September 1st, 2017

Going to war with the populace you have

Commenter “parker” writes:

…it is simple, but it seems simple is difficult to understand. Never go to war unless we are prepared to use all of the force we can muster to bring the enemy to a state of being where they grovel, kiss the dust, and ask how high we want them to jump.

A succinct statement of what Walter Russell Mead called the Jacksonian point of view:

Walter Russell Mead begins his indispensable 1999 essay, “The Jacksonian Tradition” by describing American savagery in war. “In the last five months of World War II, American bombing raids claimed the lives of 900,000 Japanese civilians.”…

Mead goes on to explain the political tradition that underlies this ferocity, which he names after President Andrew Jackson. Jacksonians, Mead argues, view America as a country that just wants to be left alone. They have little interest in the “Hamiltonian” project of prying other countries open to American commerce or the “Wilsonian” project of spreading democracy and liberty across the globe. But when attacked, especially by what they consider dishonorable foes, Jacksonians believe that “wars must be fought with all available force. The use of limited force is deeply repugnant.”…

For Jacksonians, the problem comes when America does not fulfill it. When that happens, they often blame leaders for making America’s troops fight with one hand tied their backs. On the right, this remains the dominant explanation for America’s loss in Vietnam.

That description was written in May of 2016, before Trump became president, and it appeared in The Atlantic. The article isn’t pro-Trump by any means, and it’s not pro-Jacksonian either, although it does try to “understand” both.

When I first read Mead’s article about 15 years ago, I remember thinking that I was sort of a Jacksonian, because in many ways I agreed with the sentiment expressed: if you’re going to fight a war and let people die in that war, you need to be committed to that war and prepared to stay the course. Knowing what happened in Vietnam, I was very worried when we invaded Iraq that something similar would happen. And that’s the way it has played out, for the most part.

But I also somewhat disagree with parker, because I think I am being realistic in saying that although the mentality he expresses is not rare in the US, it is not the predominant point of view and if we followed parker’s prescription we would not fight any wars at all because such an approach would be successfully thwarted. What’s more, in a nuclear age, does fighting such a war include nuclear weapons?

In other words, are there any limiting factors? I think there should be as a general rule (exceptions might be made), but what would the limiting factors be?

In other words, what sort of fight is Jacksonian enough for the Jacksonians? And wouldn’t the left and the majority of Americans oppose such a war? Or if that’s not strictly true, it would be difficult to know what sort of war, if entered into, would not ultimately be undermined before it was won. And we’d be back where we started.

World War II was a special case, I think, in which the enemy was so clear and so evil, and its global ambitions so obvious, that the US was relatively united on the nature of the fight. Oh, there were those who objected, but they were nowhere near as numerous as today. Therefore we were able to mobilize for a total war. I’m not sure whether, given the exact same circumstances, that would be possible today. But it would take something just as big as WWII to do it, and of course there’s plenty of argument about whether the war on Islamic terror (can we call it that, for instance?) is just as big.

33 Responses to “Going to war with the populace you have”

  1. physicsguy Says:

    I guess I’m a Jacksonian..never heard the term before. I agree with parker 100%: go in and don’t stop until they are destroyed. First of all take the nukes out of the equation. their use is for deterrence and retaliation for someone else’s use of nukes.

    It seems we have not learned from Vietnam and Afghanistan; two wars that just linger on. I would argue that there is less loss of life and treasure by doing the job 100%. I think Iraq is actually a good argument for the case. We won, but then gave up on the winning. I was hoping that the US would follow the Japanese/Germany model for Iraq. Once the victory was secured maintain a permanent base of military there, especially until the country stabilizes. We still have bases in Japan and Germany, to our and their advantage. It would have taken a decade or more with Iraq, but I submit that the ME would be a different place there if the US was still a presence in Iraq like that in Europe or Japan after WWII. Thanks to Obama, that’s not the case.

  2. om Says:

    The Jacksonian approach appears to be the antithesis of the “Just War” doctrine. Of course war is at the basic level a means of compelling the opponent to your will. The devil of course is always in the details, as total war (WWI and WWII) now a days could devolve to tactical or strategic nuclear weapons, not just MOABs. Why after all use a sniper rifle when a 155 mm gun will do the job? Oh, what is the “job?”

  3. ColoComment Says:

    Looking at the date of the essay, it appears that W.R. Mead’s essay was either expanded in, or extracted from, his book “A Special Providence.” That book was my first exposure to Mead, whose works I’ve made a point of reading ever since.

    https://www.cfr.org/book/special-providence

    And, along with what physicsguy is saying w/r/t Iraq, it would have taken a generation or two raised under the security blanket/umbrella of a constant and reliable U.S. presence to inculcate in the Iraqi population that they could indeed thrive under a method of self-governance other than tribe-centered competition.

    Physical security is the first and foremost step. Only when a people believes it is secure in its persons and possessions can it turn its attention toward building a stable middle class and representative government. Not only did Obama campaign on withdrawing from Iraq, but he then gave a date certain by which troops would be gone. I still, to this day, cannot believe he did that.

    With respect to Parker’s preferred style of war, it might also serve to give us pause to be a bit more selective about where & how we choose to commit our forces and whether it’s truly in our national interest. We might also give more consideration to whether our intended opponent is likely to accept surrender as a viable termination of conflict, rather than resist to the last man, woman, child (as WW II Japan was likely to do)

  4. blert Says:

    Errors:

    General Hersey is on record: draft dodging was HIGHER in WWII than it was during Vietnam.

    During Vietnam the deferment was college based.

    During WWII the deferment was FARM based. The numbers astound.

    Virtually ALL of my father’s neighbors ( farm boys ) ducked the draft.

    AFTER the war was over, it was these lads that staffed the US Army of Occupation.

    Which is one of the PRIMARY reasons why the occupation was so peaceful… none of the US troops had any personal grudges whatsoever.

    This also explains why the veterans all came back en masse.

    We had enough ‘farm boys’ to flesh out entirely new armies.

  5. blert Says:

    What folks constantly forget: South Korea, Vietnam and Nationalist China were ROTTEN allies — due to internal dysfuntion that continues to astound.

    In the case of the Chinese: epic corruption that’s off the scale by ANY measure.

    In the case of the Koreans, they’d just left generational slavery under the Imperial Japanese… conditions so harsh that the entire population shed six inches in height between 1916 and 1945… with many a corpse to prove it.

    The result was that the ROK Army was starting totally from scratch — and in the immediate post-war era, the US wouldn’t even allow the Koreans weapons larger than a PISTOL. ( We were all happy allies. So a police force is all that South Korea needed. )

    The Vietnamese were ripped apart, politically, by JFK’s Diem operation. As a result succeeding Saigon administrations were TOTALLY ham strung with ARVN generals. Yes, the top dogs were paranoid that the generals would whack them, too.

    The result was that MANY a general was left in his position — who should’ve been canned — because of this paralysis. Westy and Abrams were driven nuts over it.

    So you had VERY decent small unit commanders in ARVN totally hobbled by corrupt generals who were doing a land office business in palming money. They stole enough to fund their great, great, great grandchildren.

    Any time Westy or Abrams bitched, Thieu pushed back via our ambassador.

    As the LBJ tapes make CRYSTAL CLEAR, LBJ — from the outset — saw that JFK had boxed him in with prior diplomatic commitments// assurances. He — literally — didn’t have enough smarts to walk and talk himself out of Kennedy’s utterances.

    He DID try an buy off Ho. He thought every politician was as corrupt as himself — couldn’t understand a fanatic — an ideologue.

    Of course, every such pitch merely told Ho that LBJ was ready to FOLD. ( What a dufus. )

    These behind the scenes moves have largely been ignored by authors. Anyone with ANY moxie with game theory realizes that LBJ was making every possible mistake in the book. Naturally, LBJ would NEVER tolerate ANY Pentagon// State advice. ( McNamara, too.)

    As you correctly posted: LBJ was using JFK’s brain trust. Gag.

    In contrast: Israel.

    And what a contrast.

    BTW, modern South Korea is a TOTALLY different animal than 1950 Korea. Now you have a nation that’s much closer to Israel in savvy.

    As for modern Vietnam, they have no hope of staying out of Red China’s orbit. They must pray that Beijing blows up in yet ANOTHER credit// money crisis — the normal end of all Chinese dynasties.

    ( Since they invented paper money. )

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I agree with parker as to how to wage a war.

    I agree with neo that initiating and following through with that approach is not currently politically viable.

    Which means that our future will contain the following elements; 1) Israel’s future of low grade incessant attacks with never ending conflict and political turmoil. (already happening) 2) WMD terrorist attacks. (9/11 was a precursor) 3). Nuclear blackmail. (Kim’s goal)

    Perhaps after a few of our cities suffer nuclear terrorist attacks, that political reality will change. As there’s nothing like a personal, mortal, immediate threat to get people’s attention and end denial.

    “The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent” Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

    I agree with physicsguy that with rational nation states… nukes are for deterrence and retaliation.

    I agree with om that total war is the antithesis of Just War Doctrine.

    I disagree with ColoComment that, ” it would have taken a generation or two raised under the security blanket/umbrella of a constant and reliable U.S. presence to inculcate in the Iraqi population that they could indeed thrive under a method of self-governance other than tribe-centered competition.” as Islam’s fundamentally irreformable totalitarian/theology cannot accept any other method of governance. Once the security blanket/umbrella of a constant and reliable U.S. presence ended… Islam’s modus operandi would reemerge.

  7. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Virtually ALL of my father’s neighbors ( farm boys ) ducked the draft.

    You know what you get when you draft your farmers to fight wars? defeat, starvation at home, and as a consequence, insurrections. They’re 10x more effective driving a combine than they would be carrying a rifle.

    You should give Patton’s speech to the 3rd army a read. http://www.pattonhq.com/speech.html

    “These men [truck drivers] weren’t combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.”

    That chain starts at home, in the farm fields and the factories.

  8. DNW Says:

    “Jacksonians, Mead argues, view America as a country that just wants to be left alone. They have little interest in the “Hamiltonian” project of prying other countries open to American commerce or the “Wilsonian” project of spreading democracy and liberty across the globe.”

    Both the Hamiltonian and the Wilsonian projects are distinctly less libertarian in their social association predicates as well.

    Thus, they presume that they will be meddling in the lives of others; and, as you do unto others, you must assume that they might well do unto you likewise. And though it may cause life and death conflict and extreme emotions, afterward we can all have a nice warm soapy shower, or the civic republican BS version of it, together, and affirm our common humanity, yada yada yada

    There is a lot I don’t like about Jackson’s recorded temperament. Stuffing his overcoat breast pockets with a phonebook-like packet of documents as armor before a duel is indicative. He was in fact a political enemy, or better, adversary, of one of my own collateral ancestors.

    But when Jackson dueled – and assuming it is worth doing in the first place – he aimed to kill the son-of-a-bitch, not shake his hand afterward, and exclaim how glad he was that everyone only suffered grazing wounds. And if you read much about Alexander Hamilton (valiant Revolutionary warrior though he may have been), you can hardly blame Aaron Burr, (reprobate though he may have been) for doing so.

    The Pacific war against the Japanese Empire was a war that could have easily ended in Jacksonian terms, down to the tomahawk and knife, with virtually the only Japanese surviving being orphans and a few hundred thousand Catholics. Fortunately, it did not turn out that way.

    Or maybe it would not have regardless. From what I’ve read, by war’s end and with the Japanese naval and merchant fleets destroyed, the capital ships of the USA and Britain could no longer find worthwhile shore targets within 20 miles of the coast as they cruised up and down it

    Maybe the Japanese citizens would have simply starved to death if no invasion and no atom bombing took place. But a Jacksonian would probably be good with that outcome too.

  9. Frog Says:

    Neo observes that parker’s “is not the predominant point of view and if we followed parker’s prescription we would not fight any wars at all because such an approach would be successfully thwarted.” By the voters, I take it.

    Which is what happened at home during Vietnam.

    It did not happen here in WWII because of Pearl Harbor, which will endure in infamy, as FDR said, and because of Hitler’s great mistake of declaring war on the US simply because Japan was allied with Germany though they were 10,000 miles from one another, an alliance that had zero strategic value to both countries.

    I am a Jacksonian. In my past job as an oncologist, that meant to fight to win. Still does. There is no half-cure. Palliation is not ‘fighting a war’; it is making the incurable suffer less.

    Logically, that Jacksonian position cannot preclude the use of nuclear weapons, which come in many many sizes, from small “strategic” fission nukes of about 20 kilotons to megaton fusion H-bombs.
    The recently used MOAB (in Af-stan) has an explosive yield of 11 kilotons of TNT. Two MOABs equal one strategic nuke.

    Equivalence. And please, no hand-wringing about fallout, which is quite modest with small nukes.

    So let us not get on too high a horse about the use of nukes.

    Wars are to be fought, won and lost under the control and guidance of warriors. Like Patton, not by Congresscritters, Harry Truman or FDR (who gave eastern Europe to his ‘friend’ Stalin), and who are certainly not to be directed by a today-Gramscian brainwashed public majority. I do not understand why Progressives, who insist only experts (with Harvard or Wisconsin degrees) are fit to govern, will not defer the management of war, once declared, to warriors.

  10. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Meade voted for Hussein, so “Jacksonian” is more like the Jacksonian American Democrats of the Southern persuasion that looked like conservatives.

    If you were part of Leftist academia, like physics above, then there is good reason never to have heard about it.

    As for On War, I would be satisfied if America fought wars for its own interests, rather than for power mad megalomaniacs like the Federal Reserve, FDR, or Wilson. Or LBJ’s Democrat money banks.

  11. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It did not happen here in WWII because of Pearl Harbor, which will endure in infamy, as FDR said, and because of Hitler’s great mistake of declaring war on the US simply because Japan was allied with Germany though they were 10,000 miles from one another, an alliance that had zero strategic value to both countries.

    It did not happen because Demoncrat warmongers are smarter. They know that the public will swallow the war propaganda more easily if they instigate an event that will put the blame on foreigners.

    North vs South, Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin.

  12. Ymar Sakar Says:

    As for why Germany allied with Japan, that has to do with True Nazis, and how nobody in the modern world seems to remember who the Aryans were.

  13. blert Says:

    I R A Darth Aggie Says:
    September 1st, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    My Grandfather had FOUR sons.

    Three went to war.

    The fourth was just TOO young.

    Sad to say, farm production never dropped.

    The farm deferment WAS the deferment for WWII.

    FACT.

    BTW, at that time… an astonishing fraction of the European population had been drafted off the farm.

    Which is WHY the gals stepped up.

    See any number of British propaganda films for the period.

    The US was weirdly modern… with the LOWEST fraction of farm boys in the US Army.

  14. Paul in Boston Says:

    Funny, I skimmed what you wrote here and it got me to thinking not about foreign wars but about domestic politics, the deep state, and the Democratic party versus the rest of us. That may yet turn out to be a Jacksonian struggle. We’ll see.

  15. Paul in Boston Says:

    Re: Viet Nam. General Giap was quoted as saying that they monitored the anti-war movement closely and would have lost the war without it.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    DNW,

    “They have little interest in the “Hamiltonian” project of prying other countries open to American commerce” W.R. Mead

    It’s been many years since I read Ron Chernow’s biography on Hamilton but off hand I can’t recall Hamilton being a proponent of “prying other countries open to American commerce”.

    Since arguably the foremost example of America doing so is Perry’s forcing open Japan to trade in 1853, 49 years after Hamilton’s death… can you provide a quote of Hamilton’s where he advocated forcing other nation’s to trade with America?

    Is favoring trade de facto “meddling in the lives of others”?

    Frog,

    “Logically, that Jacksonian position cannot preclude the use of nuclear weapons,”

    No it doesn’t preclude it but because the use of nukes, especially against a similarly armed opponent could easily escalate into the elimination of much of the human race with impossible to foresee environmental effects for the survivors… that use has up till now been prudently avoided.

    And Rome has already demonstrated the pitfalls in handing unrestricted power to a dictator during times of war. For every Cincinnatus, there are 10,000 Caesars.

    Ymar Sakar,

    “I would be satisfied if America fought wars for its own interests, rather than for power mad megalomaniacs like the Federal Reserve, FDR, or Wilson.

    Wilson and FDR were many things but power mad megalomaniacs? Don’t megalomaniacs demand to rule with an iron hand? Isn’t that a psychological determinant in their character?

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston:

    The principles are the same whether it’s fighting foreign wars in the hot war sense, or whether it’s fighting domestic wars in the cold war sense of fighting leftism at home. How ruthless to get, that’s the question.

  18. parker Says:

    My dad was a farmer but enlisted nonetheless and trusted mom to run the farm, 5 of my uncles fought in WW2. Of the 6, only 1 did not come home and 1 with serious wounds. These were the men, along with my grandfathers, who drilled a simple message into my head: Walk away from a fight, but if you can’t walk away get behind the SOB and shoot him in the back, there are no rules when survival is on the line.

    I agree with Frog, tactical nukes should always be on the table when confronting dire circumstances.

  19. om Says:

    Frog:

    MOAB has a blast equivalent of 11 tons of TNT, that is 1.1 killotons, not 11 killotons. That would pretty small for a nuke, although small is not necessarily bad if you are accurate enough, case in point being the B61-12 which is reported to have a yield range of .3 to 50 kilotons but a accuracy of 30 meters (circular area of probability).

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-most-dangerous-nuclear-weapon-americas-arsenal-13433

    So the talking point is that small and accurate is a very bad thing, as is the small accurate and penetrating version of the B63, since there would conceivably be less reluctance to use such a weapon system. Those doing such talk want nukes to be too dangerous to ever be used; so much for deterrence. Now Iran or North Korea may not subscribe to the “too dangerous to be used” line of thought so who is actually being restrained?

  20. om Says:

    Correction:

    MOAB 0.011 kiloton, pretty small on the comparison range with tactical nukes, comparable to the MK 54 warhead at it’s lowest setting. Retired from service in 1967.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)

  21. Oldflyer Says:

    This subject should involve some pretty deep thought, and I have thought about it fairly deeply; but, I am not sure that it is enough.

    I think on balance I fit the Jacksonian definition.

    A long time ago, when I was a nuclear alert pilot on a deployed carrier, we had a few discussions–not many– about what it would mean if we were launched. The consensus was that we would only be sent if the homeland had been attacked, and there would be no second thoughts about the destruction we delivered. That was assuming we made it to our targets, which was a very optimistic assumption.

    I have two principles. First, the national interest must be a stake; and the corollary to that is that the national will must be cultivated. Second, the goals must be clearly defined. Once those two principles are satisfied, then there should be no restriction on the level of force employed to achieve our goals with minimal loss of American life, and within the public’s attention span. I do believe that if all of this can be achieved with minimal destruction to the enemy’s infrastructure, and with minimal loss of civilian life, that would be appropriate. In other words, you should not go to war without defined goals; and once committed you should be as ruthless as necessary–but only to the extent necessary– to achieve those goals.

    In World War II, our goal was to destroy the Nazi and Japanese Imperial regimes. Apparently it was determined at the National Political level that all out war against entire populations was necessary. I hope, and trust, that this was carefully considered.

    I don’t know whether we had defined our goals before committing to Vietnam. In any case, we squandered our opportunities until the national will was depleted. We could have succeeded with minimal destruction in the North, but, I don’t think there was a chance in hell of success without demonstrating willingness to wreak havoc.

    I think the initial goal in Iraq was to topple Sadaam, get out quickly, and let the Iraqi expats work out a compromise with the people with whom they could deal. I am still convinced that the Colin Powell/Richard Armitage cabal diverted G.W. Bush from that limited goal; and did so without the mandate to achieve their own– whatever those might have been.

    Strangely enough, we achieved our initial goal in Afghanistan rather easily. Maybe some day in my lifetime someone with inside knowledge will reveal what the strategic vision was for the post-Taliban era; and why it was justified. In hindsight, and hindsight is wonderful, we could have left it to the Afghans then, if necessary, gone back to cleanse the area multiple times at less cost than we incurred with our continued presence. Maybe after a few iterations of that the War Lords would have seen that there was a better path. (I almost used the old idiom
    “Come to Jesus”, but that is not appropriate these days on many levels.)

  22. The Other Chuck Says:

    After 9/11 when it was learned that Osama was the mastermind and hiding in Afghanistan the logical action was to go after him, as Bush did. It was a measured response. Later when Saddam was thought to be developing WMDs the same measured response got us into Iraq. After a trillion or more spent, thousands of casualties on our side, where are we? The second guessing about pulling out too early in Iraq and the mismanagement of the Afghan adventure are beside the point. They have turned out to be lost causes.

    What if we had used a disproportionate response? What if we had totally and completely destroyed the tribal pedoplex masquerading as a country that is Afghanistan. From the poppy growing valleys to the tunnel complexes – complete and utter destruction. Call it genocide if you want, but take Bush’s initial pledge to its most logical extreme that any nation that harbors terrorists must be destroyed.

    I don’t know what the response in the Muslim world would have been. Would they have one after the other realized as Gaddafi did that we meant business and insured they didn’t support terrorism or give it safe haven? All I know is that measured responses have worked to bleed us, weaken us, and divide us. They have resulted in the exact opposite of our goal of defeating terrorism. We’ve seen terrorist attacks all over Europe, the rise of ISIS, and now the reemergence of home grown leftist terrorism.

    Unfortunately the window has closed for such drastic action, unless we lose a city or worse. Should that happen it will be too late to go back and rectify the mistake.

    We may have our differences on a number of subjects, but on the protection of this country by any means necessary I believe we are of the same mind.

  23. Frog Says:

    om:
    Thanks for the mathematical correction. I should have checked instead of relying on memory.
    But the point remains that tactical nukes are very small, very low-yield nukes. I do not know anything about our current nuke inventory, but recall the day when very low-yield nukes were actually the size of biggish artillery shells, and were to be delivered via artillery. If done away with, a mistake. Why use a .50 caliber if a .22 will do? Is the target an elephant or a squirrel?

  24. parker Says:

    I guess I must be an antifa fascist. When push comes to shove, which it has, nuke Mecca and Medina with 20K. That would shut them up. More gentely, blockade and starve them into submission. The best solution is the simplest solution. Otherwise surrender, get out your prayer rug, bow down 5 times a day, and sacrifice your grandaughters’ clitoriuses.

    Is that plain enough? Are more clues required?

  25. om Says:

    It depends what the goal is, and whether “crapping up,” the target zone and whatever is downwind in the path of the fallout is part of the plan or just an acceptable consequence of using a tactical nuke. And yes there were 155 mm nuclear artillery shells (6.1 in diameter).

    Accuracy of ordnance allows much smaller explosives to be used for the same terminal effect, be it conventional or nuclear. That accuracy is part of the MOAB BTW, so even when you need a the biggest boom you still need it on target.

  26. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    September 1st, 2017 at 9:16 pm
    This subject should involve some pretty deep thought, and I have thought about it fairly deeply; but, I am not sure that it is enough.

    I think on balance I fit the Jacksonian definition.

    … In other words, you should not go to war without defined goals; and once committed you should be as ruthless as necessary– but only to the extent necessary– to achieve those goals.
    * * *
    In the abstract, I agree completely.
    However (and I think I said this on the Vietnam thread), we have two political parties whose goals are differently defined; and who gauge necessity on different scales..

  27. Tim Turner Says:

    On the question of the Jacksonian use of nuclear force, the answer would be to always use the amount of firepower necessary, but not more. The point isn’t to use infinite amounts of force, the point is to recognize that wars are either won or lost, you don’t get a C+ just for showing up.

    The point of Jacksonianism, as stated, is to win wars that you fight. It’s pointless to go to a war, knowing you aren’t going to try and win. In some interpretations, it could be perceived as pacifistic.

  28. Tim Turner Says:

    As far as small tactical nuclear warheads go, it’s the M-388 and M-28 Davy Crockett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device). Which was basically a bazooka firing a shell

  29. Ymar Sakar Says:

    They have turned out to be lost causes.

    What if we had used a disproportionate response? What if we had totally and completely destroyed the tribal pedoplex masquerading as a country that is Afghanistan.

    It’s a fantasy that Americans would annihilate the ragheads when they were still refusing to deal with the internal traitors in their own country.

    One of those foreign drama flicks people watch to get a thrill, nothing more.

    The US Republic is the lost cause. After being unable to prove foreign policy dependence for foreign allies, people no longer have any trust or use for the Pax Americana. That means the suppression of national conflicts by America’s minuscule 500 billion a year funded military, isn’t going to be sustainable. The idea that any nation could keep the world at peace on that shoe string budget, was always a miracle in and of itself.

    The US military spending is far less than social welfare, for example. If the feds are going to spend money on any thing, 50% of it should be for defense and military power. With a GDP surpassing 11.5 trillion, how much money does the US spend per year on basic defense? It’s someone’s Starbucks budget per month.

    Of course, they can always use black ops military activities to fund a lot of things, like what the CIA did with the drug war. But what just makes them the drug runners and immoral slave traders.

    Iraq and Afghanistan were the last two chances for the United States to redeem itself. If the US failed, then it is over. Maybe they could have dragged out the end times for a few more decades, but not any more. This will impact the quality of life in the US far more than it will affect the future Babylonians.

    That would shut them up.

    If they nuked DC and Hollywood, would the Left or anybody else shut up?

    People have never in their living life time, seen an Islam with a Caliph in charge.

    There’s also a problem with nuclear detonations, which is why they banned high altitude detonations. If NK ever even looks like they are going to surpass that, Russia and China will invade them. A problem they haven’t leaked the secrets out yet.

    Having nukes is fine as a deterrence, but detonating them at a high altitude produces problems that even cold war nations agreed not to ignore.

    Afghanistan was put under NATO, that was the exit plan. NATO is kind of useless at the moment.

    The Iraqis had a national government, so military troops there would be the same as in SK and Okinawa, under a status of forces agreement. The US doesn’t get to unilaterally withdraw or occupy a country that is under a status of forces agreement, contrary to what OC was trying to portray.

    America can’t even defeat its own internal traitors and rebels, nor rescue Chicago from the Demoncrats, why did anyone expect they could defeat evil overseas?

    Something easily seen even in 2007, from my pov. That was during the Petraeus surge where everyone was doing victory laps, except for me.

    The “State Department” is a large junk of the “Deep State”. Of course Colin sabotaged things. That’s why he is the cannonfodder of the Deep State and does what they tell him to do. Is he a Leftist? Leftists aren’t the only traitors in the US, people.

    Don’t megalomaniacs demand to rule with an iron hand? Isn’t that a psychological determinant in their character?

    Only the idiots like Jonestown cult leaders, think ruling with an iron hand is effective in the long term. It is far better to manipulate a population using honey and beer, until the slaves think they are free.

    Slavery 2.0 was far too high a maintenance project to last very long, which is why slavery 3.0 was good.

    FDR almost got the things the Deep State wanted done, in his 4 terms. The Left carried on the project. Got rid of social security yet? No? All part of the plan.

    If none of this is true, why are people worried about welfare and the Left’s socialism? That’s not tyranny either… except it is.

  30. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Something people don’t recall, because public education never allowed them to get it: Wilson and FDr were elected based on the platform of not joining Europe’s war. Jacksonians voted for them.

    Jacksonians got duped.

    Meade likes Jacksonians. Meade voted Hussein. Meade got duped.

    Just because a lot of Americans are Jacksonians in terms of their foreign policy, doesn’t mean diddly squat when it comes to the executive branch executing the policies in detail.

  31. Matt_SE Says:

    In modern times, the involvement/sacrifice of the civilians in the war effort has been discarded. IMO, this has led to a disconnect between the military and the populace. American civilians can go for at least 16 years without disturbance by war, as we know from experience.

    That is a recipe for endless wars and financial ruin.

  32. DNW Says:

    “DNW,

    “ ‘ They have little interest in the “Hamiltonian” project of prying other countries open to American commerce ‘ ”

    W.R. Mead

    It’s been many years since I read Ron Chernow’s biography on Hamilton but off hand I can’t recall Hamilton being a proponent of “prying other countries open to American commerce”.

    Since arguably the foremost example of America doing so is Perry’s forcing open Japan to trade in 1853, 49 years after Hamilton’s death… can you provide a quote of Hamilton’s where he advocated forcing other nation’s to trade with America?

    Is favoring trade de facto “meddling in the lives of others”?

    First of all I think it is worth noticing that I was of course quoting Neo quoting Meade, and not Meade directly.

    It is also perhaps worth noticing that the quote Neo presented has Meade himself placing “Hamiltonian” in affirmation bracketing or generalization indicating quote marks. “Hamiltonian” then, becomes a marker of an historically developed theory of American government and “national” purpose.

    My own comment in response to this quote of a quote laying out an historical generalization was this: “Both the Hamiltonian and the Wilsonian projects are distinctly less libertarian in their social association predicates as well.”

    I think that that observation is unexceptionable.

    I also realize that my general contempt for Alexander Hamilton as a moral being, as opposed to my respect for his intellectual capabilities and some of his important political insights, is likely to rub some people raw – especially those who unlike me, may have understandable sympathy for bi-polar types, or nationalist types, and wish to extend that understanding back in time to some important historical figures.

  33. AesopFan Says:

    Tim Turner Says:
    September 2nd, 2017 at 1:10 am
    On the question of the Jacksonian use of nuclear force, the answer would be to always use the amount of firepower necessary, but not more. The point isn’t to use infinite amounts of force, the point is to recognize that wars are either won or lost, you don’t get a C+ just for showing up.

    The point of Jacksonianism, as stated, is to win wars that you fight. It’s pointless to go to a war, knowing you aren’t going to try and win. In some interpretations, it could be perceived as pacifistic.
    * * *
    Maybe the problem is related to academic grade inflation: the Dems think that what used to be a C+ is now an A.

    Actually, the whole point for some on the Left was NOT to win the wars against Communist / Socialist regimes, but they used a lot of subterfuge to drag the Willing Idiots along with them.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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