Thursday, October 08, 2009

War-Winnin' One O' One

The Colonel is a long way from, and well out of the loop of, the current discussions regarding the appropriate strategy for the continuing campaign in Afghanistan. All the better. The view from outside of the Beltway--more specifically, from the Marse Robert Memorial Rocker on the front porch of the Big House at Eegeebeegee--is not clouded by the politics of the moment nor the calculations of the cost in political capital.

While there are innumerable ways to lose a war, there is only one sure way to win one--total, unwavering commitment of resolve and resources until the enemy completely capitulates. Anything short of complete capitulation, both by the enemy's fielded forces and by the enemy populace is neither victory nor satisfactory; the consequences of short-sighted compromises in the name of immediate peace are most often the long-term lack thereof. Attempting to fight a war "on the cheap" will get you, at best, a cheap imitation of victory--witness our slow backing out of the saloon doors in Iraq. The options bandied about in Washington today for the way forward in the Af/Pak campaign sound to the Colonel like the latter two thirds of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The US commander on the ground in Kabul has what seems a sound strategy and a modest resource requirement to eke out a long-term draw against the extremists. His request for more forces has been met with dismay by the short-sighted peace-niks and pompous pin-heads advising the President, even though McCrystal's requested reinforcements would only forestall a Taliban resurgence--not defeat it.

It is reported that Vice President Biden is championing a strategy of attempting to win the war from the air. The airpower zealots who have obviously gotten his ear have been pushing the theory--still unproved after nearly a century of experimentation--that any political and/or military objective in war can be accomplished via just the right application of airpower alone. While the Colonel is an airpower enthusiast of the first order, it is abundantly apparent to anyone who has any dust on his boots, that airpower, the marvelous tool that it is, is still only "a" tool and not "the" tool in war-winning kit bag. Those who advocate limiting contact with the populace on the ground and relying on "surgical" strikes against the enemy would have us forever treating symptoms and not ever practicing the preventive medicine needed to control and defeat the contagion.

Were I Commander-in-Chief of these re-United States, this nation would be, briefly and brutally, AT WAR. Actually, "would have been" is more accurate. This war could have, and should have, been brought to a victorious conclusion nearly five years ago. And to all of those who are appalled at my continued suggestions that a brutal war should be waged against the nations even nominally supporting the Islamic extremists who declared war on us, I would point out that we firebombed and nuked German and Japanese civilian targets in the Second World War to bring about the complete capitulation required for victory in war..., and those two nations have been among our closest friends and allies since.

I'm just saying...
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