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The Losing Warfare State


#1

The Losing Warfare State

Ralph Nader

The USA is still bogged down in Afghanistan (the 16 year-old occupation is the longest in American history) and in Iraq (since the unconstitutional, illegal invasion of the country 14 years ago).

With about 30,000 poorly equipped fighters, the Taliban has held down a US equipped and trained Afghan army eight times larger in soldiers, plus the US forces – fluctuating from 100,000 at its peak to 8,500 now, plus contractors – with advanced air, sea and land weaponry that is second to none.


#2

It is impossible for me to agree more with Mr. Nader. Our armed force is seen by our representatives as an efficient machine capable of overcoming any adversity and winning any conflict when the truth is that without the wholehearted backing of the population it is nothing more than a glorified police force whose #1 priority will always be survival and coming home to a loving partner with the added benefit of a healthy pension at the end of 20 years. Fighting a determined enemy who would rather die than submit is ultimately impossible when our force is not backed by the full force of the populace without reservation -
something we have not seen since WWII. Our vaulted technological advantages are good for a temporary lead, but a defense will always be found or else the damage is so extreme that we will kill ourselves if we ever use them. Yes, by all means insist that our representatives' children and grandchildren lead the charge. Then we will find peace.


#3

I apologize for re-posting. But it's such an apt quote.

“Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.

The Lowest Animal by Mark Twain


#4

"As a final cruel insult to our children and grandchildren, Congress, by refusing to fund the wars as they persist, has built up a huge deficit for future generations of Americans to pay."

There is an even greater insult buried in congressional cowardice about funding eternal war with debt.

These creepy generals and representatives actually believe as shown by their actions that they know better how to spend their children's money now than their children will be capable of knowing when they grow up.


#5

and this is what makes a President a real President is war! disgusting


#6

We, the American People must demand that only United States trained military is used in warfare campaigns.

The use of 'contractors' has cost this country greatly in terms of respect among most civilized countries in the world. The United Nations considers (PMC) Private Military Company armed combat soldiers 'mercenaries' and prohibits them.
Only the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and the United States use these trained killers.

Duopoly politicians most likely will not support an all U.S.trained military because they don't ever want to bring back the Draft.

We must bring back the Draft.


#7

The military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) has brainwashed Murkins to live in constant fear of an ever growing list of contrived enemies and to believe that politicians who are not war mongers are unfit for the job.

Restoring the draft would indeed be a good first step to turning this propaganda around.


#8

Generally, I agree with Ralph Nader. But he misses important historical events behind how we got to our present volunteer armed forces. In 1973, to defuse the pressure he felt from the anti-war protest movement, President Richard Nixon replaced the draft with a lottery which evolved into a volunteer armed forces. Even such prominent anti-war activists such as Todd Gitlin, co-founder of SDS and professor at Columbia Unversity for many years,admitted in an essay that with the lottery system back then many of the young males, who drew a high lottery number and knew they would never have to face he draft, quit marching on the streets against the Vietnam War. A reporter asked Sam Brown, an activist against the Vietnam War, Why were American so willling to let our young men and women blithely march off to war after the 9/11 attacks? He replied with a smile and a laugh, that's simple: we no longer have a draft. And hawks are actually glad we have a volunteer armed forces. Since Congress continues to abdicate its responsibilities as legally proscribed in our Constitution, hawks have essentially their own private army to prosecute wars despite whatever the American people think about the war or wars that have been fought for the last fifteen years. And the private contractors take up any slack to augment the volunteer armed forces. I served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam and after the 9/11 attacks being a cynical Vietnam veteran, I said to myself, Well, George, here comes the bullshit war. Little did I know there would be many bullshit wars, and that includes the wars in both the administrations of GWB and Barack Obama. Nader is being myopic and judgmental about our representatives and senators proposing that in the event of another war, a law should be passed which requires their sons and daughters to be the first to fight these wars by bringing back a draft. To be quite frank, our fearless leaders inside the beltway bubble are quite representative of the citizens they represent in the House of Represntatives and the Senate. The vast majority of Americans as Andrew Basevich pointed out "have no skin in the game." They are sitting in the bleachers, whether they are "hawks"or "doves" as we used to say in the Sixties. But the real drama of shared sacrifice is being played down on the field by less than one percent of their fellow citizens. This nostalgia for the "good old days" in our" last good war," that is, the Second World War, for the cherished ideal of the citizen/soldier from "the greatest generation" - the Stephen Spielberg/Tom Hanks "Saving Private Ryan" nostalgia for war was just another unfortunate casualty of the Vietnam War. We are getting the kind of representatives and senators we deserve. But having seen the human face of war on the wounded American grunts, wounded South Korean grunts, the wounded Vietnamese civilians and even on one rare occasion a wounded VC guerrilla, I abhor war, all wars. There are no good wars. There are only necessary wars. And the last necessary war was the Second World War. All the others have been bullshit wars, especially my war, that I saw as as a young and naive man. It was the mother of all bullshit wars not to be confused with the MOAB, the Mother of All Boms, that was recently dropped in Afghanistan as a PR stunt by the brass.. By the way, if I could get into a time machine and travel back to the Sixties, I would have avoided military service. But that's more of an old war veteran looking back in the autumn of his years on his misspent youth. I just find it ironic that the baby boomers in power who matched as civilians against the Vietnam War have no moral qualms about sending other citizens young men and young off to war. That holds true even more so for all for the Vietnam veterans of both parties in the Senate and House of Representativesat the time who voted for GWB's Iraq War resolution. They should have known better, and they probably did. But we have forgotten the painful lessons of the Vietnam War. and those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. We live in the United States of Amnesia.


#9

Here to 'explain' it all:

This Clarifies things Considerably

President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty his people rebelled and the Rebels (who are good) started winning (hurrah!).

But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad!) and some continued to support democracy (who are still good.)

So the Americans (who are good) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad) and giving arms to the Syrian Rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad) which was good.

By the way, there is a breakaway state in the north run by the Kurds who want to fight ISIS (which is a good thing) but the Turkish authorities think they are bad, so we have to say they are bad whilst secretly thinking they're good and giving them guns to fight ISIS (which is good) but that is another matter.

Getting back to Syria.

So President Putin (who is bad, cos he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London with polonium (poisoned sushi) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking ISIS (who are also bad) which is sort of a good thing?

But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian Rebels (who are good) are also bad, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).

Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.

So a Coalition of Assad (still bad) Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.

Now the British (obviously good, except that nice Mr Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is probably bad ) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good/bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (who are super bad).

So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS (but let's face it, drinking your own wee is better than IS so no real choice there) and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS that may now make them Good. America (still Good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also Good) and so they may be forced to say that the Rebels are now Bad, or at the very least abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only constantly bad group).

To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War, and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as Good (Doh!.)

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (mmm.might have a point.) and hence we will be seen as Bad.

So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad) many of whom are looking to IS (Good/bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also Good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, Good) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started?

I hope that clears up all that confusion for you! If it doesn't, sorry you'll have to find someone else to explain it a different way.


#10

With a low wage service economy in place in this country, especially in the non-union Southern States, finding volunteers for the military is an easy task, not requiring a draft. Throw out a bone of better pay and benefits than what WallyWorld or fast food offers to needy citizens, and you'll find many takers. Unfortunately, the promise of a better income is often offset when duty on the battlefield creates long term injuries which greatly diminishes the difference between low wages in the U.S. sweatshops, and military pay, benefits, and a military retirement package.


#12

"The USA is still bogged down in Afghanistan (the 16 year-old occupation is the longest in American history) and in Iraq (since the unconstitutional, illegal invasion of the country 14 years ago)."<--That is not true. The USA was built by warfare and occupation, and remains an occupation of land seized from Indigenous Americans and others. The US also colonized the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico and many other countries. Ralph Nader's comments about a recent change in American warfare are a left-wing version of Trump's claims of a "Great America" of the past. In fact, the USA was much worse behaved on warfare issues in the past than it is today. That truth is not at all accepted in the American Far Left, which often glorifies America's past every bit as much as the conservatives do. Ralph Nader postures as a leftist perfectionist, but regularly reveals that he in fact has tremendous right-wing leanings.


#13

My take is a little different, but it is a mixed up situation. Back in the 1980s, the USA armed and trained various Afghan freedom fighters. One was Osama bin Laden; the CIA was even as helpful as to help disseminate his "jihad" beliefs. As we all know, the training, arming and spreading of ideology bore fruit...
Very early in this century our wise military men felt it would be well to harass President Assad, obviously defined as a "bad" guy, as he was under the Russian sphere of influence. Various outfits, some on the State Department's list of terrorist groups, were subsequently trained and armed by the US military. The overthrow of Assad has not yet happened, but some of these groups have long since become part of ISIS... (See the "Wikileak Files" for details)
Now we plan to train and arm Kurdish fighters, I am sure that will also go well!