2010 May 31 Monday
America's Military Too Powerful
I hold this truth to be self evident: America's military is too powerful for America's ruling class to handle responsibly. America's ruling class is just not up to the task of handling such a powerful instrument of force.
I wish the truth were otherwise. But I write this blog to examine ugly truths. The shortcomings of America's elites, evident in their use of the US military since the Soviet Union collapsed, have become too glaring to ignore.
They're too foolish to be trusted with a weak military either, which has its own risks. I've thought that we might aim towards a military that was harder/slower to deploy, although powerful. We could revive the Crusader artillery system, only make it even heavier and less mobile. Creighton Abrams wanted an army that depended on the National Guard for many functions, not least because it should have been politically harder to call all those people up. But that didn't stop us from launching an aggressive war against Iraq, one without any justification, strategic point or payoff... A plurality of Americans decided that there must have been a reason for it - since we did it - and proceeded to invent some. Certainly a majority of the Republican Party still believes in an Iraqi nuclear program that the Feds have admitted never existed. Maybe luck will strike, and Bush will be revealed as something that even they can't swallow, which would allow them to re-evaluate their folly - but what would that possibly be?
As Eisenhower warned:
"...we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Interestingly, the draft version read "military-industrial-congressional complex". It seems to me that all three elements are necessary and its a pity he deleted the third.
PS: Can anybody imagine a mainstream US politician making any such allusions today?
Randall said: "The shortcomings of America's elites, evident in their use of the US military since the Soviet Union collapsed, have become too glaring to ignore."
The problem pre-dates the post-soviet era. McNamara observed that the Vietnam was known to be lost quite early on, but that the political imperative at home made it impossible for the US to cut its losses.
Even Britain's comparatively tiny armed forces proved too much of a temptation for Tony Blair, who managed to launch five different wars in his time as PM, none of which involved vital British interests.
-- Even Britain's comparatively tiny armed forces proved too much of a temptation for Tony Blair, who managed to launch five different wars in his time as PM, none of which involved vital British interests. --
And the issued rifle is a piece of shit too. Poor bastards.
I had always thought the era of sending our hapless youth on pointless deadly errands ended after WWI... So many of my friends have joined the military now. It's unbelievable.