11th Marine Expeditionary Unit [Artillery Battery] Placed in Harm’s Way Fighting Against Islamic State [ISIS] in Raqqa, Syria!
WTH? What’s the Strategy??
Once again, we are confronted by the unexplained implant of American soldiers in distant lands where we do not belong. Nothing has been more exasperating for me and other military veterans than the deployment of American soldiers in 770+ bases in over 220 different countries. On top of that expansive network of wasted money, citizens are presented with a military fait-accompli where our kids are deployed into combat zones which have absolutely no national security value to the USA.
Witness the major military defeats of past/present centuries: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria…We have become a major player in minor conflagrations which have been fostered by our rapacious military/industrial complex. Our well-intentioned military elites have been consistently mistaken in formulating any winning strategies or effective tactics.
Hear the echoes of Vietnam redux:
NYTimes, March 9, 2017 , “U.S. Sending 400 More Troops to Syria”, by Michael R. Gordon.
“We are preparing logistical and fire support to enable a successful assault on Raqqa…”
“… they will provide artillery support, training, and protection for improvised explosives..”
“..The USA has already carrying out airstrikes [more than 30 per day]in Syria… and has deployed surface-to-surface rockets in northern Syria.”
I will be damned, the US military has no idea which group they are supporting, given the reality of over 100 shifting terrorist cells fighting in Syria over a five year period. Our generals are at a loss of how America can define our specific role; other than ‘deter, intensify, and intercede’ among the different Russian, Kurdish, Turkey, Russian and Syrian troops.
“The Trump administration, however, has yet to make clear which fighters will seize Raqqa.”
Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of US Central Command [CENTCOM] repeated the words I heard Gen. Westmoreland once pronounce: “I am concerned about maintaining the momentum.” After Westmoreland said those fateful words, my first assignment in the Nixon Administration was to prepare for the eventual evacuation of Vietnam and SE Asia.
Today, some of our soldiers have come home from Djibouti where they too were involved in ‘assistance and training’. Translated into every day terms, our American soldiers were involved in major firefights in Sudan, Yemen, and elsewhere in Africa. Yet Obama never declared a state of war. As usual, our cowardly congressional representatives never informed their constituents (the American taxpayers) exactly why we were spending countless billions of dollars in wars that are self-defeating and wasteful. We know that many leaders in Congress are graced with big bucks from weapons suppliers. Its time to vote these whores out of office.
Unfortunately, our military leaders are falling into the very trap that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the present National Security Advisor, wrote about in his PhD thesis—“Dereliction Of Duty”. McMaster postulated correctly that all the relevant political/military elite lied which resulted in a unwinnable war.
Most of present day generals have very little experience in formulating a strategy for complete regime change. That is not to say, that each in his own time may have won a battle or two. Yet, not one of them has won a war. Or in the parlance of strategic singletons, ‘they never succeeded in changing one regime into another one successfully’.
The Iraq War was a complete disaster. There was no reason to invade Iraq. Predictably, the pathetic neocons under Rumsfeld [Wolfowitz, Perle, Khalizad, Feif, Bremer] never elaborated a coherent strategy for the post-invasion scenario.
That absence of a winnable strategy, according to “Dereliction of Duty,” was the fault of our present and retired generals.
- Some history for you……
Against my professional advice, Lawrence Eagleburger agreed with the Pentagon and POTUS Reagan to send a similar Marine deployment to Beirut, Lebanon. I had been professionally involved with PLO leader Arafat and the IRG, I warned the senior military/civilian leadership that if we sent the 1st Battalion 8th Marines [Battalion Landing Team –BLT 1/8] to Beirut in any capacity, especially as so-called “UN/MNF peacekeepers” we would rue the day. I was in the business of working with and against my constant enemy/friendly companions:
- Christian Phalangists
Kissinger already lost one ambassador in the Lebanese Civil War and there would be increasingly more fatalities if we were to send our warriors into Harm’s Way. On October 23 1983, two suicide bombers attacked and killed 241 US Marines, 58 French 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment and six civilians.
That was then.
Today we have the same enemies: Iran, IRG, Syria, Hezbollah—plus different factions of the Kurds who are being destroyed by our presumable friends, the Turks. Our potential ally, Russia, is supporting Dr. Bashar Assad and the IRG. This five year conflagration has killed over 500,000 civilians and displaced another 4 million refugees. Remember that ISIS was created by our illustrious CIA and it’s natural paterfamilias:
- Salafist Saudi Arabians
- Hashemite Jordanians
- corrupt UAE [oops, don’t forget the Mossad, IDF].
Could anything be more complicated?
I think not!!
I beseech both Generals James Mattis and HR McMaster to cease and desist this madness falsely entitled: training and assistance ASAP! You were placed in your respective positions by those who created and fought this Second American Revolution. We supported Trump and his team because we did not want any more of our brave men and women to end up in the mess that Clinton, Bush Jr, and Obama created.
It’s time for you ex-generals to start thinking strategically. We have no political, economic, nor military reasons to be in any of those countries that we have been in for that past two decades.
Let me invoke the great plea of our great POTUS General Eisenhower:
“Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron!”
Let me emphasize what another outstanding military strategist, Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur, repeatedly warned:
“It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.”