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07 September 2010


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2 U.S. troops shot dead in Iraq



Norbert N, Salamon

It appears that Mr. Carafano did not acknoiwledge yet that the USA is suffering from major contraction of public good finanace, and as such unending wars are not in the national [not politicians'] interest.

The Colonel's analysis is correct - end the wars before the collapse!

Mr. Krieger was correct: "Nor do we have any chance of “winning” in Afghanistan, whatever that means." which statemeent also applies to Iraq - for any Iraqi politician to cuddle43 up to Uncle Sam [or UK] is equivalent of the desire for QUICK DEATH!

The rest of the analyses are not worth the time to worry about as the USA economy is heading for the dumps - it can not support DoD [and its hiddeen expenses in other departments] and the wars, not when 41 million are on food stamps, millions with no income at all [ran out of employment insurance] and millions unemployed/underemployed.

Patrick Lang


LTC (Ret.) Carafano was a cadet at West Point when I was a professor there. He cites that as evidence of my senility. He was not my student. "Tant pis pour lui." He might have had different ideas. Just another agent of AIPAC. He has become a servant of the Ziocona.. PL


The Heritage Foundation strikes again. According to Mr. Carafano "If Afghanistan and Iran do not go well over the next six months ..."

Guess the Heritage Foundation is considering us already at war with Iran? As to paying for "defending America" he should read the foundation's own material on taxation. War yes, just not worth the 3rd Bush tax cut in the 8th year of war. Perhaps the pro-war right can propose a flat war tax just for funding these wars they support.

I wonder if Mr. Carafano's book on contracting in Iraq jives with Jeremy Schahill's take on Blackwater? For that matter if he is an expert on the 'case for missle defense' why is he not calling for continuing the trial of Mr. Nozette?


The military industrial complex is not going to pull it's hand out of the cookie jar without a fight.

If it isn't Iraq and Afghanistan, it will be Iran. If not Iran, it will be China. If not China, Venezuela or Cuba. Anything to justify continued expenditure..


One wonders what the level of unemployment in the USA would be if the USA really did disegage from its myriad wars and military activities? The country is at a notional 9.6 ( actual somewhere north of 16% ) unemployment rate; shut down the bomb and bullet and gun and canvas and tank and stryker factories and what level would the nation enjoy?


Someone said that at the end of empire, Rome was a kernel of peace in a husk of war. Sound familiar?

Farmer Don

If the US was out of war the unemployment rate would trend down. The Soldiers coming home would increase demand and would also be involved in productive activities in the US. You have fallen into the trap of believing that if we all broke each others windows and then hired each other to fix them we would be better off. What type of thing that is produced is important. Bullets going overseas produce no added value.

Norbert N, Salamon

The USA needs 20 years to counteract the depletion of natural resource energy problem. You are at present at the peak production, or almost there, inidcative that the USA has wasted its resoources since President Nixon et al have indicated that reform is needed in energy fields.

So the Military Industrial complex has to retool, and make public transport equipment instead of re-enforced Hummies, tanks, etc. The Naval ship yards have to make fuel efficient, possibly wind assisted container [and other] ships, The plane manufactureres could make wind, solar, geothermal, tide [powered genrators, they are well versed in use of high tech materirals, turbines, etc.

If you do not follow these steps while oil is at its peak, you will not have the energy source to power the transformation, past peak.
Cutting the defence budget in 1/2, would give you a lot of seed money to reform the energy supply and distribution systems, and employ millions of workers in retooling the present factories and producing the necessary goods.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

I view of Fred's remark and in fairness to Carafano, the subsequent parts of his (Carafano's) piece indicate that he conlated Iran and Iraq.
On the other hand a "Freudian slip" is probably not out of the question. Dr. Brenner's remarks were apt and well put, as usual.




Stop spending a trilion on an unnecessary war and spend it on our own infrastructure and what would employement be? Certainly better than 90.4%


"Second, the most tiring and foolish of all assumptions is that America can’t and won’t sustain the will and resources to fight over the long term. The fact that we have already been fighting the Long War for nine years should have dispelled that myth."

"assumptions is that America can’t and won’t sustain the will and resources to fight over the long term"? "Myth"?

Let me give you ($)1.09 trillion out of ($)13,454825,754,663.41 reasons why Carafano needs to go back to high school.


CK... Try these unemployment rates....


Patrick Lang


That would be West Point (the un-college) where I wuz a pufessah. (but not his) pl



I could certainly concede a typo in a blog response but he was the professional speechwriter for the Army Chief of Staff (amongst other things) and I find "Just another typo" to be a stretch. That's been a common refrain in with regard to neo-conservatives relating to Iraq/Iran. Perhaps they could put just a bit more effort into thier proof-reading, not to mention thier analytical thinking.



Thank you for the link.

The SGS Alternate shows 22% unemployment today which is very close to the Great Depression's 25%. The 9.6 figure is the number collecting unemployment and doesn't include people that are short-term and long-term discouraged. There was no unemployment insurance during the GD so comparing the GD's 25% with today's 9.6% is bogus. Another case of government cooking the books. BHO might as well tell us, "The only thing we have to fear is reality itself."

The only thing our Federal Gov. is capable of doing well is control the flow of information. Is the main purpose of an elite education to create a self-sustaining elite?


@Jake: I believe the 22% unemployment figure is probably accurate.
@Fred: So govt spending on war production is cut a trillion, layoffs in the war production industries follow. Trillion is respent on "sexy infrastructure" hiring goes up in those congressional districts. Overall effect, nada damn thing changes. Unemployment would still be approx 22%.
@Norbert: Yes certainly all the entrepreneurs will immediately retool the efficient sword factories into efficient import storage warehouses for the chinese solar tubes and associated equipment made in the new and very efficient chinese factories with very efficient and educated labour. Cutting mil spending in half would lead to two guarateed things: a peace dividend promised by whichever is the out of power wing of the american government, increased unemployment of MIC professionals.
@Farmer Don:
The returning troops would join the unemployed. There is no increase in demand when there are no jobs that pay enough to generate subsistence let alone savings let alone imported tech goodies demand. Broken window model is not applicable, when there are no glazier jobs available only imported glass.

Norbert N, Salamon

You have retooled both before 1942 and after the war in a great hurry. So get LIFE!

If you have not read the Unified Command's [USA]analysis of oil futures, perhaps you should read what the German Command has to say on the topic:


And if you think that is nothing, perhaps you should peruse:


A USA based study on the problem of electricity for the economy [wherein electricity depends MOSTLY on non-renewable resources, oil, gas, coal, uranium, with the rest less than 3% of USA production].

And if you do not like either of the above, start praying for your children and grandchildren for:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6924 indoicates that the Earth's carrying capacity without oil/gas is approx 1-1.2 billion people, wherein there are 6.5 billion today [or more]

William R. Cumming

Are there articles discussing evaluation of "security clearances" both availability and significance in the "Goodwill" of various defense firms? Perhaps this would reveal why some firms are M&A targets and some are not? What exactly is the value added of firms heavy with Military retirees? Is this examined by the US Business Schools? Is the advance military education provided by various DOD entities something that has proven value?



"Are there articles discussing evaluation of "security clearances" both availability and significance in the "Goodwill" of various defense firms? Perhaps this would reveal why some firms are M&A targets and some are not? What exactly is the value added of firms heavy with Military retirees? Is this examined by the US Business Schools? Is the advance military education provided by various DOD entities something that has proven value?"

Penetrating to the heart of this question would be hazardous to your health, as others have unfortunately found. There is too much money at stake.


This is neither '42 nor '45. The USA had fewer factories and most of them are old and not cutting edge in efficiency. The USA is not a manufacturing nation, it decided to be an insurance, finance, services nation. Too bad for the USA. Decisions always have consequences. The new and efficient manufacturing facilities have been retooled to China, India, Malayasia, etc. Attempting to build a new factory in the USA is a political game.
Solar, wind, tidal, energy machinery is not built in the USA. It will have to be imported. Imports have to be paid for. $'s are not what they used to be in international trade.
The oil drum is a wonderful site. I am certain that none of the excess 5.3 billion people are in the USA.

Sidney O. Smith III

Carafano does not appear to help West Point’s cause. There is plenty of evidence in his screed that Carafano is acting as a shill for special interests and no evidence that he is acting on behalf of the American people. It is truly second rate thinking.

I keep trying to evaluate discussions here at SST about service academies and when I do, I think of a first cousin, now deceased, who commanded both nuclear and diesel USN subs. Worked very high in Nato intelligence. I was told he was one of four people who knew where all the Nato subs were at any one time. He was a good deal older than I, so I tended to look up to him and listen to what he would say. (Unfortunately he died before 9.11 and certainly before I knew of the USS Liberty).

But I just do not believe he would have put up with the kind of malarkey in Carafano’s essay.

Here’s my point. This cousin was not a graduate of Annapolis but Navy ROTC at Chapel Hill. And he would have never represented special interests at the expense of the American people.

I am sure there are grads from West Point who are not like Carafano so one hopes Carafano does not represent the majority. Otherwise Carafano is foreshadowing a future civilian vs. military showdown -- one in which those of the USM like Carafano have freely chosen to represent special interests and, by doing so, have put the American people at risk.

Sidney O. Smith III

Redux and a necessary correction. Actually,it is closer to the mark if I describe a potential conflict as the American people vs. a government controlled by special interests, instead of a conflict of civilian vs. military. Too many civilians, on the left and right, appear to want a form of American fascism, and many in the military see the danger.

But such a conflict may very well arise after what is increasingly described here at SST as “a collapse” due to our disastrous foreign policy decisions.

So my questions remain the same. Which way will the service academies lean if (when) such a scenario arises? Have or will the service academies help create a government controlled by special interests, however you want to define such interests?

Here’s hoping Carafano (and Kori Schake) do not represent the West Point way of doing things. And here’s hoping that WP acknowledges the courageous work of one of its graduates -- John Mearsheimer.

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