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The Forever Wars

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  • The Forever Wars

    Recent reports have strongly suggested that the US not only did not know how to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, at some point they weren't trying to 'win' any more.

    Iraq is a quagmire, with the US reentering to defeat ISIS and now staying permanently for the forseeable future to restrain Iran.

    Afghanistan's war is now officially multi-generational, with 2001 children now eligible to fight in their fathers' war.

    These wars have been sustained by massive spending and the use of mercenaries. Is this sustainable? From a historical perspective, great powers exhaust themselves by extensive warring and this contributes greatly to decline.

    Trump campaigned on ending these wars, but a serious look at how government actually works will show that at best his power as commander-in-chief is limited, and he is always struggling with agencies and advisors. One big question is can he actually successfully change the status quo in his second term, when he has thus far failed in his first?
    Last edited by demi-conservative; 01-16-2020, 11:57 PM.
    Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

  • #2
    You can't continue increasing a budget (that was already insanely costly like years ago) of an institution that specializes in military defense year after year and expect this same institution (and its representatives in Washington) to support any sort of military wind down. It's a total contradiction. Trump talked a lot about non-interventionism, but he also vowed to increase military spending, which is a contradiction. To his credit, I think he's trying to fulfill the former (with a whole lot of resistance), but, like I said, you can't fulfill both promises at the same time.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    • #3
      That's a good point, though part of the increased spending has been revealed as backdoor funding for the wall.
      Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you see this article?

        Business Insider

        President Donald Trump told associates that he assassinated Iran's top military leader last week in part to appease Republican senators who'll play a crucial role in his Senate impeachment trial, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

        In a lengthy piece detailing how the president's top advisers coalesced behind the strike on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, The Journal reported that Trump had told associates he felt pressured to satisfy senators who were pushing for stronger US action against Soleimani and who will run defense for him on impeachment.
        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a few years out of date now, but it's the only chart I can find that groups Europe all into one slice (which is helpful for visualization) rather than splitting it up by country:



          As of 2020, Trump has increased the US defense spending to $738 billion.

          If countries were houses on a street you were walking down, Russia would be a house with a 'beware of the dog' sign, China would have that sign plus a high fence with spikes on the top, Europe would have the sign and spikes and video cameras that followed you as you walked... and the US would have a 30 foot wall mounted with machine guns surrounded by a moat with crocodiles in it. You would have to conclude that the owners of the US house were literally insane.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
            It's a few years out of date now, but it's the only chart I can find that groups Europe all into one slice (which is helpful for visualization) rather than splitting it up by country:



            As of 2020, Trump has increased the US defense spending to $738 billion.

            If countries were houses on a street you were walking down, Russia would be a house with a 'beware of the dog' sign, China would have that sign plus a high fence with spikes on the top, Europe would have the sign and spikes and video cameras that followed you as you walked... and the US would have a 30 foot wall mounted with machine guns surrounded by a moat with crocodiles in it. You would have to conclude that the owners of the US house were literally insane.
            If defense spending is too much, where should the US roll back its commitments?

            Many do think we should withdraw from the Iraq region and Afghanistan (I think withdrawal now would be disastrous). But what about Africa and Korea, East Europe or Japan? Or Nato and UN commitments?

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            • #7
              How about for starters we do a complete accounting overhaul?

              No, let's just keep throwing insane amounts of money at (what looks to be a very corrupt and shady) insanely bloated government institution, thinking that somehow, because it's military, THIS government institution is different than other corrupt and incompetent government institutions.
              "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seanD View Post
                Did you see this article?

                Business Insider
                No, and it doesn't seem worth the time. Wartime reporting is notoriously unreliable, mix in backroom domestic politics and you might as well read a celeb tabloid.

                In this case there have been at least six different reasons given for killing the guy, and I am no better for knowing all of them.
                Last edited by demi-conservative; 01-17-2020, 05:15 AM.
                Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                  and the US would have a 30 foot wall mounted with machine guns surrounded by a moat with crocodiles in it. You would have to conclude that the owners of the US house were literally insane.


                  Most US military spending is for overseas, the US border itself is so weakly defended millions of illegals were pouring through.
                  Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by demi-conservative View Post
                    No, and it doesn't seem worth the time. Wartime reporting is notoriously unreliable, mix in backroom domestic politics and you might as well read a celeb tabloid.

                    In this case there have been at least six different reasons given for killing the guy, and I am no better for knowing all of them.
                    It's not so much killing the dude and why (to me that's a distraction), it's more like the implication that these guys (including Bolton it seems who may testify at the trial) who've had a fetish for an Iranian attack for like forever are apparently using impeachment as a noose to get Trump to escalate another war. I guess we'll see how the impeachment goes and if there are any further escalations between now and then to know if the article had any weight.
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      It's not so much killing the dude and why (to me that's a distraction), it's more like the implication that these guys (including Bolton it seems who may testify at the trial) who've had a fetish for an Iranian attack for like forever are apparently using impeachment as a noose to get Trump to escalate another war. I guess we'll see how the impeachment goes and if there are any further escalations between now and then to know if the article had any weight.
                      I saw an earlier prediction that establishment Republicans could use the Senate vote as leverage with Trump. It's definitely possible.
                      Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seanD View Post
                        You can't continue increasing a budget (that was already insanely costly like years ago) of an institution that specializes in military defense year after year and expect this same institution (and its representatives in Washington) to support any sort of military wind down. It's a total contradiction. Trump talked a lot about non-interventionism, but he also vowed to increase military spending, which is a contradiction. To his credit, I think he's trying to fulfill the former (with a whole lot of resistance), but, like I said, you can't fulfill both promises at the same time.
                        Controlling spending is somewhat easier to do in future budget years. The greater contradiction seems to be attempting to 'make/keep America Great' while trying to wind down the military and all the endless warring. Maintaining the status quo of hegemony while weakening its key cornerstone, how is that supposed to work?

                        Trump seems to recognise that hegemony itself is unsustainable and wants a slow winding down to a multipolar situation, but how is that supposed to work out in practice?
                        Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

                        Comment

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