Thursday, September 3, 2009

How NOT to Make War

How NOT to Make War
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The war in Afghanistan is making me nervous. Everyday, as I read the wire reports, and listen, and watch the broadcast news and glean the news from the Internet, and I am detecting many of the same mistakes the US made in Vietnam being made in Afghanistan. Micromanaging the war from Washington has already cost the lives of more US servicemen than is necessary.

The political Left in America has been wishing for a war for sometime now so they can prove their prowess. The little war in what used to be called Yugoslavia was unsatisfying for their public relations people. Dropping bombs on an enemy from so high up the jet engines of your aircraft are laboring for lack of oxygen and your aircraft can’t even be seen, is, somehow, not heroic enough for the 6 o’clock news. No, they need a war that can be splashed across the HDTV screens of Americans in all its bloody gore. They THINK AFGHANISTAN is IT! Once again, they have, as they say, figured wrong!

Liberals/Progressives/socialists/democrats love the very thought of Nation Building. As a conservative I don’t.

The US SUCKS at nation building. I am inclined to believe that democracy is not for everyone. Democracy is a thinking, reasoning person’s form of government.

A republican form of democratic government is even more difficult to set up and sustain. I believe there simply are some countries on this globe not capable, at this point in their history, of setting up and sustaining, a democratic, republican, form of government - such as the one we have in the US. I also believe that forcing them to create such a government is a terrible mistake on our part and will, almost assuredly, backfire on us - and, if we are not very careful we will be at war once again in those countries we have just left, or, are leaving.

As an example, I am convinced that soon after the US and it’s allies leaves Iraq it will revert back to a strongman form of dictator government. If that does, in fact happen, what will the US and it’s coalition partners have won? Not much, it seems to me.

Now, I know it is not the popular thing to say these days, but we won the war in Iraq. We invaded, completely destroyed the military of Iraq, overthrew the government of Iraq, and captured the Iraqi “Dictator-in-Hiding.”

I’m not a Neo-Con. If anything, I’m an old moss-backed Paleo-Con. I do not believe in Nation Building… at all. I’m from the old school in which you invade a country, and destroy it’s military, it’s government, it’s infrastructure and then … you leave. A very important part of the punishment of that enemy country is to leave it a smoking pile of rubble!

This is an important part of any victory. The ability to point to a former enemy’s pile of rubble and say: “hey, you mess with us and you, too, will wind up like that!” It has something to do with the “fear factor.” Scare the living daylights out of any potential enemies.

Granted, it’s not pretty, but it is effective. You see, I’m not into trying to win friends and influence people. Never have been. I’m into winning.

See, I told you it was not pretty.

This Nation Building is costing us treasure and blood. I’m sort of averse to contributing either one!

The US has to make attacking us too costly for any country to even contemplate. To demonstrate that cost, we need to completely obliterate a country, or two, sort of as examples, don’t you see?

But, so long as we go into countries and knock them down, and them help them back up, and rebuild their country, we minimize the cost to them. For example, Iraq will be in better shape when US forces finally DO leave than it has been since, well, I don’t know when.

I think Genghis Khan had it about right. Hit fast, hit hard, destroy everything in sight… and leave!

Did anyone ever ask “ole Genghis” what HIS exit strategy was? Huh? Guess not. You see, everybody knew, already!

No, our politicians are hell-bent on preventing our military from performing the jobs they were trained to do - kill and destroy. Instead, they seem to want our troops to all sit in a circle, hold hands, and sing “cum baya.” It is a scenario straight out of the sixties and it is doomed to eventual defeat.

It’s utter nonsense. It should be as simple as one, two, three:

One: Deploy to the enemy country

Two: Cream the enemy (and his country)

Three: Re-deploy home.

Yes, I KNOW this is simplistic, and NOTHING ever goes this easily. But – you get the idea.

In the meantime, keep the troops razor sharp, and leaning forward, so the next time a troublemaker sticks his head up, he knows what’s coming. You cannot keep the troops militarily sharp when they are building a city’s infrastructure and not training for combat.

Our troops have won the war. Now the politicians, in Washington, are so uncomfortable with victory, they feel this overpowering urge to “kiss and make-up” by rebuilding that which we have just destroyed. Makes no sense to me.

It’s not very diplomatic, I know. But then, again the French are credited with inventing diplomacy. That’s all I need to know about diplomacy!

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think “ole Genghis” was on to something there.

J. D. Longstreet


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