Colonel Larry Wilkerson, speaking to a couple of people on the video-conference in April this year–around the time regime in Kiev decided to play games grown-ups play–and Wilkerson, who is a D.C. insider didn’t mince words about real situation. Watch, and listen, what he says between 7:00 and 16:00 in the interview and mind you, the guy was Chief of Staff of then Secretary of the State Colin Powell.
Many forget that Vietnam, for all of its turmoil, was a protracted, 10-year long, war in which US casualties were accumulating over significant periods of time–many months and years. Wilkerson is correct asking what I call a Zumwalt question–what would D.C. do, how will it react, when it will be getting that kind of numbers killed and wounded, not to mention losses in high value and prestigious assets, such as combat aircraft, let alone combat ships, not to speak of aircraft carriers. Is the United States ready to take this in? Absolutely not, this is not even a theorem, it is an axiom. Wilkerson’s story about Obama asking both Powell and Wilkerson during the meeting in the White House on how to get out of this Washington’s “bias toward war” is remarkable in a sense that it shows a complete helplessness, in Obama case aggravated by Obama’s overall mediocrity (not that anyone before him or after are better) and lack of principles, of the US political “elite” to do anything, even if to imagine that they want to do so, about not fighting wars.
The system is wound this way, you cannot do anything about it unless you change the system on a fundamental level or provide a massive shock to it. If not, you will continue to get people like Lindsey Graham dominating a political discourse and driving country into the ground, granted very little is left of it.
Now you see my point, lie and BSing permeates America’s political discourse, media and academe. John Kuhn is a former naval aviator and I am damn sure that Boyd’s fundamentals of OODA Loop are well known to him, but if this former naval officer convinces himself at the point of the first “O” (Observe) that some redundant, if not harmful, US “service industries”, such as a financial one, count for anything towards China producing almost 15 times more steel than the United States (Russia produces almost the same amount as the US) or Chinese shipbuilding industry dwarfing that of the US. Or Chinese car-making, or pretty much anything, with the exception of commercial aerospace, but Russia is helping China on this one. So, a good start for the United States in terms of beating this bias toward war is to stop lying to themselves. Especially so on the level of an elite officer graduate and post graduate school such as Naval War College. In the end, Kuhn himself can follow Mahan’s wise advice and admit that the nation should have a naval force commensurate with its economic capability and there is a reason the United States is de facto a bankrupt nation–it continues to maintain a military force and, especially the Navy, which it simply cannot afford. Not even close.
And then, of course, there is this teeny-weeny issue of revolution in military affairs and the fact that you cannot apply strategic naval wisdom of the 19th century, no matter how tantalizing this may feel, to technological and operational realities of the 21st one. You just cannot, because neither Mahan, not Corbett, nor Fischer could have foresaw fleets engagement envelopes measured in many thousand kilometers, space travel, hyper-sonic weapons, computers and ISR which would make Arleigh Burke and Chester Nimitz teary. Stop lying to yourself and face the facts that the United States failed as a military power, and it will be a real tragedy if it fails as a political entity, which either will slide toward a third-worlddom, a process which was underway for quite some time now, or will disintegrate completely. How about people of South Carolina vote this neocon SOB Lindsey Graham out of the office? I am sure people of South Carolina are smarter than Arizona voters who kept in office late war criminal and supporter of Islamic terrorists John McCain. Hey, one has to start somewhere, right?