So called "realists" in the US have no real chance to change US foreign policy no matter what they do and no matter how they try to convince themselves that they have a shot at it without addressing a fundamental issue of the American nationhood and economic system. To start with: large portions of the American "realists" are beholden primarily, not exclusively, to GOP, which is a party of cowards well entrenched with the military-industrial complex and values of Washington Consensus. So, do bees hate honey? Moreover, American "realists" have no real narrative, because they cannot have one in the only framework they know--and this one, yet again, assumes America's primacy in economy and military matters. This is not to say that "realists" do not understand a simple fact that the United States simply cannot fight and win modern wars against even mildly competent enemy--some of them do understand that--it is just that any appeals to "restrain" or attempts to engage overwhelmingly dominant neocon interventionist D.C. establishment in some "scholarly", presumed to be "rational", discussion is a waste of time. This is not to say that "realists" do not try.
A week or so ago there was a tempest in the ideological teacup of America's "strategizing" circles when utterly neocon and incompetent Foundation for Defense of Democracies (I know, I know--it is hilarious) released yet another, in the long list of the US geopolitical wet dreams, "strategy" on how to "defend" the US by means of "forward defense", which is, when translated from pseudo-academic lingo of "specialists" in US security means simply--more money and more interventions. This whole collection of essays is duly noted by Daniel Larison who writes:
Panetta sets the tone for the document right away: “More than ever, Americans must go abroad to remain secure at home.” This is the interventionists’ axiom from which everything else follows, so it is important to start by explaining how wrong it is. To the extent that American security is threatened by other states and terrorist organizations, a forward policy invites more attacks and challenges and exacerbates the dangers it is supposedly combating. Our militarized engagement in many parts of the world is simultaneously destabilizing and provocative, and it makes us far more enemies than we would have otherwise.
This is all true but how about we follow my advice from a long time ago and concentrate not on the same old, regurgitated constantly, America' "strategies" which simply do not work--US military record in the last 20 years is abysmal across the board--from technological dimension to operational and strategic ones--but on personalities. Show me any tangible result, any attainment of serious political objective by the United States anywhere, under any conditions, including having sometimes overwhelming material preponderance over American "enemies", many of who are not enemies at all. Right. But then Larison makes a crucial mistake--he begins to "negotiate" with such characters as former national Security Advisor H.R. McMaster or other sinecures' abusers such as Jonathan Schazner or shady pro-Israeli "venture capitalist" as Mark Dubowitz. Larison engages:
Not surprisingly, the consistent misreadings and distortions of history are some of the biggest flaws in the report. Bradley Bowman and Clifford May rattle off historical “facts” about wars throughout history that elide far more than they reveal. For instance, they speak of “Persian-Roman wars” running from the battle of Carrhae between the Roman Republic and the Parthians to the battle of Nineveh in the seventh century between the Byzantines and the Sasanians. That lumps together many different regimes and dynasties in very crude fashion, and it also misleads the reader into thinking that conflict was incessant when it was not.
This is a mistake. Or, rather several mistakes by Larison.
1. You cannot argue with neocons, or, for that matter with majority of US punditry, but especially neocons, based on the merit of historic facts because:
a) History is not a valid "science", because often it barely can present even a limited number of causalities, which can still be challenged by opponents. If that wouldn't be the case, we wouldn't have had a vibrant and, actually, prospering field of gross revisionism, some of it reaching a full blown grotesque.
b) For any person with a mildly decent education and being an avid reader it would be not difficult to produce even on the bases of exhaustive research several mutually contradicting narratives on the single event.
2. So, when even very recent history, well documented and archived, including using modern means of movie documentaries, photographs etc. produces this:
If the United States "history" field saw it as totally normal and natural to steal valor from USSR in WW II, I guess even most recent events in which the United States claimed "victory" over ISIS, merely prove my point. Remember? Two years ago:
"We have won against ISIS. We have beaten them and we have beaten them badly," Trump said in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday night. "We have taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home." "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back," Trump added, expanding on a tweet he sent out earlier in the day. "And they're coming back now. We won. And that's the way we want it. And that's the way they want it."
What "history" are we talking about here? And WHO are those "historians"? McMaster who still cannot resign himself to the fact that the United States sustained humiliating defeat in Vietnam and still tries to "replay" the war? Does he, or Ben Hodges even have a clue on what it means to be under sustained fire impact in real war? I don't think so, as I repeat ad nauseam--no American soldier fought in defense of his motherland. None, zilch, nada. McMaster is altogether a comical figure who apart from commanding a tank regiment against supremely incompetent Iraqi military, has no serious operational experience commanding a division, corps, let alone army or army group. These people are losers primarily on the merit which only matters in issues of polices and actual strategies which work--being a true statesman. Many of them, actually, know or sense this about themselves and that is why they are dealing in Bullshit, not reality. I remind you again--remember my advice? Do not argue with them on the merit, especially of such a propaganda-driven "history" as it is taught in the US--go for ad hominem. Yes, question human, academic and other relevant qualities of people most of who wouldn't qualify in normal country to run a gas station or maintain an apartment block. None of them have any grasp of what will happen to them when their families and livelihood, their country will come under fire. Let's face it--all of them are a small league doctrine-mongers. As I wrote more than three years ago:
I can explain why USA loses its wars and what is a unbridgeable, irreconcilable difference not only between Gerasimov and McMaster but between Russian and American military thinking: US Armed Forces never fought in real defense of their homeland in the last two hundred plus years. Never. Russia does it for millennium. All US warfare is expeditionary in nature with US proper remaining completely oblivious to the realities of the wars it unleashes elsewhere. That it is the reason American soldier inevitably loses an interest and stake in fighting American wars since, in the end, his (her) family at home, his property, everything he (she) loves and treasures remains untouched by brutality of the warfare and other things which come in this terrifying package. Russia and her soldiers and generals (as well as the nation as a whole) think in a completely different plane, because know, on a genetic level, what war can bring to their homeland.
There is no point whatsoever in arguing with those people. Only pointing out to a pathetic state in which the United States resides today, as well as constantly proving those people ignorant on the account of the modern warfare to which US Armed Forces are utterly unprepared and exposing those people's incompetence and corruption, not discussing with them some irrelevant ancient history's minutiae, only then some effect could be achieved. But I don't hold my breath: for starters most of "realist" people in the US suffer from the same historic and military ignorance and, finally, very few of them have courage to admit to themselves that the United States is not this irresistible hegemonic superpower but a country which is in a dramatic, precipitous decline, across the board and no amount of attempts to draw grossly inaccurate parallels to ancient history, not to speak of learning all the wrong lessons, will change the dynamics of global military and economic balance in which the United States finds itself increasingly marginalized, not to speak of being laughed at. The United States got lucky in 1945, it blew it. As for "forward defense", boy--same shit just the view from a different angle.
In related news, Shaposhnikov, meanwhile undergoes trials and shoots good ol' X-35 Uran in the Sea of Japan. Kalibrs, I guess, are next.