Shouldn’t Wars Be Won, Not Just Fought?

Obama WarAfter WWII, the U.S. has fought one war after another and so far as we can see, has nothing whatever to show for it excepting South Korea. That is a visible, positive accomplishment. After that: nothing or a situation worse than it was when we rushed in to save somebody. The cost however, has never slackened.

Senator Obama as a presidential candidate blasted President Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He thought Afghanistan was ok. Now, President Obama is (somewhat covertly) re-invading Iraq and adding Syria. (Never mind what we’re doing in  central Africa.) Plus ca change’ …

If you would like a nice wrap-up of what the Presidents Bush, pater et fils, accomplished in Iraq, Judge Andrew Napolitano, presently a senior news analyst at Fox News, provides it here. What President Obama’s Iraq III will look like, we leave to your imagination as ours boggles at the thought. And that doesn’t get to Syria. Please trouble yourself to follow the link; it is a crucially omitted piece of the needed debate about this scene.

After the piles of dead Afghans and the planeloads of dead and wounded Americans, is Afghanistan one bit better off? Well, the American money dumped there, much of it stolen by corrupt Afghans (the standard variety), has perked up what passes for the Afghan economy. The shiploads of used military gear we are leaving there has equipped Afghan government and Taliban troops. The Taliban no longer control any significant portion of the place, though as a client of he Pakistani military, it is still extant. Otherwise, little has changed, nor is it likely that it will. Call it a wash.

In Iraq, dumping a nasty dictator has destabilized the ‘country’ and had no little to do with creating ISIS. It is reasonable to think that it contributed toward destabilizing Syria too. Middle Eastern dictators seem an odious lot generally but the area, when relieved of them, seems arguably worse.  In any event, sending the U.S. military there shows, so far as we can see, an enormous cost in treasure and lives producing little or no gain. So, why is the U.S. President, sans Congress, doing it again? Particularly after his criticism of his predecessors for doing exactly that?

Hell, how do we know? Perhaps the Prez is bonkers … or perhaps he finds it necessary to satisfy the needs of President Dwight Eisenhower’s (he of the balanced budget) “Military-industrial complex” against which Ike warned us. Those arms industry guys must have been pretty desperate as they saw Iraq and Afghanistan winding down.

We are forced (by reality) to note that the spending on social welfare and military adventures abroad, account for the U.S. deficit and debt. As we see no evident gain in the world’s condition nor any popular draft of America to police the place, we wonder: What is the justification for beggaring America in these destructive adventures? Yes, awful things happen in these places. But as they seem no less awful for American presence, why are we beggaring ourselves in them? Hell, we don’t know, as we said. We’d like to stop all that and work on our own economic mess here at home, though. At least here, we have a luminous past to offer hope …

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Iraq, War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Shouldn’t Wars Be Won, Not Just Fought?

  1. I am completely baffled. Some color coded flow charts and Venn diagrams explaining our foreign policy would be most helpful. Wait… why are we bombing Syria? Do we even know?

    As to wars, technically we haven’t had a war since WW2, so that may be part of the problem. It’s very difficult to win a war you aren’t even having. In theory anyway, congress is the only entity that can take the country to war, but they’ve figured out how to evade that responsibility by signing off on these assorted policing actions that hand responsibility over to the president.

  2. I have got a good idea (therefore it will never happen). You have got a lot of over-engaged military overseas, not doing much good but stirring up more trouble. And you have got a lot of over-militarised police at home, not doing much and stirring up more trouble. Howzabout doing a swap. Bring the troops home, give them a well deserved holiday and send the militarised police to Afghanistan or whatever. I predict an era of peace and prosperity all round.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Very good! And noting that the Los Angeles public schools own police recently received an armored vehicle and grenade launchers, I’ll see your swap and raise you: Send the cops as specified and discharge the troops back into the productive civilian economy!

      • Now all we need is a name for our new political party.

      • Jack Curtis says:

        Hmnn … Well, Thomas Jefferson was a member of the Democratic Republican Party if the records are correct. And of our various Founders here, his advice seems particularly relevant to the day’s news. And the element of confusion might suck up loose voters from both sides, too. But the U.K. has amassed a longer list from which to chose …

  3. No, I like Democratic Republicans. Appeals to all sides. And it would have a certain cachet this side of the Atlantic, we have such tired boring names. 🙂

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