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Old 08-25-2011   #40
Ken White
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,060
Wink That's why they make Toyotas and Fords...

Originally Posted by Marc View Post
Ok, Ken, I understand your position now, although I disagree with it.
I'm sure many do and that's okay. OTOH, I do not disagree with your position -- but I do not share it. That's not quite the same thing...
What I do not understand is why you want to post on a "small wars" website if you think that anything smaller than WWII is too small to be significant.
That's not what I wrote. This is:

""A world that survived the Romans, Sassanids, the Khans and World War II didn't even blink at any of the post 1980 stuff. Nor should it have; they were small things. Very small. Not terribly significant until we made them seem to be...""

That was an apparently poor attempt to say that all things are relative. Compared to the costs and violence of the things I mentioned, those more recent items were far smaller in costs and scale. To clarify a bit, Korea was significant, mostly because it still bumbles on due to our failures more than anything else. Viet Nam was significant due to its costs (in all respects and now as well as then...). The initial effort in Afghanistan was significant (the earlier rise of the Taliban was not particularly so) and Iraq was and is significant -- but not due to Sadr who is insignificant (which doesn't mean he isn't a bother, just that he isn't a major bother). Afghanistan and Iraq will always exist in one form or another, the Talibs and Mokey not so much, they're transients on the scene...

In most of those latter cases, the events and characters rise to more prominence (as opposed to significance) because of OUR actions, not due to much they did or do. So, if those things have significance in the eyes of some -- or many -- it's due to our habit of making things into possibly more than they might have been. Dayuhan has that bit right...

I post here because folks are civil, most are well informed and all facets of warfare and the politics thereunto pertaining are discussed without much effort being wasted on other political foolishness. Those are things that have been of interest (and employment) in a fairly long life.

I can discuss small wars, been to a few. I can and do advise against US participation in them unless all other options fail because in my experience the American psyche does not and will not ever do them well; we aren't ruthless enough (I have no problem with violence -- but many, particularly politicians, seem to...)and don't have the patience for (or a governmental / election process and cycle that supports) the long term approach. We can do them, have done a bunch marginally well -- mostly smaller efforts without huge troop commitments -- but we do not do them really well, the bigger they are, the worse we do...

Instead of seeking small wars, we should put the Intel folks and DoS to work and let Special Forces do their FID thing early and often while avoiding small wars, SFA and / or COIN support because the GPF will never do those things well.

Nor should they...

Last edited by Ken White; 08-25-2011 at 02:06 AM. Reason: Typos
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