Counter Insurgency Rarely Works

Afghanistan War

The figures now trickling out showing the facts of our failing war in Afghanistan, are predictable. They follow closely the pattern of most all previous counter insurgency operations in world history.

All anyone has to do is read Robert Ardrey's "Territorial Imperative," study some history, or have some common sense. Our bloody effort in Vietnam was a substantial failure, as are nearly all such counter insurgency wars in history. Even our Indian extermination wars didn’t work very well. Notice the Indians are still here, and still causing us considerable costs and trouble.

Has anyone in the  Pentagon ever heard of the phenomena of "Home Field Advantage" in sports? The lesson it teaches is it can be pretty hard to beat someone on his own home turf, UNLESS, of course, you are willing to kill every man, woman and child in the occupied nation. But, few in the Pentagon would have the stomach or that kind of solution. So that is effectively off the table. 

Amazingly, Afghanistan is surrounded by 5 nuclear armed nations, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, and Iran. Most of these nations hate the US, and either oppose our winning there, or are at least ambivalent toward our effort. All of them, in one way or another render encouragement and help to the Taliban in all kinds of ways. None of them see a victory by us to be in their national interest. On top of that, most of the other players in the world feel pretty much the same way. Conspicuously no nation is really enthusiastic about this war, except us. And none have a vested interest in our success, and that includes our very reluctant allies Germany, France and Britain. 

These facts of life are why George Bush, put this Afghan war on a far back burner, and fully intended to keep it there permanently. 

It was only the poorly-informed, politically motivated Obama, who said, Iraq was the wrong war in the wrong place, but Afghanistan was the right war in the right place. Actually, Iraq was much more the right war in the right place, whereas Afghanistan was always the wrong war in the wrong place. We had some pretty good allies in Iraq; and a lot of nations in the neighborhood were assisting and rooting for us. By contrast, we have no real allies, or sympathizers in Afghanistan. And do we really want to encourage a resurgence of militarism in countries like Germany and France, which countries we have fought several wars with?

The only way to win in Afghanistan is to get our as fast as we can, and let the Taliban have it. It is worth next to nothing to us anyway. 

The Military Is Essential To National Life

The Military Is 

The Beating Heart of Any Nation

The Military of every nation on earth throughout history always represents the beating heart of the people and the nation. No matter how any nation’s military is abused, exploited for evil purposes, or sent on fool’s missions, it still remains the most respected institution in any society. This seems inexplicable to many, and yet it is a consistent fact, and just common sense.

Even in the most evil and disgusting regimes, headed by the most despicable dictators, the military remains, when all is said and done, the only good thing left in the nation. At the very time it is being used to oppress the people in the worst manner possible, it still remains, in the final analysis, the last best of hope of those very people.

That is hard to dispute, but what can we learn from it upon further examination? Firstly, that such great power by the military, also implies great responsibility and accountability, which is not always evident. Therefore, nothing could be more important than the training and education of the military, at all levels of service and command, and nothing can be more important than the restoration of the military, especially when it is totally defeated and destroyed in a war.

The first thing the Allies wisely did upon defeating both Germany and Japan was to rebuild their military, and rearm them. This simple act of understanding, and self-interest, has paid generous dividends to America. For a nation without a military is like a ship without sails, rudder or navigation ability, and therefore a floating derelict that is a menace to shipping lanes and everything that comes near her.

The worst of all conditions is for a nation to have a destroyed military, and history provides ample examples of this, from the French Revolution to modern day Iraq. The worst blunder America committed in the Iraq war was to foolishly destroy the Iraqi military, and the wisest thing General David Petraeus did to finally win that war, was to rebuild and restore Iraq’s former military, even though he had to do it in a somewhat covert way, by finding the money to pay them through their tribal chiefs.

What ensued after our victory and the consequent totally dismantling of Iraq’s former military was 5 years of total chaos fueled by those discharged soldiers who had nowhere to go but into insurgency in a partnership with Al Qaida. This gross mistake on the part of our Generals, and the DoD, eroded nearly all the fruits of our victory, and nearly brought to its knees the greatest nation on earth, the USA.

All the good intentions in the world are no substitute for a nation having a functioning military. The simple rule is, when you defeat an enemy army, you must just as quickly restore it to power, under your control, albeit changed to meet your minimal conditions. There is no escaping the logic of this imperative.

And if you want to rescue a society from some sort of total degradation, there is no better institution of reform to do it than that nation’s military. Failure to use the military properly, and failure of the military to assume social responsibilities, produces the basic ingredients of a failed state. Any time the people are disheartened by the mismanagement of their society they properly must, and do, turn to their military for a last ditch solution.

Especially in the modern world, which is beset by "democracy" run wild, such that many societies are strangling in the effluent of dysfunctional families, dysfunctional governments, and awash in inappropriate permissiveness. In those sad cases, that nation’s military remains about the only available curative.

Without Napoleon at the head of the army, taking over the nation at a critical moment, the French Revolution would have completely despoiled France beyond repair.

And recently, it was the Russian armed forces led by the elite military KGB that ended the cold war and saved Russian society from a blood bath and a general collapsing into Civil War.

Naturally, civilian elements, freed from customary tight controls, promptly ran to extremes, endangering the very existence of the state. This prompted the military, led by Putin, to reassert some corrective control to bring destabilizing "democratic" elements under some semblance of control in the national interest.

Unwisely, anti-Russian elements in the US do not like, or want, the sort of competition that a vital, stable and resurgent Russia is might give them, and this is understandable on an emotional level. But, in the long run having to compete with a reinvigorated Russia will be for our own good. It may force us to pay attention to a many of our own failing institutions and enact reforms that will enable us to compete effectively. Far better to compete with a new Russia, than to be enslaved by an "old" China. America has never fought a war against Russia, who has always been our natural ally, in some ways, even under the destructive yoke of Communism. 

Another added bonus is that China, and the Moslems along with other trouble makers on the world scene, will now have to now look over their shoulder at a resurgent Bear, hopefully friendly to America, coming out of hibernation. 

The Civilian Military Relationship

Civilianization of Military Bases

In Civilianizing Military Bases, is the Military intent on unduly extending its reach over the Civilian Civil Society?

The Civilianizing of Military Bases seems to have been an intentional policy, on the part of the Military, decided upon at the highest levels.

As a result Civilians have been "lured" onto Military Bases in all kinds of ways that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Whole companies, including many businesses and activities unrelated to anything the Military is doing on those bases have been ensconced on Bases intended for military use. The Military has been, literally, renting space and facilities, and widely contracting out to civilian organizations, even tasks that are strongly sensitive to national security.

This may be fine and good, as long as it presents no problems for either side, but as problems continue to surface, there is justified fear that more are on the way.

There have been a spate of cases that have hit the news in recent weeks and months where civilians, legally on bases, or seeking admittance, have been handled roughly by the military as though they were military personnel instead of civilians. They have been charged with offenses against military rules, as though they were active duty soldiers serving in one of the Services.

The military uses catchy words to describe this novel situation, such as multi-use facilities, and inter-service bases. Parts of these bases, some of which house super secret vital operations related to national security, have substantially been turned over to, (but not really,) to civilian organizations.

Bases even have colored maps that outline areas and levels of military control as opposed to areas and jurisdiction under civilian control. This mixing of drinks span the spectrum from all military areas, to partially military areas, to more or less totally civilian areas. All these "integrational" warm and fuzzy relationships, have their alarming side.

Questions persist: How does all this threaten national security, safety and secrecy? In what ways does this foreshadow an unhealthy mixing of Military culture and laws, with Civilian culture and laws? Are these mixtures a threat to the freedoms that the civil society has under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the right to bear arms? Does all this threaten readiness and vital military missions?

Many Americans do not realize that the military operates under a completely different set of laws, (in many respects as though the Constitution and Bill of Rights does not exist.) and that has always been understandable, considering that the Military needs that sort of authoritarian structure in order to fight and win wars to defend our freedoms. It has always been understood that those in the military give up their freedoms to protect ours.

But in the past there has always been a bright line between the "unconstitutional" way of life of the Military, and the constitutional way of life enjoyed by our civil society. That bright line is now threatened in all kinds of ways by the "fraternization" culture that has been instigated by the Military, albeit for supposedly good motives. But, good intentions are not good enough to justify just anything.

The line of separation between our military and its laws and culture, and our civil society and its laws and culture is much more important than the separation of Church and State issue that gets so much attention.

One major reason we fought the Revolutionary War with mother country Great Britain, was the British attempt to merge their military into the fabric of American civilian society. This burning issue is quaintly highlighted by the Declaration of Independence making a casus belli, out of the forcible "Quartering of Soldiers" in the homes of civilians, particularly in peace time. To the Colonists it was a major symbol of something that could never be tolerated, and that was the undue mixing of the Civilian and Military ways of life.

We should never want to return to the "bad old days" of a lack of a proper and sanitary separation, between the Military world and the Civilian world.