AEI's Fred Kagan "We" are at War

    Fred Kagan, George W. Bush advisor, neo-conservative Iraq War cheerleader, and prophet of Endless War, on 'extending our presence' in Afghanistan, in the Weekly Standard, 1/2014:

    ...we must understand that we are still at war. We must understand that inaction is a form of action, indecision a form of decision. Above all, we should remember the mistakes we made in the past, all of them, and remember the price we paid for convincing ourselves that we were not at war...We can and should commit to extending our presence in Afghanistan...

    same link:

    We are where we are. And that is in a war that we did not begin and that we cannot unilaterally end....

    We cannot 'unilaterally end' it? Without al Qaeda/Taliban signing surrender documents on the battleship Missouri in Karachi harbor...? Prospects for that...? Appreciate the shrewd counsel 'We are where we are.' My contribution: 'No matter where Kagan et. al. send our troops, there they are...'

    Fred Kagan, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, December, 2005, Iraq is Not Vietnam:

    The fact is that, militarily, the situation in Iraq is at a level below that of guerrilla war. The enemy is engaged in a widespread terrorist campaign much more similar to the Intifadah or the IRA... attacks...the fear of being trapped in a Vietnam-like war has led to the frequent demand that U.S. leaders develop not plans to win wars, but “exit strategies,” plans to get out of messes...

    ...It is much more likely, moreover, that if the Bush administration pursues a sound strategy in this struggle, the U.S. — and the Iraqi people — will win.

    Note how 'winning wars' is framed as the opposite of 'exit strategies'.  Bush strategy, supported and lauded by Kagan apparently failed miserably, as it is clear neither Iraq nor the US were 'winners' in that neo-conservative supported fiasco.

    Wife Kimberly Kagan chimes in on the topic of Afghanistan, in the Washington Post, November, 2012, 'Why US Troops Must Remain in Afghanistan', saying 'Professionals must consider logistics. Physics and military reality...", the professionals meaning, of course, people like herself and Fred.

    Professionals have maps of the world and rulers to calculate the distance range for armed predator drones.

    Kimberly from the WaPo link:

    ...North Waziristan is more than 600 miles from the nearest coastline; the other sanctuaries are farther. The U.S. Air Force reports that armed Predator drones have a range of about 1,150 miles — not enough to get to Waziristan and back again from the coast, much less to orbit and observe a target....

    One wonders if the Kagans, AEI or the Pentagon are drawing 575 mile circles all over the globe and calculating where and if CIA drones can hit every spot on earth a terrorist might try to hide. It's a job. I guess.

    See discussion of the Kagans at 'The Forever Wars of Frederick and Kimberly Kagan' (link, The American Conservative, Dec. 6, 2012).



    I read the Kagan article Iraq is not Vietnam back when it came out. I remember thinking at the time that it was Kagan applying a false equivalence he complains about, not the strawmen he tilted against.

    The war in Vietnam was not about Vietnam. It was a strategic opportunity to fight the Cold War. Kagan said our forces were defeated there. Our forces were not permitted to engage all the people fighting us. The exit strategy vs victory comparison is intellectually dishonest. The whole Powell doctrine thing wasn't about having a plan that made sure we could leave once it started as a goal in itself;  it was about having operations make sense in regards to an overarching strategy. It militated against the idea that supporting this or that group in a local war could be equivalent to fighting for "national interests" on a global level.

    At least Kissinger (with his many sins) was upfront about the spheres of influence thing. No wonder the Bushies buried him.

    Good points and agree.

    Interestingly, the US armed and had a close relationship with Ho Chi Minh as early as September, 1945.

    Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, who spent a career associate with the OSS and CIA said "one-half of the military materiel once stockpiled on Okinawa for the planned invasion of Japan had been reloaded in September 1945 and transshipped to Haiphong" enough to arm and supply 145,000 combat troops of Ho Chi Minh, who was cleaning out remnants of Jap occupation. Prouty was there in Japan at the end of WW2. This is from his book, JFK, The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate JFK.

    Wikipedia: (Ho Chi Minh) was "supported closely but clandestinely by the United States Office of Strategic Services"

    After the Japanese were defeated in Vietnam, Ho fought the French, who in the 50's decided to leave, and the US military industrial complex decided to make a profit making stand in lieu of the French occupiers, against our former 'friend', independence minded Ho Chi Minh. The fact is there had never been an independent South Vietnam, it was a totally artificial creation.

    Thanks to the CIA, we have often found ourselves fighting a nation or group the CIA had previously clandestinely supplied. The only 'sense' most of it makes is: US war profiteering makes a lot of people wealthy, whether in Iraq, Vietnam or Afghanistan.

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