One of the very few reasons I read (as in past tense) this dumpster The National Interest was precisely for reasons that once in a while people like Douglas Macgregor or Daniel L. Davis, a cadre senior officers of the US Army, would publish their opinions. I do not always agree with them but their opinions are, which is expected from real professionals, head and shoulders above the amateur tripe the magazine's so called "military experts" (none of them military) continue to publish. Luckily, Lt. Colonel Davis' writing is beginning to appear more and more in such outlets as The American Conservative, which for all its major flaws, still tries to figure things out and still retains, despite Rod Dreher continuing to write about things he has no clue about, a degree of respectability and expertise.
The latest from Davis is his scathing retort to former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster nauseating and tired narrative about public being "defeatists" thus, as his notorious book suggested, being in a larger sense responsible for the United States losing war in Vietnam and, as current situations has it, in Iraq and Afghanistan. You see, it is always about just another push, just another hundred thousands or so of lives, just another couple of trillions of dollars and the victory is at hand. Davies demolishes McMaster's delusion. And while doing this really well, Davis comes to the conclusion of which I am writing for years now.
Establishment Washington claims to have the education, understanding, and firsthand experience to know what’s in America’s best interests abroad. Their record says otherwise. It is no small irony that the architects of almost 20 years of failed wars are the ones now belittling the American public for succumbing to “war weariness.”
Finally, a much needed talk in broadsides. I myself am being nauseating trying to hammer this simple point home for a very long time: having a graduate degree in what amounts to killing the enemy on both personal and industrial scale, I still cannot grasp a simple reality of how people with zero serious military training (no, I am not talking about going through the boot camp, however desirable) which allows them professional handling of the issues of operations, strategy and doctrine, which are rooted in modern times in extremely complex technologies, to offer any opinions on the issue of war. Lawyers (nothing against this profession per se) and sociologists do not make great strategists in real life. No doubt, someone with Ph.D in Political (pseudo)"Science" will be able to multiply essences through incessant and most of the time incompetent political doctrine-mongering but, the question goes, if for a person, in order to get to the operation table to perform an open heart surgery, years and years of intensive education training are required to become a surgeon, it is only natural that we see NO sociologists, economists or Ph.Ds in broadcasting (whatever that means) being allowed anywhere near operation room. Mind you, on operation table a surgeon deals with a single, however precious, life.
Now, the US Congress which is stuffed primarily (with some exceptions) with sociopaths with zero military experiences and education--primarily lawyers and other derivatives--the same goes for the executive branch, in the American case, are responsible not just for one, two or hundred lives, no. This bunch of ignoramuses, aided by all kinds of think-tanks also stuffed to the hilt with all kinds of political "scientists" and "commentators", is responsible for millions of lives. This responsibility, mind you, is on people, who, like Donald Trump, who stated that him being in boys boarding school was a great military experience, or like John Bolton, a draft dodger and a lawyer, who have no clue about, for starters, how armor battalion deploys and fights and how required force is calculated and how attrition rates work, say, in missile exchange--these people are developing and promoting all kinds of mindless and utterly incompetent war plans which result in one after another catastrophe for millions upon millions of people. In medical terms it is called a criminal negligence and doctors go to jail and are fined exorbitant sums of money when they kill a patient. Yet, here we have a bunch of ignorant uneducated shysters who know zero about real war, real military technologies, real operations, real strategies, real history and, in the end, real life who dare to proclaim non-stop that they "know better". Well, they don't, they never did.
I find myself in a bizarre situation, when I feel much more comfortable when I know that Dunford and Gerasimov talk directly, than hearing the reassuring BS about good intentions from State Department or lunatics like Bolton. Of course, being professional military does not guarantee, not at all, consistent and correct assessment of the global situation. But what is undeniable, that specifically in the United States, in the last decade or so, these were primarily American high level military professionals who played a crucial role in preventing imbeciles in power from unleashing even more wars and wrecking even more lives. People who draw their "military education" from entertainments should not be allowed in any capacity near levers of federal power in the United States as shouldn't any warmonger, uniformed or otherwise. American elite today is declining, it is declining fast in moral, mental and professional terms. As per war, it remains pathetically inept and uneducated due to highly favorable circumstances or geography, of which not one volume was written, by yours truly included. This, plus due to a complete implosion of American higher education degree mills which are incapable of producing real statesmen anymore.
As Nazi Germany needed denazification after the WW II ended, the United States needs a thorough dewarfarerization which will come one way or another, be that through looming large financial catastrophe or through a catastrophic military defeat once a bunch of ignorant civilians in charge of the country get it into the war with a major power which will devastate the United States. We don't want this to happen. But until US educational (that is degree mill) "machine" starts educating people properly, not least about real war, we may continue to live under the "guidance" of people who, not unlike Napoleon at Borodino, in Tolstoy's words, have no humanity or truth left in them :
Even before he gave that order the thing he did not desire, and for which he gave the order only because he thought it was expected of him, was being done. And he fell back into that artificial realm of imaginary greatness, and again—as a horse walking a treadmill thinks it is doing something for itself—he submissively fulfilled the cruel, sad, gloomy, and inhuman role predestined for him.And not for that day and hour alone were the mind and conscience darkened of this man on whom the responsibility for what was happening lay more than on all the others who took part in it. Never to the end of his life could he understand goodness, beauty, or truth, or the significance of his actions which were too contrary to goodness and truth, too remote from everything human, for him ever to be able to grasp their meaning. He could not disavow his actions, be lauded as they were by half the world, and so he had to repudiate truth, goodness, and all humanity.
War and Peace, Chapter XXXVIII