Re-Fighting the Last Peace

Just as Generals are chided for trying to re-fight the last war, today’s politicians are trying to re-fight the last peace.

From 1945 to today the Great Powers have been at peace. Although this seems a short time, it is not. It is the longest period of sustained peace between and among Great Powers since the Fall of Rome. It is longer than the average lifespan of human beings until the advances made by Western Civilization’s Industrial Revolution 200 years ago.

The post-war peace was made in the same way peace always is made: by winning a war. To make the peace in which America has prospered we won WW2, the bloodiest war in history. Peace was maintained initially by politicians who had fought or managed in that war, some of whom had fought in World War One, “The War to End All Wars.” This peace was managed by recognizing the foe, establishing a policy to contain that foe, and reducing living standards as necessary – at least in America – to defend America (and all of our allies at our expense), to ensure the peace was kept.

But to keep the peace, the peace first had to be made.

The pols who built the current world order knew that it would take force, either directly or indirectly through the credible threat thereof, to keep the peace. They had seen – some had fought in – WW2 (in Europe the result of the incomplete and conditional victory of WW1). These men and women understood the darkness that enemies could – and would – bring if not deterred or defeated: they liberated the survivors of the Holocaust and freed tens of millions in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. As the new communist darkness deprived people of life and liberty as it fell across Eastern Europe, these pols ensured it would not fall across our allies. They knew what war was, as did their enemies. They knew the cost of the peace they were managing; they had paid it. Even with – because of – this knowledge they were willing to build and maintain the policies and deterrent forces required to preclude more darkness from descending on mankind, the tools and forces necessary to fight a new war should that become necessary to create a new peace.

But mostly they had the willpower to use the tools they had built. And their enemies knew it.

These politicians are gone. A dilettante who fell off his PT boat, accomplished nothing in the Senate, and whose daddy bought him the presidency changed all of this. He setup an invasion of a sovereign nation by mercenaries because he lacked the guts to attack directly. Then he failed to support it. He failed in attempting to assassinate a foreign leader he disliked. He failed spectacularly – got his ass handed to him – in a debate with Soviet Premier Khrushchev. In the Cuban Missile Crisis he brought the world closer to Armageddon than any president before or since, nearly failing all of humanity. Failure after failure made his ego demand a success, so he took the world’s most powerful military and invaded the pipsqueak country of Vietnam. Just as in the Bay of Pigs, however, he lacked the guts to defeat the enemy he engaged. By fantasizing that everyone else knew America was so powerful no one would seriously fight us, he split the nation to prove his manhood… and proved he had no balls.

The echo of this failure still disrupts America. It will until the Baby Boomers are dead and gone. And beyond.

America’s politicians, however, still wander around in the JFK fantasy that we are so powerful no one will be serious about attacking us, our values, our rights or the allies that stood with us or joined us at the close of WW2, or, that when attacking, we need not be serious in doing so. They somehow see success in Kennedy’s serial failures.

And, as did JFK, they continue to fail.

America is left with Baby Boomer politicians who seem to believe against all human history that peace is the constant in human affairs and war the interloper, when in fact the opposite is true. They seem to believe that since we won, but never actually went to war during the Cold War (the only Great Power competition of their lifetimes), because that peace was kept through words, that words are all peace takes; that no enemy can stand against our super power as long as we “tell the right story,” engage in the correct “narrative,” and make sure our enemies have jobs. Because of historical ignorance we fight over what made the peace in which many of us were raised, and all of us prospered for so many decades.

American’s post-war peace was made exactly as it says: post-war.

Today’s politicians believe that because we defeated a USSR we never challenged on the field of battle, we need not challenge our enemies today, that no policy to defeat, rather than degrade and contain today’s enemy needs even to be discussed, and that any combat engaged in is an unserious disciplining of a child by sending it to its room without even a spanking: We are so big and strong that we cannot be opposed: Would a child raise its hand to a parent? Our unseriousness is shown by our Rules of Engagement and our half-a-century rejection of victory.

Have we “won” since 1945? Did we “win” in the Gulf War? Is 100 hours a “war”? No. It’s a punitive expedition, and we left when we’d penalized him enough. Did we crush a gnat with a trillion-dollar sledgehammer it took us months to lift? Or did we just hit its wings, leaving the bug to crawl around, spreading its infestation?

Like JFK, Bush 41 failed to kill the bug. Bush43 saw embarrassment in daddy’s failure, so swung the hammer again. He killed the bug, but created an infestation far worse.

As with Kennedy, the bugs won.

Today, pols like McCain and Graham and Santorum and others want to lift the hammer yet again, but they don’t want to kill the bug. They failed in Iraq and Afghanistan and their failure now consumes an area larger than the combined extents of NAZI Germany and Imperial Japan.

Islam extent

Our politicians seem content with failure as long as it gets them re-elected. The adult choice is to annihilate the enemy as did those who created the peace of our youth, not to send our youth into the infestation to get bitten and clawed and killed and maimed all the while refusing them victory. But that policy would harm, not help, their re-election by their peers and voters who also have failed to learn from history.

Our protected pampered politicians fail those our president says he supports with air strikes, but who fails America and Americans by launching less than 1% of the raids used in earlier conflicts to succeed, providing air cover only to himself, but not to those fighting. And dying.

ISIS sorties

 

 

 

 

Like JFK, our pols talk loudly and carry no balls. Our leaders fail our nation’s youth, our nation’s future, instead. They fail others, too, others who thought we were better than this, those fighting and dying against ISIS today with too few and outmoded weapons. Just as Bush41 failed the Marsh Arabs and Bush43, Bush 41, LBJ and JFK all failed the military they sent to fight – but not to win, America is failing the Kurds and Christians and not-islamist-enough muslims… by refusing to annihilate their enemies… our enemies, Liberty’s enemies. Humanity’s enemies.

These pols have convinced themselves that political power does not grow out of the barrel of a gun (even though the only reason America has political power is its victory in WW2), that peace does not need to be achieved before it can be maintained, and that the credible threat of force is not what history has proved it to be: the only way to keep peace.

Rather, these naïfs have decided that preparing for war is an invitation to war, that all that is required to achieve peace is a reset, a narrative, a job, the rewriting of past history to the fallacious nonsense peddled by our academics.

This is not an academic disagreement. This is a foundational disagreement over what America is and must remain: A nation of liberty… a nation for liberty.

The last peace was from 1945 to 2001. That peace was created by FDR and Churchill and Stalin and Truman, by Marshall and Patton and Eisenhower and MacArthur and Montgomery and Zhukov. That peace was created by annihilating our enemies.

We must stop refighting the last peace. We squandered that peace through ignorance, arrogance and inaction. That peace is over.

Pretending we can create a new peace without its historical precursor is costly ignorance. For those who die, for those family trees are pruned off without new branches, the ignorance is existential. Creating a new peace will require the same tools always required to create peace: The destruction of the enemies of peace. Peace is not organic, it must be made, and it is made through war.

Pretending that the policies of failure pursued by both parties since JFK can create a new peace is ignorant nonsense. It is costing us our nation, our youth, our allies. It is costing humanity.

America is refusing to create what only it can: A new peace.

Fighting the last peace is failing, for it was made through war and kept by ensuring our enemy knew we would conduct war. If we want to create a new peace, we must first conduct war. Our enemies both know this – and know we won’t do so.

Once a new peace has been created, if American ever decides to do so – which will never happen with our current leadership – we must ensure our enemies know what our Cold War enemies knew: That our new peace will be a peace we will conduct war – real war – to keep.

It is time to make a new peace rather than refighting a peace that is long gone.

Peace is the successor to war.

Our enemies are at war. Making a new peace will require defeating them.

Posted in Domestic, Foreign Policy and International, Politics, War and Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Would Obama Oppose a Nuclear Iran?

Many demand that Obama, the leader of Israel’s most important ally, be trusted with  Israel’s security and borders, and agree with Democrats that Netanyahu has no business speaking to America. In trusting Obama’s actions in this regard, these same people should review his trustworthiness in regard to the American “guarantee” of the Budapest Memorandum.

Protecting the sovereignty of the borders of other nations is not on Obama’s agenda. If you doubt this, explain his lack of action in any of the following: the loss of a basically stable Iraq, ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the destruction of Libya (and, by extension of his policy, Mali), the rejection of the missile shield for Poland and the Czech Republic, and complete inaction – even of serious words – on Ukraine.

In discussing an Iranian nuclear weapon, Americans (and Israelis, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, et al), must broaden their view, they must think strategically: Israel is a tactical sideshow to Obama. Israel is less important to Obama than was Czechoslovakia to Chamberlain. Israel is a burr under Obama’s saddle, something that is an annoyance to be dealt with if and when convenient to him – and nothing more.

Too many people, and it seems all pundits, refuse to think outside the box of traditional presidents, yet Obama was elected precisely because he was not a traditional president.

Look at the history of the loss of civil liberties in America in the face of serious national security threats: In the Civil War we lost Habeas, in WW2 we interned Japanese, and after 9-11 we passed the Patriot Act. A nuclear Iran would be an even greater national security threat resulting in a similar acceptance of even greater loss of liberties. Under today’s Democrat party, this loss will not be temporary.

According to a memo to Sen. Sessions from the Congressional Law Library, Obama has usurped powers not available to King George III at the time of our revolution, usurpation that, in an earlier time, resulted in the Glorious Revolution. What better way for Obama to usurp yet more power, act more lawlessly, than to present us with an existential threat?

We already know Obama has, in the testimony before Congress of Jonathan Turley, a liberal law professor and Obama supporter, “become the very danger our Constitution was designed to avoid” as he centralizes power, oversteps his Article 2 powers and fails his Article 2 responsibilities, ignores the Legislative Branch and rejects the Rule of Law.

It is clear from Obama’s actions that he sees an Iranian nuke not as a threat, but rather a means to an end. Any threat to any other nation is irrelevant to those ends. Israel is a gnat on his windshield, its possible or probable loss to an Iranian nuke immaterial in Obama’s drive toward “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” to his liking.

 

What other logical explanation exists for his antipathy to his own party’s desire to rein-in Iran, let alone his unilateral reduction of sanctions, and his aggressive and adversarial drive to prevent one of our most trusted allies from speaking to American legislators – to the American people – while simultaneously  working to overturn that leader by tampering with a foreign election?

Obama is playing a strategic game of realpolitik. He is fully ready, willing and able to sacrifice Israel to his ends. Politicians across the West are making a mistake by viewing Obama’s strategic actions through a tactical lens.

This refusal to see Obama as he is, is becoming an existential issue for Israel – and for America’s freedoms.

An Iranian nuclear weapon helps – not hinders – Obama’s goals.

Posted in Domestic, Foreign Policy and International, Politics, The Rest of the World, War and Terrorism | Leave a comment

Not Another One

Not another Bush, not another Clinton,

Not a lying Progressive killing our Constitution.

Not another RINO, not another SoCon,

How about instead, just obeying the written law, Son?

 

Not another Leftist, not another Statist,

Not another pol to watch our labor then take it.

Not another neocon, not another BigBiz,

How about instead, just obeying the Bill of Rights, Sis?

 

Not another one who ignores our Rights.

Not another one who only wants to fight.

Not another one thinks we work for them.

Not another one says ev’ryone else to blame.

 

How about one who cherishes our country?

Our work our kids our rights our liberty?

 

If that ain’t you, if you only want to “fix” us

Then go on, git out. We do just fine with just us.

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Hearts & Minds, Science & Terrorism

In an important and fascinating column, “Are We Becoming Morally Smarter? The connection between increasing IQs, decreasing violence and economic liberalism,” the writer pulls from several longitudinal studies of brain development to make an interesting point. It is a point that should inform policy discussion by all Western governments, but, given America’s role in the world, particularly should inform America’s policy and defense decisions.

The “Flynn effect,” and the studies on which it is based, essentially say that post-Enlightenment brains are wired differently than are pre-Enlightenment brains. That as we have moved from manipulating things in a pre-industrial world, to manipulating ideas and abstractions in a post-Industrial world, we have become intellectually smarter as we – in order to – have done so. “Our economy shifted from agriculture and industry to information, demanding more conceptual, abstract thinking at every level of life.” Measured IQ has increased substantially across developed nations in just the last century, so this effect is extraordinarily fast, as well.

“There is debate about whether the rise in IQ scores also corresponds to a rise in general intelligence, or only a rise in special skills related to taking IQ tests. Because children attend school longer now and have become much more familiar with the testing of school-related material, one might expect the greatest gains to occur on such school content-related tests as vocabulary, arithmetic or general information. Just the opposite is the case: abilities such as these have experienced relatively small gains and even occasional decreases over the years.” (Translation: The longer you’re in a traditional K-12 school, the lower your gains in IQ in what they teach, but that’s a different post…)

The point the author of “Are We Becoming Morally Smarter” is making is this: as we have become intellectually smarter, we have become morally smarter, as well, positing a “moral Flynn effect.”

“Since the Enlightenment, humans have demonstrated dramatic moral progress. Almost everyone in the Western world today enjoys rights to life, liberty, property, marriage, reproduction, voting, speech, worship, assembly, protest, autonomy, and the pursuit of happiness. Liberal democracies are now the dominant form of governance, systematically replacing the autocracies and theocracies of centuries past… Violence and crime are at historic lows, and we have expanded the moral sphere to include more people as members of the human community deserving rights and respect.” (Emphasis mine) (The columnist makes the point that what is being discussed is classical liberalism; this is the philosophical opposite of Progressivism.)

“Abstract reasoning and scientific thinking are the crucial cognitive skills at the foundation of all morality. Consider the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This requires you to change positions – to become the other person – and then to extrapolate what action X would feel like as the receiver instead of the doer (or as the victim instead of the perpetrator).”

“Even more intriguing is newer evidence that shows a positive correlation between literacy and moral reasoning.”

 

How does this column effect the War on Terror strategically, or the war on ISIS tactically?

What are the policy implications to Western leaders and societies?

 

The final paragraph begins: “Given that the moral Flynn effect is cultural not evolutionary…” (emphasis mine). Western mores have advanced because of the Industrial and Information revolutions, because of how the Enlightenment has affected our culture, because of the literacy and abstract reasoning these have both caused and required:

“Our improved ability to reason abstractly may also be the result of the spread of scientific thinking – reason, rationality, empiricism, skepticism. Thinking like a scientists means employing all our faculties to overcome our emotional, subjective, and instinctual brains to better understand the true nature of not only the physical and biological worlds, but the social world (politics and economics) and the moral world (abstracting how other people should be treated) as well.”

(This also argues against the nonsense of cultural relativity – at the foundational level: the wiring of our brains. Non-Western cultures, the gatherings of those with similar patterns of thought into separate cultures, are not relative to ours in any discernible or substantial way.)

The intellectual ability - the sheer brain wiring, “hardwiring” - of those in other cultures, particularly cultures with a failure in literacy (of which Islamic countries are among the most egregious), to grasp the Western notion of “Hearts & Minds,” does not exist.

Since the Enlightenment, Western brains have evolved to deal with abstract moral concepts. The brains of our opponent have not. (This also explains our opponents setting up HD-TVs for their societies to watch & cheer as entertainment the burning alive of other human beings.)

Abstract reasoning is the foundation for Western mores (which, contrary to our intelligentsia, are not “universal,” but exist only in the West; the desire of our mores to be universal is not the same as stating that they are universal, which is untrue), and is the entire foundation for “Hearts & Minds,” the anti-terror strategy now being pursued by Western leaders.

Hearts & Minds relies on persuading others – in the GWOT, the “others” are in pre-Enlightenment cultures that lack literacy in any meaningful use of the word (Koranic “literacy” is not “literacy” as understood in the West). The moral “Flynn effect” precludes the success of this strategy. Persuading our enemies requires the ability of their brains to process abstract moral reasoning in a way that their brains do not support.

The inability of our opponents to think in the moral terms we take for granted means that our chosen strategy cannot succeed; the brains of our opponents are not wired in a way allowing a persuasive strategy to succeed.

We are dealing with a pre-modern, pre-Enlightenment, pre-Industrial, pre-Information Age opponent. Science shows that his brain cannot process the moral reasoning required to accept our way of life, our values, our rights & liberties.

No amount of Hearts & Minds can work. (Neither can the infantile notion today being promulgated by America’s State Department that the clash with ISIS is about jobs.)

Because our strategy cannot work, we are wasting money, lives and time in a fruitless struggle to advance the actual brain wiring of our opponents a thousand years… on the battlefield.

Simply put, our current strategy in dealing with our enemies is anti-scientific, anti-rational and anti-empirical.

In short, America’s current warfighting strategy is absurd.

Because this strategy cannot win, only two choices remain if we desire to keep our freedoms and not be killed by those demanding the eradication of those freedoms by the implementation of sharia:

  1. Completely isolating the terrorist societies – the societies and cultures demanding sharia – from the modern world and introducing Enlightenment concepts to forcibly drag them into the modern world – which still will require the development of the necessary literacy, and the rational thought of the Enlightenment to re-wire their brains, the work of tens of generations, at least, or,
  2. Killing them.

Given current brain research and our understanding of the advances in cognitive function and morality based on the post-Enlightenment world in which we – and not they – live, there is no third alternative.

The “Party of Science” needs to accept the science and formulate a strategy that can either isolate completely, or utterly defeat, the enemy to the point they lack the physical capacity to attack us.

Not to do so is to advance an anti-science agenda in the defense of our people, our freedoms and our liberty.

Posted in Domestic, Foreign Policy and International, Politics, War and Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It is Time to Get Serious about ISIS

I’m going to make a strong point and a controversial one. Then I am going to make another.

Had the King of Jordan two weeks ago possessed a tactical nuclear weapon (not the strategic weapons of Hollywood’s fantasists) he would have used it on ISIS in the Levant. And this war would be over. Had President Sisi of Egypt had a nuke this week he would have used it on ISIS in Libya. And that barbarity would be over.

(No, I’m not insane. Yes, I discuss that below.)

The questions is, is this a necessarily bad thing?

The entire purpose of war is to bend the will of an opponent. If not to your will, then at least to stop whatever it is that one’s opponent is willing to be done, and that you feel is worth both killing and dying to stop.

In turn, this means that the ability your opponent has to wreak havoc must be destroyed. “Hearts & Minds,” is a nonsensical kindergarten ideal that in the real world has never worked – but has cost America trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. It’s also cost our enemies millions of lives before America tired of the battle and left the field, thereby ensuring all lives lost were in vain (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan).

The fewer lives lost in bending the will of one’s opponent, the better. Since war involves the loss of life (or we wouldn’t call it ‘war’, we’d call it ‘diplomacy’), one should strive to lose fewer lives than does one’s opponent, which is called “victory,” the absence of pursuit of which in any adult (i.e. non-Baby Boomer) society would preclude war.

Just as using the least amount of gasoline in traveling the most possible miles, productivity counts. Because productivity in wars saves human lives, the use of advanced technology and more productive weapons should be highly sought-after by any warring state.

One not only should strive to lose as few of one’s own lives as possible, one should strive to kill as few of the enemy as necessary to achieve the goal of altering his behavior, and to ensure a post-war peace. The latter may require killing many more of the enemy than the former, which was why Eisenhower pursued his “Broad Front” strategy rather than just race to Berlin as Patton wanted. Such a “Broad Front” would have been a far better strategy in reducing Iraq than the race to Baghdad, and for the same reasons.

Nuclear weapons – far and away – are the most productive of weapons. Contrary to popular feeling and conventional wisdom – and to Dr. Strangelovian fantasies – these weapons save lives. They always have and always will.

In 1945, President Truman could have accepted the Navy’s estimate of Japanese dead in an invasion (9M), or the Army’s (5M), added that to the estimate of American KIA (1M), and pulled the trigger on an invasion estimated by men who had been fighting this enemy for 3-1/2 years that would cost between 6M and 10M human lives, and last until 1949, the then-current planning estimate.

Instead, Truman dropped two of what would today be considered tactical nukes (15-21KT), and killed an estimated 400,000 Japanese (the immediate estimate + estimated radiation victims over the next four months), and zero (0) Americans.

Why was this not a good decision? Why was the decision to employ the most productive of weapons against a national enemy, “bad”?

The world’s most technologically advanced nation, using the world’s most technologically advanced weapons, put an end to a long, brutal, expensive war quickly, with fewer lives lost than any alternative.

(Some fantasize a “demonstration” detonation, say on a small uninhabited island, would’ve done the trick at no loss of life. Hiroshima was a heckuva “demonstration.” It didn’t cause Japan to surrender.)

 

At this point in discussion of using nuclear weapons people question my sanity. Rather than go with my opinion, the following is from Quartered Safe Out Here, an excellent battlefield memoir of the China-Burma-India theater of WW2 by a British Private Soldier who became best-selling author, George MacDonald Fraser.

Fraser published his memoir in 1992, decades removed from the field of battle. In the final chapter he described his feelings regarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki, introducing the topic via a 1990s bar discussion with one his own age who did not fight in the war. As Fraser’s words are the best I have found regarding using those weapons by the men who fought that enemy and who may have died in their absence, I quote him at length. (Full disclosure: my dad fought in the Pacific Theater of WW2.)

The dropping of the bombs was a hideous thing, and I do not wonder that some of those who bore a part in it have been haunted by it all their lives. If it was not barbaric, the word has no meaning. …

And so it was not only their lives, as I pointed out to my antibomb disputant. To reduce it to a selfish, personal level… if the bombs had been withheld, and the war had continued on conventional lines, then even if I’d failed my [promotion] board and gone with the battalion into Malaya, the odds that I’d have survived: 4 to 1 actuarially speaking, on the section’s [squad’s] Burma fatalities. But I might have been that one, in which case my three children and six grandchildren would never have been born. And that, I’m afraid, is where all discussion of pros and cons evaporates and becomes meaningless, because for those nine lives I would pull the plug on the whole Japanese nation and never even blink. And so, I dare suggest, would you. And if you wouldn’t, you may be nearer to the divine than I am but you sure as hell aren’t fit to be parents or grandparents.

 Since 1945, and for the first time in history, a nation has rejected the use of its most advanced weaponry to defend itself and its own citizens. This is among the larger moral failures ever undertaken by a Great Power. At the least it ranks with Stalin’s Purges (30M), Mao’s Great Society (80M) and Hitler’s Holocaust (12M). Millions have died – unnecessarily – because of the refusal of American presidents to use America’s most productive weapons; their willingness, instead, to trade the lives of their citizens for the ego of leaders who want to be seen as strong war presidents, but who refuse to destroy our enemies and win our wars. (A nation’s enemy is the opposing nation. Armies are just policy tools. Killing an army does not win a war: I give you Iraq today.)

Americans killed over 2M Koreans and 54K Americans in that “limited war.” Had America chosen a tactical nuke strike on Pyongyang in 1950, would two-plus million lives have been lost?

No.

Would the Korean War have concluded to the advantage of America, all of Korea, a threatened Japan?

Yes.

Americans killed about 2M Vietnamese and 58K Americans in that “limited war.” Had America chosen a tactical nuke strike on Hanoi in 1964 (the same time our government was lying to us about the Tonkin Gulf), would two-plus million lives have been destroyed?

No.

Would the War in Vietnam have concluded to the advantage of America and all of Vietnam?

Yes.

In the decades since Korea and Vietnam, how many tax dollars from how many nations have been spent dealing with the military and civil repercussions from not having won those wars? How much higher would be regional living standards (and America’s) had trillions not been spent containing those we refused to defeat? That, too, is a cost of not using our most advanced weaponry.

In Vietnam and Korea alone, over 4M human beings were killed who did not have to be killed. Our conceit that not using our most powerful weapons somehow was more “humane” and “moral” than ending these wars quickly – and at lower human and economic cost – through one or two tactical strikes with smaller, nuclear weapons than those used on Japan, cost those millions of people their lives. And caused untold misery and disruption for, literally, decades.

North Koreans are eating grass and starving to death because America refused to use nukes and win the war.

Nor did it ensure a more just and prosperous peace. Who was freer, wealthier, better-educated and a better ally 20 years later? Japan in 1965… or Pyongyang in 1973, or Hanoi in 1995? Does anyone believe Afghanistan or Iraq will be free economic, political and military allies in 2035, 20 years after we leave?

America chased into the Tora Bora mountains thousands of the same men who struck us on 9/11 – and, it seems, all of their leadership. Had America chosen a tactical nuke strike on Tora Bora, would we still – 14 years, thousands of American lives, and tens of thousands of enemy lives later – be engaged in spending lives and money in Afghanistan?

No.

Weapons don’t win wars. Willpower wins wars.

A president who does not want to win a war he fights (and this applies both to Bush43 and Obama, just as it applied to both Truman in Korea and LBJ in Vietnam), has no business sending men to kill and to die.

A president choosing to have the men he commands killed mercilessly on a battlefield by an enemy he can annihilate with no Americans killed, wounded or maimed, has no business leading a nation.

We all heard or read what the King of Jordan said after the barbaric burning alive of his pilot: “We are waging this war to protect our faith, our values and human principles and our war for their sake will be relentless and will hit them in their own ground.”

This is, of course, how war is supposed to be fought: with a seriousness of purpose and a goal of victory. And with the most productive weapons in one’s arsenal – otherwise you are saying that the needs of your ego outweigh the lives of those you send to die when an alternative exists

ISIS has, by most reports, about 30,000 fighters. The normal ratio of attackers required to overcome a placed defense is 5:1. To defeat ISIS conventionally Jordan would need about 150,000 troops, plus food, water, transport, weapons, ammunition, bombs and fuel to replace what is expended on the battlefield.

Jordan has about 110,000 active duty troops and 60,000 reserves. They spend about 6.7% of their GDP on their military, reportedly one of the best in the region.

ISIS is a barbaric, brutal, lawless enemy. Why would – why should – a small nation such as Jordan, with limited human and monetary resources, use an inordinate amount of those resources, lose a large number of its men in “waging this war… relentless[ly]” when one or two tactical nuclear weapons would allow “relentless” war… on the enemy alone?

Not to choose the most productive weapons is to choose the immorality of sending men to die when alternatives exist.

How many Yazidi did ISIS slaughter – for there is no other word?

Perhaps as many as 40,000 Yazidi took refuge on Sinjar Mountain, Ninawa, Iraq, surrounded by ISIS. How many did ISIS slaughter? No one knows, but hundreds a day were reported for a time. Women, children, men, shot in the head. Throats slit.

What is the geography of Sinjar?

Sinjar Mountain rises 1,480 meters above the surrounding plains, plains in which ISIS encamped for days, first waiting, and then slaughtering thousands of human beings.

What did America do? Almost nothing of consequence to ISIS, or of value to the Yazidid:

“Central Command says the nine airstrikes conducted so far had destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle.”

We “damaged or destroyed” 14 vehicles. Nine airstrikes. 9.

It would be embarrassing if it weren’t so tragic.

What would an adult alternative have been?

The closest towns or villages to Sinjar Mountain are ten kilometers away. Ten kilometers. The bottom of the mountain on which the Yazidi sheltered is over 2km away horizontally at its nearest distance from the village of Kursi and the relatively flat areas at the top of the mountain on which the Yazidi were sheltering.

One of American’s current tactical nuclear weapons, the W80, has an adjustable yield as low at 5KT, less than one third that of the Hiroshima weapon (15.2KT).

What is the lethal blast radius for a 5KT warhead detonated at the optimum altitude for a soft target such as the ISIS encampments? We look here and discover the following:

  • Radius for 3rd degree burns: 1.3 kilometers
  • Air blast radius (widespread destruction): 1.3 kilometers
  • Air blast radius (near-total fatalities): 476 meters
  • Fireball radius: 40-80 meters.

 

Striking an enemy encamped 2 km away, 1400 meters lower and behind the shielding mountain, with a weapon having a blast radius of 500-1300 meters, would have annihilated the enemy and not harmed the Yazidi.

And it need not have been an airburst. A surface burst would reduce each of these distances, further protecting the Yazidi.

A tactical strike by an available weapon, centered on the ISIS encampments at the bottom of the mountain, would have done three things:

  1. Annihilated the ISIS encampment
  2. Saved the Yazidi
  3. Made a statement regarding serious of purpose that cannot be made any other way.

It is absurd that Jordan should have to lose men and money it can replace only in a generation, to destroy a barbaric foe that must be killed… if they had an alternative.

 

That is my second strong and controversial point: Jordan should have that alternative.

Americans value the 2nd Amendment for the simple reason that it keeps the peace. Philosophically, no difference exists between armed nations. If only a few have nuclear weapons, and those few refuse to use them, they are, as the title of a book on strategy by Tom Nichols points out, of No Use.

But that is talking about strategic weapons, city killers. The weapons that, through MAD, kept the peace in the Cold War. The kind Hollywood shows us in their fantasies.

Tactical nuclear weapons can – and should – be useful. Grouping strategic and tactical nuclear weapons is naïve, and lethal to peace.

I have noted before that the philosophy, proved via implementation, that more weapons among the peaceful reduces crime by the non-peaceful. This is true in every city and state in America, one of the very few nations in which the government trusts the people not only with a vote – but also with a weapon.

Why, then, should this philosophy not inform the proliferation debate?

Had Ukraine not foolishly given-up its nukes to a Russian and American guarantee of border sovereignty, would Putin be invading? No. Why? Putin’s opponent would be armed with weapons Putin respects.

If Shia Iran had a nuke it is more than likely that Sunni Saudi Arabia or Sunni Pakistan, would have a nuke. If MAD didn’t work, then killing Iran would.

In American states in which the 2nd Amendment is not infringed, oftentimes when the bad guy pulls a gun, a good guy pulls a gun and the show of force – alone – causes the bad guy to think twice. No one is shot. Violence does not occur. If, on the other hand, the bad guy shoots in an area with good guys with guns, the good guys shoot back, stopping the bad guy and usually preventing any recidivism: He’s dead.

In a 2nd-Amendment world, if Iran, like a gangbanger in the hood in Houston, tried to use force, they’d be killed by someone else – Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel – who used force back.

If Iran actually launched a nuclear attack in a 2nd-Amendment world, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other regional powers would kill it and there would be no recidivism, for Iran – the government and any capacity to launch again – would be dead.

Again: is this a necessarily bad thing?

In non-2nd-Amendment world – what we have today other than between the few nuclear powers – Iran will nuke and the UN will complain, and tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, will still be dead.

Rather than McCain and other senility-challenged locked-in-WW2-fantasists proclaiming no one should have a nuke (except us), more nukes would ensure more peace – just as during the Cold War, and just as in every 2nd Amendment city and state in America.

At the very least, those who have nuclear weapons, who have the ability to use them to end barbarity and save lives, should have the historical awareness to see their value – and the brains to use them.

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