Tag Archives: contemporary war

Periodic World Craziness Update # 26

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship.

 China’s State Media Blame U.S. for Near Collision of Warships:  I start to wonder how far and how fast China is willing to ratchet up tensions over the Senkaku’s?  It seems that China is not unwilling to provoke an incident.  What happens if they pull something like this in the future and the US retaliates by sinking a Chinese ship, maybe even their beloved waste of a carrier?  Never mind that this whole incident is akin to Hitler blaming Poland for WWII.

India-US row over arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York escalates:  though this piece is not strictly military it begs the question of what the US thinks it is accomplishing in the realm of international relations.  The Obama administration and State Department seem to have a positive talent for making enemies of friends and making enemies hold the US in even more contempt than had hitherto been the case.  From the “reset” with Russia, bowing to the Saudi king, Benghazi, to weakness against Iran American foreign policy has been one set of disasters and mistakes after another under the current president.  One thing is certain, the next president can just about only make things better.

Saudi Arabia warns it will act against West’s policy in Middle East:  It has only taken Saudi 3 years to realize that Saudi and Western intentions in Syria are not the same?  I am actually surprised that they figured it out this early.  Then again, I fully expect Saudi financed arms to end up disproportionately in the hands of Muslim extremist groups as well.  I also expect Saudi to express dismay at such thoughts but continue to buy arms anyway.

Russian city hit by suicide bombing for second straight day:  I will not be surprised in the slightest is Chechen rebels make more than one attempt to attack the olympics.  Expect more attacks as the games approach as terrorists try to scare off people and teams from the games.

Al-Qaeda-linked force captures Fallujah amid rise in violence in Iraq:  Further proof that the US accomplished exactly nothing besides killing Saddam Hussein with the 2003 invasion.  Modern geopolitics is wonderful.

U.S. troops prevented from helping even as al Qaeda overruns Iraqi cities:  Kerry says war no longer belongs to Americans:  Of course, what would anyone expect to hear from the waste of oxygen that Kerry is?  This is the guy that dishonored himself and his comrades from his own war after all.

General: Strategic Military Satellites Vulnerable to Attack in Future Space War:  Does anyone seriously think that space assets won;t be the first thing destroyed in any future war between reasonably developed countries.  If the US dos not have plans to knock down opponent’s satellites in the case of conflict then we have some pretty big morons running our nation’s defenses.

Security alert in southern Russia as bodies found in bomb-rigged cars:  Anybody willing to take bets on some kind of terrorist attack at the Winter Olympics next month?  I am not.  Russia’s Muslim terrorists are even more rabid than those elsewhere.  Remember, it was Caucasian Muslims that perpetrated the Beslan attack in 2004 that killed 380 and the Moscow Theater Siege that in 2002 in which 133 hostages were killed.

The misuse of American might, and the price it pays:  One the best analysis pieces I have read about the failure of American strategy in Iraq in a good long while.  Well worth reading.

Periodic World Craziness Update # 25

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship.  

Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed:  What is the point of a siege if food is allowed through the siege lines? I will never understand modern bleeding hearts.  They should be happy the government forces are not catapulting disease ridden corpses into the besieged area or trying to poison the water supply.  Since when is war supposed to bloodless and not affect non-combatants? Update: Starving rebels eat lion from a Damascus zoo - Apparently the siege is doing what a siege is intended to do.  I am not shocked.  Further, the guys in the picture look anything but starved.

COIN Doctrine Under Fire:  Wow, now after the manifest failure of COIN doctrine everywhere it has been tried somebody found the courage to say it out loud and that is news.  With warfighting strategies like COIN it is no wonder terrorists are not afraid of America.  Of course, stories like this are not helpful in making our enemies fear us either.

Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely:  Who has not seen this coming?  since apparently we are unable or unwilling to achieve our stated victory conditions in Afghanistan we are now negotiating an endless presence.  Does this mean they can always claim progress?  Watch the metrics used to judge effectiveness get more and more divorced from any reality as time passes.  Update-US and Karzai agree on language for pact  Update again- Oh wait, they don’t agree.  Karzai tacks on additional demands to previously agreed on language  Yet another Update- Iran’s President determined to maintain uranium enrichment sites: The only change after the deal is that Iran’s position has not changed  Update: Saying no to Karzai: I am becoming increasingly convinced that the US will be leaving Afghanistan next year.  I am not sad.

Norwegian army goes vegetarian… to fight global warming:  While this story does not speak to any current conflicts it does speak to the the current state of Western militaries.  Apparently, it is not just the US military who spends as much time thinking about and implementing postmodern policies as fighting wars.  This is one of those stories that if you think about if it was not so funny you would break down in tears.

China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands:  Will these islands or other similar disputes serve as a pretext for the next shooting war in Asia?  The lengths to which China will go in its hunt for regional prestige are truly startling.  I am not certain they would not risk a shooting war if they think they get too much pushback from Japan on these islands. Update- China sends warplanes to newly declared air zone: I wonder how far China is willing to go to provoke an incident and if they are willing to start a war at this time.  They are certainly going out of their way to start an incident over matters of prestige.

New Law in Egypt Effectively Bans Street Protests:  I don’t quite know what to make of this.  I expect it is the military trying to clamp down even harder on the MB.  The question is whether enough MB leadership was rounded up this past summer.  I expect we will find out when we see if the insurgency in the Sinai spreads across Suez Canal to the rest of the country.

FBI warns about Americans joining Islamic fighters in Syria:  Didn’t we hear warnings similar to this at the height of the Iraq War?  The wonder is not that naturalized citizens return home and radicalize, it is that the US continues to allow such security threats to reside in the US and naturalize in the first place.

Syria: US and UK suspend aid after Islamist fighters seize weapons stores:  I wonder this has not been a bigger story in the West.  It is essentially what many have been calling for.  Perhaps the story is being buried because conservatives want no aid going to the rebels while liberals are in live with them?

Periodic World Craziness Update # 24

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship.

Syria: Al-Qaida group changes shape of civil war - It seems increasingly clear that the Syrian Civil War is starting to morph into a more regional conflict.  I would expect that before next summer we will star to see more overt regional alignments and the conflict will start to spread.  Give it another 18 months and we may very well start to see the fighting spread outside of Syria.  I would expect that Lebanon would be the first foreign country to see significant fighting spread onto it’s territory although I can picture a scenario where Iraq is also the new battleground given the weakness of the Iraqi government and their inability to control the violence there.

Israeli Strike Coming?:  Absent serious movement on getting Iran to open its nuclear program to IAEA scrutiny and given the apparent seriousness with which Israel takes the threat of Iranian possession of nukes.  It is not out of the realm of the possible that Israel will conduct a preemptive strike to stop or slow down Iran’s march to being a nuclear state.  Israel must be careful though and have very evidence to back up their claims or they risk losing international support.  Then again, I am convinced that most western countries would be glad to see Israel do something that they are unable to do themselves because of domestic political considerations.

Assassination pushes Libya towards civil war two years after Gaddafi death:  Libya, who everyone liked to think was squared away, is not, as many of us warned when Gaddafi fell.  Radical Muslims are not going to just allow the establishment of anything approaching western style democracy unless they can be the power behind a democratic facade.  We are seeing that again and again in the Muslim world.

Afghan special forces commander defects with guns to insurgents:  I wonder how much Schadenfreude the Russians are feeling right now as they watch American and Western strategy collapse in Afghanistan?  I also wonder when the political and chattering class will understand that you cannot win in in the traditional sense in Afghanistan.  The best we can achieve is to reduce the threat posed by Afghans and Afghanistan based radical and be prepared to go in their for another short term ass-whipping as the situation dictates.  To eliminate the possibility of threats emanating from that god-forsaken country would require a Carthaginian solution.  As in a “they made a desert and called it peace” type solution.

Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with US over response to conflict in Syria:  If nothing else this is an interesting development.  It also begs the question of what exactly the house of Sad is doing in regards to Syria.  I have heard of them supporting several “initiatives” but not of them doing anything concrete.  To paraphrase, methinks the Saudis doth protest too much.  Syria is their backyard and if they want a mes cleaned up there then they should by god build a coalition to do so.  The US is no longer in the position to play World’s Policeman, a fact many on the world and the US seem very reluctant to accept.

 Report: Iran may be month from a bomb:  The question is not when can Iran build a bomb, it is when can Iran build a miniaturized bomb?  Just having the bomb signifies ability but development of a small device, and it does not have to be high-yield, signifies intent to use it.  I don’t think any serious strategic thinker believes for a minute that Iran’s intent is only to develop a nuclear weapon but also to have the plausible ability to use such weapons as bargaining chips to strengthen their position in the Middle East and pursue their long-term goal of regional hegemon.  I also think that they would use on if they calculated that the benefit or destruction caused by one outweighed the risks of retaliation.  The biggest problem with nuclear weapons is that the major Nuclear powers are afraid to use them.  This fear of using them, which the US telescopes, emboldens rogue states.  The Iranians have no reasonable expectation that someone like Obama would really nuke them if they used an atomic weapon.  Talk is cheap, and they know it.

Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq:  The war in Iraq has never stopped.  It just fell out of the news because American troops were not dying there anymore.  Figure the conflict there to last another 10-15 years at a minimum or until another strongman comes to power who is ruthless enough to his boot to everyone’s necks.

Obama orders curbs on NSA spying on U.N. headquarters:  What was all that in 2008 about if Obama is elected the whole world will like us again?  It certainly appears appears that he has made enemies out of countries that were once our friends with no good reason for doing so.  It is a binary solution set, either Obama is stupid and incompetent or he is deliberately going out of his way to be a disaster.  I have not figured out which yet.

Iran blames France for failure of nuclear talks:  Perhaps the West should be thankful that France is not following the lead of the US in trying to achieve an agreement at seemingly any price.  I have the distinct impression that the US Administration will settle for even a very flawed agreement if it means they can use such an agreement domestically to distract from the raft of problems facing Obama at home.  History has shown that appeasement is at best porr policy and at worst disastrous.

A rebuttal to “Killology”

In the past 100 years man has gone from a man, to a killer ape, to a man again.

I find it hard to believe that he ever was a killer or lover of mankind, but more like a hungry creature who needed a reason to do anything other than satiate himself.

First of all, we don’t have evidence to prove that the Battle of Gaugamela was “a giant shoving match.” We do have evidence that modern soldiers have misfired their rifles on purpose in order to avoid shooting the enemy, but many conclusions can be drawn from this.

I would argue that Europeans have gone through four stages in intellectual development that have influenced their warfare:

1) Universal warfare, which is to say, warfare as an extension of piracy: sack the city, if they resist, kill the men, take the women.

2) Christian warfare, which is to say, show moderation and consideration to the weak, and agree on a chivalric form of combat for members within the same church.

3) Enlightenment/classical liberal age warfare: universal rights, mass conscription, natural law, “don’t tread on me,” abolitionism, etc.

4) Modern warfare: atheist philosophies: Marx, Rand, Darwin, Lothrop Stoddard, etc.

So in stages 1-3 we must notice that man universally invokes the gods in order to justify action. Man and gods fight side by side in battle, man is programmed to do what the gods say, so, Allah tells us to behead pagans, Athena tells us to kill the suitors, and Christ tells us to be merciful (okay maybe we haven’t always followed that one).

From the Napoleonic wars to WWII man was still influenced by stage 2 and 3.

During Vietnam, no deities were invoked for perhaps the first time in American history. It was just flesh vs shrapnel. There was no metaphysical justification. There was no real higher cause, plus, the Smedley Butlers of the world had pointed to war profiteering as an insidious motive for modern war. Both the Americans and the Vietnamese simply fought to kill, this was an end in and of itself.

Vietnam’s jungles were hard to hold and men could retreat into the bush, therefore the only real metric an American soldier had was how many enemy corpses he could recover.