by Jeff Huber, Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 09:17:32 AM EDT
This is the first article in a series on the future of American power.
In the post-Iraq era America will need to answer three critical questions about the nature of its military.
-- What do we need the force to do?
-- What kind of force do we need to do it?
-- What kind of force can we afford?
Below the fold: whose fights do we want to fight?
by Chris Bowers, Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 08:49:41 PM EST
It's all academic and hypothetical because, considering our current deployment capabilities, we are unable to invade Iran (short of a draft and/or a near total pullout of Iraq). But gee, do you think the country is a little gunshy after Iraq?
CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Feb. 9-12, 2006. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"Now, turning to Iran -- What do you think the United States should do to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program: take military action against Iran now, use economic and diplomatic efforts but not take military action right now, or take no action against Iran at this time?" Options rotated
Military Action Now 9
No Action 18
Numbers like these mean that about 80% of the people in this country who think the invasion of Iraq was a good idea would rather not invade Iran right now.
There is a great irony in all of this. Bush has often been accused (mostly by people on the left) of not adhering to true conservative principles
(if such things exist
) through reckless military intervention. However, after he tossed those principles aside and the country has seen the consequences of reckless military intervention, now, more than at any time in the last twenty years, the country is actually more in line with the "true conservative" principles Bush eschewed. We are not interested in overseas military "adventurism" anymore.
Personally, I never bought into the "true" or "traditional" conservative argument anyway. Conservative is as conservative does. In a more Catholic phrasing, your actions are your beliefs. Given this, I can see no way to conclude anything except that the reckless use of the military in a quest for empire and political gain is a core conservative belief. In fact, taking the long historical view, I think history completely backs me on this one too. Using the military for empire and glory is what conservatives have always done.
by populistamerica, Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 07:38:21 AM EST
...Unfortunately, the message is still not sinking in that Iran is not Cuba. The Bay of Pigs is not the Straits of Hormuz. There, on an island called Abu Musa, the Iranians have already deployed sophisticated anti-ship missiles and artillery shells, trained on a tiny gateway through which half of our global oil flows. In other words, the Iranians can turn this vital oil route into a fiery inferno and precipitate global economic pandemonium, should the US embark on a unilateral action...
by Curmudgette, Mon Feb 06, 2006 at 09:21:43 AM EST
Multimillion dollar cold war style weaponry; absolutely. Body armor and working equipment for our troops; not so much.
Ralph Peters's recent column in the New York Post (or here) lays bare the anatomy of the very "military industrial complex" that a tough old soldier known as Ike warned us about many years ago. Writes Peters:
Our ground forces are being driven hard, with many soldiers and Marines already on their third assignments to Iraq or Afghanistan. Overwhelmingly, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps do the bleeding and dying. And even as we're able to gradually reduce our troop levels in Iraq, the need for robust land forces to cope with other looming crises is indisputable.
Yet, instead of beefing up the forces that do the actual fighting, the Pentagon self-justification process known as the "Quadrennial Defense Review," or QDR, is about to call for increasing the buy of the F/A-22, a pointless air-to-air fighter with a $280-million-per-copy price tag, while acquiring high-tech destroyers designed to defeat a vanished Soviet navy.