...but the whole idea of actually fighting a conventional war against a conventional adversary is getting more and more implausible. First, I think we've lost our fighting edge and our overall competence in matters military. More importantly, this isn't even anywhere near our gravest issue. Our nation is in serious trouble, to the point where one wonders if we can even survive another fifty years. Who's going to get us? Who's going to bring the nation that's done all of those wonderful things over the past 200+ years, the "City on the Hill," to its knees. Those dastardly terrorists? China? Russia?
Nah. It won't be another nation. And it certainly won't be terrorists unless the American people collectively die of hyperventilation from fear that, "gasp, there might be 19 more guys with boxcutters."
It's become pretty clear to me that the fault lies not in the stars. It's with us, the cowardly lion of a nation, the infant that cries for more, more, more, and then engages in a tantrum when it doesn't get its way. Here's something that might tell BG why I don't think an industrial war is even possible:
We're in deep shit. Fighting wars is the last thing we should be thinking about. Want more? Mull this over a bit:
And you know what's absolutely terrifying about this grim news concerning state and local pensions? That problem pales in comparison to the onrushing trainwrecks of Medicare and Social Security. Medicare is first, only about seven years from now, with Social Security following in about 25.
Why are we even talking about wars? Bg's out there doing a war where we're supposed to be rebuilding Afghanistan and taking care of its people, right along with our generosity with Iraq and its people. We really can't even take care of our own people now—I mean, shit, universal health care is somehow considered subversive—but one can only guess what it's going to be like in 5-10 years. And yet, because of our cowardice and the ineptitude of our government, we think it's OK to divert trillions of dollars that would take care of Americans to military endeavors involving chasing rag tag malcontents numbering in the hundreds. The hundreds! Think of it. Four-star generals as squad leaders.
OK, so Bg assures me our military is on the ball, hot shit, can knock the socks off anyone out there. The 1927 New York Yankees of armies. Yeah, they're screwing around right now in these third-world places, but when it really counts, you bet, you can count on them. But then I come across this:
And I wonder. What I'm hearing from the horse's mouth, the actual 2-star running the whole intelligence apparatus (and I've heard intelligence is fairly important in doing this COIN stuff) is that the last eight years were wasted. The lives, the money, shit, man, all of it wasted. And then I really start wondering about Bg's thesis, about how this wonderful military that has so few people, but costs so much, would really do in an all-out, serious war. I wonder how the mental giants, the great captains running those wonderful efforts we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wonder how they might stack up against a wily Russian or Chinese general. And how our troops, growing ever more used to working in police actions, whacking the odd wog, might perform against seriously disciplined troop formations with modern weaponry.
I don't want to know. And I also know that folks in Europe don't want to know. Bg and other serving military folks often complain about the failure of NATO nations—other than long-time sucker Britain—to invest heavily in our wars. Well, I'll edify these GIs: First, the Euros don't want to kill their kids in fruitless endeavors. Secondly, they know they've made promises to their own people—pensions, etc.—and they don't want to fritter away their treasure on chasing the wind.
I say, good for the Euros. As for America? Americans all love John Wayne—kind of fits with our fantasy view of the world—so I'll end with a quote from the old draft dodger: "Life is hard. It's harder when you're stupid."
What would you call a nation that squanders its youth and its treasure fighting to make the world safe for the commercial interests of nations it views as "threats?" Everybody does realize we're making it possible for China and Russia—nations that Bg actually considers fighting in that fantabulous future war—to make lots of money, right? Would stupid work?