[FoRK] Reducing defense spending

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Fri Jun 25 09:21:56 PDT 2010

On Jun 25, 2010, at 11:01 AM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:

> Stupid and irresponsible. By not being on the ground in the area, you allow the enemy to simply hide in plain sight .. right in the middle of the innocents. So your new game-playing "warfighters" in their comfy distant operational spaces will simply be killing lots of innocents for every one baddy they might accidentally hit and ratcheting up the propoganda win for the other side. We've already seen that happening with the current limited use of drones.

It's called "incentives."  Do this enough and the civs may get tired of being expendable human shields, figure out where the blame should really be placed, and take care of business for you.  The enemy is willing;  if you play with one hand tied behind your back they've already won.  Always.

> You can't wage war by remote control

Depends on what you are remote controlling.  As mentioned, if the intent is occupation we don't have the tech.  Yet.

> unless you are prepared to simply sterilize the place and to hell with the innocents and the resultant outrage.

That may be a reasonable option, too, in some circumstances.  Probably not in either present case, but we're so hobbled by "conscience" that we fail to even acknowledge the fundamental nature of war in most cases.  This leads us to create unrealistic and unworkable plans.

Note that I didn't concoct the "far fewer grunts" hypothesis out of thin air by myself.  This is a growing consensus among certain parts of our military apparatus.  Rumsfeld, being an idiot, heard this without the corresponding caveat: "...as long as you're not planning to occupy."

> If you can't get your guys and gals out of e.g. Afghanistan, at least take the hobbles off and let them fight to win. You won't win the propoganda war, but anyone with half a brain knew that you lost that one the instant you set foot in e.g. Afghanistan and Iraq. Hell, you lost it the moment you began *talking* seriously about going in.


The easiest war to win is the one you avoid. Numerous ways to do that.  Need carrots *and* sticks, and the willingness and ability to use both.


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