New wars, old strategies

Admiral Mahan on the best use of “the fleet in being”:

For the reasons that have been given, the safest, though not the most effective, disposition of an inferior “fleet in being” is to lock it up in an impregnable port or ports, imposing upon the enemy the intense and continuous strain of watchfulness against escape. This it was that Torrington, the author of the phrase, proposed for the time to do. Thus it was that Napoleon, to some extent before Trafalgar, but afterward with set and exclusive purpose, used the French Navy, which he was continually augmenting, and yet never, to the end of his reign, permitted again to undertake any serious expedition. The mere maintenance of several formidable detachments, in apparent readiness, from the Scheldt round to Toulon, presented to the British so many possibilities of mischief that they were compelled to keep constantly before each of the French ports a force superior to that within, entailing an expense and an anxiety by which the Emperor hoped to exhaust their endurance.
– Mahan, Lessons of the War with Spain

This strategy of “the fleet in being” is very similar to the strategy that has been utilized by the global jihad for the last decade. Since the danger posed by its “army in being” is most threatening so long as it remains largely hypothetical, there is little advantage for the jihad in directly engaging Western forces. It’s far more effective to stretch out the Western militaries then bleed them in as many different locations as possible. The Western divisions are like battleships, capable of crushing the mobile torpedo boats of the enemy any time they can bring them to bear, but seldom presented with the opportunity of doing so. It is the most sophisticated expression yet of what VDH describes as the Eastern way of war.

Due to the geographical extent of the conflict and the extremely limited amount of information involved, the ongoing war between the Islamic jihad and the nations of the West is strategically more akin to naval war taking place in the Age of Sail or the Age of Steam than any ground war from any period in history.

Mahan notes “it is evident that the active use of a “fleet in being,” however perplexing to the enemy, must be both anxious and precarious to its own commander. The contest is one of strategic wits”. Therefore, to defeat the jihad, contain its expansion, and return the Dar al-Islam to its previously quiescent state, it will be necessary to force it to reveal its forces and put them in the field. How this can best be done is a matter for strategic and tactical consideration, but it seems obvious that it cannot happen so long as an official policy of secular tolerance is in place throughout the West. And, of course, one is hesitant to have much confidence in a contest of strategic wits with the likes of CINC Obama and General Petraeus providing what passes for the wits.

In other words, this means that widespread ethnic and religious violence is almost certainly inevitable in the intermediate future. The recent ban of the burqah in France and the law against future minaret construction in Switzerland may be the first indications of an eventual European Reconquesta. Unfortunately, at this point, the two most probable outcomes would appear to be either a) secular submission to Islam or b) ethnic cleansing on a scale dwarfing that of any previously known to history. Both appear unthinkable now, and yet it is not difficult to see that the demographics dictate that one or the other will eventually come about. Either way, the multiculturalists and immigrationists are almost certain to be burdened with a historical legacy so terrible as to make the likes of Viktor Quisling and Neville Chamberlain appear national heroes by comparison.

Eager to reach the wrong conclusion

Newsflash: men trained, equipped, and paid to break things and kill people not infrequently do bad things. However, it is educational to see the way the documentary evidence is used in an attempt to support the precise opposite of what it suggests:

The material that historian Sönke Neitzel uncovered in British and American archives is nothing short of sensational. While researching the submarine war in the Atlantic in 2001, he discovered the transcripts of covertly recorded conversations between German officers in which they talked about their wartime experiences with an unprecedented degree of openness. The deeper Neitzel dug into the archives, the more material he found. In the end, he and social psychologist Harald Welzer analyzed a total of 150,000 pages of source material….

The Holocaust is generally mentioned peripherally in the conversations between German soldiers that have now been viewed in their entirety for the first time. It is only mentioned on about 300 pages of the transcripts, which, given the monstrosity of the events, seems to be a very small number. One explanation could be that not many soldiers knew about what was happening behind the front. Another, much more likely interpretation would be that the systematic extermination of the Jews did not play a significant role in the conversations between cellmates because it had little news value.

A much more likely? interpretation? That is a completely absurd and illogical conclusion. The fact that the Holocaust is only mentioned on 300 of the 150,000 pages is actually conclusive evidence that relatively few Wehrmacht soldiers knew much about the Final Solution, unless the author, Jan Fleischhauer, seriously wants to try to claim that the exhaustive references to the sexual availability of women in the interview documents were of substantive news value.

But of course, “one-fifth of one percent of the Wehrmacht knew” is a just slightly less dramatic and excitingly revisionist than “the Wehrmacht knew”.

Now this is amusing

It will be interesting to see how the rabid neocons, who have never heard of a military intervention they didn’t see as an urgent matter of U.S. national security, react to this call for a no-fly zone:

Arab League chief Amr Mussa said on Sunday the organisation will ask the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza, which Israel has pounded with air strikes in response to rocket fire. Mussa told an emergency meeting of Arab League ambassadors that “the Arab bloc in the United Nations has been directed to ask for the convention of the Security Council to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and impose a no-fly zone.”

I somehow suspect that those who have so vehemently demanded no-fly zones over Serbia, Iraq, and Libya will be a little less enthusiastic about shooting down Israeli planes. But given the way they used the United Nations to justify the military interventions they supported in the past, they’ll have little grounds for arguing against this one now that the UN has declared that the Palestinian institutions are ready for statehood.

Losing to Libya

Perhaps the sordid conclusion of this military adventure will finally begin to convince conservative supporters of the neocon’s democracy crusade that half-hearted attacks, invasions, and occupations are a way to weaken the military and increase the risk to American national security, not strengthen either:

Libyan rebels said on Friday they had repulsed a government assault on the besieged western city of Misrata but prospects faded that Muammar Gaddafi would be ousted by the armed revolt.

NATO leaders acknowledged the limits of their air power, which has caused rather than broken a military stalemate, and analysts predicted a long-drawn out conflict that could end in the partition of the North African oil producer.

Alliance officials expressed frustration that Gaddafi’s tactics of sheltering his armor in civilian areas had reduced the impact of air supremacy and apologized for a “friendly fire” incident on Thursday that rebels said killed five fighters.

Ah yes, if only the enemy would fight the way we would like them to fight, then we would win easily, just like the clowns in uniform drew it up. The USA lost in Somalia. It’s losing in Libya… and Libya lost to Chad! It’s probably time to hang up the “only world superpower” and “global policeman” titles and consider seeing if the military is still even capable of stopping the ongoing invasion of the southern border.

Sooner or later

It doesn’t matter when the “transition” takes place. As happened with the Soviet withdrawal, once American combat forces are withdrawn, whenever they are withdrawn, the puppet regime forcibly installed by it will fall:

On Wednesday, Pres. Barack Obama held a video conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and welcomed the Afghan leader’s announcement of the first seven areas to transition to Afghan forces this July. The White House hopes that a smooth transition will help them to begin drawing down American forces this summer and end the foreign combat mission in the country by 2014.

Alas, this is wishful thinking. The troop withdrawal begins at a time when security in Afghanistan is worse than it has been in nine years. The Taliban are resurgent and have stepped up attacks as part of their spring offensive. On March 29, insurgents captured a district in eastern Nuristan Province, an area U.S. troops are turning over to the Afghan authorities. “The white flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is flying over the Want district center, while some policemen of the puppet administration flee toward the provincial capital after slight resistance,” boasted Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

Even more worrying, al-Qaeda is making a comeback in areas recently vacated by the coalition forces.

It’s not only those who don’t know history, but those who refuse to acknowledge its lessons, who are doomed to repeat it.

Solipsism as national security

Kathleen Parker offers further evidence in support of the dire need to end women’s suffrage:

Women, and by extension children, suffer what too many have come to accept as “collateral damage” in theaters of war. We hate it, of course, but what can one do? It isn’t in our strategic interest to save the women and children of the world. Or, as an anonymous senior White House official recently told The Post:

“Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities. There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, no stranger to the importance of advancing women’s rights, promptly repudiated the comment. Even so, the anonymous spokesman’s opinion, though inartfully expressed, is hardly isolated.

But what if this is a false premise? What if saving women from cultures that treat them as chattel was in our strategic and not just moral interest? What if helping women become equal members of a society was the most reliable route to our own security?

The problem, of course, is that it is not. Parker might as reasonably have asked what if buying women rainbow-striped unicorns was in our strategic interest or if buying vibrators for Libyan women was the most reliable route to American national security. I would very much like to know who actually pays this woman for her opinion, as I’m quite confident that one could find a Labrador puppy whose columns would be a) more intelligent, b) more interesting, and c) less expensive than the gynocentric drivel Parker has on offer.

Granted, every column would concern how it is a vital national interest to feed Labradors more raw meat, or alternatively, how it is a national disgrace that Labradors are only fed 60 percent of the amount of raw meat given to Rottweilers, but how is that substantially different from what most female op/ed writers produce anyhow?

Does this moronic female seriously wish to argue that women and children suffer more than men do in times of war? They may suffer more of the collateral damage, but only because the whole purpose of the intentional damage is to kill the enemy men. How many women and children died at Salamanca or Gettysburg? The last time I read something this stupidly myopic, it was an old joke about the New York Times: “Asteroid to end all life on Earth, women, blacks to suffer most.”

But even worse than the total ignorance of military history is the idea that equality, at home or abroad, is in the American national interest. America has been lethally weakened by the equalitarian dogma; there would be no need for the 30 million immigrants that are presently dismantling the social fabric if 30 million American children murdered by their mothers had lived. “Saving” women by enforcing Western equalitarian dogma is not only not in our strategic interest, it quite clearly isn’t in our moral interest either.

Women may not be pet rocks, but Kathleen Parker is clearly less intelligent than a box of them.

Two birds, one stone

Frankly, I don’t see much downside to the equation that many in the media are suggesting. If each religious book burned results in 20 dead United Nations bureaucrats, where exactly is the net loss to American interests? And I’m not sure which is more amusing, the Democrats who are attempting to claim that it is a totally legal book burning that has a direct causal relationship to lethal Islamic riots a world away while the bombing of a Muslim country cannot possibly be to blame, or the Republicans who are loathe to actually come out directly against a man’s right to burn his own book while trying to make sure that everyone understands they think the book-burning is “ill-judged” and “unhelpful”.

Unhelpful to what? Maintaining a pair of long, expensive, unconstitutional, and strategically stupid military occupations? Continuing mass migration from third world hellholes? And as for General Petraeus, his comments make it clear that he is a politically correct coward and a certain war loser.

Following Sunday’s meeting with Gen. Petraeus and the ambassadors, Mr. Karzai requested in a new statement that “the U.S. government, Senate and Congress clearly condemn [Rev. Jones’] dire action and avoid such incidents in the future.” Mr. Karzai issued this demand even though President Barack Obama has already described the Quran burning as “an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry”—adding that “to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity.”

I’d have more confidence in the U.S. military effort if Rev. Jones was leading it. Any statement that falls short of the following by any American leader is an indication that the speaker is completely unfit for office.

“Rev. Jones, like any American, is free to dispose of his own property in any manner that happens to please him. This is not a matter of any concern whatsoever to the United States government.”