Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

The 5 Biggest Insults to American Manhood by the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan

Bing West and Vince Flynn make the case against the castration of our military.

by
David Forsmark

Bio

February 15, 2013 - 2:20 pm

4. It Doesn’t Inflict Justice on the Guilty

In The Wrong War, West uses a history of modern guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency to point out that the United States is trying to do something that has never been done before anywhere in how it is trying to bring civilization to Afghanistan, rather than merely punishing the enemy:

Following the First World War, Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for the colonies, approved of summary executions of Irish insurgents in retaliation for the deaths of British soldiers occupying southern Ireland. The foremost scholar on counterinsurgency, David Galula, described his experience as a French officer in the Algerian War in the 1950s in these terms: “We searched the suspect’s house thoroughly and found the missing shotgun. I phoned my battalion commander and asked him if he agreed that the man should be shot on the spot. He did. The harkis executed him.” On another occasion, Galula threatened to bake a man in an oven. The man co-operated.

During the Second World War — the “good war”— the esteemed journalist Eric Sevareid stood by as U.S. soldiers shot German troops and Italian civilians. “As the weeks went by and this experience was repeated many times,” Sevareid wrote, “I ceased even to be surprised.” In his book Citizen Soldiers, the historian Stephen Ambrose devoted a chapter to prisoners of war, citing numerous instances when American soldiers shot prisoners. The press never reported one instance.

In The Village, a chronicle of my Combined Action Platoon in Vietnam, I wrote, “The Marines watched as Thanh beat his prisoners. When one woman refused to talk, he rubbed a wet cloth with lye soap and pressed it against her face. The woman struggled to breathe and sucked into her throat the stinging lye.”

Such stories had no effect at the time they were written; in 2011, they would all be sensations to the press. Today, the U.S. Congress would not tolerate deportation, sanction a $500-million bribe, approve of retaliatory executions, or ration food. Galula would be portrayed as a war criminal. Sevareid, the face of CBS, would be excoriated for not reporting the killings of prisoners, as would I for complicity in waterboarding.

Afghanistan was singularly different from any prior insurgency. Far from employing sticks of coercion of any sort, the Western coalition offered only aid and sympathy to hostile villagers. The United States possessed precision firepower, with sensors that tracked any individual out of doors. Yet in 2010, less than 5% of aircraft sorties dropped a single bomb, despite over 100 reports of troops in contact daily. This forbearance was without historical precedent. The coalition imposed upon itself the strictest rules in the history of insurgent warfare.

Forget the hoary clichés about the British and the Russians failing to rule Afghanistan. Afghanis (whatever they are) have never ruled the region named Afghanistan — basically a border drawn around the leftovers as the British Empire contracted.

Click here to view the 12 legacy comments

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"...our carrot with no stick approach to counterinsurgency and nation building in Afghanistan is sapping the “martial spirit” of our armed forces."

Since the implementation of communist containment and nation building strategy in 1947, our military has not 'won' outright ,any military conflicts in which it and the other nation building 'partners' have engaged in -- NOT ONE!

The strategy is one of democratic imperialism globalizing Christianity, goblalizing the economy, globalizing a court system, globalzing a financial and monetary system and globalizing a defacto central government. Militarily, the strategy no longer seeks to invade and occupy but rather, to defeat resaistance and then reconstruct the society and government functions to the nation building strategies.

Or military was never designed for such operations and it certainly is not consistant with the constitutions purpose of a military. That aside, take a look at all the associated costs to the taxpayers and the lives lost and maimed becuase of this strategy since 1947 -- NOT A SINGLE SUCCESS thus far in the long term and history has not yet ended the story on this strategy.

We send our military into conflicts with nations that don't have formidable militaries but nonetheless we sustain high costs of lost lives, injuries, worn out equipment and a very high monetary cost with very little ROI.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Over eleven years, and still counting, our longest "war", in The Trillion Dollar Bridge To Nowhere called Afcrapistan, is the greatest affront, not to manhood, but to intelligence, or lack of any to be more specific.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Human sacrifice 21st Century American style.

It would seem the Aztec High Priests of the 15th century have been reincarnated and are now in full reign at the Mega Mosque some still nostalgically call the Pentagon. Their Spiritual Leader has been the High Priest of The Most Holy Doctrine of COIN, Imam David "Holy Qur'an" Petraeus.

America's Generals are now very much like the Aztec High Priests of many centuries ago. The main difference, and it's a relatively small one, is that instead of continually sacrificing what they regarded as their excess and disposable human property to the Sun God to try to gain benevolence and avoid wrath, America's Generals keep trying to sacrifice America's Constitution, and do sacrifice more and more of the lives and limbs of America’s troops, whom they regard as their excess and disposable human property, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars of America's rapidly shrinking treasure, which although itself is of much lesser importance is still no small matter, to the gods they reverently call "The Prophet Mohammad", "The Holy Qur'an" and "The Noble People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture" to try to gain benevolence and avoid wrath, and maybe even get an extra star and another few assorted colorful baubles for which to adorn themselves.

Is our military fighting for anything most Americans would regard as at all decent in Afghanistan? Certainly not our Army, nor our Marines. America's Generals have repeatedly ordered them to respect the gods they call "The Prophet Mohammad", "The Holy Qur'an" and "The Noble People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture" and if American troops get shot to death by what their Generals call their Partners in Peace, then the Generals conclude that America's derelict and sacrilegious troops must not have respected the gods they call "The Prophet Mohammad", "The Holy Qur'an" and "The Noble People Of Afghanistan and their Noble Muslim Culture" nearly enough and order them to take still more religious and cultural “sensitivity” training so they can better respect the Noble Muslim Culture of the Noble People of Afghanistan, maybe even enough where they can start joining in the practicing of that Noble Muslim Culture themselves, which would no doubt delight the Generals to no end.

There of course is never any "sensitivity" training ever even recommended for what America's Generals call "The Noble People Of Afghanistan" so they might better understand and appreciate Western and American culture, the great superiority of which should be self-evident. But then as America's Generals clearly must regard the Noble Muslim Culture of the Noble People of Afghanistan as being far superior to Western and American culture, they would surely regard any such thing as, well, absolutely unthinkable, and blasphemous, and upon hearing any such suggestion would no doubt order even more "sensitivity" training.

* Mainstream Noble People of Afghanistan Muslim Culture includes child rape of both young girls and young boys, torturing dogs including puppies, total enslavement of women, stoning women to death for being raped, and death to apostates, which itself covers a whole lot, just to very briefly mention a few of the highlights.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
American troops in Afcrapistan (bar only the first few months there which was over 10 years ago now) have done about as much to make America safer as me standing on one leg and baying at the moon, and at a far far far greater cost in lives, limbs, hundreds of billions and rationality. Not only that but our Mad Hatter Generals' (under both Bush and Obama) mission of "Winning [Muslim] Hearts and Minds"/"Partners In Peace"/COIN/"Serving the [Muslim] People" in Afcrapistan, the Trillion Dollar Bridge To Nowhere, has had the perverse effect of working to whitewash and absolve Islam and Muslims, something that is not only not protecting America, but that is anti-American and anti-Western Civilization and anti-Enlightenment in the extreme. All our troops are in Afcrapistan is Human Sacrifices on an Alter of Insanity, Lab Rats in a Sociology PC Experiment being conducted by Lunatics.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is an eminently wrongheaded article. It is not surprising that much of the supporting documentation comes from novels. You can't boilerplate any strategy but current counter insurgency methods have to available in the range of capabilities that we deploy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...kill them whenever and wherever we can find them and let the Afghan government build its own society..."

If properly done, it would also reduce the size of the Afghan government to a core of less-corrupt individuals who have gotten the message and could build that society that could rule a country that has never been ruled before at anything larger than a tribal level.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
US Military strategy and tactics has been White House approved since 1950, per the 1948 law which formed the Air Force. Generals doing dumb things are doing dumb White House things.

The US, a contractual nation, does not understand that trader nations are different and involve routine presentation and use of deadly force to sort out the pecking order in power relationships and to do deals.

The US has tried to use military intervention in the Musim religious activity in various nations. The US has not come up with anything which works, other than compliance and pretending it is not compliance. When US intervention fails, the only fallback position which is not a self-inflicting wound would be to separate from the Muslim nation in question, limiting dealings with them to be similar to what we have with North Korea. We should respect Islam. Their foreign students should not study subjects in the US which would be frowned upon by the Koran, such as nuclear physics. They should be offered more suitable and non-offending subjects like literature, religion, and ethnic studies. Refugees from such places who are not Dhimmi can be directed to Europe or other places, but not to the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In my view, this all started with the creation of the U.N. WWII was the last war we actually fought to win. As in win the war, let the hearts and minds take care of themselves.

One could make the argument that we fought the first gulf war to win, and accomplished what we set out to do, kick Iraq out of Kuwait, but to win, we would have gone up to Baghdad and Saddam then. Saving us the trouble of going back later. But that would have been viewed as aggression. Well duhhh.

We fought WWII in Europe and the Pacific by massive destruction and killing of the enemy and the civilian populations that supported him. Then we helped patch up what was left after we destroyed the desire to keep fighting on the other side. Created two solid allies and two of the strongest capitalist economies in history.

since then, it's been all about containment and winning hearts and minds. Muslims aren't interested in capitalism or democracy. Let them live in the 7th century and if they attack us, respond with such ferocity they won't want to try it again for many generations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

One of my favorite counter-insurgency stories comes from T.R. Fehrenbach's "Commanches: The History of a People". Back in the mid-1800s, the Texicans were having some difficulties with their aforementioned neighbors. Those neighbors had a kind of "good cop, bad cop" theory of intertribal relations in which a certain amount of gifting might preclude a certain amount of raiding.

Understanding the inexactness of thes proclivities, the Texicans invited the Comanches to a meeting (pow wow ???) at the courthouse in old San Antone to hash out some specifics. When the Amerindians arrived, the Texicans locked the courthouse and began shooting them. Those Indians crafty enough to escape the building set upon and were, in turn, set upon by local citizenry.

The author, based on his years of study, concluded that the Texicans' trap resulted in the killing of many Comanche leaders and its long term effects contributed significantly to the Comanches demise.

Americans used to know how to do these things.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And those in charge are wondering at the jump in suicides in the military....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All