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was there ever a time that the US didn't think about war?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Jonathan View Post


    The point is that unlike Russia and Iran, I don't see the US as having any national interests that we're defending in Syria or Iraq. These are precisely the types of conflicts I believe we only got involved in because we have the capabilities AND the politicians either itching to test those capabilities or wanting to advance personal (rather than national) interests.

    If it doesn't concern defending national interests which are being threatened by military force, we shouldn't be involved with military force.
    Jonathan,

    I know you are a smart guy from reading your posts a long time, and you are 43 yrs old, almost as old as our daughter, so you are old enough to have lots of experience. But plz consider the JFK 1961 inaugural speech:

    Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

    We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

    But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course--both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.
    ------President John F. Kennedy (democrat)


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    • #32
      Originally posted by Jonathan View Post
      Nah, there's resistance. You got Ron Paul, for example, but nobody takes them seriously at the political level. Lots of people talk about the problem, but nobody knows how to turn it.

      The machine is too damn big at this point. It's a whole hell of a lot more complicated then just "cutting the defense budget." If any change is to be expected it would have to be forced and as part of a massive and comprehensive overhaul of the entire national defense strategy. You're talking about thousands of good people losing their jobs, etc.

      There would have to be something that would prompt this forceful change. My guess is it's impossible to expect meaningful change as long as we can borrow as much as we damn well please (which itself is a massive machine). Since I don't expect that to change any time soon, nothing's going to change.
      Correct, but I suspect that the change will be coming sooner rather than later. With countries starting to find ways around the Petro Dollar, such as China's Silk Road Initiative, the Russia/China trade deals, and the Russia/Indonesia barter for SU fighters deal, soon the ability to borrow endless amounts of money with impunity will end. Once that occurs, we will no longer be able to fund the massive military that we have.

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      • #33
        Bay of Pigs: 1961
        Dominican Republic: 1965
        Vietnam: 1965
        Grenada: 1983
        Panama: 1989
        Gulf war 1: 1990
        Somalia: 1992
        Haiti: 1994
        Bosnia: 1994
        Kosovo: 1998
        Afghanistan: 80's and the one on terror
        Gulf War 2: 2003
        Arab Spring: 2011

        Planned intervention:
        NoKor
        Venezuela
        Philippines

        Some of those have valid reasons like GW1, others bordering on comedy.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Junglejim View Post
          Bay of Pigs: 1961
          Dominican Republic: 1965
          Vietnam: 1965
          Grenada: 1983
          Panama: 1989
          Gulf war 1: 1990
          Somalia: 1992
          Haiti: 1994
          Bosnia: 1994
          Kosovo: 1998
          Afghanistan: 80's and the one on terror
          Gulf War 2: 2003
          Arab Spring: 2011

          Planned intervention:
          NoKor
          Venezuela
          Philippines

          Some of those have valid reasons like GW1, others bordering on comedy.
          You listed 13 conflicts the US has been involved in since 1961. Wiki list 21 for Russia in the same time frame.

          Boris Chertok wrote in his book Rockets and People that Russian rockets exploded on the launch pad just as much as American rockets did in the early space race but the American rockets did it in front of the whole world while Russian rockets were launched in secret. Publicity is the problem. American wars are not more numerous they just get more publicity.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post

            You listed 13 conflicts the US has been involved in since 1961. Wiki list 21 for Russia in the same time frame.

            Boris Chertok wrote in his book Rockets and People that Russian rockets exploded on the launch pad just as much as American rockets did in the early space race but the American rockets did it in front of the whole world while Russian rockets were launched in secret. Publicity is the problem. American wars are not more numerous they just get more publicity.
            It's not about the number of wars. It's not even about whose hands are the least bloody. Frankly, most of those conflicts listed had a defined national security interest. For example, countering the Soviets.

            The question now is why the fuck are we engaged in a number of the most recent conflicts? What interests are we trying to defend there? Hell, what benefit did we get out of being involved. You keep effectively saying that everybody else does it, and I keep pointing out that I don't see the equivalence.

            Again, WHY the hell are we in Syria, as an example? What interests there are we actually trying to defend? I get the interests the Ruskis are trying to defend there. I know what interests Turkey is trying to defend there. Same with Iran. I haven't a fucking clue why we chose to get involved and what we are trying to "defend" there. "Freedom?" Seriously. It's a simple question.

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            • #36
              I think that once you become "top dog", even a country which wants to maintain a policy of staying out of other countries affairs finds it very difficult to do so. In fact, it appears to be darn well impossible... perhaps unrealistic. How much did the US stay out of other countries' affairs, even early on in its existence. And it if officially did not fight in other countries, was that merely because its mother country was at its own apex of power and the US was able to hid in that country's skirts for a while....

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              • #37
                Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post

                You listed 13 conflicts the US has been involved in since 1961. Wiki list 21 for Russia in the same time frame.

                Boris Chertok wrote in his book Rockets and People that Russian rockets exploded on the launch pad just as much as American rockets did in the early space race but the American rockets did it in front of the whole world while Russian rockets were launched in secret. Publicity is the problem. American wars are not more numerous they just get more publicity.
                Yes, but how many are really Russian and how many are Soviet? I count 3 on the Russians. I am differentiating because the other one collapsed, while the US remained more or less the same.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
                  I think that once you become "top dog", even a country which wants to maintain a policy of staying out of other countries affairs finds it very difficult to do so. In fact, it appears to be darn well impossible... perhaps unrealistic. How much did the US stay out of other countries' affairs, even early on in its existence. And it if officially did not fight in other countries, was that merely because its mother country was at its own apex of power and the US was able to hid in that country's skirts for a while....
                  I recommend reading World Order by Kissinger, which does a great job tracking the history of US (and other countries') evolution of foreign affairs and outlook on international relations.

                  I believe we still unfortunately have remnants of Manifest Destiny (on a global scale), which was obviously reinforced during the Cold War. I feel this is permanently embedded in many politicians' skulls. The idea that we are the sole Shining City on a Hill and have a moral imperative to export and worse, enforce, our values throughout the world. It's unfortunate, cringeworthy, and incredibly stupid, but it does seem to be the reality.

                  Not that I don't believe the US is a great country with a very unique history and has many awesome attributes, many of them even unique to the US of A. I just believe we should keep on being awesome and let the others do whatever the hell they please. If it doesn't threaten our interests, we should simply not give a shit. Some middle eastern country going down the shitter? Not our problem. Eastern Europeans paranoid of Russia? Figure it out yourself. Or get annexed or whatever. Don't care.

                  Add to that politicians itching to test out new toys and advance their own interests and you have a bunch of needless conflicts.

                  Originally posted by commanding View Post
                  Jonathan,

                  I know you are a smart guy from reading your posts a long time, and you are 43 yrs old, almost as old as our daughter, so you are old enough to have lots of experience. But plz consider the JFK 1961 inaugural speech:

                  ------President John F. Kennedy (democrat)

                  I'm actually over a decade younger than that. If that's what my profile says, it's lying.

                  I do like that quote from Kennedy.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Jonathan View Post
                    Not that I don't believe the US is a great country with a very unique history and has many awesome attributes, many of them even unique to the US of A. I just believe we should keep on being awesome and let the others do whatever the hell they please. If it doesn't threaten our interests, we should simply not give a shit.
                    First you sound isolationist and then "If it doesn't threaten our interests, we should simply not give a shit." Just about everything is our interest in one way or another because the world is more connected than its ever been. Can our "interests" include economics? resources? subtle power plays?

                    Some middle eastern country going down the shitter? Not our problem.
                    Middle eastern going down the "shitter" -> changes in energy market -> changes in oil price -> changes in general economics -> our interests


                    Eastern Europeans paranoid of Russia? Figure it out yourself. Or get annexed or whatever. Don't care.
                    Not assisting those countries demonstrates a lack of willingness on our part to support our allies -> general power shift -> market shift -> changes in economics -> our interests

                    And I could go on and on forever. It's all connected even if it's just perception.

                    I want us to be powerful and I want us to reign supreme. I don't want a power on this planet, be it minor or major, to make a move without thinking of what we'll do. That only works if they believe that we might indeed do something. We can't be that thing, that power, by hiding behind our shores.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by commanding View Post
                      was there ever a time that the US didn't think about war?

                      The 1930's.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jetsetter View Post

                        First you sound isolationist and then "If it doesn't threaten our interests, we should simply not give a shit." Just about everything is our interest in one way or another because the world is more connected than its ever been. Can our "interests" include economics? resources? subtle power plays?



                        Middle eastern going down the "shitter" -> changes in energy market -> changes in oil price -> changes in general economics -> our interests



                        Not assisting those countries demonstrates a lack of willingness on our part to support our allies -> general power shift -> market shift -> changes in economics -> our interests

                        And I could go on and on forever. It's all connected even if it's just perception.

                        I want us to be powerful and I want us to reign supreme. I don't want a power on this planet, be it minor or major, to make a move without thinking of what we'll do. That only works if they believe that we might indeed do something. We can't be that thing, that power, by hiding behind our shores.
                        I'm sure you can go on forever, but we both know that's a bunch of hooeye.

                        The reality is we both know that nobody has even tried making that argument -- that we should be involved militarily somewhere because the price of some good produced by that country could change if we don't and that could ultimately affect our economy indirectly. Attempting to equate that to a country defending its naval base is silly.

                        I've asked numerous times on this thread and I'm happy to hear your take. What national interests were we defending by getting involved in Iraq?
                        Last edited by Jonathan; 13-08-2017, 12:16 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Jonathan View Post

                          I'm sure you can go on forever, but we both know that's a bunch of hooeye.

                          The reality is we both know that nobody has even tried making that argument -- that we should be involved militarily somewhere because the price of some good produced by that country could change if we don't and that could ultimately affect our economy indirectly. Attempting to equate that to a country defending its naval base is silly.

                          I've asked numerous times on this thread and I'm happy to hear your take. What national interests were we defending by getting involved in Iraq?
                          Read up on Wilsonianism and Political Realism (ala Kissinger)

                          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilsonianism


                          realism (international relations) wiki

                          The ideas behind George F. Kennan's work as a diplomat and diplomatic historian remain relevant to the debate over American foreign policy, which since the 19th century has been characterized by a shift from the Founding Fathers' realist school to the idealistic or Wilsonian school of international relations. In the realist tradition, security is based on the principle of a balance of power and the reliance on morality as the sole determining factor in statecraft is considered impractical. According to the Wilsonian approach, on the other hand, the spread of democracy abroad as a foreign policy is key and morals are universally valid. During the Presidency of Bill Clinton, American diplomacy reflected the Wilsonian school to such a degree that those in favor of the realist approach likened Clinton's policies to social work. According to Kennan, whose concept of American diplomacy was based on the realist approach, such moralism without regard to the realities of power and the national interest is self-defeating and will lead to the erosion of power, to America's detriment.[5]
                          Realists often hold that statesmen tend towards realism whereas realism is deeply unpopular among the public.[6] When statesmen take actions that divert from realist policies, academic realists often argue that this is due to distortions that stem from domestic politics.[7] However, some research suggests that realist policies are actually popular among the public whereas elites are more beholden to liberal ideas
                          Last edited by commanding; 13-08-2017, 01:53 AM. Reason: fix link

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by thanamestolga View Post

                            It is one thing for the military of a nation to always plan for war. It is another for the politicians of a nation to always plan for war. One is a necessity, the other an interest.
                            Preparation for war is both a political and military necessity. And if we're really talking about actively trying to start a war, that's what both China and NK have been doing for the last 20 years non-stop. Even as we speak, China has troops in India.

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                            • #44
                              Well lets hear from the Army Chief of Staff Mark Milney on Cspan as he rattles off, for better or worse, a rather a succinct explanation on the US military's size and task: Agree or disagree...this is what the JCS thinks it does.
                              Note: The whole talk is interesting but I started it at 16:30
                              https://youtu.be/TAZuhteZnJQ?t=994

                              BTW he also mentions transgenders, Women in the infantry, etc.
                              Last edited by Los789; 13-08-2017, 05:36 AM.

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                              • #45
                                Interesting POV the General has, thinking that without the US reigning Supreme the World would be in chaos. Somehow the Global system set up for peace is under stress by small insignificant terrorists and soldiers from starving countries.

                                So the Us Armed Forces see's itself as the global police force... basically what the black and UN helos are that some Americans fear.

                                War is scene as a political tool... now granted the budget of the US Armed Forces is Billions larger than the next 10 countries, can it be said that given the assets spent on this tool there is a feel that it should be used often?

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