Friday, September 3, 2021

Some Hint For Larry Wilkerson (And His Partners in Video).

Colonel Larry Wilkerson, speaking to a couple of people on the video-conference in April this year--around the time regime in Kiev decided to play games grown-ups play--and Wilkerson, who is a  D.C. insider didn't mince words about real situation. Watch, and listen, what he says between 7:00 and 16:00 in the interview and mind you, the guy was Chief of Staff of then Secretary of the State Colin Powell. 

He doesn't really say anything new for anyone who read me (this blog and books) for the last 7 years, but he reiterates one point which I try to stress non-stop for many years and this is, as Larry says, verbatim: "we don't know anything about that." That being, of course, a real war. Then he proceeds with his (or article he read) estimate on the number of casualties the United States will sustain in case of the war with someone like Russia or China and the reaction of Larry's partners speaks volumes. Wilkerson's number is at 40,000 in the first week. Compare this to Douglas Macgregor's estimate of the US casualties, say in war in Europe, which he puts around 300,000+ in total, with 110,000 of them KIAs in the first 110 days in WW I. 

Many forget that Vietnam, for all of its turmoil, was a protracted, 10-year long, war in which US casualties were accumulating over significant periods of time--many months and years. Wilkerson is correct asking what I call a Zumwalt question--what would D.C. do, how will it react, when it will be getting that kind of numbers killed and wounded, not to mention losses in high value and prestigious assets, such as combat aircraft, let alone combat ships, not to speak of aircraft carriers. Is the United States ready to take this in? Absolutely not, this is not even a theorem, it is an axiom. Wilkerson's story about Obama asking both Powell and Wilkerson during the meeting in the White House on how to get out of this Washington's "bias toward war" is remarkable in a sense that it shows a complete helplessness, in Obama case aggravated by Obama's overall mediocrity (not that anyone before him or after are better) and lack of principles, of the US political "elite" to do anything, even if to imagine that they want to do so, about not fighting wars. 

The system is wound this way, you cannot do anything about it unless you change the system on a fundamental level or provide a massive shock to it. If not, you will continue to get people like Lindsey Graham dominating a political discourse and driving country into the ground, granted very little is left of it. 

But then again, what "democracy"? Who buys this shit anymore? The United States has just elected and sworn to the highest office the guy who barely remembers his name and who has to be pumped with a cocktail of drugs to keep him focused for a few minutes. What do you expect from all that? I largely sat out this whole Afghanistan debacle because I don't kick those who are already on the floor, but political consequences of what we all observed in the last couple of months, from abandoning Bagram to a clusterfuck in Kabul with images which make Saigon imagery pale in comparison, did not even start to arrive in earnest, this all is still ahead of us and, boy, I can tell you--we are in for a ride which this country never experienced before. Remarkably, Biden's (or whoever makes decision for him) decision to escape Afghanistan was strategically correct, it was executed piss poor, but no matter the imagery from Kabul, any withdrawal, even more-or-less orderly one, would have been a declaration of a departure of the United States from its largely self-proclaimed status of hegemon. These are obvious conclusions anyone with IQ slightly higher than room temperature could have arrived to. But the main reason I started to write today, is the fact that I stumbled on this lecture on Mahan and I was perfectly OK with changing my perspective on Mahan from this professor of strategy in Naval War College until, in his Q&A, he gets to what he says on 1:19:00. 

And he gets into this trope about America being "still the biggest economic power in the world." I turned this off. This is the guy who teaches strategy, alright, but he still waxes "service industry" and the myth of Chinese "stealing" shit because "we are so open". Surely, Chinese do steal shit, as does anyone else--it is called an industrial espionage, but did this John Kuehn guy ever heard about House Resolution #4444, or NAFTA, or any other legislative of fiscal instrument developed for the transfer of the US real economy, especially manufacturing, abroad? I understand the United States lies, many countries do, but it is one thing to BS the world for the sake of PR, nowadays met with sarcastic humiliating smiles, but to continue to lie to oneself--when was the last time this "strategy" Doctor Kuehn opened economic statistics, ANY economic statistics? 

Now you see my point, lie and BSing permeates America's political discourse, media and academe. John Kuhn is a former naval aviator and I am damn sure that Boyd's fundamentals of OODA Loop are well known to him, but if this former naval officer convinces himself at the point of the first "O" (Observe) that some redundant, if not harmful, US "service industries", such as a financial one, count for anything towards China producing almost 15 times more steel than the United States (Russia produces almost the same amount as the US) or Chinese shipbuilding industry dwarfing that of the US. Or Chinese car-making, or pretty much anything, with the exception of commercial aerospace, but Russia is helping China on this one.  So, a good start for the United States in terms of beating this bias toward war is to stop lying to themselves. Especially so on the level of an elite officer graduate and post graduate school such as Naval War College. In the end, Kuhn himself can follow Mahan's wise advice and admit that the nation should have a naval force commensurate with its economic capability and there is a reason the United States is de facto a bankrupt nation--it continues to maintain a military force and, especially the Navy, which it simply cannot afford. Not even close. 

And then, of course, there is this teeny-weeny issue of revolution in military affairs and the fact that you cannot apply strategic naval wisdom of the 19th century, no matter how tantalizing this may feel, to technological and operational realities of the 21st one. You just cannot, because neither Mahan, not Corbett, nor Fischer could have foresaw fleets engagement envelopes measured in many thousand kilometers, space travel, hyper-sonic weapons, computers and ISR which would make Arleigh Burke and Chester Nimitz teary. Stop lying to yourself and face the facts that the United States failed as a military power, and it will be a real tragedy if it fails as a political entity, which either will slide toward a third-worlddom, a process which was underway for quite some time now, or will disintegrate completely. How about people of South Carolina vote this neocon SOB Lindsey Graham out of the office? I am sure people of South Carolina are smarter than Arizona voters who kept in office late war criminal and supporter of Islamic terrorists John McCain. Hey, one has to start somewhere, right? 

No comments:

Post a Comment