Back in the USSA
I’ve been trying to come up with a post for over a month now but don’t have any good pictures because I’m back in America, sans super cool Nikon which got blown up in the Helmand, and without good pictures I don’t seem to be able to write. That camera cost over a thousand bucks and that money is now down the sewer, which is appropriate given the fact that on my last night in Kandahar the poo pond burst its seams and I had to wade through 3 feet of waste water to get to the freedom bird. I’m serious here’s a picture of that shit, which I hesitate to say because using inappropriate language is (so I have learned) a sign of PTSD.
But I don’t want to talk about shit, I want to talk about the alarming deterioration I see in this country and our nitwit President. That is proving hard to do, because every time I think I’ve crafted an astute observation or two I read a post by Victor Davis Hanson or Richard Fernandez who say what I was going to say, only they say it ten time better than I ever could. My agent keeps telling me I’m just 12 months of hard work away from a Hollywood blockbuster but I don’t believe a word he says except when he tells me I need to keep the blog going. Keeping the blog going is proving hard because I’m not in Afghanistan and the Afghans are screwed now anyway. I can sum up our ten years in Afghanistan in 3 pictures and then I’m moving on to the President’s new genius plan for the military and (this is going to freak you out) I agree with him. Not his reasoning mind you, he was, is, and will always be an absolute moron, but what he is doing by gutting the ground forces was inevitable. But hey, every once in a while even a blind squirrel will find a nut.
First, ten years of NATO in Afghanistan in three pictures:
There it is; Afghanistan is toast, and what the last 10 years has taught us is we cannot afford to deploy American ground forces. Two billion dollars a week (that’s billion with a B) has bought what? Every year we stay to “bring security to the people,” the security situation for the people gets worse and worse, deteriorating by orders of magnitude. Now the boy genius has announced a “new strategy”. A strategy that is identical to the “strategy” that resulted in a hollow ground force getting its ass kicked by North Korea in 1950; a mere five years after we had ascended to the most dominant military the world had ever known.
The only effective weapon we have ever deployed to Afghanistan is cash money, but, in typical Washington fashion, that money has disappeared and nobody seems to know how that happened or where it went. The Afghan government is operating under the assumption we are going to continue throwing cash at them forever and thus will have troops in the country indefinitely. The idiot Taliban think we’ll stay forever to harvest all the rare minerals buried in the desert, as if we could possibly mine 2 billion a week worth of rare minerals to cover our burn rate. The Iraqis now know that, no matter what we have said in the past, we are more than willing to declare victory and organize a big parade to celebrate the last truck out of the country.
Was Iraq worth the blood and treasure spent by the United States? If it was, I’m not seeing it. Will the end state in Afghanistan be worth the blood and treasure we have spent and continue to spend? Not a chance in hell. The only lesson to be learned from the past ten years of constant war is that we cannot afford to go to war. At least not in the way we do it now which is, sort of, what I’ve been pointing out in this blog for years. Admittedly, it takes me a ton of words to make my point but you get that from bloggers. Well, at least from this blogger.
The fact that Obama has slashed ground forces and fallen under the spell of high tech ninjas from the United States Air Force is, believe it or not, good news. This is going to force the Army to do a little creative thinking about why the hell they even exist. It is also going to force the Marine Corps into a fight for survival because when the Big Army starts to do “Creative Thinking” the only option they come up with is to do away with the Marine Corps.
Obama is right about the obsolescence of the Two-War Strategy. Not for the reasons he’s been braying about (to be honest, I can’t listen to him and don’t really know or care what he’s saying). He’s right because we have never had the lift ability to move ground forces into two distinctly different theaters of operation. We had the troops to do it stationed in places like Okinawa where they can’t train, irritate the local citizens, and accomplish little more than getting in trouble for doing what troops always do. They were essentially stranded there because the amphibious lift to move them anywhere (in numbers that matter) had to come from the continental United States.
But the Pentagon never dealt with this issue honestly, just as they are not dealing with their impending evisceration honestly. Witness this bit of complete nonsense: Pentagon Says Two-War Strategy Not likely To Be Scrapped. Talk about living in denial.
The good news is that the main stream media, the two party system, the current PC sycophants in the Pentagon – all of them are going to swept into the dust bin of history. They cannot sustain their current mode of operation, they cannot change because change is all they have talked about for decades while simultaneously maintaining the same force structure, the same spend thrift habits and the same corporate mind set regardless of multiple Quadrennial Defense Review recommendations. The Navy, Air Force and Army always get their 30 something percent of the budget while the Marine Corps gets the rest. The Marine Corps air wings are paid for by Navy Air which is a type command. The Fleet Marine Force is also a type command under the control of the Chief of Naval Operations (in theory) so the pittance the Marines operate on is not as small as its seems. But now change is being forced down from on high and all the PC ass kissing the Pentagon has done since Tail Hook is doing them no more good than is did for BP after the gulf oil spill. Change is coming and no matter how vigorous the rear guard action by the dysfunctional institutions of government or the private sector they are still doomed. Richard Fernandez explains the inevitable here:
Developments like this, when juxtaposed against the tally of failing institutions suggest that the future may be one in which the balance of power will shift from the spenders using deficit financing, and the rent-takers (the Middle East) and the blackmailers (North Korea) to one where the producers are relatively more influential. The next few decades, provided the world doesn’t blow itself up getting there, may belong to those who make and design new things rather than those who appropriate them and hand things around.
It is already making the shift and the crisis is how it is doing it.
The growth industries of the future might be in trade, industry, science and engineering. By contrast, the day of the ambulance chaser, financial Master of the Universe, SEIU organizer and journalistic hack may be coming to a close. What the current crisis is doing is burning out the latter to clear the way for the former. It is a process of creative destruction that has almost no input from the Republican Party.
While all this continues to drags on, I suspect I’ve reached the end of my useful shelf life as a blogger. How many more times can I say the same things? But not to worry, Dalton Thomas, a man who could have been me in another life, has one in the hopper and it is the craziest, funniest story I have read in years. I’ve asked him to break it up into a few posts while toning it down some. He’s going to cut it up into several posts but has refused to tone it down. The topic is “The PTSD,” as he calls it, and, his life, being basically a train wreck, is great fodder for creative writing. I can promise you that you’ll laugh your ass off or be appalled or possibly both. Dalton is a funny, funny guy but he has issues to work through and, as is typical of Marines from his generation, he’s taking them head on. It will entertaining. I promise.