First the finanicial meltdown, then

lots of other stuff, including defense, joins in.  Rob Paterson has a detailed look at this issue, along with an extensive review of America’s Defense Meltdown, on his blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

What America does confront are “people’s wars”. Our “enemies” are not states at all. Aircraft carriers are impotent when facing a guerrilla movement. So are high tech bombers and high tech fighters – so are high tech main battle tanks – so are conventional infantry. The battle field is in the minds of people. The more you use direct force, the more you lose. As it is the US has not won a single people’s conflict since 1945 but it keeps on trying.

What’s really depressing is that as a country dedicated to economic opportunity for anyone willing to work for it, individual rights, justice for all and malice towards none, we should have won them all.  Every one.

Attend Boyd08.

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4 Responses to “First the finanicial meltdown, then”

  1. rmhitchenson 03 Nov 2008 at 1:33 pm 1

    Like I said in a comment on Rob’s site, the “people’s conflict” losing streak is basically irrelevant. True, but not really of much consequence given that nearly all of them are intramural squabbles and yes, we are better off steering clear of these unless there’s a compelling reason such as genocide.

  2. Duncan C Kinderon 03 Nov 2008 at 3:48 pm 2

    As it is the US has not won a single people’s conflict since 1945 but it keeps on trying.

    The unstated premise: people’s conflicts are something the United States is opposed to. Rather interesting situation for a country that was founded by a Revolution and celebrates the Swamp Fox as one of its heroes.

    Perhaps if the United States were to reposition itself as proponent rather than opponent of people’s conflicts, then its experience with them might be more productive. After all, if you can’t beat ’em, join em; the best defense is a good offense; yada, yada, yada.

    [CR: Indeed – one of the themes of my chapter in America’s Defense Meltdown: If these irregular “asymmetric” methods work so well, as they indeed seem to, why should our opponents be the only ones who get to use them? One answer — they don’t support a defense budget that equals the rest of the world’s.]

  3. senor tomason 03 Nov 2008 at 5:05 pm 3

    “they don’t support a defense budget that equals the rest of the world’s.”

    Dr. Richards hit the nail right on the head with this one. Shoestring-budget guerilla warfare would not support the defense contractor welfare system. Heaven forbid that those striking Boeing machinists should find themselves without a job to go back to.

    [CR: Economic dislocation from drawing down the defense budget will be a huge problem. But the alternative is continuing to use taxpayer dollars to pay people to produce things that we not only don’t need but that are counterproductive for the situation we find ourselves in today. True, the defense industries provide employment, and that is important as a fiscal response to the continuing economic crisis, but I think we could find more productive things for skilled machinists to do.]

  4. loggie20on 03 Nov 2008 at 10:00 pm 4

    “but I think we could find more productive things for skilled machinists to do.”

    Absolutely, like machine parts for wind turbines, or the engineers work on designing other products with more benefit to society.

    A job program for the green revolution is so much more useful.