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The USA doesn't know what "War" is anymore

#1
War is when you make the commitment.

War is when you do "surgical strikes" when it's strategically necessary and saves YOUR resources that can be used elsewhere, but also don't hesitate at a "Dresden" type solution if the surgical strike does not accomplish the goal.

War means you win. You win by Destroying the enemy. That means killing a lot of people.

Great Britain in WWII started out with daylight bombing, but then moved to night "area bombing" because their equipment wasn't up to fighting off the Luftwaffe during the day AND area bombing was doing the job. They did "precision" raids (the RAF 617 squadron was famous for it, "Dam Busting" and later with ultra-large "earthquake" bombs) when and where it was practical, but the RAF area-bombed when it was not.

The US didn't really have the equipment to bomb during the day either, but accepted the losses in order to achieve an Objective over Europe. During 1944-45 when the US started bombing Japan, area bombing and incendiary raids (which killed far more people than the nuclear bombs did) were the norm, they accomplished the objective.

The USSR lost millions, and repaid Germany in kind. They did not forget what war was until far later (in the 80's).

Now, we have the technology for a "kinder, gentler" war. Look at Mogadishu, less than 20 US personnel down, for an exchange of 1000's of Somalli's. And it's considered a "loss" by the USA. Would a US general throw men at machine gun nests like we did a Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, or a thousand other places? Not today. Would a US army leave a "scorched earth" like it did on US soil during Sherman's March to the sea (where the phrase was coined, actually) in order to take the will to fight and the supporting infrastructure out from under the enemy? Not today.

Would US soldiers fight when cornered? Yes, savagely and effectively. See the Chosen Reservoir for what US Marines will do when their backs are against the wall, see a hundred fire-fights in Vietnam where the US was vastly out-numbered and came out having given far more than they got in casualties. When it is defense, when the goal of survival is clear, I'd match the US forces against any in the world, and "we" would win.

But what of a "police action"? What of "regime change"? What of the "Intervention" short of war? The Armed Forces are not a police force. They are not designed that way...nor, IMHO, should they become one.

We should not declare war on a people unless we intend to truly make war. That means you kill everyone if it's necessary. That means you can justify clearly why you are at war to your allies and have the will to do what is necessary. It means you know why you started it and will go until that "why" is completed.

Just like so many things, if you half-commit it will not turn out as intended. But in war, the consequences of failure are far greater than in other endeavors. Survivors do not forget. And in the Middle East, Revenge is a very, very long tradition.

My New Years Message: Fight the Good Fight, without hesitation, remorse, or mercy, but make sure that fight is a "good" one before striking the first blow.
 
#2
Sadistic Bastard said:
War is when you do "surgical strikes" when it's strategically necessary and saves YOUR resources that can be used elsewhere, but also don't hesitate at a "Dresden" type solution if the surgical strike does not accomplish the goal.
You mean the firebombing of thousands of innocent people? That's interesting, considering Hitler, who was not American and 'knew his war,' refused to employ poison gas against soldiers, let alone civilians targets.

Meh... semantics.
 
#3
Hitler was interested in "Conquest and Occupation".

In theory (and yeah, I know it's stretching it), the USA should not be interested in conquest and occupation. We just wanted our cheep oil, a little blood for 9-11, and for Sadam to quit saying he has nukes.

i.e. we should not have gone to war. But as I stated, the USA doesn't know what "war" is anymore.
 
#4
You know the rule -- war crimes are only war crimes if you lose the war. If you win, you get to be the one to put on a show trial and 'convict' your enemy. See the Haditha related charges? Means we're losing. :)
 
#6
This brings me to an interesting question re: war crimes for the defeated, none for the victors...

What would history say about Nazi Germany if they'd won? Of course, various bits of historical fiction have no doubt explored this, but I'm not interested in running down to Border's to get another fiction writer's take on it. What do y'all think history would say in such a world?
 
#10
Innocents die in war. They always have and always will. This fixation we have on limiting collateral damage is a political micromanagement.

I've always said, we did fine to topple Hussein and had ample justification for doing so without the WMDs, just as the 9/11 Report concluded - but we should have left immediately afterwards.

Let the Iraqis fix their own fucking country. Then we could have wasted the other top terrorist funders in turn and went home.
 
#11
Imperium said:
No one is 'innocent' in war.
So what's your big beef with my Holocaust skepticism, then? In fact, what's the big deal about the Holocaust at all? The inmates of the camps weren't innocent, according to what you've said here, so who gives a hot fuck about 'em?
 
#12
The Question said:
So what's your big beef with my Holocaust skepticism, then? In fact, what's the big deal about the Holocaust at all? The inmates of the camps weren't innocent, according to what you've said here, so who gives a hot fuck about 'em?
It depends on what you mean by 'Holocaust Skeptecism.' We all know the reason why you 'troll' TK and the Holocaust Revisionism group on USENET some time ago was to simply hone your argument.
Hitler may not have signed a document called, "Final Solution" but to argue that it was "simply unfortunate that many Jews died in the 'care' of the Nazis" is rather silly.
That aside, the chips 'guilt' and 'innocence' fall on the table depending on who starts what and why.
 
#13
Imperium said:
Hitler may not have signed a document called, "Final Solution" but to argue that it was "simply unfortunate that many Jews died in the 'care' of the Nazis" is rather silly..
That's a bit of a straw man.
 
#15
Someone makes a rhetorical statement rather than an argument and qualifies that statement later. Accusation of backpedaling ensues. Stardestroyer.net tactics already? :gagh:
 
#18
Imperium said:
Someone makes a rhetorical statement rather than an argument and qualifies that statement later. Accusation of backpedaling ensues. Stardestroyer.net tactics already? :gagh:
Hey, if you regret making absolute statements like that, maybe you should... oh, I dunno... not make absolute statements like that. Ya think?
 
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