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27 January 2012

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JohnH

"National strategy dictates foreign policy which dictates military strategy which dictates programming and budgeting."

If only that were the case! Instead it appears that we're letting a foreign micro-bully--Israel--lead us into yet another war.

General Michael Hayden (retired) apparently said in regard to Iran, "What's [the] move two, three, four or five down the board? I don't think anyone is talking about occupying anything."
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA28Ak04.html

It's a perfect example of what happens when committed zealots--AKA special interests--hijack policy.

As for Kagan, what's to say about a man who never saw a war he didn't like, even quagmires that involved lots and lots of boots on the ground?

Charles I

Kagan says he wants us to have large ground forces that will serve as "incubators" for leadership for the big ground wars. . .

If you build it, they will come, er, we'll make sure to use it.

This kinda logic you should immediately triple up on the size of government and the financial sector - soon as I ensconce myself under the low hanging fruit.

YT

"The other large purpose for big ground forces would be the prospect of conventional ground wars against big, capable armies. Where are the enemies of this type that are likely to be adversaries for the United States. Where? Europe? Asia? Africa? This seems implausible."

God is on the side of the big battalions.: Friedrich der Große, a.k.a. Der Alte Fritz

IMO, Mr. Kagan seems to be still living in that Era where they believe numbers to be the one-&-all factor in determining victory. Where WWII style battles are replayed in the back of his mind every single minute.

Unfortunately, to paraphrase André Beaufre, his policy paper should be "relegated as a museum piece where it aptly belongs with Napoleon's hat & Frederick's pipe" (something like that, can't recall exact words).

Like the acolytes of the nuclear priesthood (Herman Kahn & Co.), ivory tower intellectuals who've never spent a day in the field of (modern) battle or had someone close sacrificed to the Gods of War, somehow these exercises of the mind seem to be a much sought amusement. Akin to the video games that adolescents engage in.

Red team gaming on an alternate planet.

"Gird our loins for the apocalyptic sea-air battle with the Chinese".

Guess they can't wait to engage with the "Red Dragon from the East".

Bet they get orgasms just with that thought alone.

Fred

To quote Kagan: "People can learn, adapt and assimilate experiences only so rapidly." Apparently the learning curve is glacial if one is a Neocon. Aren't these the same guys who are currently pushing to gut veterans benefits?

Kagan, again: "Military leadership is more than knowledge and technique. It requires fundamental changes in personality, patterns of thought and perception, emotional control and interactions with others."

So just what is valuable in the civilian world if this is 'military' specific and why therefore should pensions be cut (or delayed 25 years) for a 20 year military veteran retiring after honorable service?

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Frederick W Kagan sure knows what side of his bread is buttered. But, he is out of date. The Washington Post reports “U.S. security firms shift from Mideast to Mexico”.

The tragic story of the last decades is that America had two choices; 1) containment, being shining light on the hill, and deniable intervention that you promoted or 2) the Draft and millions of troops to pacify the occupied nations. Instead, the choice was to spend the maximum amount of money on military contractors and fight never ending wars with a Volunteer Army. These conflicts are apparently petering out since they are too expensive to fight on the other side of the world for nothing gained. However, Mexico is undeniably close to home and there is the Treasure of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Matt

YT - Thought you might like this:

From Sharpe's Enemy (TV Show, don't remember if it's in the books)

Richard Sharpe: No wonder Harris reads Voltaire. Listen: Dieu ne pas pour le gros battalions, mais pour sequi teront le meilleur.
Teresa: God is not on the side of the big battalions, but of the best shots.
Richard Sharpe: Not bad for a Frog, eh?

georgeg

Can someone tell me who we are fighting and why??? I've been asking this question since the mid '60s........

Charles I

Ask Pogo

optimax

Kagan thinks it is a waste of talent and experience to not have a war where the military officers can ply their knowledge. He forgets that after WWII most officers mustered out of the military, went to college or back to business and became the managers that helped create a 40 to 50 year economic boom. The problem now is Kagan and his like have spent the last 10 years accelerating our economic decline.

Neocons are always using Dec 7, 1941 and the first months of the war to warn us about being militarily unprepared. That we must be prepared, even overprepaired and ready to strike preemptively if necessary. What Kagan forgets is we won WWII and our preemptive war in Iraq mirrors Japanese imbicility that lead to Pearl Harbor--an initial tactical success and strategic failure.

Jose L Campos

Freedom ends up being nothing else but property. Property is the possibility of exercising the will, without property the will remains simply a postulate. But once freedom is seen as property, which in reality it is, the armed forces as national enforcers disappear and they become police forces. That is the situation we are now in. That is why our armies are now volunteer, they do not defend anything other than property. That defense is clouded by a rich rhetoric and abundance of MSM in the hands of propertied people, that is the more propertied people since everyone must have some property in order to survive.
Suddenly it comes to my mind the image of the cataphracts that were popularized at the end of the Western Roman Empire. Those enormous defensive structures required the development of horses suitable for bearing their weight and eventually those horses enabled the Europeans to cultivate the mucky land of the north.
Perhaps the reader thinks that I make no sense but that is the reality of reality, it makes no sense. It gives us the sense that we must construct on absolutely.

YT

Matt,

Thanks dude. Much appreciated.

Will somehow download it somewhere if available.

:)

William R. Cumming

Rumored that General Smedley Butler started the 1% vis a vis 99% analytical framework in the context of warfare with the 99% fighting to protect the 1%! Wonder if this is verifiable?

Also is there a Kagan family tree as I seem to confuse the various Kagans! One Kagan I find of interest was Yale Prof. Donald Kagan whose 1995 "On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace" gives some interesting analysis on the Peloponesian War 431-404 B.C.; The First World War 1914-1918; Hannibal's War: The Second Punic War 218-201 B.C.; The Second World War 1939-1945; and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some revisionist history but of interest!

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