There’s just no livin’ with bugs Wyatt ~
Morgan Earp, “Tombstone”
the divisive nature of America’s war on terror, made particularly so by an
election year and a run-a-muck news media, I wanted to offer a few thoughts on
the subject of war as I’ve come to view it.
There are many SASS vets that I’m confident will relate closely to the
topic but this is just the view from my old saddle.
Von Clausewitz wrote that “War is the continuation of policy by
other means" meaning
when statesmanship fails, war may be the course of action necessary to preserve,
protect and defend vital national interests or enforce national policy.
should only result when America’s vital interests are at stake and
statesmanship fails. What are vital
interests? Survival: economic, way
of life or existence. Example:
Oil, for better or worse, is vital to our way of life.
A threat to cut off the supply would cause our industrialized nation
great harm thus seriously jeopardizing our way of life.
The other example is our very existence—when our homeland is attacked,
as on 9/11, war is inevitable!
~ War is
extremely serious business and certainly not as portrayed in Hollywood movies.
It’s a foreign policy alternative that certainly should not be
determined by feel good, altruistic and idealistic whims of those who will never
have to fight them or die in the course of their prosecution. The finest young
Americans I’ve ever known can die bloody deaths in war and decisions to send
them into battle should be made only when America’s vital interests are
threatened. If not, those making
such decisions do a serious disservice to all Americans.
~ Foreign political alliances are dangerous as well as unreliable. Such alliances have been the cause of many wars in the past and were viewed as sufficiently precarious by the founders as to generate stern warnings. Such entangling alliances, as Jefferson and Washington called them, made by politicians on Don Quixotic type adventures has weakened us over the years and obligated us in areas of the world where we have no business or national interest whatsoever. Such alliances were often established for numerous feel good reasons and then sold to Americans after the fact as a moral obligation that must be fulfilled.
first priority must be America. I
agree that it’s imperative to fulfill genuine moral obligations but
it’s also my belief that our primary moral obligation must always be to this
country and her sons and daughters. We
should never subordinate that principal obligation to foreign powers and allow
politicians to entangle and mire us in foreign problems—one reason the growing
power of the United Nations concerns the devil out of me.
agreements should be just that—agreements, not entanglements. Agreements
should only be entered into with the understanding that America will review them
periodically to determine if the same circumstances that warranted them in the
first place are still valid. We
should also let the world know that although we welcome trade with all, we will
not entangle ourselves with any if such an alliance is or becomes counter to
America’s own vital interests.
~ The best time
to prepare for war is during times of peace.
This has been known for generations but oft times
forgotten—particularly right after the last war when politicians are most apt
to spend the “peace dividend” on social programs.
Preparing for war after a crisis is on us is far too late.
Constant preparation keeps us militarily strong and potential enemies at
bay without a shot being fired in anger.
~ We can
never solve everyone’s ills with American forces. I’m sorry that the whole world is not as nice a place to
live as America but that’s just the way it is.
We will never be able to solve the world’s problems no matter how large
our defense budget. Christ himself
alluded to this principle when he told his disciples that the poor will always
be with them.
your fights carefully. We cannot
nor do we have the resources to be a white hat cop with a worldwide beat.
That philosophy has led to a seriously dangerous dilution of forces and
angered many around the world who see America as butting into things that are of
no real concern to us.
committed, be totally committed. Overwhelming
force is a necessity in war. If a division is needed, send a corps. There’s no such thing as a cheap war. War on the cheap leads to quagmires because you never have
enough to finish the job. By
following a strategy of restraint, all you can ever do is sustain an on-going
effort with never enough capability to bring it to conclusion. Smashing a bug with a sledgehammer is a good technique in
war—one that saves lives in the end.
in, get it done and get out. While
getting in is often a slippery slope, the getting out part has been a serious
weakness for America. We always
hang around and get ourselves further entrenched in local problems and bail out
countries that just days before we bombed into oblivion—Europe and Korea after
the war being prime examples of America’s noble national character.
Clearly identify and scope the strategic objectives before going in.
This way you know what success looks like and when you’ve achieved it.
Shared and clear expectations should be well known and realized
beforehand. Crystallizing the
objectives also tells you when that job is done and when its time to leave.
those who can do it, do it. Once
the political decision has been made to go to war, turn the fight over to those
trained to fight and let them fight it. Politicians
are not military strategists or tacticians.
All the untrained can do is seriously hinder the effort.
Contrast Viet Nam with Desert Storm.
Politicians were picking individual and specific bombing targets from the
oval office during Viet Nam. In
Desert Storm, the Bush administration had the good sense to let General
Schwarzkopf and his troops run the military operation.
What a difference in operations!
Support at home is paramount. This
cannot be overemphasized. Again, I
refer to the Viet Nam Vs Desert Strom experience—a most important difference
as those who lived through both eras can attest.
believe these few points should always be thought out thoroughly and long-term
consequences examined before resorting to armed intervention.
Our first reaction should rarely, if ever, be one of sending in the
when our country is attacked by vermin who seek her destruction as it was on
9/11 and our survival is on the line, it’s time to unleash the dogs of war who
carry our American sledgehammer and will smash the bugs to hell without
hesitation…and do so without regard for any phony politically correct dribble
to the contrary. Because when it
comes down to it, Morg was right—there’s just no livin’ with bugs.
view from my saddle…
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