War


A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner:

Here we go again. The United States is on the verge of carrying out military operations in yet another country as part of the war on terrorism. The Philippines — specifically the southern island of Mindanao — may soon become the latest target of the world’s busiest and most powerful military. The goal will apparently be to strike Islamic State elements that “could be a threat to allies in the region.”

 

Why is this a problem?

The strikes would further erode America’s moral credibility by putting American firepower in service to a thuggish regime. Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ president, has boasted about personally carrying out extrajudicial killings during his time as a mayor. The killings have grown with his political power. Amnesty International reports that Duterte has approved thousands of extrajudicial killings since he assumed the presidency.

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The presidential administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) refused to accept Jewish refugees from Europe.

One dark period came on the eve of World War II, when the Roosevelt administration refused to accept Jewish refugees fleeing fascism, war, and ultimately extermination.

The story of how the government rejected Jews fleeing Hitler is a horrible and tragic episode in American history. There are many chapters.

The Navy gave a first look inside the stealthy and futuristic Zumwalt destroyer on Friday during the ship’s first port stop at a Rhode Island naval station.

The 610-foot-long warship has an angular shape to minimize its radar signature and cost more than $4.4 billion. It’s the most expensive destroyer built for the Navy.

. . .

The ship is named after the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, who earned the Bronze Star in World War II and commanded small boats that patrolled the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He became the youngest chief of naval operations and earned a reputation as a reformer, who fought racism and sexism.

Aside from all the sentimentality, is this really necessary? Oh yes, we have to forever commemorate WW II vets and someone who fought racism and sexism to boot.

We’ll be paying for these things for the rest of our lives.

Here.

The US now spends more on the military, this is under the Obama administration, then ever. See chart in link. Despite what Republicans and conservatives say.

The problem is the military is overextended so it cannot maintain its readiness.

More Here.

Ever take a step back from the hubbub of the terrorist news and ask yourself why it started and if there is another approach?

Retired army colonel Andrew J. Bacevich discussed his new book America’s War for the Greater Middle East:A Military History and he argues that President Jimmy Carter used the occasion of his State of the Union address to designate the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. national security interest, meaning it became a place that we would fight for.

I’m not singling out President Carter as the source of the problem. After all, both parties embraced the opportunity for war there since then. By Mr. Bacevich’s count, the US has participated in four Gulf Wars over the past forty years.

Yet the actual purpose has been far more ambitious in my view. We have made things worse—at very considerable cost to ourselves and to others. The real mission has been to sustain the claims of American exceptionalism that have long since become central to our self-identity—to bring into compliance with American purposes the revolutionaries, warlords, terrorists, despots, or bad actors of various stripes given to defiance.

. . .

U.S. forces have been in action every where from Iran and Iraq, Lebanon and Libya, Somalia and Sudan, Bosnia and Kosovo, Afghanistan and Pakistan. . .

. . .

Along the way, we tried overwhelming force, and shock and awe. We invaded, occupied, and took a stab at nation-building. We experimented with counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, regime change and decapitation, peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, retaliatory strikes and preventive attack, even something that the Air Force called “air occupation.” U.S.forces operated overtly, covertly, and through proxies. Almost certainly, they went places and did things about which we, the American public, today remain in the dark.

If you’ve heard any of these phrases before, now you know what its been part of.

Dangerously unpredictable vs predictably dangerous.

Larry Kudlow seems to think Trump could deliver. We’ll see. That would be nice. But here’s the thing about the peace part. People think Hillary will avoid overseas military interventions. But she has a history of military interventions. She was for the Iraq war and intervention in Syria and Libya. Trump calls the Iraq war a mistake but wants to spend more on the military. Well, its really the Dept of Defense, emphasis on defense, not offense. I think comedian comedian Jon Stewart is mistaken, suggesting that Trump  is more belligerent. Hillary has shown a more interventionist attitude overseas.

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