Our forever wars folly started with a Defense Secretary talking about “going to war with the military you have”, not necessarily with the one you want, and some classic blather about known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. Really, Don.
But this was all intentional misdirection, because the “War on Terror” was a handy diversion from the real intent of the folks pulling the strings of the Military Industrial Complex. The WOT was a very effective way to a inculcate a permanent sense of terror at home, provide a vehicle to strip away constitutional rights and the checks and balances of our federal system, eviscerate the last shreds of the constitutional duty for congress to declare war, and work to develop a cadre of volunteer troops who would be primed to redirect their racist brainwashing from denigrating sand-monkeys to demonizing slope-heads, or other natives, as needed.
Some of you may remember how well that worked out, the last time we went to Asia to fight the domino-flipping commies.
The MIC made the conscious decision in ‘Nam to skip the “hearts and minds” thing, these were just gooks after all, but instead to bring in the highest tech firepower of the era in what became described as asymmetrical warfare.
Our 50,000 helicopters, supersonic jets, electronic intelligence, and more bombs dropped than were used in WW2 across the entire globe, on an area smaller than a couple of eastern seaboard States fought pajama clad, sandal wearing, peasants armed with our WW2 surplus stuff, that we left behind on purpose, kind’a like what we just did in Afghanistan, and lost the war an any sense of moral purpose, because destroying villages to save them for democracy doesn’t seem to work out real well. Who knew? Was it one of those unknown unknowns?
But the MIC got their first guided bomb from ‘Nam. We able to skirmish with near peer Soviet hardware, justify a total rethink of our national posture, and double down on our Pax Americana style imperialism.
A few years of being in the wilderness spawned a resurgence of a desire for hegemony, especially after the oil embargoes and Malaise of the Carter years. Turning down the thermostats and wearing sweaters was so stupid. The groundbreaking work of the Andrew Young State Department peacefully supporting emerging third world democracies didn’t use enough bombs to keep the production lines going. A few technological boondoggles were giving the arms industry a bad look, especially the Iran hostage rescue disaster when the best helicopters and planes failed to complete the mission. Who knew that super fine dust was tough on the copters or night airfield operations in desert sand would be tricky? Here was a chance to finally use our new Delta Force, and we blew it.
I’m sure that flying big copters into Tehran, grabbing the hostages, exfiltrating from the soccer stadium, and then jumping on subsonic cargo planes to fly a few hundred miles across Iran would have worked out exactly as planned. Clearly the military was grasping at straws on this one.
Unfortunately, even though Carter had been a high tech submarine guy, he wasn’t threatening enough to the world. He was just too soft. Too much Mr. Rogers, not enough Rambo.
The change to be a more assertive superpower was clear in the cultural phenomenon of the Star Wars series, where white guys zoomed around confronting aliens, like an old fashioned Western set in outer space. May the Force Be With You Kemosabe! A revitalized America was ready to pick up the big stick again; whether Winchester, ICBM, or light saber.
The emergence of the Gipper, a “B” grade war-movie star, revived the cold war with the evil empire and got things humming. Man, we really showed them in Grenada!
The following proxy wars and hundreds of interventions allowed us to test our new equipment and gave the volunteer army some practice. The CIA worked overtime to gin up some conflicts. Trading the Iran hostages for war material and some cash wasn’t effective enough in funding Central American counter-resolutions; but building on their success of importing heroin from the golden triangle during ‘Nam, the CIA was able to import crack cocaine into the ghettos and and use the proceeds to keep the Contras supplied with weapons. Their covert success kept our boys from fighting a necessary ground war in the jungle, thank God, even if Congress, in their constitutional duty insisted we not do it.
But the genius idea of the Reagan administration was giving Stinger missiles to the mujahedeen to shoot down Russia helicopters. We handed the russkies their own Viet Nam! How did they like armed natives nipping at their heels?
We even paid a middle eastern construction firm to build a cave complex at Tora Bora to store the stuff. Luckily, because we knew where it was, we were able to use the Mother of All Bombs to blow it up a decade or so later, missing the contractor, now our mortal enemy, who had walked away over the mountain a few days earlier, when we told him we were coming, doh!
But that’s a whole other chapter of known knowns that we repeated, as though we never knew them.
Several generations of new military equipment was developed to fight the insurgencies, but the lesson had been learned. Ultimately ground forces in hostile occupations take too much incoming fire from the natives. You never really know “who is your friend?”, and who is your enemy. Counter terror, counter insurgency and nation building are all just bunk. The high tech stuff tends to be indiscriminate when bad guys blend into a civilian population, and collateral damage creates more insurgents. Most survivors resist even more strongly after their weddings are bombed.
This is another known thing we’d like to unknow.
If only these bastards would wear uniforms and stand in straight ranks and files.
WOW! WAIT a Minute! The Chinese do! They even march in long parades. They are no rag tag group. They are Near Peers. A different skin, a crazy-hard language, but they are becoming a worthy opponent regardless. A lot of their stuff is almost as good as ours, after all they stole most of the designs we paid big bucks for. Luckily, some of the stuff they bought from the russkies is slightly inferior to ours.
The russkies are not stupid enough to arm their neighbor with the best jet engines, for example. We can zoom circles around them and carry more fuel and bombs. But that will change soon. They’ve got a fighter that looks exactly like the F-35, our most expensive fighter ever. Ours costs $35,000 an hour to fly! Maybe we can make them go broke trying to keep up with us. Like we did with the Soviets. Just do what we do, ‘cause we can’t afford it either!
Most important though is intelligence, the military kind, yeah I know…
All of the new high tech stuff that globalization has brought to China is putting them in a position to lead in some areas. Just as they borrowed the idea of high speed rail, and then built many thousands of miles, they are building hypersonic missiles in numbers to counter our hundreds of fixed and movable concentrations of military might in the Indo-Pacific theater, which happens to be their front yard.
China’s skipping past our idea of traditional, conventional, force projection, where we have an enormous lead, to the latest technology of standoff offensive weapons is scary for our MIC.
A 15 billion dollar supercarrier-led task force is becoming very vulnerable to their emerging capabilities. The only current technical stumbling block to their dominance is their inability to locate our forces precisely enough for their weapons to hit effectively. Large numbers will be able to overwhelm defenses when their targeting is precise. That shortcoming is expected to disappear by 2027. Building all that high tech industry in China must have been a bad idea. What were the globalists thinking? Tensions over China’s desire to absorb Taiwan completely are escalating, and our two-tongued strategy of covering our eyes with our fingers splayed wide, is not a long term solution. Ambiguity they call it. Right.
The MIC and it’s congressional water carriers say;
No more ambiguity
It’s time for WAR, before 2027,
while we can still WIN.
When Obama started the military pivot to Asia, the MIC and Chiefs of Staff were thrilled, Trump didn’t slow the flow, Biden is asking for more. The Sabers continue to rattle. The Army is concerned the theater is not real a good one for them, too much water, and the big land mass has a billion and a half people on it for cripes sake! So instead of being left out, they propose to be in charge of the whole show. The first round of conflicts will be with their rivals, the Air Force and Navy. That will give all the hawks reason to unnecessarily duplicate weapons systems in the turf battles to come.
Both D’s and R’s complain about flat defense budgets. Every congress person has MIC plants in their district, put there on purpose, so every election is a contest to see who can fan the flames more. The politicians strung out on lobbyist smack just added almost 30 billion dollars more annually to those flat budgets than the DOD asked for.
Funny how the defense budget gets passed without objection but is twice as big as the latest social spending plans being blocked by DINO’s worried about deficits.
Here’s a known known:
The whole idea of near peer conflict is insane. Chances of either Chia or the US restraining itself from using nukes after an initial tactical setback are slim. The damage of a tit for tat strike would be enormous, anything more would be beyond imagination.
Upside: Nuclear winter would reverse climate warming, but the collateral damage would not be worth it. We can do better than this.
Here’s another known known:
There are sufficient resources on the planet to allow everyone to live comfortably in peace and prosperity, true fact.
WAR is Not the ANSWER to human failings, it’s the biggest one of all.
We need a quantum jump of intentional evolution to leave this human condition behind us, but we must stop electing corporate minions of the Complex even sooner than that.