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The American Military: Out Everywhere and Winning Nowhere


#1

The American Military: Out Everywhere and Winning Nowhere

William Astore

When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S.


#2

The American military: out everywhere and winning nowhere.

But don’t you see Mr. Astore: that is the whole idea!


#3

Whenever you ask how we could run up a national debt like ours, look no further than the military. The military would still be the most powerful with HALF of its budget AND we could actually take care of our own people for a change. Astore is right in that he says how the military is self-defeating. Not only that, but it’s not only like keeping a big boat in your driveway that you don’t need but, much more ridiculous than that, a big aircraft carrier.


#4

We see the republican party admonish the poor for being poor. The destitute for being so alone,etc.
They attempt to look reasonable, but if they didn’t have to put their name on it, they would scalp the less fortunate and cut off the spending for “help” programs.
But do you see them even hint at DOD spending, in particular the vast military spending? What the tax payers are getting besides smoke and mirrors is more spending.
The bread gets buttered by the MIC and other DOD support entities. As we find with most negative partners in capitalism, it’s all about the money one way or another. G


#5

I will never understand why nobody questions how the government ALWAYS is able to find the $$ for more invasions and wars of choice - anytime, anywhere, for any reason - yet constantly vomits up the tired refrain “We can’t afford it” when it comes to funding for education, infrastructure, healthcare for all (single payer), raising/eliminating the cap on Social Security, increasing funding for Medicaid/Medicare, or any other idea that might improve the lives of our citizens.

Funny how there is an endless amount of $$ for the military, but never for anything else.

And speaking of “the greatest military in the world” - funny how nobody cares to note that the U.S. has not won a war in over 70 years. And even then, we had the assistance of several other big players, and 2 atomic bombs to do so. We can’t even win against a rag-tag bunch of guerilla fighters using improvised armaments, no navy, and no air force, even after over a decade of trying and throwing a few trillion dollars at the problem. By what yardstick is the term “greatest military” measured? Greatest…at throwing money away? Greatest…at losing? Greatest…at creating pissed-off future terrorists out for revenge? Greatest…at blowing up wedding parties? Not sure those are things I’d really want to brag about.


#6

“Winning nowhere.” Small wonder when you are in conflicts that have no discernible purpose. Making the world safe for democracy had a nice ring to it but the tone has changed and really we are in Afghanistan because of the mineral wealth that will be exploited by the Chinese if we walk away. What makes everyone think that China will fair any better than every other failed empire that has set foot on this cursed soil escapes me but I know to the marrow of my bones that every dime of wealth generated by access to this mineral wealth will be paid for in the blood of out children. It is time for the United States to set aside the mantle of the world’s protector and own up to the fact that we are now too corrupt to get away with the things we did in the past. Our time of Empire building has passed, we have grown up as a nation and must pay attention to home.


#7

And there it is-the reason we can’t get together on anything constructive!

War and militarism have become our national opioid addiction. It will eventually destroy us.


#8

Why? Because “winning” is just a front, facade, and what is real behind the mask is the true goal of our wars: to never end them, to be in perpetual conflict and war.

It is just like the War on Drugs. If you wage a war on a word, such as drugs, terrorism, then you can never win can you? You cannot kill the word, put it in solitary, waterboard it, torture it endlessly with top 40 songs. Never ending–that is the point! It is a self-feeding system of eventual self-annihilation.

So in fact they have won their own objective: to never win, but be fighting FOREVER, at the complete exclusion of the interests and general welfare of we plebeians.


#9

Winning is indeed not the issue.As we did in Vietnam, leaving the mess is the real issue. According to RT, Trump seems to be doing something right. Assad with Russia’s assistance is in in control of 85% of its territory now. Of course, that might explain why MSM is not happy with RT now.https://www.rt.com/in-motion/403001-syria-secure-control-isis/
With a secure country, the US can now leave. Don’t say win lose, just…quietly…leave.


#10

This article fails to mention the resources these wars bring home to feed the empire. Specifically, with about 5% of global population the USA uses about 25% of global oil production. The USA has fought several wars to prevent oil from being traded in any currency except the $US. A large fraction of US military effort exists to ensure that the oil continues to flow.

If the US military retreats from its role as global bully then there will be immediate unpleasant consequences for the USA. Mind, I personally am completely in favor of the USA permanently abandoning all overseas bases and shutting down 95% of the US military, but I also understand that this will bring about the quick death of the US empire. I’m in favor of the quick death of the US empire for purely ethical reasons, regardless of how it will personally affect me.

I’d like to see more articles published in Common Dreams that recognize this reality. We ignore reality at our peril. I’m curious what fraction of the US population would choose to end our global empire if they understood that this would lead to personal privation and suffering. I would, because I believe the US empire is the greatest force for evil on the planet, but I don’t think that would be the majority choice.

The most common reason for war, historically, is actual or feared decline in standard of living. In other words, our species mostly wages war to access resources we want. The US empire has been doing exactly that for decades. If one fails to recognize and acknowledge that truth then one is unlikely to find a viable path for the better.


#11

Awesome reply, Bruce. I think regionalism is the best way forward, long-term. Maybe its not real, but it sure seems practical to me to stop splitting off countries from their neighbors, and get local regions to cooperate.A Marshall Plan for the Caribbean perhaps, but we have no place in the Middle East.


#12

And a big part of that dynamic is that the public was sold a contrived event 16 years ago. From it has come the Global War On Terror, a hoax if there ever was one.

The GWOT represents Eisenhower’s worst nightmare, and it is here with a vengeance.

Whoever caused this to happen is our enemy, and they chuckle as this country has been destroyed from within.


#13

Seeking to dominate everywhere but winning decisively nowhere

So, if we were winning, that would be ok?


#14

Thank you to Commondreams for amplifying great writing like this piece from TomDispatch. Everyone of us should be talking about the need to reduce that toxic bloated military budget.

Articles such as this one (and many of those by Andrew Bacevich) give solid rationales for how that bloated budget is not only NOT getting us where, in any strategic sense, we want to go, it is harming us.

Read is slowly. There are many good talking points on why we must de-escalate our use of the military, not the least of which is, it will be good for the military.


#15

China will be in Afghanistan whether exploiting, or just being a buyer and trading partner.
The entities seeking the mineral wealth of Afgh. know no bounds. Their greed will continue to rule the day.
The penchant for empire building isn’t going away though. It just keeps evolving from push and shove, to grab and shoot.
To say we must pay attention to home is a bit of wishful thinking, not the reality we see. G


#16

The reverse psychology used to hide the winnings and winners.
Looking at the idea of loss in Afghanistan, we and euros wanted pipelines from all oil and mineral rich nations above it, and today those pipelines keep euro interest up and running.
At same time the road, and soon rail, nfrastructure along side of it, supports today and future mineral Transport.
Ever wonder why so called Taliban never blow up those structures??¿¿¿$.
Our and Euros continue military actions inland upon African nations hand in hand with them are resource robbers that once again fuel US and euro nations needs.
France and Germany that used to rely upon foreign independent robber mining interest in Africa for the uranium needed to fuel energy plants, now have friendly leaders within those nations who take bribes or sell on the cheap to deliver the mineral or oil.
Yes we are losing planes and a bomb dropped or as in S Korea where they have agreed to buy 10’s of billion$ of missles and somewhere the winners hide behind corporate or political party curtains of smoke.
US military is a mercenary force, and even Congress has finally begun to question what are true numbers of active duty troops
Many of our military force members have been US citizens for less than 5 years, having joined in or from foreign nations for pay and automatic citizenship.
Not saying it is jhip.ust dumb as rock indoctrinated youth in US join military as it pays well and in more tech fields can have sign p bonus of tens of thousands of $; But as Iraq war showed many older mid-20-40’s joined in the killing fields.
MILITARY now is a huge career field whereby even 2years of service pays way over what 45% of US working full time double job family’s earn.
OUR SPEC OPS are not high suicide rates, But the volunteers to combat arms especially grunts are.
Prince is a religious fanatic and to his credit he views warfare as a genocidal process as do our top political and military lead


#17

The people in congress are the problem. If we want an end to a bloated military, the right-wing congress folk influenced by “the Military industrial Complex” have to be voted out. That’s the choice in a nut shell. They won’t volunteer to lose their meal ticket. G


#18

Darn straight. But it’s going to take people like us getting other voters to understand that this endless war stuff is taking us no where at all.


#19

Absolutely NOT.


#20

A vote is no more than a show of approval for the in place system.
IT is for the lazy of a… who want an easy out excusefor not getting off their a… and forcefully demanding an end , not just remove individuals, wake up party is party no matter their names; It is the system as it is now configured that must be changed.