Saturday, August 29, 2015

“Wars are still fought on little bits of bloody earth, and they are ended when the enemy’s will to resist is broken, and armed men stand victorious on his home soil.”

Another reminder that there is nothing really new under the sun.


rexxhead said...

I think it's pertinent to recall that the founders got chills when they contemplated a standing army -- thus the second amendment. Note that Congress is authorized to maintain a navy and forbidden to fund an army for more than 2 years at a time. Why would those idiot founders do something so stupid? A: Because it's virtually impossible to oppress one's people with even a robust navy (naval air, which the founders couldn't have anticipated, to the contrary notwithstanding). After you get done shelling the beaches and coastal towns, you're pretty much done unless you can land ground forces.

Stumping for a more vigorous standing army is solving the wrong problem. We shouldn't be attacking; we should be defending, and as the probably-apocryphal quote suggests, we have a rifle behind every blade of grass. When we are attacked, as on 12/7/1941, we build effective armies of volunteers PDQ, largely thanks to the second amendment. We don't need to be able to occupy entire foreign nations, and our tendency to do so over the past 60 years likely hasn't done us all that much good.

As with the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the Embargo on Cuba, et al., when you fail to get the results you want, isn't it reasonable to consider alternative paths? Maybe we don't really need a million-man standing army.

Josh said...

Imagine getting into a world war with 0bama as president. He's purged the best officers and is left with closet muslims/boot lickers. 200 generals, admirals, and others of like authority came out against the 0bama Iran plan. It, in the case of US service members, won't be lions lead by asses in world conflict, it'll be lions lead by traitors.

Anonymous said...

In the linked article, is the Major General in the photo Maxwell Taylor?



Chiu ChunLing said...

Sun Tzu does not make any firm philosophical distinction between the various modes of war, of which only the final (and least favorable) requires ground assault to take the enemy's strongholds. While it is true that one must always be prepared for such an eventuality if all other modes of warfare fail (especially since the lack of capacity for the final resort makes failure of every other resort more likely), it is NOT true that this resort must be "ready to deploy on a moment’s notice."

Indeed, Sun Tzu firmly recommends against readying an army for deployment until it is clearly going to be necessary. One must have the means and realistic plans for raising and deploying ground forces to assault the enemy bastions, but to constantly maintain such a force in readiness will only ruinously undermine every other option by its cost, and ruin itself either by long inactivity or continuous deployments.

The commitment to a standing military to maintain the Pax American is not the only or even the main reason that America stands on the verge of oblivion, but it has been a significant part of the equation.

By the way, the way the Chinese have increased their military spending and focused on increasing quality and technical capabilities in the last few years? They aren't planning to maintain that indefinitely, and they certainly didn't pay for something they're never going to use.