How (Not) to Fight a War
RANT OF THE DAY — HOW (NOT) TO FIGHT A WAR
Let’s do a quick inventory of what we got–shall we?
We got 7,620 missiles with warheads; We got 18,360 military aircraft; We got 8,800 tanks; We got 590 active warships; We got 68 attack submarines; We got 492,000 enlisted personnel, not counting another half a million in reserves. We got 800 military bases scattered around the globe in 70 different countries. We got enough nukes to blow up the world — 11,000 fucking times over! And that doesn’t even include the bottle rockets in the park on July 4th.
Wait, there’s more! We spend more on “national defense” than the next 14 countries in the whole world–COMBINED! Not counting their medical bills. So, let’s add another couple of trillion (T-trillion) to the tab. We’ve got armies-for-profit–Blackwater, Halliburton, etc.. They’re so big, their budgets are top secret. We got the biggest and baddest defense industry in the history of the goddamned world, including thousands of supersmart people working to make lots of amazing stuff and figuring out new ways to blow shit up. I mean crazy stuff you wouldn’t believe. Oh, and now we even have a Space Force! We discovered that spewing trillions here on earth isn’t enough. Why do you think it’s called the final frontier? Let’s play army way out in space!
So then, given all this stuff we got, how did this military “superpower,” with all those cool toys get its ass kicked in a place run by a bunch of backward camel jockeys with mindsets bronzed the Middle Ages who resemble extras in The Ten Commandments with tangled beards longer than fucking Santa Claus? Answer me that one, please. Before that, this same “superpower” got outfoxed in the jungle by a nation of rice-eaters who somehow waged a full-scale war on bike trails seemingly dug out by the Boy Scouts. Years earlier, this same “superpower” battled to a stalemate in yet another Asian country that had never previously fought a war. Scoreboard: That’s ZERO wins in three tries, more than a hundred thousand dead bodies, and a shit pile of money down the tubes we could have used here at home to clean the restroom at LaGuardia.
Hmm, here’s a different thought. Maybe it’s time to STOP THINKING OF WARS LIKE IT’S STILL 1945! Tanks. Planes. Missiles. Soldiers. Submarines. C’mon people. Talk about government “waste.” Seriously, when’s the last time one of those submarines costing billions made ANY difference in ANY conflict? It’s time to quit greenlighting the defense industry’s giant “Toy Story.” Haven’t we suffered enough humiliation yet?
Fact: All those tanks and planes HAVEN’T MEANT SHIT! You know, sort of like Detroit Lions’ draft picks.
Yeah, lets all rinse and repeat the old drill about beating our own red, white, and blue chests, and boast of invincibility while insisting the U.S. military always-always-always-always fought boldly and brilliantly, and never actually lost a war, which is kinda’ true but also sounds like an excuse for a bad drive off tee-box holding a new set of clubs. But then that’s really the whole point, isn’t it? Indeed, wars *can* be won. People’s hearts and minds can’t, at least not the way we’ve been doing things. And that’s where WARS are won. Not with hardware. With people.
Here’s another thought, and yes, I know it will sound way too crazy. Maybe it’s way past time to STOP blowing money all on this military madness. Maybe it’s time to learn from the catastrophic mistakes of the past. Maybe it’s time to spend LESS money on tanks and planes and ships and spend MORE money on people — yes over there when appropriate, but also right HERE. Especially HERE.
Maybe it’s long past time to rethink “national defense” as less a tank war and more of a cyberwar, and a conflict of combating technologies. I mean, we’ve been attacked numerous times already by somebody over there. Do you think that’s going to end? Maybe THAT’S where our focus should NOW be in THIS century, instead of ordering another 500 tanks or manufacturing another 300 airplanes, many of which turn out can’t even fly and which end up parked in Arizona. Maybe it’s time to re-think what WAR means in the 21st century instead of 1945-like invasions and ground wars that turn into Hamburger Hill II, and then re-calibrate our defense towards those objectives. I know, that sounds way too–quazy.
Okay then, here’s another idea. Next time a politician bitches about the myth of America’s “weak defense” or goes to bat for another $100 billion in our tax money to line the pockets of the death merchant industry and their greedy shareholders, let’s all point to Afghanistan and yell, FUCK NO!. Point to Vietnam, and yell, NOT AGAIN!. Point to Korea, and yell, ENOUGH!. Ask what ALL THAT was for? They’ve been lying about “national defense” for way too fucking long. Well, we’re SICK of the bait and switch. We’re SICK of the charade.
Am I getting my point across?
Now is the time to CUT the defense budget. Cut it! In half. Maybe more. And quit letting defense contractors hand out weapons overseas like happy meals at a new McDonalds franchise. It’s also way past time to ramp up the budgets of cybersecurity and other critically-needed advanced forms of technology. The next war won’t be fought in a desert, nor a jungle, nor a snowy mountain — places where we’ve lost. It will instead be waged from cubicles by people who wear headsets and push little buttons. It will be waged by hackers. Specialists. Nerds.
We’ve lost on all the other battlefields. We must not lose on this next one.
So, stop feeding the defense industry war pig. If you let it, it will eat itself to death. And then it will consume all of us.
Rant over. Have a nice day!