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Gates's warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa
http://www.csmonitor.com ^ | 26 February 2011 | Brad Knickerbocker

Posted on 02/28/2011 6:45:35 AM PST by Racehorse

As he winds down a remarkable Pentagon career – overseeing two long and very costly wars, wrestling with a military-industrial complex resistant to his budget moves aimed at questionable weapons, and shaking up the senior officer corps – Defense Secretary Robert Gates has a message for his successor.

“Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

[SNIP]

“We can’t know with absolute certainty what the future of warfare will hold, but we do know it will be exceedingly complex, unpredictable, and – as they say in the staff colleges – ‘unstructured’,” he said. “Just think about the range of security challenges we face right now beyond Iraq and Afghanistan: terrorism and terrorists in search of weapons of mass destruction, Iran, North Korea, military modernization programs in Russia and China, failed and failing states, revolution in the Middle East, cyber, piracy, proliferation, natural and man-made disasters, and more.”

“And I must tell you, when it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect,” he quipped. “We have never once gotten it right, from the Mayaguez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq, and more – we had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged.”

“There has been an overwhelming tendency of our defense bureaucracy to focus on preparing for future high-end conflicts – priorities often based, ironically, on what transpired in the last century – as opposed to the messy fights in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; gates; military

1 posted on 02/28/2011 6:45:41 AM PST by Racehorse
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To: Racehorse
Gates's warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa

That leaves just Europe and South America..................

2 posted on 02/28/2011 6:47:49 AM PST by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name. Want to have fun? Google your friend's names.....)
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To: Racehorse

Can SOMEONE in that admin keep their frickin’ mouths shut and ADVISE the President and go home. WHY do we have to make news all the time!!!


3 posted on 02/28/2011 6:48:07 AM PST by NordP (COMMON SENSE CONSERVATIVES - Love of Country, Less Govt, Stop Spending, No Govt Run Health Care!!!)
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To: Racehorse

When you don’t fight a war to win it, the outcomes are fairly predictable. We haven’t done that since 1945.


4 posted on 02/28/2011 6:48:44 AM PST by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
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To: Racehorse

5 posted on 02/28/2011 6:48:51 AM PST by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the constitution"-Obama official)
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To: NordP
Shut up...shut up!
6 posted on 02/28/2011 6:51:10 AM PST by NordP (COMMON SENSE CONSERVATIVES - Love of Country, Less Govt, Stop Spending, No Govt Run Health Care!!!)
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To: Racehorse

Well, as everybody who watched The Princess Bride knows, the First Rule is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”

However, if we ditch some of the more moronic rules of land warfare that seem to be designed to prevent us from winning, the ME is perfectly doable...


7 posted on 02/28/2011 6:53:11 AM PST by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Heading, with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: Racehorse

Bush’s choice and Obama’s - a loser.

Instead of saying we should avoid a war, he should have said we should avoid PROLONGED POLICE ACTIONS in countries where our presence is not appreciated or wanted.

America, given the fickle nature of its voting populace, should ONLY fight blitzkrieg like wars - using overwhemling military technology and force to totally smash an opponent and his infrastruture into dust and then pull out. Let someone else pick up the pieces - its not our damn job to be the fixer-upper of the world. Our military should only be employed in the event our strategic interests or those of a VALUED ally - like Israel, are at stake. And only then when they are opperating in a situation of military advantage.

Prolonged police actions are expensive, bloody, raise public opposition and are counterproductive.


8 posted on 02/28/2011 6:53:56 AM PST by ZULU (No nation which ever attempted to tolerate Islam, escaped total Islamization.)
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To: NordP

LOL!


9 posted on 02/28/2011 6:53:59 AM PST by samtheman
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To: icwhatudo
The original source:

Twice Kennedy talked about Asia with General Douglas MacArthur, and each time he came away hushed and thoughtful from what he considered an audience with greatness. MacArthur told Kennedy both times to stay out of a land war on mainland Asia.

10 posted on 02/28/2011 6:54:07 AM PST by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: Red Badger
That leaves just Europe and South America...

You forgot North America, ie, Obama's war on the United States.

11 posted on 02/28/2011 6:54:21 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Racehorse
Gates's warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa

Vizzini: You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders ...
The most famous of which is, "never get involved in a land war in Asia."

12 posted on 02/28/2011 6:54:39 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Racehorse

“Gates’s warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa”

My warning: Avoid ‘democracy building’ in Asia, Middle East, and Africa where tribal chiefs and mullahs are it.


13 posted on 02/28/2011 6:55:22 AM PST by mewykwistmas
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Or we could declare war on Canada.......................


14 posted on 02/28/2011 6:55:45 AM PST by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name. Want to have fun? Google your friend's names.....)
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To: Racehorse

MacArthur did warn about getting involved in a land war in Asia but Gates is a far cry from a MacArthur....he’s been nothing but a “yes” man. Someone must have given him notes for the speech. He’s just not that smart.


15 posted on 02/28/2011 6:56:04 AM PST by Thank You Rush
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To: Racehorse

So, we’ve been spending billions and billions of dollars on whiz-bang weapons systems of questionable utility, but are incapable of successfully pursuing the actions - fought with manpower and off-the-shelf hardware - that we’re faced with in the real world as it exists...

But Defense Contractors and their pet Congresscritters are getting rich, so it’s okay....

/sarc


16 posted on 02/28/2011 6:57:45 AM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Racehorse

Seems if he believes this, then must advise Obama to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now.


17 posted on 02/28/2011 7:01:44 AM PST by stylin19a ("Marine Sniper - You can run, but you'll just die tired!")
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To: ZULU
Robert Gates, Meet Robert McNamara (from the Progressive - no less) :


Robert "Strange" McNamara

18 posted on 02/28/2011 7:04:15 AM PST by Errant
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To: samtheman
Thanks...

If you like THAT one, then go over to the "Low flow toilets causing a stink in SF" thread - I put a Seinfeld "Low flow...I don't like the sound of that!" there.

19 posted on 02/28/2011 7:04:55 AM PST by NordP (COMMON SENSE CONSERVATIVES - Love of Country, Less Govt, Stop Spending, No Govt Run Health Care!!!)
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To: Red Badger
I was thinking more North America....

Canada, U.S. agree to use each other’s troops in civil emergencies

By Ottawa Citizen ^ | February 22, 2008

Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 5:19:41 AM by DeaconBenjamin

Canada and the U.S. signed an agreement that paves the way for either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency. Some question why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. Northern Command publicized the agreement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

20 posted on 02/28/2011 7:05:36 AM PST by spokeshave (WTF....the only thing 0bambi's investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy.)
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To: edpc

I was just thinking the same. Add in the military being stiffled by PC [re: Fort Hood assassin].

Advanced weaponry doesn't do much good if the military are prohibited from using it to win wars.


21 posted on 02/28/2011 7:09:20 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Racehorse

What a strategic thinker he’s turning out to be!


22 posted on 02/28/2011 7:16:08 AM PST by Darteaus94025
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To: Red Badger
That leaves just Europe and South America..................

No, it leaves North America. Mexico is about to collapse and the states bordering it will be overrun with refugees and guerrilla fighters. The US will be fighting a full scale Vietnam style insurgency on our own southern border. And since Obama will do nothing, the next president is going to need every single soldier to try and take back lost US territory from the narco gangs.
23 posted on 02/28/2011 7:17:59 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: spokeshave

The North American Union is on its way. Coming soon to a state government near you!..........


24 posted on 02/28/2011 7:18:52 AM PST by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name. Want to have fun? Google your friend's names.....)
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To: Red Badger
Gates's warning: Avoid land war in Asia, Middle East, and Africa>

That leaves just Europe and South America..................

You forgot that Eastern Europe and Venezuela are also off limits. We can't even take on Russia's/the "Former" Soviet military's conventional threat anymore without resorting to nukes.

25 posted on 02/28/2011 7:20:41 AM PST by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: Racehorse

Bobby Gates has always been bad.

Which explains why the last two loser Presidents have had him as SecDef


26 posted on 02/28/2011 7:21:04 AM PST by LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
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To: Racehorse

Macnamara 2.0


27 posted on 02/28/2011 7:23:56 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: ZULU
Instead of saying we should avoid a war, he should have said we should avoid PROLONGED POLICE ACTIONS in countries where our presence is not appreciated or wanted.

Bullseye! Right on the money, Zulu.

You go in. Kick their ass for bothering you. Then you leave with a threat to do it again if they bother you again.

What's hard about that?

28 posted on 02/28/2011 7:41:31 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain & proud of it: Truly Supporting the Troops means praying for their Victory!)
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To: Racehorse

Which is just a backhanded way of calling his predecessor a lunatic. Such a class act!


29 posted on 02/28/2011 7:41:32 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: justlurking

“MacArthur told Kennedy both times to stay out of a land war on mainland Asia.”

McNamara 3.0


30 posted on 02/28/2011 7:50:42 AM PST by chessplayer
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To: Racehorse

Somehow the word; “INCONCEIVABLE”, come to mind...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6wqKb8EUxI


31 posted on 02/28/2011 7:55:46 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Racehorse

Somehow the word; “INCONCEIVABLE”, comes to mind...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6wqKb8EUxI


32 posted on 02/28/2011 7:56:14 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Racehorse; All

“There has been an overwhelming tendency of our defense bureaucracy to focus on preparing for future high-end conflicts – priorities often based, ironically, on what transpired in the last century – as opposed to the messy fights in Iraq and Afghanistan,”

For good reason. The military is best used in a conventional fashion, and the “high-end conflicts” are the ones that actually threaten our existence the most. China, the Russian Federation, et. Al. The enemies have NOT gone away and we have become so focused on “insurgents” we can no longer effectively fight a major conflict.

BTW - Iraq and Afghanistan would still be “messy”, but they would and could go smoother IF we stopped using such anemic Rules of Engagement (ROEs). IF we don’t have good reason to kill people and break things, then we don’t have good reason to send in the military. IMO it is either “total” war or no war.


33 posted on 02/28/2011 8:00:59 AM PST by Sola Veritas (Trying to speak truth - not always with the best grammar or spelling)
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To: Racehorse
You can't win a war by letting lawyers write your rules of engagement while your army is occupied building sewerage plants and mosques for your enemy.


34 posted on 02/28/2011 8:11:05 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Our country's founders cherished liberty, not democracy." -- Ron Paul)
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To: GonzoGOP
the next president is going to need every single soldier to try and take back lost US territory from the narco gangs.

Then there is only ONE CHOICE to accomplish that mission.

35 posted on 02/28/2011 8:30:12 AM PST by Just A Nobody ( (Better Dead than RED! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA))
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
That leaves just Europe and South America...

You forgot North America, ie, Obama's war on the United States.


And Antarctica. Don't forget Antarctica.
36 posted on 02/28/2011 8:37:37 AM PST by crosshairs (Appeasement is surrender in slow motion.)
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To: Racehorse
“Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

Yep, makes perfect sense. We should send troops only to where the most dangerous enemies are: Grenada and Panama.

That'll keep us perfectly safe.

37 posted on 02/28/2011 8:38:24 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: Racehorse
based, ironically, on what transpired in the last century – as opposed to the messy fights in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

How are they less messy than the wars in Korea or Vietnam? If anything, they are easier to fight: there is no Soviet Union to worry about, and Russia even gives us overflight rights.

Why can't this moron just keep silence --- does he not he understand that such remarks embolden the enemy? When the Secretary of Defense tells the world we won't fight, what do you expect the enemies will do --- put down the guns and sip coffee?

38 posted on 02/28/2011 8:43:24 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
Was Reagan a loser when he nominated Gates as CIA Director?

How many administrations has he worked for?

Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Bush-Obama

39 posted on 02/28/2011 9:18:20 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Racehorse
“There has been an overwhelming tendency of our defense bureaucracy to focus on preparing for future high-end conflicts – priorities often based, ironically, on what transpired in the last century – as opposed to the messy fights in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

Dateline: Washington, D.C., February 28, 1932.

The outgoing Secretary of War told the press today:

“There has been an overwhelming tendency of our defense bureaucracy to focus on preparing for future high-end conflicts – priorities often based, ironically, on what transpired 15 years ago in World War One – as opposed to the messy fights in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries that we are involved in right now.”

Dateline: San Francisco, December 8, 1941.

To believe that China will never pose a threat to the U.S. during the rest of the 21st Century because "the Cold War is over" is naive and dangerous to the extreme.

Japan was on the Allied side in World War One. Japanese warships, based out of the British Royal Navy base at Malta, even assisted the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. Yet, when Japan's growing thirst for oil came into conflict with Western interests, Japan turned from "friend" to "enemy" in a very short period of time.

If you are unprepared for insurgent warfare in Iraq or Afghanistan, you lose a few thousand troops.

If you are unprepared for war war against China in the year 2039, you lose hundreds of thousands of troops and the United States of America.

40 posted on 02/28/2011 9:43:52 AM PST by Polybius
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To: Racehorse
“And I must tell you, when it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect,” he quipped. “We have never once gotten it right, "
41 posted on 02/28/2011 10:20:26 AM PST by varon (Allegiance to the Constitution, always. Allegiance to a party, never!)
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To: Red Badger
I don't think Gates likes South America either - or most of Europe. Gates might feel we can take the French on - if they don't surrender first...

Or some small island - if they're not too violent.

42 posted on 02/28/2011 10:23:55 AM PST by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php - It's only uncivil when someone on the right does it.- Laz)
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To: Red Badger

“That leaves just Europe and South America..................”

Don’t forget Antarctica! And most omenously.....North America!!! MEXICO!!


43 posted on 02/28/2011 2:09:05 PM PST by 2harddrive
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To: Red Badger

That leaves just Europe and South America

And Wisconson or Kalifornia.


44 posted on 02/28/2011 2:15:37 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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