America’s insanity with wars
It’s an addiction
During the war in Vietnam, our military and government told us daily they needed just a few more troops, and a little more time to conquer the communist insurgents from the North. They were wrong, consistently wrong. American deaths: 58,212, wounded: 153,452, missing: 1,711.
A bickering Congress and presidents from several administrations are responsible for this mistake.
Then, there was Iraq, the first war. From Iraq’s incursion into Kuwait there was clear justification for allied forces to defeat Iraq. We stopped short and quit too soon. Herbert Walker Bush left Hussein behind to reestablish himself. That was a case of not finishing the job.
Then we had the 9/11 attack by al Qaeda terrorists based in Afghanistan. That provided justification to attack al Qaeda in Afghanistan along with their Taliban helpers. America was justified to eliminate al Qaeda and the Taliban government.
Once you eliminate the enemy, then there is responsibility to establish a new regime such that the enemy cannot reestablish itself. That means, we can’t depart until a pro-American Afghanistan government is established. The job of reducing the Taliban and eliminating al Qaeda there must be thorough.
If there was any justification of invading Iraq it was because we did not complete the job. George W. Bush may have felt compelled to finish the job, one that Clinton also failed to do.
So, today, America is faced with huge and costly military obligations with jobs that must be finished completely or else enemies may reestablish.
I began by saying America is addicted to warfare. Maybe we should restate it. America is addicted to freedom and for that we will fight when threatened.
We were mistaken in Vietnam. There is no mistake about enemies in the Middle East. There is no mistake that the free world is addicted to oil at the present.
Therein is a part of the cause of the problem. If Middle Eastern people were benefiting from the oil business, and if they saw Americans and the free world as customers, maybe things would lighten up.
The trouble is kingdoms and tyrannical leaders have exploited simple people who have a religion that has been exploited to create a rift between East and West cultures. If Middle East people were to realize that Americans can be helpful to them in gaining individual freedom, maybe progress can be achieved.
Now, there remains too much hate and resentment.
Complicating this, the American economy is broken. We are not generating commercially viable superior products for global consumption. We are out of capital for peaceful initiatives, war initiatives, and for righting the economy. Righting the economy must come first. Therefore, while it only costs billions for war against a backdrop of trillions in debt, we are out of capital. We cannot afford more war.
Obama must draw down. If the Taliban and enemies of the free world find opportunity to spring back, it is because there are insufficient numbers of people who have chosen to fight for what we believe is right. If that becomes the case, the next time we have to take military action there, if we do, we need not be so discriminating against the population. Today, the people of Afghanistan have big choices. We can’t decide for them.
“Lawmakers push for new Afghan strategy
Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are applying fresh pressure on the Obama administration to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan faster than many military leaders say is responsible, forcing the president to balance his party’s demands with his generals’ on-the-ground assessment as he nears another milestone in the war.
When he announced his war strategy 18 months ago, President Obama set July as the point when he would begin bringing home the approximately 100,000 U.S. service members in Afghanistan. Administration officials have portrayed the reduction as just another planned step in the president’s strategy.
But Sen. John F. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is among a growing number of congressional leaders urging Obama to take full advantage of progress achieved over the past 18 months by narrowing the mission’s focus.
These lawmakers argue that, at a time of fiscal stress at home, the administration should concentrate on targeting al-Qaeda and protecting other U.S. security interests in the region, rather than on maintaining the broad military deployments across much of southern and eastern Afghanistan and the costly nation-building elements of the counter-insurgency strategy.
This political push could force the White House to revisit a contentious internal debate that unfolded in fall 2009, when Obama’s civilian advisers challenged the uniformed military over how best to change the course of a flagging war effort. But Obama is now making his decision amid a difficult reelection effort and when the killing of Osama bin Laden has made some lawmakers argue that the time is ripe to dramatically scale back the U.S. war effort.
“The president ought to take advantage of that success and push us in a direction that accelerates the ability of the Afghans” to take over operations, said Kerry (D-Mass.).
Obama is awaiting a set of recommendations from his military commanders on how many troops to bring home in July and the pace of withdrawal over the months ahead. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who on Friday concluded an 11-day trip that took him to Afghanistan, could deliver Gen. David H. Petraeus’s proposed options to Obama in the next week.
“The president obviously is very mindful of how we use our resources and setting priorities for how we use our resources,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday. “The fact is that we believe we are making progress. . . . And when he announces the decision he makes in terms of the drawdown, I’m sure he will also put it in the context of the implementation of the strategy he put in place in December 2009.”
That month Obama announced his decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, largely adopting a surge strategy recommended by the military leadership.
For his civilian advisers worried about the scope of the escalation, Obama also set next month as the beginning of the end of the surge. As that deadline approaches, the argument over how quickly or slowly to leave a nearly decade-old war is intensifying.”