The U.S. is visibly being defeated by politically active Islam, a disparate group including both savage primitives and democratic reformers, all driven together by the hammer blows of mindless American military force. Our defeat is greatly the responsibility of politicians in uniform.
With Iran the winner of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the U.S. slowly retreating from Afghanistan, a little reflection suggests that in a decade, the U.S. position from the Persian Gulf to the border of India is likely to be dismal, particularly in the context of the huge level of effort Washington has made over the last 15 years to enhance its influence in that huge region. Civilians–greedy war profiteers and hubris-infected politicians hoping to become Emperor–may have been primarily to blame, but politicians in uniform also deserve much of the blame. Never ask a general if he needs more troops…especially if the problem he faces is discrimination, crime, the desire of a population for freedom, or any other cultural/social/economic issue.
One such politician in uniform has just come out with a book; another surely will, once he calls his girlfriends to attention. Generals such as these deserve much of the blame for America’s appalling, on-going defeat by politically active Islam from Somalia to Afghanistan. Yes, defeat: the U.S. did not gain security, did not gain empire, did not gain glory, did not gain power. It got embarrassed and retreated; left behind untold anger that, one can predict with as much certainty as one can predict anything in global affairs, will generate nasty blowback in the years to come; transformed perhaps 100,000 of its own citizens into permanent casualties with all manner of horrifying head and back injuries; and trashed its own economy.
For the past 15 years as one short-sighted politician with his pet general in tow after another pursued empire and glory by relying on the big U.S. military hammer to solve all problems. As should be pretty obvious to everyone by now, the military hammer was appropriate for none of our problems and exacerbated all of them. However, it did build some great careers for a while and permanently enriched a handful of corporate leaders while impoverishing the country. Americans need to wake up to the enormous harm that self-promoters– in uniform and out–are doing to our national security.
Our glorious uniformed politicians missed the boat completely: they never understood the degree to which they and their military solutions were irrelevant to the problem of finding a way to live with politically active Islam. Whatever the way to bring security, liberty, and decent governance to Islamic societies plagued by violent extremists, the American way of war is not that way: that is an approach that only makes the Islamic extremists more extreme and more appealing, leaving in its wake chaos that will poison the world for the rest of our lives.
Check from the library the books by our uniformed politicians if you want but don’t buy them: they do not deserve to profit any further from the misguided wars they so blindly fought.