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"America’s Unimportant, Unserious Wars" Topic

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09 Feb 2018 4:51 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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718 hits since 9 Feb 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

"American soldiers spent another holiday season fighting what Foreign Affairs recently called "America's Forgotten Wars." Having spent my career serving in an Army at war, I would add unimportant and unserious. Though their last real peacetime holiday was 17 years ago, most Americans regard their seemingly perennial wars as an abstraction at best. The nation has ignored these wars beyond the most superficial attention and supercilious "Support the Troops" platitudes. America lacks both serious consideration about the ends America seeks in deploying its sons and daughters across the globe and the way it is achieving our stated ends.

America must make a choice between pursuing interests full or redefining national priorities. Failing do so since 9/11 has created perpetual wars that are exhausting national will, money, and prestige while eroding freedoms and domestic consensus. If America does not quickly right the ship of state, putting away a dangerous inward-looking nationalism, we will wake to find that our heritage, solvency, and capacity to shape the world gone, leaving behind a nation of debtors beholden to powers we beyond our influence…"
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Cacique Caribe Inactive Member09 Feb 2018 9:42 p.m. PST

Unserious wars? I thought every war was serious, even cold ones.


USAFpilot09 Feb 2018 9:54 p.m. PST

Strange article. Did it have a point? Or is it just getting on the bandwagon to subtlety bash the current regime.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Feb 2018 8:49 a.m. PST

i don't think the current regime is being bashed. I think each one since 9/11 is. It is a very cogent article and I am surprised you can't get the point. 17 years of war alone should give one pause.

USAFpilot10 Feb 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

17 years of war alone should give one pause.

Yea, that will make things better. What the heck does that even mean, ‘give one pause'?

What do you think we should do? How about we just declare peace and everything will be just fine. What's your solution? The author of the article offers none.

And what started this period of 17 years of war? America being attacked on Sept 11, 2001.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Feb 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

"give one pause' means to stop and think instead of just accepting the status quo as being fine. I think he is pointing out quite rightly, as you seem to be evidence of, that people just shrug their shoulders and say there is no other course.
Your false dichotomy of 'just declare peace' is further evidence of a lack of imagination or of even accepting the problem is not currently being addressed in a serious manner. You don't seem to even ackowledge that being at war for 17 years (with an attendant erosion of civil liberties) with little to show for it or with any exit plan or a definition of what victory is is a problem. THAT is the point of the article.

yes sept 11 happened in 2001because of someone else, what is happening now SEVENTEEN years later is all us. What could we be doing that is smarter?? He is asking us to at least ask that question. No one seems to be.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member10 Feb 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

Ha! I love articles that try to blow holes on the few solutions that make any kind of dent, but which do not offer any real solutions themselves, much less detail how to implement them effectively, without the same spineless diplomacy that delayed a serious solution in the first place.

Nation building and regime change is a waste of time, life and money in some parts of the world. And negotiating with terrorists is a big mistake.

PS. And when exactly did history do a 180 and started leaving the victors/conquerors stuck with the bill and the reconstruction instead of the enemy?

USAFpilot10 Feb 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

Thank you Cacique Caribe for saying it more clearly than I.

The author of the article shows off his erudition; which is all style and no substance. Talk about platitudes, it is too easy to point out the problems, which everyone already knows, than to come up with solutions.

daler240D, what do you expect from your average citizen? And what civil liberties have you lost? Anyone can complain about the problems, but what are your solutions other than let's think about some more.

Begemot Inactive Member10 Feb 2018 4:47 p.m. PST

I'm more interested in hearing what are your solutions, USAFpilot and Cacique, if you have any? Its fair enough to scoff at the scoffers, but maybe its time to put or shut up?

Is the USA on the right track in its war policy or does it need to make changes? And if changes are required, what do you think they should be? And what is the final goal? What, in your minds, would success look like?

USAFpilot10 Feb 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

The article below is a start in the right direction.

The previous administration was to busy with social-engineering our military, but under the leadership of Secretary of Defense Mattis our military is no longer paralyzed. ISIS still exists as an ideology and a terrorist organization, but it no longer exists as a state. One of the oldest tools of modern warfare proved decisive, when applied decisively and with annihilation in mind.


"Marines in Syria fired more rounds than any artillery battalion since Vietnam — and burned out 2 howitzers in the process

Christopher Woody
Feb. 6, 2018, 8:12 PM
US Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit fire an M777 howitzer during a fire mission in northern Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, March 24, 2017.Photo By: Lance Cpl. Zachery Laning

Marines supporting US-backed forces against ISIS in Syria fired more rounds than any artillery battalion since Vietnam.
The intensity of their fire support also knocked out two of their own howitzers.
ISIS in Iraq and Syria has rapidly waned in recent months, and its fighters only hold a few isolated pockets.
A Marine artillery battalion assisting Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, with 24-hour support fired with intensity not seen more than 40 years – and burned out two howitzers in the process.

"They fired more rounds in five months in Raqqa, Syria, than any other Marine artillery battalion, or any Marine or Army battalion, since the Vietnam war," Army Sgt. Major. John Wayne Troxell, senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Marine Corps Times at the end of January.

"In five months they fired 35,000 artillery rounds on ISIS targets, killing ISIS fighters by the dozens," Troxell said.

An artillery battalion, which consists of up to 18 guns, from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in northern Syria to support the SDF in March 2017. That unit, firing 155 mm M777 howitzers, was replaced in April by another contingent of Marines.

That unit topped the roughly 34,000 rounds fired in support of the invasion of Iraq, and it fired a little over half of the more than 60,000 rounds fired by the over 730 howitzers the Army and Marines used to support Operation Desert Storm, according to historical records seen by Marine Corps Times.

US Marines fire an M777 howitzer in northern Syria, May 15, 2017.Sgt. Matthew Callahan/US Marine Corps

Troxell told reporters in November that howitzers fired so many consecutive rounds in support of operations against Raqqa the barrels of two of them burned out, making them unsafe to use.

The M-777 Howitzer is 7,500 pounds and highly maneuverable. Its sustained rate of fire is two rounds a minute, but it can fire four rounds a minute for up to two minutes, according to its manufacturer, BAE Systems.

A former Army artillery officer told Military Times in November that the number of rounds it takes to burn out a howitzer depends on the range to target and the level of charge, the latter of which can vary based on the weight of the shell.

"I've never heard of it ― normally your gun goes back to depot for full reset well before that happens," the former Army artillery officer said. "That's a s---load of rounds though."

"Because of all these rounds they were firing, we had to continue to recycle new artillery pieces in there because they were firing so much ammunition," Troxell told Marine Corps Times in January.

A US Marine with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit fires an M777 howitzer during a fire mission in northern Syria, Mar. 24, 2017.US Marine Corps

The M-777's maximum range is 18.6 miles. Video emerged in summer 2017 showing Marines firing 155 mm artillery shells with XM1156 Precision Guidance Kits,accordingto The Washington Post.

That kit turns the shell in to a semi-precision-guided munition that, on average, will hit within 100 feet of the target when fired from the M-777's maximum range. The XM1156 has only appeared in combata few times.

The US military is currently working on two systems to increase the accuracy of artillery – the handheld Joint Effects Targeting System, which an Army official said could turn a howitzer "into a giant sniper rifle," and Precision Guidance Kit Munitions that could be used with 155 mm rounds like those fired on Raqqa.

The Marines supporting the SDF in Raqqa withdrew shortly after the city was recaptured. Syria declared victory over ISIS in the final weeks of the year. US troops supporting the fight against ISIS in Iraq have also started to draw down in the wake of Baghdad's declaration of victory over the terrorist group at the end of 2017.

While ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory in Iraq and Syria, some of its fighters have hung on in remote pockets along the Euphrates River and in the surrounding desert in Syria."

Begemot Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 11:23 a.m. PST

USAFpilot -

One of the oldest tools of modern warfare proved decisive, when applied decisively and with annihilation in mind.

So if I understand you correctly, your solution, or at least a significant part of it, is to physically annihilate the opposition.

Can you define the set of all the members of this opposition to be eliminated? Is it narrowly limited to those who carry arms for their cause or does it include people who provide support, either logistical, financial, ideological, moral, emotional, etc.? Should this set of candidates include the family members of those who carry arms?

If you consider this policy to be effective, if positions were reversed, and you were on the receiving end, would such a policy cause you to give up the fight or would it make you more determined to carry on, especially if a broader definition of "opposition" was being used?

Ghostrunner11 Feb 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

if positions were reversed, and you were on the receiving end, would such a policy cause you to give up the fight

One reason that I, for one, don't make it a habit to kill 3000 civilians on a Tuesday morning.

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