. So since casualties of war seems to be the drift I thought I would add my 2 cents.
    I believe our military is the best in the world. They are like lions turn them loose they will defend themselves and their coutry. If someone is an enemy of my coutry then they are an enemy to me. Therefore if they come to my house I will defend myself and my country. If you are my enemy then I am considered an enemy combatant not an innocent. So if the news media portrays me as an innocent victim of war be warned they are not telling the truth.

  73. Black Flag says:

    The point, lost a post or two back, is that pinching the nose of a grizzly bear is stupid.

    Pushing NATO armies to the very borders of Russia will provoke a terrible response.

    • And that is a good point. I was merely pointing out a flaw on another point. As you say, it refines our argument to do so and allows our point of view to be more credible.

  74. SFC Dick says:

    Man I am beat. i am trying to write a critique about the war and I start another argument and I have to stop. I need, for myself, to get more information. I am trying to highlight failures and point to solutions, answers that we should know. I fight against my continued sub thesis that I know best, but how can you provide critique, honestly, if you present no better option. Then again, what makes my option better? It is so easy to say we are loosing this war, we could have very well passed our point of ever being able to win ( I won’t even touch on what win is here). We are fighting wrong and we are not fighting at all. The Army is completely schiztoid and taking much needed funds , that my operation needs, pumping into a new program that I am doing already, with results, but because of who we are, the Army has forgotton us or doesn’t care; even though we are constantly told that our mission is the way to win this thing. Yes, this is easy but I struggle on how to prsent this, with fact, holding true to my brothers but still highliting the wrong, yet, and here is the yet, presenting it so that opinions might change. I hate lies. Now, I reread this and want to delete it all and walk away because it , …I don’t know. The struggle of so much self absortion and big ego creeps in like a flash of light everytime I start, who am I to stand on high and present “the truth”. even this post, is so self important in my mind, the same hubris that I hate, and I feel like a media whore “stand by, the great SFC Dicks’ supreme missive is coming. Ha! I am forcing myself to post this, maybe in some cathartic way to break through the self imposed wall, of sorts, against self agrandizement. maybe I just have massive PTSD and these are mad mans’ ravings.

    In context of this whole argument I like Thomas Barnetts’ take on the global community and how we should shape all military/political/economic policy.

  75. SFC: You sound like an exhaused man! Our mind starts to shut down and nothing seems to work right and then the world looks very dark.

    Get some rest and then just focus on the questions I asked, not all the discussions that followed. When answering lean on your total world of experience not just the current shitty situation you find yourself in.

    And remember, you are not alone. We are here standing behind you, just call when you need us.
    JAC

  76. Black Flag says:

    What I’ve read from the vets is they want to attack “something” and finish “the thing”.

    But who do they want to attack?

    The 3G training is betraying them – they are (IMO) frantically pointing their fingers all over to find enemies – it’s the Sunni from Iraq, it’s the Shi’ite from Iran, it’s the Syrians, it’s Al-Qaeda – (who seems to un-busy in Afghanistan are able to attack in Iraq), it’s the Russians, the Pakistanis, or the Chinese, and if those damn Europeans would support US…….

    So, of course, they play perfectly into the hands of the 4G warriors as the civilians continue bear the brunt of this horrific strategy.

    This reality points again to what America needs to do in Iraq: get out now, fast, while it can.

    If we are lucky, history will grant us a “decent interval” between our departure and the next round of 4GW in Iraq. If we dawdle until the fighting ramps up again, we may find it difficult, politically if not militarily, to leave at all.

    Another danger is that a new Israeli government in which Likud and voices to Likud’s right are stronger is more likely to attack Iran.

    An attack on Iran by the U.S. or Israel threatens consequences disastrous to America.

    The worst potential consequence is the possibility of the destruction of the army the U.S. now has in Iraq. As almost no one in Washington seems to realize – thanks, as usual, to hubris – that possibility is all too real.

    All one need do to see it is look at a map. Iran sits alongside our main line of communications, supply, and retreat all the way from Baghdad to the straits of Hormuz. Add in the probability that various Shi’ite militias and perhaps much of the new Iraqi army as well would join with the Iranians in attacking us, and the possibility of finding 100,000 American troops in an operational of fighting their way through the Middle East towards and escape out of Turkey – with minimal supplies – is frighteningly evident. In this event, we will be lucky if anything but a few companies – probably only the Marines – will make it.

  77. esomhillholler says:

    Don’t think there’s much chance of us attacking anyone with Mr. Obama in charge, BF

  78. Black Flag says:

    Somehow, I do not see Obama has any influence on the Israelis. I see the opposite.

  79. BF,

    What would you have Isreal do? Wait until Achmedthenutjob nukes Televiv? And just HOW would that little incident be beneficial to the U.S.?

  80. Black Flag says:

    First, Iran has not attacked another nation for nearly 300 years.

    Somehow, I hold doubt that this attitude has changed. They had the largest ancient empire – they are sick of empire.

    Further, they are operating within the NPT unlike USA/UK/France/Russia/India/Pakistan … Israel a nuclear power did not sigh the NPT, as did not North Korea. Nice community they make.

    Further, it would take them – with technology they do not have 10 years to make any nuclear weapon.

    At this time they have no ability to deploy a nuclear weapon inside a missle therefore, need to fly it.

    That would mean in-air refueling to reach Israel – as well as over-fly US occupational territory.

    I hope you are getting a picture here.

    • BF,

      Where are you coming up with this stuff? Would have to refuel to reach Israel? Check the map again, it isn’t that far dude. Maybe if they try to take it over with an unltralight. And they are not 10 years away from the technology. Amazing the best minds in the world and the folks from the IAEA cannot figure out where Iran is with the technology, but you seem to be able to nail it down. Telepathy? A phone call to their freaky Pres?

  81. Black Flag says:

    What map are you looking at???

    Tehran to Tel Aviv is 1,000 miles.

    Iran has to overfly Iraq and then Syria!

    What kind of jet do you think the Iranians have??

    What way point can they reach that will allow them mid-air refueling – (as if – and they don’t – have mid air refueling ability)???

    The IAEA and the US Intelligence both agree with me.

    Who are you reading?

    • USWeapon says:

      OK… The IEAE on Iran:

      leading eventually in 2005 to a finding by the IAEA’s Board of Governors that “Iran’s many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards Agreement … constitute non compliance …” The board also noted “… the history of concealment of Iran’s nuclear activities …” The latest IAEA report laments “… the continued lack of cooperation by Iran…”

      and The International Atomic Energy Agency “has not seen any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices,” Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a report to the IAEA’s board. But the agency was not “in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran,” the report added.

      and in an interview at the end of 2008 with that same Director General:
      Mohamed ElBaradei: “If Iran wants to turn to the production of nuclear weapons, it must leave the NPT, expel the IAEA inspectors, and then it would need at least… Considering the number of centrifuges and the quantity of uranium Iran has…”
      Interviewer: “How much time would it need?”
      ElBaradei: “It would need at least six months to one year. Therefore, Iran will not be able to reach the point where we would wake up one morning to an Iran with a nuclear weapon.”
      Interviewer: “Excuse me, I would like to clarify this for our viewers. If Iran decides today to expel the IAEA from the country, it will need six months…”
      ElBaradei: “Or one year, at least…”
      Interviewer:”… to produce [nuclear] weapons?”
      ElBaradei: “It would need this period to produce a weapon, and to obtain highly-enriched uranium in sufficient quantities for a single nuclear weapon.” […]

      From a DoD Report: “Iran is pursuing a longer-range strike capability for its air assets to support the delivery of more powerful strategic weapon systems,” adding that Tehran was “investing considerable resources” in aerial refueling capabilities. The training involved Iran Air Force’s (IRIAF’s) Sukhoi Su-24MK strike aircraft
      And to add from me… Jets are not the primary method for delivering a nuclear weapon, bombers are. But if a Jet is what you prefer, Iran has Mig-29’s in its inventory with a range of 1340 miles. As a matter of fact, a modified commercial aircraft can deliver a nuclear weapon. Iran has several converted commercial airliners in their Air Force including the primary model with a range of 5270 miles. Quite far enough to go a long way around patrolled airways.

      I am not saying what Iran’s intentions are or what our policy should be. I am just not letting you throw out false information to back your case.

  82. Black Flag says:

    Ok, see me rolling my eyes.

    Turning “AIRLINERS” into bombers is going to penetrate Israeli airspace – the most advanced and potent military in the Middle East – my, you watch too many James Bond movies! I cannot believe you actually offered such a scenario. The best military machines of air are incapable of such – and you’d actually believe a jet airliner could… holy cow…

    I bet you also believe box cutters are a WMD.

    I agree – when they shutdown national defense, ground the fighters and refuse to launch – like the US did in 9/11 – yeah, I’ll give you blatant, overt, and horrific breach of standard intercepts …sure. Therefore, the only success for such an assault – over 1,000 miles of hostile air space would be a blatant (and therefore deliberate) breach of duty (or malfeasance). Do you think I believe honest warriors of the USA would deliberately fail?

    Therefore, MALFEASANCE, sir!

    I wanted to respond on the ridiculous notion presented about Iranian intentions.

    Israel has initiated attacks on her neighbors and the upon the Armed Forces of the United States of America. These are facts.

    Iran has not – ever – in her entire existence as a modern nation – going back nearly 300 years – initiated an attacked another nation.

    Iran has been invaded by Western Powers, has had coups initiated by Western Powers and has suffered invasions upon her.

    Iran has never responded – within her rights – to such aggressions to her sovereignty.

    • USWeapon says:

      I didn’t offer any scenario, I merely pointed out facts. A converted commercial plane could do many things. It isn’t Bond, it is reality. Terrorists use rental trucks to take down buildings, women to blow up crowds, and you would believe they would not use a disguised commercial flight to facilitate a nuclear attack if they thought that was their best play? Talk about sticking your head in the sand.

      No, box cutters are not WMD’s…. but they did put several planes into buildings as I recall. That is unless you want to subscribe to the crazy conspiracy theories where Bush used an RC plane remote to steer them there from the White House.

      Iran has not – ever – in her entire existence as a modern nation – going back nearly 300 years – initiated an attacked another nation.

      Yet her President stomps out and threatens to do just that nearly every day to the world press. I don’t care that she hasn’t done so. For many of those years she didn’t have much of the capability to do so, but that is irrelevant. What I care about is what she threatens to do today. You walk up to me in a bar and threaten to punch me in the face, I won’t care much whether you have done so in the past. I will expect a swing from you. When someone is pushing towards becoming a nuclear weapon nation, and while doing so tells the world they intend to wipe out Israel, I am not interested in whether she has done so in the past. You don’t wait for a mushroom cloud to take verbal threats seriously. Just like I wouldn’t wait in that bar, you threaten and then so much as move, I will act.

  83. SFC Dick says:

    Black Flag, there is much theory on Linds 4gw, I believe we can both agree Lind is the father of 4GW, hell, just ask him, he’ll tell you. I cannot completely pick his theories apart but one of the flaws I see with many of his arguments is an almost continued adaptation of his theories to fit a current situations. Since 4GW is a theory I believe we can find specific example, couch them in the context of 4GW and make an argument accordingly, supporting a greater argument, but I believe 4GW is so broad that , in the end, it is a theory. I think it was in regard to General Mattis that a theorist wrote, I paraphrase greatly here” I suggested to Gen Mattis that he read ( some work on 4GW) , I found Gen Mattis to be very well read but he responded that…””…warfare hasn’t changed”” at which point I the author knew I had the biggest brain”. As you well know young man, there are many out there that disagree with Lind, some even write complete tomes titled “The myth of fourth generation warfare”.
    Ok, here’s a point of order that I want noted, between you and I. I don’t think either one of us are involved in this discussion to win debate points. you seemed to argue that the US was fighting Afghanistan using WWII tactics( in an earlier post) but then argue that we are using 3G tactics, all this under a larger umbrella of establishing 4GW as what we are involved in, here, now. C’mon now, many Lindist argue that we fought WWII using 2G tactics, the Germans were the only ones using true 3G tactics that had been taught them for some 30-40 years prior at their military academies. I only point this out because I have faith in your sincere desire to uncover or illuminate some greater truths and educate to some counterproductive fallacies all for a better “thing”. This is one reason I don’t like using the whole 1G,2G,3G, 4GW in debates about realities, yes, fact can be found and derived from certain held beliefs in each style but I think more concrete examples should be used when discussing orders of battle and perhaps the whole “G” thing is better suited for a larger, theoretical debate. This in support of your argument using “some vets”? isn’t that a bit gratuitous, those some vets are morons and develop no “thing” that benefits anyone looking for solutions. I might as well use the retarded children, who I volunteered to coached in baseball, who believe me the smartest man in the world, as the basis for my arguments and therefore allowing me ad homonym rights to end the debate on my prognostications.

    The civilians are paying a terrible price, here is where my confusion sets in by using the “G” terms, I would argue that the civilians are not paying a price here because we are maneuvering on a qallat with armor and hitting them, mistakenly or carelessly (your call) in support of?
    I argue that we are using a flawed tactic especially designed for 4GW (last time I use the terms), using small teams ( I hate the term commando) that roll on something that is either out of their scope to attack force on force or they, these great warriors, are lazy/scarred/stew-pid so they call in air. For Christ sake people! YES! The bad guys shoot at us from inside a wedding gathering/party or shoot at us then run, sheltering themselves inside a mass of innocent civilians. We know this, but to continue these tactics are not only counterproductive but …man, it is wrong. We need to look at ourselves real God damned hard. Is this our best, I pray this is not our ace in the hole.
    Screw it, here it comes, Black Flag is a bright boy, I believe he knew well he was going to draw out my arguments.

    We are fighting this war “wrong” . The above is one of the most disastrous tactics we use. This tactic has paid many dividends that go unreported for obvious reasons, but the bad guys adapt. I believe commanders involved in the bombing of the wedding party should be sent home to work in supply or logistics. UUUGHHHH! Now Big Army has responded to this and has made things worse.
    We are not fighting at all. I have been given intell, identifying targets(not germane the type of targets) and we don’t move on them. One reason I was given was that we don’t have enough troops (resources) I argue that is exactly why we need to hit hard targets when we are made aware of them because 1. Hard, conventional type targets are a commodity over here and need to be exploited. 2. The very fact that we are few in number is precisely why we need to hit the enemy every chance we have, disrupt him, make him react to us, dictate the operational tempo to him. Keep him off balance, disorganize his order of battle and use that disarray to our advantage. I see some commanders over here doing this very thing, I see Big Army not doing this or not doing this in a way that allows us to operate in our strengths and exploiting some very fundamental weaknesses in the enemy. Big Armies’ answer to this is what gives us the tactics described above. Many sit on their asses in FOBs, rolling out in huge armor columns once a week to…? This tactic is no tactic at all but a hugely crippling risk aversion and flawed reliance on “force protection”. Yes, the armor column has its place here, a support role mostly, not a tactical response to operational needs. “Force Protection” is a panacea and points to a larger problem, if Big Army has learned lessons and remembers how to fight this thing, it sure as hell aint showing it.
    The fact that Big Army is clueless is proved by 2 things (more, but I will address 2).
    1.The self congratulatory manner in which much praise and hero worship was heaped upon Gen Petraeus. Petraeus came out with the bible of counter insurgency; this was just rehashed from the previous manuals. Yes, there is much good in these manuals but to pretend that you just invented the wheel again proves the huge problems in today’s military. When Petraeus came out on TV stating “you can’t commute to this war” as if it was some great realization made because he has the biggest brain of all, I almost puked.
    2. The development of the HTS and the HTT. You guys are going to have to educate yourself on this one. Here is a link to an argument I made against the HTT http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/03/military-review.html?cid=151160047#comment-151160047 it could use some polish, but it gets my point across.
    I was going to write up a more in depth series of argument, highlighting problems and offering solutions that was to be its own post. I still might, for my own therapeutic needs. If it has any merit I will offer it up.

  84. Black Flag says:

    SFC Dick

    I’ve found he has been pretty consistent in both predicting and explaining what is happening.

    However, as in any contest of violence, there is no guarantee that any theory or strategy will give victory. It’s like poker, you can have pocket Aces, and still get beat.

    I believe 4GW is so broad that , in the end, it is a theory.

    Yes, I agree. However, there is two parts to it.

    The second part is an attempt to manufacture a strategy with it in such a way to win. That means if you are an insurgent, 4GW theory aids in creating strategies that improves your chances of victory – and if you are counter-insurgent, it does the same for you too if those creating strategies pay attention to the first, and most important, part of 4GW theory.

    The first part of the theory is the goal of 4GW – which is the de-legitimization of the State.

    Thus, if your an insurgent – your actions are to de-legitimize the State. If your a counter-insurgent, your actions have to be to legitimize the State.

    So for example, Hamas moving from 4GW army into the government was a disaster for them. They legitimized the State by becoming it – which is opposite the goal of a 4GW. Becoming the government made them easy targets for Israel.

    Look at Hezbollah – they refuse to become the State, but chose instead to actively influence it – allowing them a far greater range of motion in their actions – from fighting war to rebuilding the shattered cities – without the need of the State to support them.

    The key to defeating 4GW is to not de-legitimize yourself as the State. This is very difficult for the US to accomplish, since it is very hard for an occupying power to appear legit.

    As you well know young man, there are many out there that disagree with Lind, some even write complete tomes titled “The myth of fourth generation warfare”.

    Oh, indeed! And I read them too and some make excellent points as well.

    However, I see 4GW theory is the best at explaining the situation that is happening now. Many of the implications perhaps has not been fully fleshed out – but much of what has happened appears best explained by 4GW theory.

    C’mon now, many Lindist argue that we fought WWII using 2G tactics, the Germans were the only ones using true 3G tactics that had been taught them for some 30-40 years prior at their military academies.

    Point of clarification.

    I did not say the Germans were the only ones using 3GW.

    I did not say the the US used 2GW tactics (well, generally – Anzio and much of the Italian campaign was certainly a 2GW battlefield, but that certainly wasn’t the dominate tactic of the Americans. Patton certainly better represents US tactics in WW2 – and he was most certainly 3GW all the way)

    I did say that the French used 2GW tactics.

    I haven’t read the Lind says US was 2GW in WW2 – and what other 4GW guys may or may not say about WW2 (shrug). If I read it, and it makes sense – I retain it. If I read it, and its junk – I throw it away.

    But to the point of my reply here;

    I read your post and it does occur to me that even in your rough articulation, you do have a good sense of the tactics needed to achieve at least enough of a ‘victory’ to leave ‘in good faith’.

    A post or two back, someone said about “They should let the fighting be fought by the guys there” – to which I responded about the ‘trying to find something to attack’.

    Re-thinking their comment – after reading your recent post – I would now say; “Yeah, they should or they should brought home”

  85. SFC Dick says:

    Have I quoted Thucydides yet today? Hmmm…regardless, here it is “A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting
    done by fools.” -Thucydides

    he might, through his writing be the anti-Dick, but screw it. I’ll exploit that quote.

    Black Flag, sir
    I cant really take any issue with what you wrote. Except there seems to be “something” in the idea that you can control the state/goverment but not be part of it,the Hammas V Hezbolla .grant me the paraphrase, my tiny brain is tired, and my constant struggle to maintain any level of rough articualation is quickly leaving me. .I’m gonna run that through the batputer and see if I can find some angle on that assumption.

    I was giving one of my “short story long” answers to the wife when she asked, prior to my leaving this last time, responding to her question about “why are you volunteering to go back if you think it’s all screwed up and that we are loosing the war”; when she became impatient. I said ” What would I do, now? I’d pull every one and every piece of equipment out of that shit hole NOW! I’d be the last man out, counting the troops as the filed by. I’d be standing on the ramp of the C17 and give the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, peace loving people of, a great big “fuck you very much, too bad ya gotta stay” and the give the C17 crew chief a nod. When I return home, as now I am the supreme commander of all US forces, you’d have to call me for an army. I’d give the appointed contacter dude highest, department of begging and asking nicely, the same ammount of time and courtesy I give all telemarketers that call trying to screw me into some sour deal; about 20 seconds after my “Dick here, what?……”. After the 20 seconds ( it would probably be protocol that I give the department of begging and asking nicely 20 seconds, most especially when I’m addressing the contacter dude highest) I’d sip my refreshing cold coors light, think all of 3 seconds ( I might give it 5 seconds of thought were he to pitch south or central America , warring down there is sweet duty) and reply…”nope”. I would then hang up the phone and resume refreshing myself with cold coors ligth.

    Today I have neither the authority or the coors light. I’m screwed on both.

  86. SFC & Flag,

    You guys are way over my head on this stuff. I was just a lowly E-2 and then a very short timer O-1 back in ’69-’70. However something you are writing about struck home. The heir with the Jr after his name was active duty army for four years. Since that time he has stayed semi-active in the Army Reserve as an O-3. The reason he has done that ties in nicely to both the HTS /HTT post and your Thucydides comments.

    A graduate of Army ROTC out of St. Peters College in Jersey City, he had to travel three times per week to Seaton Hall U, (A trip) because the ROTC unit at St. Petes had been closed down. He’s got this one man crusade going about re-opening the ROTC units up here in the cities of the Northeast.

    He has two very interesting reasons for this. First and foremost, cities like, NY, Jersey City and Newark are chock full of Arabic speakers, first generation American born, not to mention native Spanish speakers. Back in the day as the kids would say, ROTC would offer a quick entry to the middle class for 1st gen, Americans of Italian, Polish, Russian, German etc. heritage. Now besides the obvious advantage of recruiting officer material culturally similar to the people we are both fighting and protecting there is the other issue of, God help me here, diversity.

    OK, OK, OK, I know the word is anathema today. I’m not talking about it’s misuse. I’m talking about an officer corps that represents the population it is defending. If you research ROTC today in the North, you will find that’s its almost impossible for there to be a next Colin Powell. All services have more or less abandoned the cities. The cadre can’t deal with the cities. The Army, for example has more ROTC programs in Mississippi than it does in New York despite a population ten or more times bigger. There is no way to join Naval ROTC today in the City of New York. Eight and one half million people, plus the close in suburbs and no naval ROTC. If you live in Brooklyn and want to go Air Force ROTC, you are facing a two hour, each way, commute three times per week. Army is just as bad.

    Funny part about all this is, when you get to talk to the O-7’s or O-8’s about it they are totally unaware. Ditto politicians in Congress who were ROTC grads during Korea or Viet-Nam. They have no clue the programs have been shrunken.

    The officer Corps today is approaching self selection. The Academies or Southern Schools only. Recruiters are routing college graduates to the enlisted ranks, lying to them or failing to mention OCS. I still want to know why that football player, Pat Tilman, with demonstrated leadership potential was an E-4 not an O-2. Maybe he would have been smart enough not to open fire on an unidentified target.

    I have no problem with Academies (other son is a graduate) or southern schools but if you want soldier/scholars, and people thinking out of the box you have to look a bit further afield. I would be interested in your comments.

  87. Sr Trynoski, sir
    One of the many new manuals deals specifically with that issue. It continually mentions needing soldiers of high intellect that can understand the intricacies of the modern unconventional warfare environment. The manual continually drills down on this point, in many different areas and pertaining to different aspects. The problem is the solutions it finds are in itself, the army noncommissioned officers academies; although a continued civilian education must be pursued by the soldier. HA HA, joke’s on us. The NCO academies are ska-rued. I’ll flesh that out another time, I’m drinking my coffee before we roll. Years of social engineering is starting to pay off big, BIG dividends here in the Army. I know many weenie types out there either couldn’t give a crap that they helped cripple the military or they are jumping for joy. I blame the military for going along, willingly. Yes, the civies control the military, but I do find, sometimes, the government will (my damn spell check is failing me here) duh… go with, the Army if a point is argued well. Sr Trynoski, read Col David Hackworth’s missives on 2d Lts.

    Oh yeh, read some more about Tillman, read some other accounts. It is not that I find your comment offensive, I find that you seem to want to put it in proper context, I don’t think you understand what happened out there, 8 kilometers right infont of me to my right, as I sit here typing.

  88. SFC

    There was no intent to insult in any way. I wasn’t there. I do know, from friends that have been in various shootouts, that once the first shot is fired, all hell breaks loose. The loss of all those troopers in Sicily on the C-47’s is a glaring example of itchy trigger fingers. No way to prevent it really.

    Forget the politics regarding the cover-up. If I were an O-6 or O-7 I would probably have wanted the family to think it was something other than it was. Hell, if I was his squad leader, I would want to tell them something different.

    Suffice it to say that as a reader of Army Times, and the regular media, the Tillman incident still has a lot of questions attached to it.

    I’ve read Hack’s stuff. He’s the one who turned me on to Bernard Fall. Only then did a clear picture of our errors and hubris in VN become clear to me. I’ve read Dick Winter’s bio’s too. The whole damn thing in life comes down to leading by example and taking responsibility. Too bad so many are risk adverse.

    Be safe.

  89. Sr Trynoski, sir

    I apologize for coming off as condescending, I feel I might have . We were given the example of Tillman as a learning block several times, we in the Army seem unable to agree on all facts surrounding it and the causes that precipitated the tragedy. Some want to blame the commander on the ground for splitting his troops, eh…maybe, but by no means in my opinion did that cause the entirety of the mess. I see bad commo ( a continued problem faced by soldiers fighting for a country where a dude can go to Wal-Mart and by a couple hand helds for 30$ that work really well over here for squad level comms) and the fact that they were moving with and at the mercy of some local dicked up jingle truck driver. I , like the Tillman, nah, not “like”, I guess what I’m trying to say is Pat Tillman makes me proud to be an American, I think his is a story of a real American, sacrificing a multimillion dollar contract in a job where he gets to play football for a living for a higher set of ideals. What makes this even better, he and his brother joined, to Fight! We need more Tillmans and less Reids.

  90. richard germond says:

    As a Veitnam vet that has seen the bad sides of war, I would say we should never engage in any war except the protection of ourselves or are true allies. It would be the same if you saw a dear friend being picked on, if you were a friend you would come to their aid. Unless we are attacked unless we know that we will be attack we should not leave the confines of our border.
    If we keep troops in certain regions because of treaties that were signed years ago then it is time to revisit these treaties. No American troop should ever be assigned to any other authority other than the united states. No soldier will be under any UN authority ever. We shall never be the worlds police force. If we are ever attacked again by terrorist we will take the same terror back to them. We will and need special search and destroy troops that can be put out at a moments notice. These will be in secret and will act like hit squads and they will not show any mercy for our enemies.

    • USWeapon says:

      Richard,

      I think this is the first time I have seen your name in my comments. Welcome to the site. Thank you so much for your service to this country. I think that we are fairly in agreement on the path that we should be taking. The question now is how do we get there from here?

  91. Just a few numbers for everyone

    With forward deployed forces in places like Okinawa Japan (where I was stationed) the response time to a threat in the middle east or Asia is 48 hours.
    If we deployed from Hawaii it would take 7 days. If we deployed from California it would take 14 days.
    Forward Deployment is critical to the success of the American military’s and the protection of our nation and our allies.

  92. I just wanted to share with everyone out there an event I attended today. My Air Force Reserve son invited me to an awards ceremony at Ft. Dix NJ.

    The awards were given 65 and 56 years late to an 87 year old former B-17 radio operator/gunner who went on, in the Korean War to serve as part of a FAC team assigned to the 7th ROK division withdrawing out of North Korea during the Chinese intervention, December 1950. having been captured by the Chinese, he spent three months as a POW before engineering an escape with fellow prisoners. Making it back to American lines, he spent the next year in a series of hospitals being treated for frostbite. Medically discharged from the Air Force in 1953 as a Tech Sgt. he never received the medals he had earned in the two wars.

    Several months ago he asked a Chaplin who he knew to help him get an Air Force uniform to wear to his grandson’s homecoming from Afghanistan. Hearing his story the Chaplin and members of the 514th EMX Reserve out of McGuire AFB adopted him. They secured the medals he had earned and two colonels, one AF and one Army presented them today. There was one ROK medal, equal to the Silver Star, Two Purple hearts, a Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal, WW 2 Victory Medal, POW medal, Air medal with clusters and a Distinguished Flying Cross. The medal citations were read as they were awarded.

    The ceremony was attended by approximately 100 active duty and reserve component soldiers and airmen as well as members of the public and a contingent of the Patriot Guard. Speeches were kept to a minimum and the best was delivered with a cracking voice and tears by the honoree. Every time he would break up, the troops covered it up with their applause. At the end of the ceremony I hung around listening to the young soldiers and airmen talk about what they had seen. Their awe and respect were astounding.

    The 514th managed, using extraordinary field expedient means, to secure a full set of class A’s for the sergeant at no cost to him. In addition to his ribbons and aerial gunner wings he personalized the uniform by adding the Mighty Eighth patch on his left shoulder.

    • USWeapon says:

      Sounds like an awesome experience! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! My hat goes off to the man. Well deserved recognition for his acts of heroism and service to the Country.

  93. Black Flag says:

    <Phil

    If you do not fight those that want what you have you will end up either dead or a slave.

    Self-defense is not the issue.

    Instigating the assault is the issue.

    We must be so incredibly careful of what fight, with whom, over what – least we become the evil.

    Do you honestly think you would be free right now if others thought as you do and were not willing to lay down their lives for the freedom we all seek?

    Such as?

    Many many wars and battles have been fought for the “proclaimed” freedom – yet, very, very, very few actually are.

    There is a reason. Nearly every human seeks freedom – and we, instinctively, know that taking that freedom from someone will mean someone will take it from us.

    That still means there are some who are brain damaged, and still want to try.

    But they are few, and they are mostly politicians.

    What would have happened if nodody would have stood up to the likes of Hitler?

    Dangerous example.

    IF the USA did not enter WW1, Hitler would not have come to power.

    IF the West followed through with reconciliation with Germany, and not listened to the war-monger Churchill, war with Germany would have been averted.

    But, that’s the rub. Playing fools in a dangerous game kills people.

    Yes, innocents die, but how many more would have died if nobody stood up?

    Sun Tzu – If you have to do battle means you have already failed.

    I’m thinking a great many more!

    We shall never know.

    But we do know that in the 20th Century, government killed more of its citizens than any natural disaster in that century….the first time in history that an entity of mankind killed more of mankind then nature – 300 million dead by government.

    Somehow, this misbegotten notion of fighting for freedom has been warped into a massive slaughter of humanity.

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  1. […] me an email this morning with some cobbled-together thoughts from other postings he’s made (here and here). I asked if I could share, and so here are some excerpts with very slight editing and my […]

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