Monday, November 10, 2008

US Air Force RIP-2

"For years, the military has been roiled by a heated internal debate over what kind of wars it should be prepared to fight. One faction, led by a host of senior officers, favors buying state-of-the-art weapons systems that would be useful in a traditional conflict with a nation like Russia or China. The other side, which includes Defense Secretary Robert Gates, believes the military should prepare for grinding insurgencies that closely resemble the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. ... With the economy slowing and the tab for the government's bailout of the private sector spiralling higher, Democratic lawmakers are signalling that Pentagon officials will soon have to choose which programs to keep and which to cut. ... 'Well, let me just say that I'm getting a lot more career advice and counseling than I might have anticipated,' [Gates] told reporters earlier this month, laughing. 'I think I'll leave it at that'," August Cole and Yochi Dreazen at the WSJ, 30 October 2008.

"When Franklin Roosevelt replaced Herbert Hoover in the White House, the country's economy was in shambles but its security was not threatened. No American forces were engaged in significant military conflict; America faced no threats. The U.S. was largely disarmed militarily and disengaged internationally. Yet within a decade, American territory had been attacked for the first time in 130 years, a massive rearmament program was underway, and the U.S. was fighting a desperate struggle that spanned the globe and untimately cost the lives of nearly half a million American service members. The seeds of that global conflict, unimaginable in 1933 given the relative weakness of Germany and Japan, were planted in the first years of the Roosevelt administration as FDR focused on the American economy. ... It is important to note here the distinction between an enemy and a threat. Threats are problems to be concerned about in the future; enemies are organizations trying to kill Americans right now. ... Whatever the parallels between the current economic situation and that of the early 1930s, the current international environment is by any comparison more dangerous for the U.S. than the one that led to World War II. ... When Britain and France ignored developing dangers while handling them would have been possible and relatively inexpensive, America was able to bail them out, if at terrific cost. There is no one to save us it we make similar mistakes in the coming years", my emphasis, Frederick Kagan (FK) at the WSJ, 31 October 2008.

See also my 11 June, 8 July and 31 October 2008 posts. How bad is Gates? There is talk Obama may keep him! Grinding insurgencies, why? The Pentagon will send our soldiers to war with obsolete weapons, and we have money to bail out Goldman Sachs (GSG) and the like. The Constitution begins with, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America", my emphasis. I see nothing here that says guarantee GSG's Lloyd Blankfein his outrageous compensation. Common defense, yet the US bails out overpaid miscreants? Amazing.

I agree in part with FK. The seeds of the conflict were imaginable. Some saw them. They were ignored. The seeds of the Pacific War were planted in 1931 when Hoover failed to accept China could not hold Manchuria and objected to Japan's taking it. By 1937 it was clear FDR wanted war with Japan. See my 21 August 2008 post, No, there is no one to save us. Wake up. Our recent presidential campaign was a joke. Hector Bywater (HB) wrote The Great Pacific War in 1925 about a war between the US and Japan that began with a sudden Japanese attack in the Phillipines. Some Japanese admirals read HB's book and followed some of HB's war plans. The Pacific war should have surprised no one in 1941. Supposedly HB died of a heart attack in 1940. I think he was killed. In Europe, B.H. Liddell Hart, saw the coming war by 1934 and was ignored. That seems to be the way it is, serious thinking is ignored. In 1933 Fleet Problem No. 14 was staged, Time, 13 February 1933. In it the US Navy used 150 planes to "attack" Pearl Harbor! Really. The Navy concluded the attack it staged on Pearl was not feasible. Apparently Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto disagreed. "To Admiral [Frank] Clark had fallen the assignment of pretending to lead his force as an enemy fleet to the capture of Oahu, from which a thrust at the U.S. mainland would follow. At dawn the Hawaiian attack began. ... Imaginative newsmen reported that the Black attack by air left Honolulu 'a shambles'. ... It is the condition rather than the disposition of the U.S. Fleet that makes Big-Navy men wring their hands in despair. ... In the U.S. Navy's mind, the 'Black' fleet of Problem No. 14 that sweeps east this week from Hawaii to the mainland, represents no fleet but Japan's. U.S. sea-dogs frankly expect to see a real Japanese fleet sail the same course, some day, trying to strike the same blow on the Pacific coast. ... Japan, rattling her sword in Manchuria as never before, is in strained relations with the U.S. as a result of the Stimson doctrine of nonrecognition of Manchukuo. In Tokyo there was no popular doubt that the massing of U.S. warships in the Pacific was a naval gesture against Japan. ... How matters might develop in a more practical direction was the theme of The Great Pacific War published eight years ago by Hector Bywater, foremost British naval commentator, critic and on-paper strategist. ... Last month Japan revealed that she was at work planning naval maneuvers that match Fleet Problem No. 14 in size and importance, send cold chills down the spines of U.S. strategists", link:,8816,745137,00.html.


Anonymous said...

SCPA said "...The Pentagon will send our soldiers to war with obsolete weapons, and we have money to bail out Goldman Sachs (GSG) and the like...."

Making me real sad... system out of balance...

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such stories. I like to read stories like that. By the way add some pics :)