View Full Version : NM Article reinforces Kokesh position

01-08-2010, 11:44 AM

Handwritten sign in a U.S. military facility in Ramadi, Iraq: “America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war; America is at the mall.”

The word “war” is used often in our country. Despite the so called “Wars” on poverty, illegal drugs and Terror, our country has not really been at war since the end of World War II in 1945. We have sent our military into harm’s way a number of times under the guidance of the dominant political party at that time, but have not declared war on another country for 70 years.

My criticism is not of our military; it is of our political leaders, who are to blame. To the participants it may have felt like war, but those were political police actions in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and our current conflict.

The last real war, World War II, was about as “good” of a war as anyone could wish, except for the 410,000 Americans who died in the conflict. Principally this was because the politicians and senior military had experienced the monumental failure of World War I just 20 years earlier. The lessons learned in that very poorly run war were remembered and acted upon by President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower.

In WWII there were three broad, concrete goals: The first two were to eliminate the political leaderships in Germany, Japan and Italy and neutralize the militaries of the three countries. The third goal was to do it in the most efficient manner possible. Ultimately, these were done to protect Americans, but first they had to put Americans in harm’s way in a very directed war.

Contrast those goals with our current conflict, in which it is not clear when we will have won the conflict and to what degree the safety of Americans is tied to our actions. We are not even sure who the combatants are and how we should deal with those combatants in this conflict when they fall into our hands. Frankly, we do not have a clear picture of our enemies or even of our allies. More so, we are quite reactive to them rather than what we did in WWII, which involved our fidelity to our goals in a broad sense.

Making the same mistakes again

In our current conflict we are using the same strategy that did not work in Vietnam of bleeding the enemy so that the enemy might quit. We assume if we can keep killing them long enough they will lose interest in the conflict. Hint: The Middle East conflict has been going on for at least a thousand years and the people who oppose us are willing to strap explosives to themselves and push the button.

More troubling is that our country is making the same mistakes as were made in Vietnam. Primarily the four similarities are:

• Our enemies are and were very fanatical.

• We cannot easily distinguish the enemy from peaceful citizens.

• The country we wish to benefit has rampant corruption.

• There is no real exit strategy.

During the Vietnam conflict, I was in ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) at college and the ongoing Vietnam War was a hot topic. I remember a just-returned combat veteran who seemed much older even though we all graduated high school the same year. He was very jaded.

He gave us his take on how to win the war: “We can continue doing what has not worked, is not working and probably will not ever work and hope for a miracle. Or, we can simply, when we want, just declare ourselves the victor in the conflict and leave Vietnam with our flags flying. Or, we can kill every Vietnamese in both countries, all 33 million of them, to finally be sure we got every one of the enemy.”

His comments shocked some people, but he could easily be speaking of today. We are placing our youth in harm’s way without a clear exit strategy. Our enemies are very fanatical. There is rampant corruption and we cannot tell enemies from other citizens in those countries.

We need real leadership

As combat veterans know, our youth in harm’s way are really fighting to protect their buddies and spend little time on the “big picture.” Years from now they will be bitter that they gave the lives of their buddies for a political adventure that was not militarily viable.

Presidents Bush and Obama have ignored the question, “What is winning in this conflict? What needs to happen so our troops can come home?” We still have troops in Germany 60 years later. How will we feel if we still have troops in harm’s way in the Middle East 60 years from now?

We need real leadership that looks at the global use of our military with new eyes instead of just doing what we have always been doing. Example: There are about three hundred tribes in Afghanistan rather than a single country. Afghanistan has chewed up a number of militaries over the years, as we are being chewed up because we do not understand the tribal people.

We need to speak with one voice to our political leaders to impress upon them that our country needs to have concrete military goals that have an endgame, or we must pull the troops out now. How we protect our citizens internally and externally needs to reflect our best minds and not our worst fears.

With the demographics of this district and the votes of the incumbent, this is a great article...

01-09-2010, 12:13 PM
Nice! End perpetual war.