Skip to comments.Never Fight a Land War in Asia
Posted on 09/01/2011 5:43:07 PM PDT by AfricanChristian
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, speaking at West Point, said last week that 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. In saying this, Gates was repeating a dictum laid down by Douglas MacArthur after the Korean War, who urged the United States to avoid land wars in Asia. Given that the United States has fought four major land wars in Asia since World War II Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq none of which had ideal outcomes, it is useful to ask three questions: First, why is fighting a land war in Asia a bad idea? Second, why does the United States seem compelled to fight these wars? And third, what is the alternative that protects U.S. interests in Asia without large-scale military land wars?
The Hindrances of Overseas Wars
Lets begin with the first question, the answer to which is rooted in demographics and space. The population of Iraq is currently about 32 million. Afghanistan has a population of less than 30 million. The U.S. military, all told, consists of about 1.5 million active-duty personnel (plus 980,000 in the reserves), of whom more than 550,000 belong to the Army and about 200,000 are part of the Marine Corps. Given this, it is important to note that the United States strains to deploy about 200,000 troops at any one time in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that many of these troops are in support rather than combat roles. The same was true in Vietnam, where the United States was challenged to field a maximum of about 550,000 troops (in a country much more populous than Iraq or Afghanistan) despite conscription and a larger standing army.
(Excerpt) Read more at stratfor.com ...
Since when was Iraq in Asia? Maybe in Britain’s “Asia,” but not U.S. Asia.
Technically it is on the asian continent.
You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land war in Asia. And only slightly less well known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
Correction, any future def. sec. who advises the president to engage in a land war should make sure the house of reps is not made up of spineless libtards..
They're the ones who lost Vietnam, not our military.........and they're the ones who tried to undermine Bush and cause another defeat in Iraq.
How about no oversea wars, simply due to the fact we constrain our military to fight in a “politically correct” fashion.
Nothing like restricting the greatest military in the world.
We can’t even use them to guard our own border.
Good grief, my head hurts.
Iraq has always been in Asia.
So has Afghanistan.
Same with Pakistan in that undeclared war we’re fighting there.
Next thing you know we’ll be going up against Sicilians when death is on the line.
It is doubtful that the Germans would have capitulated to the Americans alone.
So we can’t win a Western land war either. Canada may need to start sweating.
Because American culture and Asian cultures consider warfare differently. Derived from European sensibilities, we play warfare like a game. Asians have a much longer history of warfare than we do, and generally, a much more savage one. We're simply not willing to play as savagely as they are, so when we arrive at 'victory', our 'victims' generally don't recognize it. Hiroshima and Nagasaki being the only notable variation, and one that Asians culturally understood right away.
It sounds trite, but it's not. Lives are much cheaper and expendable in Asian warfare, and always have been. Political power is not really recognized until some level of potential savagery has been established. It doesn't have to be followed through on, but they have to know that you're willing and able to go all the way to win.
Second, why does the United States seem compelled to fight these wars?
These nations are often ruled by people who value life cheaply, and see violence as a valid means of expanding political and economic influence. (This was true before Communism as it was after). Being civilized quote unquote, we are naturally going to come in conflict with these elements.
And third, what is the alternative that protects U.S. interests in Asia without large-scale military land wars?
The only thing that causes the warlord mentality to stay his hand it a consequence that makes his actions not worth the risk. That consequence has to be personal to the leader, credible, and practically unavoidable.
Since we generally force ourselves to fight wars against nations and not men, we encourage warlords to fight us. A policy of assassination, either in the classic sense, or in blitzkrieg-type regime changes followed by putting a new faction in power and leaving right away, would de-incentivize enemies to fight us.
If a tough, troublemaking leader knows that if he starts trouble with us, we'll either kill him, or put his family and tribe under the rule of his hated enemies and then leave (leaving them defenseless against retribution), then it makes causing us trouble not worth the effort.
In short, the biggest threat America faces to fighting wars is our own moral vanity.
Actually, I knew about not fighting land wars in Asia, a long time ago, before Vietnam. I think I heard it from General Eisenhower?
Why not have our military do something useful, and more important, like guarding our border with Mexico?
How would we even know we won in Afghanistan? We will never turn Afghanistan into a Switzerland type country. The Afghans don’t like us, and never will like us.
Ah yes, The Princess Bride, a film that will likely remain a long-time classic.
Who is that?
Well, originally, conditions of winning was killing bin Laden and the other AQ head honchos, I am not so sure about that being it nowadays though.
First we would have to have a definition of what “winning in Afghanistan” means.
nearly 10 years in I still haven’t heard one.