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Army Offers new Incentives for Officers to join Army

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posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 07:22 AM
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WASHINGTON - The Army is offering a series of new incentives to young officers to stem a rising exodus in the past two years of West Point and ROTC scholarship grads.

The number of lieutenants and captains leaving had dropped after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But it has increased almost to pre-9/11 levels because of mounting concerns about repeat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to military analysts such as Bob Scales, a retired Army major general and former commandant of the Army War College.

The percentage of young West Point graduates leaving the Army rose from 6.5% in 2003 to 10.7% in fiscal 2005, which ended Sept. 30. That compares with 11.6% who left in 2000.

The number of scholarship ROTC graduates who left rose from 5.1% in 2003 to 9.3% in 2005. In 2000, 10.6% left.

Most of the young officers who leave exit as soon as their minimum commitment is up; a minority leave because of injuries or other reasons.

The Army says the number of officers choosing to stay is adequate for now, but officials are taking steps to make sure the Army has enough officers for a service branch that is expanding by 30,000 troops while fighting two prolonged wars.

"We're not going to wait for the loss rates to go up. We need to find ways to retain our best and brightest," says Col. Mark Patterson, manager of officer policy for the Army.

military.com


I know a lot of vets on ATS get news alerts from military.com, but this one caught my eye. The Army is struggling to meet enlisted goals. They have increased the enlistment age to 40, and lowered the educational scores for enlisted members. This is the first I heard about the officer corps, although I have always assumed as much.

With no exit in sight for the occupations the US are currently involved in, it makes you wonder how long the US military can hold out.

How can we threaten anyone i.e. Iran, North Korea, or protect our country, when we can't maintain the conflicts we are involved in? I've heard China called a 'paper tiger'. Are we (the US) the 'wet kitten'?

I think this perpetuates the cycle of the US sliding from the position as the world's super power. Soon, we will be second, India or China or someone else will knock us down to second.

Personally, I don't care if the USA is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on the global scale. I care only that my country is prosperous, healthy, and continues to maintain the principles it was founded on.

But I see a lot of Americans, who feel that the US is losing power in the global scale, and they rile against it. Like white males in the US who want to share power, they bemoan the loss of entitlement that they never earned, but was given.

I think that this may be the legacy of the US's "War on Terrorism". A beginning to an end. An end to the status of being the world's foremost superpower, due to poor planning and over taxing of resources. Not that it is a bad thing. England, Spain, Italy, etc. ruled the world at one point, and they are still great nations. The US will continue to be a great nation, but some egoists and contrarians will make it a rough transition.

And a lot of them are on ATS!




posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by curme
This is the first I heard about the officer corps, although I have always assumed as much.


I think that this problem is confined to the Army. I know a guy who just graduated from the Naval academy, and from what he has told me, they are having problems with too manyofficers.

It only makes sense that during war time, more people will leave the army. The fatigue alone is probably enough to double the rates. In any case, this doesn't seem to be a problem.


With no exit in sight for the occupations the US are currently involved in, it makes you wonder how long the US military can hold out.


As far as we can project. The US armed forces are in a situation where it is nearly impossable for any nation to match us for at leaast 2 and a half decades.


How can we threaten anyone i.e. Iran, North Korea, or protect our country, when we can't maintain the conflicts we are involved in? I've heard China called a 'paper tiger'. Are we (the US) the 'wet kitten'?


How can we threaten those nations and protect our own? Are you kidding me?

The US has Iran completely surrounded right now. Look at a map and look where are forces are, and which countries are our allies. NK posses a different problem, but is much less of a threat, because frankly Kim may be a nut job, but he is a nut job that wants a country to rule. He's not going to mess around with the US as long as we have these little things called peace keepers and boomers...

Which brings us to "how will we defend our selves?"

Ever heard of the nuclear triad?

The US has thousands of nuclear weapons which are accurate to within feet of their target. These weapons all have global reach, and are devided into redundant systems so that there is no way to take away our nuclear deterent.

Your assumption that the Iraq war is going poorly, or that we can not maintain it is completely false. The US has lost 2000 men in a multi year occupation. That is one of the least bloody invasions in history.

And "wet kitten?"


Let's just say that every other nation in the world would do just about ANYTHING to trade places with our military position.


I think this perpetuates the cycle of the US sliding from the position as the world's super power. Soon, we will be second, India or China or someone else will knock us down to second.


Sliding?


The US has furthered the gap that existed between us and the rest of the world since 2000. No other nation in the world has a single stealth aircraft. We have 3 in service right now, with a 4th in the prototype phase and 2 more on the drawing board...And that doesn't even count unmanned aircraft that are near service, much less the "black" projects.

Hell, right now it is publicly known that the US is working on anti-matter weapons!


Is there another nation that has the money to do this, even if they had the where-with-all? Or a nation with the where-with-all that simply doesn't have the money? Is there even another nation that has one of the two?

And again, this is all just one branch of our military (though it is the most important of them).

The Navy will have the DDX out soon, along with a new generation of stealthy aircraft carriers (the most important asset for force projection).

The Army is working on freaking exoskeletons and a system that would keep soldiers alive for hours with less then half of their blood for crying out loud.

And on top of all of this, our presence in Iraq furthers our global influence and military power - it is not a hinderence, but rather a strength.


Personally, I don't care if the USA is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on the global scale. I care only that my country is prosperous, healthy, and continues to maintain the principles it was founded on.

But I see a lot of Americans, who feel that the US is losing power in the global scale, and they rile against it. Like white males in the US who want to share power, they bemoan the loss of entitlement that they never earned, but was given.


What the heck does this have to do with officers leaving the army?


I think that this may be the legacy of the US's "War on Terrorism". A beginning to an end. An end to the status of being the world's foremost superpower, due to poor planning and over taxing of resources. Not that it is a bad thing. England, Spain, Italy, etc. ruled the world at one point, and they are still great nations. The US will continue to be a great nation, but some egoists and contrarians will make it a rough transition.
And a lot of them are on ATS!


The US is spending what - about 1% of it's resources on Iraq? How is that over taxing?

On top of that, you think this war was poorly planned? I suggest you take a look at this thread. This was clearly a very well thought out war, and has gone very well.

The problem here is that no one has any patience or prospective.

They see a few soldiers killed a week on TV and think that this war isn't going well.

Look back through history and find me a single other war that lasted 2+ years with this low of a body count. Could you imagine complaining about this to someone who lived through the Korean war? And that wasn't even an occupation!

You are right though that the US will not be top dog for ever. Nothing is for ever, and eventually, we will go down. However, it isn't going to be because of Iraq, it will take something far, far grander to achieve that. I guarantee that you will never live to see the day the US falls as a superpower, barring nuclear war - in which case you will probably be vaporised in the act of falling.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man

I think that this problem is confined to the Army. I know a guy who just graduated from the Naval academy, and from what he has told me, they are having problems with too manyofficers.


The Marine Corps does not have an officer problem, and the Air Force is currently forcing members out of it's lower officer corps. But to be fair, they do not have the ratio of officers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.



On top of that, you think this war was poorly planned? I suggest you take a look at this thread. This was clearly a very well thought out war, and has gone very well.


I am familair with the work of George Friedman. Google him, you may get a laugh, or be re-assured. I guess it depends on your point of view.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by curme
The Marine Corps does not have an officer problem, and the Air Force is currently forcing members out of it's lower officer corps. But to be fair, they do not have the ratio of officers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.


This was my impression. I don't really see anything wrong with it. It is what you would expect, and as the artical you posted pointed out, the US army is taking preventative action before it becomes an issue



I am familair with the work of George Friedman. Google him, you may get a laugh, or be re-assured. I guess it depends on your point of view.


I am familiar with him as well, but for the sake of discussion...



George Friedman, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in security and intelligence issues relating to national security, information warfare and computer security. He is founder, chairman and Chief Intelligence Officer of STRATFOR, (Strategic Forecasting Inc.) a private intelligence company that provides customized intelligence services for its clients and provides an internationally acclaimed Web site, www.stratfor.com, that analyzes and forecasts trends in world affairs. Friedman’s column, Intelligence Brief, is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.

Friedman is the author of many publications in international affairs and business intelligence, including the books, "The Intelligence Edge: How to Profit in the Information Age" (The Crown Publishing Group, 1997) and "The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the 21st Century" (The Crown Publishing Group, 1997), an examination of the impact of new military technologies on the international system. He is presently at work on a new book, “America's Secret War”, to be published by Doubleday in the Fall of 2004.

Friedman has appeared as a national security and intelligence expert on all major television networks, including CNN’s “Moneyline” and ABC’s “This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.” He is frequently a guest on National Public Radio and has been featured in numerous publications, including Time, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine. In October 2001, Friedman was featured in a cover story interview in Barron’s. He also has been the keynote speaker at many security and industry-specific conferences for private organizations and government agencies.

Friedman graduated with a B.A. from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. Prior to entering the private sector in 1996, Friedman was a professor of political science for almost 20 years and was an early designer of computerized war games. During his years in academics, Friedman briefed widely on security and national defense matters, including senior commanders in all armed services, the Office of Net Assessments, SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, National Defense University and the RAND Corporation. In 1994 Friedman founded the Center for Geopolitical Studies at Louisiana State University, which engages in integrated economic, political and military modeling and forecasting and was the only non-DOD/non-governmental organization granted access to Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) by the Joint Warfighting Center.

Friedman is married with four children (two in the military) and currently lives in Austin, Texas.


link

Doesn't seem like the kind of guy you laugh at when discussing Iraq, seeing as he is one of the most informed individuals on the planet when it comes to national security and geo-politics.

EDIT: fix quotes

[edit on 9-11-2005 by American Mad Man]



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man

Doesn't seem like the kind of guy you laugh at when discussing Iraq, seeing as he is one of the most informed individuals on the planet when it comes to national security and geo-politics.

EDIT: fix quotes

[edit on 9-11-2005 by American Mad Man]


This was Friedman's editorial in that liberal paper the New York Times in 2003:



EDITORIAL DESK | April 27, 2003, Sunday

The Meaning Of a Skull

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN (NYT) Op-Ed 886 words
Late Edition - Final , Section 4 , Page 13 , Column 1

ABSTRACT - Thomas L Friedman Op-Ed column contends US does not need to find weapons of mass destruction to justify war in Iraq; suggests brutality of Pres Saddam Hussein's regime offers enough justification; says people are not celebrating victory because complex situation is still uncertain; also says Democrats do not want to commend Pres Bush for fear that will empower him to push conservative agenda (M)

NYT


Like I said, either laugh at him, or feel reassured that someone feels as you do.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Well then, I will just have to take that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having him agree with me.


In any case though, I don't want to derail your topic...

As I see it, the numbers of Army officers will take a hit, but that is to be expected in an all volunteer military.

On the other hand, your theory that the war in Iraq will somehow erode our military capabilities and lead to the fall of the US as a superpower is silly.

If anything, this war is making our military stronger.

1) We have a battle hardened experienced military. Our soldiers are seasoned combat veterans, and our officers (even if we only retain 90% of what we used to) are more experienced then any other nations officers in the world.

2) Since the year 2000, George Bush has increased military spending every year (and that is outside the war in Iraq). His plan is based on the Rumsfeld plan of a lighter, rapidly deployable military combined with heavy research into leap ahead technologies. On both accounts Bush has been very succesful. I can give hundreds of examples if you would like

3) Our presence in Iraq is of extreme strategic advantage. It is situated on the boarder of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and has access to the Persian Gulf as well.

4) (for all of the oil war people) Iraq has the 2nd or 3rd (depending on who you talk to) largest oil reserves in the world. With a US military presence, coupled with what should be a pro-US Iraqi democracy, the US has secured a large energy asset which will be increasingly important with the rapid growth of nations such as China and India.

All of these things HELP our military, national security, and long term success as a nation.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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American Mad Man
Way above.
You got my vote, not because I necessarily agree with all your opinions, but because the way in which you've presented them is very informative and persuasive. All that, and you've managed to avoid the temptation to engage in insults or disrespectful baiting. You've made an excellent contribution to this topic of discussion, so thank you.


Now...



The US is spending what - about 1% of it's resources on Iraq? How is that over taxing?


Well, if I have a hundred dollars in my pocket designated for spending on behalf of a community, and I waste one, it's not the size of the act, its the message that sends to other members of the community. "I don't care enough about your money to be careful with it." Perception is really more important than statistics for the purposes of this discussion.

What matters most when trying to maintain stability is not the facts, but the appearance of the facts. When it comes to government, as in marriage, even the appearance of impropriety can have a devastating impact on the stability of the system.

If the military appears to be wasting money, sucking up a huge budget allotment and then failing to meet modest efficiency goals (no $200 doorknobs!), the people start to see the whole system as detrimental to the common good. This process is well underway; given the fact that vandalism of recruiting stations has risen sharply since this administration took power, I think we can conclude that more and more people are willing to act on their feelings towards the government.



On top of that, you think this war was poorly planned? I suggest you take a look at this thread. This was clearly a very well thought out war, and has gone very well.


By what definition is the war going well? The goal of all wars is to bring peace, that should be obvious to any military man. Do we have peace yet? More people die every day in Iraq now, because we invaded, than ever did under Hussein's government. Now, instead of a minority party lording its power over the majority, we've got a majority party lording its power over the minority. Has there been a measurable improvement? Hell no. We're carrying on in the spirit of expectation.

The war doesn't appear to be going well, because we HAVE lost 2000 lives. You seek to minimize that number, using the context of historical conflicts. That's pretty foolish really, since the tactics and weapons change, and the circumstances of global politics changes dramatically.

Using technology and economics, social engineering and defensive measures, we could have won the war on terrorism without firing a shot. That would have been a successful war.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 03:42 AM
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Sounds to me like your standard wartime retention issue. More worldwide commitments = more tours = less family/homelife friendly = lower morale = people leave the service.

This could be resolved if the US Army reviewed it's position with regards to tour turn-around and leave entitlement. The British Army is suffering from the same problem at the minute, although this is more in the junior ranks.

As for the US not being able to defend itself, unfriendly foreign powers are not slow to pick up on a weak national defence infrastructure, and will be very quick to exploit this. My point is, why are no other governments rattling their sabres at the US? The answer is simple - there is no risk of the US being unable to defend it's borders. I'm not normally one to sing the praises of the US, but the fact remains that they possess the most powerful fighting machine ever to have existed. They are not a force to be taken lightly, and I for one am glad that they are on our (British) side.



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 04:24 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Well, if I have a hundred dollars in my pocket designated for spending on behalf of a community, and I waste one, it's not the size of the act, its the message that sends to other members of the community. "I don't care enough about your money to be careful with it." Perception is really more important than statistics for the purposes of this discussion.

What matters most when trying to maintain stability is not the facts, but the appearance of the facts. When it comes to government, as in marriage, even the appearance of impropriety can have a devastating impact on the stability of the system.

If the military appears to be wasting money, sucking up a huge budget allotment and then failing to meet modest efficiency goals (no $200 doorknobs!), the people start to see the whole system as detrimental to the common good. This process is well underway; given the fact that vandalism of recruiting stations has risen sharply since this administration took power, I think we can conclude that more and more people are willing to act on their feelings towards the government.



That is an interesting point. I would argue however that not since WWII has this nation been so firmly supportive of a strong military. As evidence, I would point to every single political campiegn since 9/11. It is clear that the "hawks" are in favor right now as a result of 9/11, Iraq, the North Korean/Iranian situation, China-Taiwan, etc.

Even during the cold war, people did not back the US military the way they have now. Hell, even senator Clinton is trying to look like a military backer.




By what definition is the war going well? The goal of all wars is to bring peace, that should be obvious to any military man. Do we have peace yet?


I would argue that the goal of war is not to bring peace, but to win the war...it just so happens that peace is generally the outcome. So, what would the conditions be for "winning" this war?

1) Ousting Saddam. Clearly, this has been achieved.
2) Install a pro western, pro American government. This has not been achieved yet, but is on track.
3) Minimize US casualties and equipment loss. As I have pointed out, this is one of the least bloody wars in hostory. No matter how you cut it, the US death rate in Iraq is less then 1%. I think that above anything is an indication of how well we are doing.



Has there been a measurable improvement?


Yes, there has. We have progressed in goal #2, towards getting a democracy in Iraq.


The war doesn't appear to be going well, because we HAVE lost 2000 lives. You seek to minimize that number, using the context of historical conflicts. That's pretty foolish really, since the tactics and weapons change, and the circumstances of global politics changes dramatically.


And this is my point...

It is a shame that people do not have a realistic view of the world.

Let me just say this...

There are a lot of militaries in this world that have a higher death rate during peace then we have during this war...

In fact, I would imagine that the death rate is up less then .3% from peace time operations.

In any case, how it appears and the reality are two different things, and frankly the US as a nation is better off because of this war in every way from a national security stand point.


Using technology and economics, social engineering and defensive measures, we could have won the war on terrorism without firing a shot. That would have been a successfulwar.


How do you think this would have happened?

At the very least, shots in Afghanistan were needed, and the Northern alliagnce needed US air support.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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Who do you think runs this country? Thats right, white males who were given power.

I actually resent this notion, although true. The white male is by far the most oppressed individual in the USA nowdays, for this exact reason. The few white males given power create a stereo-type for us all. The stereo-type leads to affirmative action, which is the biggest goof of all time.

ex. "oh, hire him! he's black! we need to make our Affirmative Action quota!, forget the 10 white males who are 50 times more qualified! just hire this moron and put him in the mail room and keep him from filing a discrimination suit against us! we need him to make us look "diverse""

Lets do this logically. It would be safe to say, that the majority of cadets at Westpoint and USAF Acadamy are white males......military (grunt) recruitment is up (lower intelligence requirements, bigger bonuses for morons who would otherwise end up in jail) yet, the leadership (officers) coming out of westpoint (higher intelligence) are bailing in droves.

I guess, spend your least valuable resource first, right?



Originally posted by curme


But I see a lot of Americans, who feel that the US is losing power in the global scale, and they rile against it. Like white males in the US who want to share power, they bemoan the loss of entitlement that they never earned, but was given.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 07:42 PM
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It always astounds me that racial notions continue to exist within those of past or present military service. I really believed the military had done an excellent job in addressing racial equality within the military, better yet, the simple notion of racism, period. I guess I was wrong.

as posted by curme
But I see a lot of Americans, who feel that the US is losing power in the global scale, and they rile against it. Like white males in the US who want to share power, they bemoan the loss of entitlement that they never earned, but was given.


Very surprising to read such coming from one who served, curme.
Furthermore, your assumption is haphazard, at best.

As for this mention:


The US will continue to be a great nation, but some egoists and contrarians will make it a rough transition.

And a lot of them are on ATS!


I guess your entitled to a dig every once in awhile.





seekerof



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 12:56 AM
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I would argue however that not since WWII has this nation been so firmly supportive of a strong military.


I don't dispute the fact, I'm critical of the motivation. There has been a serious effort to terrorize Americans, and the perpetrator isn't some guy in a cave in Turka Durka. It's a shark-tooth-grin-wearing MFer with a Harvard tie, and coming to grips with that fact would do wonders for turning the american populace's worldview right-side up again.

Why is everyone so supportive of a large military? We don't even have an enemy to fight! Because it grants the illusion of safety, pure and simple. I challenge anyone to provide evidence of a real, conventional military threat to America, now or in the next fifty years.

We stand a greater risk, in this country, from disease epidemics, social unrest, political upheaval, and indeed the greedy machinations of the elite - and every dollar spent in defense reduces our ability to cope with those problems in creative, effective ways. Will the army help us against those things? So you've got 1000 blue water boats and enough cluster bombs to blow up God, but what the hell does it do for us?

The truth is that we don't need a hulking security apparatus, we don't need it at all - but lots of people think we do. I guess that's all that matters in the final analysis.



As evidence, I would point to every single political campiegn since 9/11. It is clear that the "hawks" are in favor right now as a result of 9/11, Iraq, the North Korean/Iranian situation, China-Taiwan, etc.


I'm more of a hawk than a dove, but I don't see the use of fighting invisible enemies. I also have serious doubts about the validity of American elections lately, but thats a topic for a different discusion.



Even during the cold war, people did not back the US military the way they have now.


Yeah, I think that's an intersting obersvation, but it's not too hard to figure out why the change. The Russians never hijacked passenger planes to use as cruise missles.



I would argue that the goal of war is not to bring peace, but to win the war...it just so happens that peace is generally the outcome.


Well, you certainly can argue that, but it's nothing more than a difference in the semantics. Peace is, by definition, and end to conflict.



1) Ousting Saddam. Clearly, this has been achieved.


Are you an Iraqi? Because if you're not, I don't think you have any busines deciding the political makeup of their government. How would you like it if Russia invaded the US because the guy we voted in was a complete psycho?

Might still come to that..stay tuned.



2) Install a pro western, pro American government. This has not been achieved yet, but is on track.


Remember the Shah...



3) Minimize US casualties and equipment loss. As I have pointed out, this is one of the least bloody wars in hostory. No matter how you cut it, the US death rate in Iraq is less then 1%. I think that above anything is an indication of how well we are doing.


We're perfecting foolishness? So now, when we hit ourselves in the head with a hammer, it doesn't case a concussion, just a little ringing in the ears a small blood trickle out the nose? What?

It would be a better solution to not fight needless, politicized wars, for the benefit of a very select group of Americans connected intimately to the defense and petroleum industries.

Sorry, but invading a sovereign nation and suffering minor casualties is still invading a sovereign nation, and suffering casualties. If we were fighting for our very survival, I could understand casualties, that makes perfect sense. However, we're fighting to OPEN A MARKET for the benefit of less than 10% of our society. 2000 young men and women died, and more are still dying every day, just to OPEN A GODDAMN MARKET!

In the final reckoning this war will take be remembered with great and lasting shame. I practically guarantee it.



And this is my point...

It is a shame that people do not have a realistic view of the world.


I have a realistic view of the world. Remember, I'm not the one willing to sacrifice decency to keep the invisble boogeyman at bay.

I also don't presume to know the value of a human life, that's a big difference.

How many lives would YOU sacrifice to open a market? (2000 and counting, apparently...)



There are a lot of militaries in this world that have a higher death rate during peace then we have during this war...


And there are also a lot of militaries that don't haul off and invade other nations at the drop of a hat. I think we should be emulating those nations, rather than comparing ourselves favorably to people who make war poorly.

I don't disagree that we're good at international war, we've had so much practice it's no wonder we're good.

But fighting is not the goal in and of itself. If you fight for spoils, or for the joy of the slaughter, you are not a true warrior. Just a mercenary. Mercenary 'Merica, that's us alright.



In any case, how it appears and the reality are two different things, and frankly the US as a nation is better off because of this war in every way from a national security stand point.


Better off how? Nobody presents a threat to us, who are we flexing our muscles for?



How do you think this would have happened?


The Middle East is a bad place. It's soaked up so much blood in the last ten thousand years, it goes beyond reckoning. We don't belong there.

The Taliban was an abusive government, to be sure, but did you notice just WHEN we chose to intervene? It was the pipeline issue, and that's the sum of it.

So we went there to open a market as well. And of course Vietnam..which nobody remembers, but that was a war for energy too. If we spent some money domestically instead of on bombs, we could afford to do without the energy we so gluttonously seek out.

In fact, if we removed this giant, over-arching security apparatus, and trashed all the costs associated with its upkeep, we would be in a fine position, resource-wise. We have to make war so that we can keep making war, and the people who benefit are NOT the citizens. The citizens don't benefit in the least, they have to be threatened into compliance by the boogeyman of the week.

Who profits by keeping this nation at war? I certainly don't.

Our policies are self-perpetuating, and needless when removed from the context of eternal, self-made conflict.



At the very least, shots in Afghanistan were needed, and the Northern alliagnce needed US air support.


"Why do you support these thugs and not those thugs?"
"Because these thugs will do business with us whereas those thugs are motivated by something other than money, which means we can't control them."

I guess you think I have an over-simplified worldview, and I don't blame you for having that opinion (I feel the same about your position). History will be the judge, and no matter how much we disagree as Americans, I think it's important to remember we're all in this together. (I JUST watched Dr. Strangelove)



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