I agree. I'm just not sure if we had the resources to pull it off.
posted on 12/24/2004 5:06:39 PM PST
by Voice in your head
("The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage." - Thucydides)
To: Voice in your head
There is a reason for the lack of resources. In the 1980's, with Viet Nam a fresh memory and Reagan trying to help the contras in central America, the US military made a collective decision that they never wanted to do another guerrilla war unless the country at large was mobilized and in full support. So the Army put many of the support troops for occupation and anti-insurgency operations into reserve units as a way of being able to tell civilian leaders "no can do" when they proposed undeclared wars and fighting guerrillas.
By 2001, except for the Marines and special forces as partial exceptions, the entire subject of "small wars" and guerrilla wars was treated as being of mere historical interest. Consequently, now that we need to do an occupation and fight an insurgency, we find that we lack the necessary men, doctrine, and equipment in the active Army. Thus we call up reserves and hire contractors who hire retired veterans and police. We find that we lack equipment and have to do on the job anti-insurgency training and that our efforts are often at cross purposes for lack of relevant doctrine.
Unlike most people, when I hear our military and political leaders talk about noble goals, Nicias and the Sicilian expedition ominously come to mind. But I am heartened that Rumsfeld and the Bush administration do not seem so foolish as to actually think that good people with good intentions must perforce bring good results. There is also Churchill's backhanded compliment that the Americans always get it right in the long run after first trying every other way, and Rommel's similar comment that in fighting the Americans, they impressed him at first as the greenest troops that he had ever encountered, but soon impressed him as learning faster and to deadlier effect than anyone else.
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