WHY WE ARE LOSING THE WAR
http://www.nachi.org/forum/images/byEmail.gifThe United States hasn’t truly fought since the ninth of August in 1945.
As the radioactive dust settled over Nagasaki, and peace with Japan was secured, we gave up war.
We have not fought one since.
Rather, we have engaged in a half century of half measures, in which we have deployed our military repeatedly but never actually used it once.
That is not meant to disrespect the courage and accomplishment of two generations of American servicemen, but rather to acknowledge the failed leadership which has directed them. Since the police action in Korea, we have been led by successive waves of presidents, secretaries and generals who have assured us that there is a “new” way to wage war, and that new realities demand new strategies.
Seldom has a more false or dangerous philosophy been forced upon a nation and its people.
Because there is nothing new about war.
In fact, war is one of the oldest and must unchanging aspects of human history. It is what it is and what it has always been, and any nation that ignores that fact will suffer and fail.
As America has failed on the field of battle since they signed the papers on the deck of the Missouri.
We died for the status quo in Korea, we lost a decade in Vietnam to see it fall to the communists, we went to Iraq to leave a dictator in power and to return a dozen years later to fight a stalemate with tribal savages, and now our nation’s longest conflict is in an Afghan hellhole where we have lost our sons and the battlefield initiative.
We have tactical ability, but strategic stupidity.
We send Americans to fight in a decidedly un-American way, with one arm tied behind their back, hamstrung by pacifist notions and without a strategic objective.
We build nations and win hearts and minds and, truth be told, we have never done either or come anywhere near close. We have been milked of our money and robbed of our blood and hated all the more for it.
We are the world’s lone remaining superpower and yet we were held off by any number of Iraqi neighborhood militias and every Afghan with a beard and a rifle.
Because we are not at war.
Because American leaders lack the stones to go to war. They have the arrogance to start one, but not the grit to fight one.
So we only went so far in Korea, and we surrendered everything we won in Vietnam, and we stopped at Baghdad’s front door, and we sent our troops to cultural-awareness class, and now we restrain them with rules of engagement that have killed hundreds of our troops.
Let me repeat that: There are hundreds of Americans who have perished in Afghanistan and Iraq who are dead because ridiculous, spineless, treasonous rules of engagement left them unprotected.
Even today, in Afghanistan, considerations for protecting civilian lives and currying the favor of locals are given higher priority than considerations for protecting American troops.
If American troops come under attack from a building or village, they may only return fire if they are reasonably certain there are no civilians in that building or village. If they fire, and civilians get hurt, they get in trouble – they may even face prison.
What has this done? Taught our enemy to hide among civilians, and made our troops reluctant to fight back.
In war, if a building or a village fired on American troops, it would be destroyed by artillery fire or air support.
Could civilians get killed?
Would Americans be protected?
Would it be worthwhile?
And in short order the civilians would turn against the bad guys, knowing that their presence brought danger. Instead of hiding and supporting the enemy, as Afghans do now, they would turn against them.
Because they would fear us more than they fear them.
That is war. When Sherman marched to the sea, when the allies bombed Dresden, when we lit up Hiroshima, there were civilian casualties.
And that was the point.
Wars are never between militaries, they are always between societies. And the society that tolerates or supports our enemy is our enemy.
Wars are not won through good deeds, they are won through death and destruction. Peace lies on the far side of victory, and there is no peace until one side claims victory. And our side cannot claim victory because our side will not fight.
Instead, we pretend that by turning our troops into babysitters and welfare agents that we can “win the hearts and minds” of “the people.”
That has been America’s wartime strategy and tactic since Korea, and it has failed in every instance.
Because it is not war.
It is weakness.
And the weak side does not win war, the strong side does.
War is a hellacious, terrible thing. Great efforts should be made to avoid it.
And it should only be commenced if it is going to be concluded. It is a fish-or-cut-bait enterprise, and the nation that will not fight will not win.
Worse, it will merely shed the blood of both itself and its opponent. It produces destruction but not resolution, all of the evil, but none of the good.
And that is how America has fought for the last half century.
It is a shame, a sad demonstration of the foolish belief that history can be ignored. And as the president and his Pentagon are now escalating the Vietnam of this generation, we can only expect the outcome of the Vietnam of the last generation.
We will fight and bleed and lose.
Because we will not truly fight.
It’s like the T-shirt says: Go big or go home.
Unfortunately, it is likely we will do neither, and likely our nation will suffer as a consequence.
The United States hasn’t truly fought since the ninth of August in 1945.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2010