Our military leaders are no Pattons

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Yesterday, Lee Presser made a great point in this guest post, The Only Rule of Engagement Will Be Victory. As one commenter noted:

This is the best analysis of the war on terror that I have read. If we do not fight to win, we shouldn’t be in the fight. Winning the war on terror starts with 1) admitting there is a war on terror, 2) being willing to confront the enemy with force, 3) fighting to win the war rather than appease the enemy, and 4) do whatever it takes to protect Americans and their homeland.

Lee is a former Navy officer, so he knows a bit about rules of engagement and warfare. Judging by news out of Washington, Lee knows far more about warfare than the people running our anti-ISIS operations at the Pentagon and White House.

You may have heard that we’ve blown up a couple hundred ISIS oil tanker-trucks recently. You probably didn’t hear that we give ISIS a 45-minute warning before we blow up the trucks. The warning is to allow the drivers to get out of the way so they don’t get hurt.

I shit you not. Straight from the colonel’s mouth:

In Al-Bukamal, we destroyed 116 tanker trucks, which we believe will reduce ISIL’s ability to transport its stolen oil products.

This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike. We did a show of force, by — we had aircraft essentially buzz the trucks at low altitude.

So, I do have copy of the leaflet, and I have got some videos, so why don’t you pull the leaflet up. Let me take a look at it so I can talk about it.

As you can see, it’s a fairly simple leaflet, it says, “Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them.” A very simple message.

And then, also, “Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.”

And so, these are the leaflets that we dropped — about 45 minutes before the airstrikes actually began. Again, we combine these leaflet drops with very low altitude passes of some of our attack aviation, which sends a very powerful message.

Apparently we’re worried that the people driving trucks for ISIS are just local good-ol’-boys never meanin’ no harm, as opposed to card-carrying ISIS members. We wouldn’t want to accidentally kill a Teamster-in-Syria who’s simply trying to earn a living wage.

So instead of killing the enemy, we send “a very powerful message.” A stern talking-to. “Why, if ISIS doesn’t stop slaughtering civilians by the scores, I’m going to give them a piece of my mind!”

As General Patton told the men of the 3rd Army:

We’re not holding anything! Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold on to him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass; we’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose

Which brings me to my long-ago analysis of the second Iraq war. From 2004:

While we may have fought until there was no “official” Iraqi government to surrender, we did not fight until the enemy was broken. Obviously. Instead, we paused to allow him to regroup, rearm, rebuild communications infrastructure, and kill Americans by the score.

In modern warfare, we get a small window in which to destroy the enemy. Not just the enemy’s war-making capacity, but his will to fight. That window on ISIS open right now, but it won’t be open for long.

To be judged successful by future generations, the victor in war must implant a mortal fear of war in the vanquished–a fear of war that spans generations. For four generations, Japan and Germany avoided anything that looked like war. They also respected the Allies who vanquished them in World War II.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria, the US and its allies stopped short of winning. We settled for breaking stuff and pissing people off, and that strategy is like making an appointment to fight again.

If you want to beat the fight out of an enemy, you don’t warn him 45 minutes in advance of your attack.

Our leaders are the problem.

The Only Rule of Engagement Will Be Victory

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Guest Post by Lee Presser

When FDR sent the troops to fight World War 2, he sent them to win.  Since 1945, the political class has not given America’s military that clear instruction when being sent to war.  Political considerations have modified the goal of winning.  In Korea, it was fight but do not anger the Chinese.  In Viet Nam, it was fight but do not attack the enemy if they are standing on the other side of line drawn on a map.

By the time we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the Rules of Engagement were so restrictive, winning was not an option.  The Political Class sent our young men and women to be maimed and killed, to be afflicted with psychological trauma, but not with the one instruction which would have made the sacrifice worth the effort; Win. 

By the start of the 2016 Presidential election cycle, polls reported that Americans did not want to send more sons and daughters to fight a ground war in the Middle East.  Can you blame them?  In the past mothers and fathers had the internal satisfaction of knowing their child was doing his duty and protecting the family from an enemy.  Grief stricken families proudly displayed Gold Star flags. 

In this post 911 world, sacrifice is questioned.  Some see the fallen and the maimed as patsies rather than as patriots.  Families feel regret without the satisfaction that comes with victory. 

Paris changed people’s minds.  The American public sees the danger of allowing our undefeated enemy to continue fighting while we sit dumbly awaiting his arrival at our local mall, coffee shop, or music venue.  Americans are ready to act decisively but fear the political class is not. 

It is time for the American military to be allowed to take the gloves off.  We must fight to defeat the enemy.  A strategy which starts with words ‘degrade an enemy’s capability’ is actually a formula for degrading the fighting will of Americans.  The goal of war is to break the enemy’s will to fight, forcing him to the table for a negotiated peace.  If they will not give up, they all must be destroyed.  The Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Iwo Jima are but three examples of destroying an enemy who failed to surrender to the American military. 

When we go back to the Middle East, it must be with overwhelming military force.  The only rule of engagement will be victory.  It is time America puts the fear of God in those barbarian cowards who hide among the civilian population and expect that will shield them and their heinous acts from American justice. 

God bless America!  God protect those who fight in her name. 

If this sounds familiar, see Rules of War

Am I Crazy If I Don’t Believe the President?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

John McCain and John Boehner believe him.

John Kerry believes him.

Nancy Pelosi, too.

But I don’t.

I don’t believe the US has irrefutable, indisputable proof that the Syrian government intentionally killed 1,500 people with sarin gas.

I don’t believe it.

Not yet.

And neither does Yossef Bodansky.

You’re probably thinking “this Bodansky guy’s some conspiracy kook, too.”

Here’s Bodansky’s Wikipedia header:

Yossef Bodansky (born in Israel) is an Israeli-Americanpolitical scientist who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004. He is also Director of Research of the International Strategic Studies Association and has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University‘s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In the 1980s, he served as a senior consultant for the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

He is also a senior editor for the Defense and Foreign Affairs group of publications and a contributor to the International Military and Defense Encyclopedia and is on the Advisory Council of The Intelligence Summit. Bodansky’s numerous articles have been published in Global Affairs, Jane’s Defense Weekly, Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy and other periodicals.

Bodansky’s more credentialed than Barack Obama and John Kerry combined.

Bodansky doubts the US official story–the story Obama, Kerry, McCain, and Boehner are advancing as justification for another war. His sources are affiliated with the Syrian opposition.

Those sources have evidence that the opposition launched the sarin gas attacks that allegedly killed over 400 children and 1,000 others.

But that’s not all.

Bodansky suspects the White House aided the deadly attack.

The extent of U.S. foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light.

Bodansky’s article in World Tribune explains:

The mere fact that weapon storage sites under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence were opened up and about a thousand tons of high-quality weapons were distributed to the opposition indicates that U.S. intelligence anticipated such a provocation and the opportunity for the Syrian opposition to exploit the impact of the ensuing U.S. and allied bombing. Hence, even if the Obama White House did not know in advance of the chemical provocation, they should have concluded, or at the very least suspected, that the chemical attack was most likely the “war-changing development” anticipated by the opposition leaders as provocation of U.S.-led bombing. Under such circumstances, the Obama White House should have refrained from rushing head-on to accuse Assad’s Damascus and threaten retaliation, thus making the Obama White House at the very least complicit after the act.

If true, Obama could spend time at the defense table at The Hague.

Call me crazy. Call me war-weary. Call me a kook.

I’m not ready to launch another war. I’m not ready send Americans into another civil war in the Middle East. I’m not ready to help Damascus to become the next Benghazi.

We’ve seen the chaos that ensued from our interventions in Libya and Egypt. We know that Obama is incapable of finishing a job. We know we’ve lost or damaged some of the best young people of the Millennial Generation with very little to show for it.

I know McCain’s a war hero who plays pocket poker during hearings on the war, but I know he’s wrong a lot.

I fear that if we jump into this war in Syria, the consequences could be huge. Russia will likely step up support of Assad. Al Qaeda will end up with more American weapons and intelligence. When cruise missiles prove inadequate, US Marines will die in someone else’s civil war.

I’m tired of watching flag-draped caskets with motorcycle escorts parade down I-44 past my office window.

I won’t vote for anyone who votes for this war unless they first convince me that war in Syria is the only thing that will preserve the republic. If Ann Wagner or Roy Blunt votes for war and survives their primary, I’ll vote for a third party or abstain from those votes. If the next GOP presidential candidate emerges from Congress, same there.

I’m ready for peace.

Are you?