America was at war with the great powers. America had always been at war with the great power.
US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said competition between great powers, not terrorism, is now the main focus of America’s national security.
Just like that the War on Terror has taken a backseat and America is locked in a conflict with the forces of
communism the great powers.
This shift in enemies isn’t surprising. America has been at war with terrorism for over one and a half decades and hasn’t achieved victory. It has to be pretty embarrassing for the world’s most powerful military to be unable to declare victory against a bunch of desert peasants in tents after more than a decade and a half. So instead of continuing to declare those peasants public enemy number one, America is going to shift focus to Russia and China who at least match up militarily and therefore aren’t as embarrassing to lose to.
The important thing to remember though is that America is at war with somebody and you should therefore continue to believe that the federal government is the only thing standing between you and certain death.
Politicians come up with a lot of euphemisms to make their decisions appear friendlier than they are. For example, when you break a law you’re not kidnapped, you’re “arrested.” When you buy a home you’re not required to pay rent, you’re required to pay “property taxes.” Furthermore, when the government steals from you it’s not theft, it’s “taxation.” But politicians are at their absolute best when they’re creating euphemisms related to war.
The United States of America hasn’t been in many declared wars since World War II. It has been engaged in many “policing actions” though. Likewise, the United States isn’t planning to occupy Syria, it’s planning to have an “open-ended military presence.”
The US will maintain an open-ended military presence in Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of the jihadist group Islamic State, counter Iranian influence, and help end the civil war.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said President Donald Trump did not want to “make the same mistakes” that were made in 2011, when US forces left Iraq.
The US has about 2,000 troops in Syria.
See? The United States isn’t making the same mistake it made in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan because it’s not occupying Syria. It’s merely keeping 2,000 soldiers in the country as an open-ended military presence! Think of it as the United States giving Syria a warm, friendly hug!
War is Peace! Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength!
Nuclear weapons provide humanity the capability to wipe out an entire city with a single missile. However, with the exception of the end of World War II, they haven’t been used in warfare. Each country that has developed nuclear weapons has performed a lot of test detonations to show the world how big their dick is but nobody has dared use them because they’re not seen as a reasonable response to anything other than weapons of mass destruction.
The Pentagon wants to change that attitude. Instead of treating nuclear weapons as an unreasonable response to anything other than weapons of mass destruction, it wants to treat nuclear weapons as a reasonable response to a list of other things including malicious hackers:
WASHINGTON — A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.
For decades, American presidents have threatened “first use” of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons.
The paradox of nuclear weapons is that they offer a terrible power but are only useful as a deterrent. If you have nuclear weapons and your enemy has nuclear weapons, peace can exist because you both have the power to wipe the other side out. Neither side will launch because it will result in their demise as well. But what happens when a nuclear armed country acts in an unreasonable manner? What happens when one decides to nuke a nonnuclear power? In all likelihood that nuclear power would be seen by other nuclear powers as unreasonable, unstable, and an imminent threat. Their fear could lead them to bring aggression, possibly nuclear aggression, against the unreasonable nation.
As WOPR in the movie War Games concluded, when nuclear weapons are involved the only winning move is not to play.
A recent poll discovered that a strong majority of Americans oppose the endless state of war that the United States is engaged in:
The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment “increases significantly” when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid—including money and weapons—should not be provided to such countries.
The poll shows strong, indeed overwhelming, support, for Congress to reassert itself in the oversight of US military interventions, with 70.8 percent of those polled saying Congress should pass legislation that would restrain military action overseas in three specific ways:
by requiring “clearly defined goals to authorize military engagement” (78.8 percent);
by requiring Congress “to have both oversight and accountability regarding where troops are stationed” (77 percent);
by requiring that “any donation of funds or equipment to a foreign country be matched by a pledge of that country to adhere to the rules of the Geneva Convention” (84.8 percent).
If the plebs had any power to influence politics, the players in the war economy might have cause for concern. Fortunately for them, the plebs have no actual influence over politics. At most they can decide which preselected candidate should occupy an office. The preselected candidates are chosen by the Republican and Democrat parties, which are both major players in the war economy though. So when the plebs go to the poles the option to not engage the government in further wars isn’t on the ballot.
Although this poll shows a promising change in attitude it’s also meaningless because it, like voting, won’t change anything. The only silver lining to this cloud is that the more wars the United States engages itself in the more thinly spread it will become and the sooner it will have to make a decision between pulling back its forces or collapsing entirely. Once that point is reached the wars will end one way or another.
Working in the military-industrial complex must be nice. While companies in other industries are forced to market their own goods and services, companies in the military-industrial complex enjoy subsidized marketing from the United States government:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new “Buy American” plan that calls for U.S. military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide, officials said.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce a “whole of government” approach that will also ease export rules on U.S. military exports and give greater weight to the economic benefits for American manufacturers in a decision-making process that has long focused heavily on human rights considerations, according to people familiar with the plan.
Not only will military attaches and diplomats provide free marketing but since the weapons sold by the United States have a tendency to fall into the hands of its and its allies’ enemies this proposal could create a continuous cycle of sales. First the United States sell weapons to one of its allies then those weapons fall into the hands of its allies’ enemies then the allies need to buy more weapons to fight off their enemies.
Anybody familiar with the United States’ foreign policy won’t be surprised to learn that the country has been simultaneously fighting and arming Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS):
WASHINGTON — Sophisticated weapons the U.S. military secretly provided to Syrian rebels quickly fell into the hands of the Islamic State, a study released Thursday disclosed.
The arms included anti-tank weapons purchased by the United States that ended up in possession of the Islamic State within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study by Conflict Armament Research, an organization that tracks arms shipments. The study was funded by the European Union and German government.
Efforts by the United States and other countries to supply weapons to rebel groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (Islamic State) forces,” the report concluded.
Investigators were unable to determine whether ISIS captured the weapons on the battlefield or whether the rebels sold or gave the arms to the terror group.
This is par for the course. The United States’ foreign policy can be summed up as picking sides in wars where all sides are assholes. Vietnam was probably the most famous illustration of this. If you read about the Vietnam War, you quickly realize that South Vietnam, the United States’ ally, wasn’t a beacon of freedom and democracy fighting against the evils of communism. The South Vietnamese government was absolutely atrocious. But that’s not to say that the North Vietnamese government was better. Both sides were committing atrocities at an impressive rate.
It seems like the only criteria the United States uses to determine it allies is whether or not they’re enemies of their enemies. The Syrian rebels may not have been angels but they were enemies of ISIS and that was a good enough reason for the United States to arm them. And either because they lost some battles or because they wanted to make some cash the weapons provided to them ended up in the hands of ISIS.
Libertarians tend to oppose the United States’ foreign policy because it’s interventionist. But it’s actually worse. Not only is the United States interventionist but it’s also incompetent at intervening. For example, instead of using its own forces to intervene it often chooses proxies, which are chosen for the simple fact that they’re an enemy of an enemy. When a proxy is chosen it’s given weapons. Oftentimes members of the chosen proxy defect and take weapons with them. Other times the proxy changes its alliance entirely and joins its former opponent. Sometimes the chosen proxy is wiped out and the arms it was given are taken by the victor as spoils of war. Regardless of the reason the weapons end up in the hands of the United States’ chosen enemy, its soldiers and allies get to face those weapons.
Not too long ago it was revealed that the Pentagon has been unable to account for a few trillion dollars it spent. This revelation lead to a predictable outcome. Some critters in Congress feigned outrage, some hearings were held, and legislation was passed that claimed to be the solution to the problem. That legislation has instructed the Pentagon to investigate itself:
The Defense Department will conduct an agencywide financial audit for the first time in history, following requirements in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. In a conference yesterday, the Pentagon committed to annual audits, with reports to be issued in November.
Just as Congress’ respond to the Pentagon misplacing trillions of dollars was predictable, I’m sure the Pentagon’s investigation into itself will predictably find that the agency did nothing wrong. But the self-investigation will appease Congress so everybody can wash their hands of this without having to actually fix anything. Since this issue will remain unresolved the Pentagon will be able to continue misplacing trillions of dollars. In the end a lot of money and time will be invested into ensuring business will continue as usual.
It’s the war that never ends.
It goes on and on, my friend:
Pockets of Nangarhar remain inaccessible to outsiders because of fighting, making it impossible to independently determine the cause of the fatal explosion. What is not in question is that in the 17th year of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, American airstrikes are escalating again, along with civilian casualties.
Operating under looser restrictions on air power that commanders hope will break a stalemate in the war, U.S. fighter planes this year dropped 3,554 explosives in Afghanistan through Oct. 31, the most since 2012.
This is why I see no appreciable difference between the two ruling parties in this country. While they may disagree on a few minor point, they march lockstep on the issues that matter. Obama initially came into officer on the promise of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After eight years he didn’t end either war and involved the United States in several more. Trump never promised to end the wars so I can’t really call him a hypocrite for continuing to wage them but his commitment to continuing the wars shows that the two parties agree that war is good.
The Army is in a precarious position. It has been tasked with waging a war on terror. Since terror is such a nebulous term the Army has no defined condition for declaring victory. That being the case, the war it was been tasked with fighting has continued to grind on for almost more than one and a half decades. The problem with a grinder is that you need to constantly feed it fresh meat and the Army is having a difficult time finding enough meat.
Who wants to join the Army only to be deployed to the Middle East to get maimed or killed by an improvised explosive or a child with an AK-47? Not only is the work dangerous but the pay sucks too. The Army is offering a lot of risk with little reward, a situation most investors would run away from.
So how does the Army fill its ranks without offering better pay? By lowering its standards, of course:
The Army wants to widen the pool of recruits.
Facing low recruitment levels, the U.S. Army quietly lifted its ban on allowing people with a history of mental illness, self-mutilation and drug abuse to serve in the military – despite warnings from the industry about the risks involved.
The new rules green-light recruits who have bipolar disorder, depression and issues with cutting – a process in which a person takes a knife or razor to his or her own skin – along with those who bite, hit or bruise themselves intentionally.
If you suffer from certain mental illnesses, Uncle Sam won’t let you buy gun. Likewise, if you use illegal drugs, Uncle Sam won’t let you buy a gun. But now he’ll happily hand you a gun!
I’d make a smart ass remark about the deplorable state of education in the United States making this necessary but the decision to lower military recruitment standards is a necessity of any country fighting a decade and a half old war against an undefined enemy.
One of the defining characteristics of an empire is that it is almost constantly at war. War is the great excuse for the State to expand its power. Need to increase taxes? Start a war to justify the increase. It might seem like a bad idea due to the expense of waging war but if you plunder enough from the other nation you can walk away with a tidy profit. Are you a politician who needs to line you pockets with some cash? Start a war and watch the campaign contributions and other perks roll in from the defense contractors. Do you want to expand your surveillance powers? If you start a war, you need to search for enemy spies!
As Randolph Bourne said, “For war is essentially the health of the State.” So it should come as no surprise that the United States, which is already engaged in a series of wars, is positioning itself to enter another:
Mr Dumont said calculating “even the roughest” potential casualty figures would be extremely difficult.
He also gave some detail on what the first hours of a war would involve.
“The only way to ‘locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion,” he wrote in response to Congressman Lieu’s questions about a potential conflict.
The risks involved included a potential nuclear counter-attack by North Korea while US forces attempted to disable its “deeply buried, underground facilities”, he said.
A potential nuclear counter-attack might sound horrific but you have to remember that nobody involved in developing this assessment and nobody involved in issuing the war order would actually be sent to fight the war. Casualties are easy to justify when other people are the ones dying.