Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Limited War Doctrine-What Will You Do, Democrats?

September 11, 2001 occurred and Pres. George W. Bush declared war on Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan by reacting perhaps instinctively, but certainly politically astutely considering the mood of the nation toward Al-Qaeda for having attacked the mainland. U.S. and NATO forces went into Afghanistan and took care of business. Now in the aftermath some of the same problems facing the current Iraq situation are beginning to brew in Afghanistan. The problem in both areas, and future similar conflicts, are two fold: the enemy is not a discreet nation-state military; and the U.S. is operating according to a limited war doctrine, which evolved subsequent to World War II.

While the basic tenets of a limited war doctrine were being formed during the Korean War, it was not until 1961, under the Kennedy Administration, that the policy was formally established. So says Colonel T. Snodgrass, U.S.A.F., ret. in his piece, Limited War Doctrine: A Fatal Flaw. Until the Korean War, the rules of war were massive retaliation and a concerted effort to deny the enemy the ability to wage war no matter the costs in collateral damage to civilian populations and civilian infrastructure.

In spite of the Limited War doctrine’s success in preventing conflict between the U.S. and Soviet Union, in 1961 President Kennedy and his civilian social-science theorists rewrote the rules of war, conceiving and implementing a replacement doctrine they dubbed “Flexible Response” to counter client proxy warfare. It was at this point that we completely departed from the strategic thinking that had won World War II. The change in mindset was profound. The fundamental change in the U.S. approach to warfare now had at its essence the new approach that America would answer communist aggression against its interests with only a limited force that was “proportional” to the threat, thus inculcating the institutional idea in the U.S. national security infrastructure that American military responses should only be gradually escalated according to the perceived seriousness of the crisis.

The concept of a measured, proportional violent response to provocation was to send a message of escalation to the enemy in which he would come to realize that his efforts were for naught.

Relative to the Vietnam War,

The Flexible Response doctrine did not contemplate that the North Vietnamese would “bear any burden, pay any price” to plant Vietnamese nationalist communism in the south of the former French colony. The obvious queries -- why Kennedy’s brain-trust thought that only the U.S. was capable of complete dedication to a political concept or military strategy and how this group of men failed to address how an armed test of wills between two completely committed opponents would finally be resolved -- both call into question the Kennedy crowd’s basic rationality and the quality and integrity of their thought.
Indeed, what it really suggests is a mind-set that believed that the whole of mankind operated under the same set of values they had. In other words, there is nothing really worth fighting for until the end. Total dedication to national existence and national goals are subject to compromise. If that was the view of the American leadership, they concluded, it must be the view of our enemies.

The limited war doctrine was a success as far as avoiding a nuclear exchange with U.S.S.R., but it was a dismal failure when dealing with the Communist proxy client North Vietnam. Why? Because as stated by Snodgrass,

…the North Vietnamese would “bear any burden, pay any price” to plant Vietnamese nationalist communism in the south of the former French colony.

That’s a poke in the eye at the intellectual sincerity of Pres. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural speech:

… that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
So here we are in 2007, well entrenched in a struggle to the death with Islamo-fascism, which has different values than us. And, we are still operating with a Limited War doctrine. Nice try Republicans, but you failed. Iraq is proof-positive that it did not work.

The military is best at killing people and breaking things. They are not police officers. It’s high time that we abolish the Limited War Doctrine and let the military do what they are trained to do.

That’s a tough row to hoe. Col. Snodgrass expands on the point:

Given the long and sustained trend in this country to move away from a constitutional republic as designed by the founders with a safe distance between the national leaders and their constituents and toward an open society democracy where the “public voice” is heard daily in polling data and elections and statutory and constitutional referendums meant to directly affect day to day governance, it might be arguable that no sustained or prolonged war effort is today possible. But most assuredly, in such system, the “public” will never support a decision predicated upon a purposefully limited and drawn out war strategy. This was the absurdity of the Kennedy Administration’s limited war doctrine and it is the absurdity of the current administration’s limited-war-while-we-build-a-functional-civil-democratic-government-in-the-war-zone. What makes this latter doctrine even more irrational is that we accept the presence of our enemies in the government, such as al-Sadr.

The general electorate just handed the power of Congress to the Democrats, who are controlled by leftists and apologists. What chance do we have of abandoning the Limited War Doctrine? The answer is none until the Islamo-fascists again start hitting the U.S. home territory. Suddenly the leftist politicians will turn hawkish. If they don’t they’ll be out of office. They know that the prime rule of extending their political life is to squirm and weasel their way through the shifting sands of political expediency. They will be hawkish until they again feel comfortable to push the U.S. toward the European socialist model and draining the vitality out of the American experiment.

The silver lining to the cloud is that the Islamo-fascists will not give-up nor compromise. This war is on to the death. America will learn that lesson and respond appropriately or perish. I’m betting on survival, which means that the Democrats acting as leftists will not remain in office too long.

Wouldn’t it be strange if history records that America was saved from the leftists by the Islamo-fascists?