by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
The media is almost-exclusively condemning Trump for Mattis’ departure, which apparently was spurred by Trump’s decision to leave Syria — and, possibly, Afghanistan.
Some history is in order.
Afghanistan drew the attention of Russia years ago; they were a source of terrorists that was hitting Russians, and the Kremlin got tired of it. So they went in there and tried to kill them all.
Now it’s true that the Mujahideen had plenty of help from America. Specifically, we “covertly” got them a bunch of what we now call “MANPADs”; man-portable missiles that could hit choppers (and tanks.) The afghans used these with dramatic effect on the Russians.
But most of the issue simply came from the fact that these people knew the terrain, it was rough terrain, they had lived there all their lives and they were both willing and able to fight a war of attrition with little or no centralized command and control, literally being willing to battle to the last, individual man. They would and did lie in wait in the mountains individually or in small cells and when the opportunity came they struck. Many of them died too but they took out a tremendous amount of material and people for each of them that was turned into red vapor.
Every time the Russians thought they had an area “secure” a group of these folks would get behind that “secured” area and hit them from the back. So much for “secured”. They simply couldn’t hold the territory, get a stable government that would leave them alone or do anything about the fact that almost every living male there wanted them dead and gone and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.
We seem to think we’re “something special” in this regard and yet we’ve been there for a hell of a long time too but have no defined point where we can claim we “won” and go home. So we appear to be in the same situation as the Russians; we came, we killed, we bombed, we blew **** up and arrested plenty of people but we haven’t managed to produce peace and the entire male population there now wants us all dead. Somehow a war that never ends just doesn’t seem so good, does it?
Syria is another issue. What’s our actual reason for being in Syria? To smash ISIS? Ok, we did. Now what? What right did we have in the first place to go in there and start killing people? Why is this our war? If Israel wants to fight there then let them. Yes, Assad is an *******. So what? Again, why is it our problem?
Are the world’s policeman? I say no — we shouldn’t have taken that on and we certainly shouldn’t be doing it today. Do I really care if the Middle East erupts in violence? Not really. Why? Because it’s not our fight. It never should have been and it still shouldn’t be. Saudi Arabia wants us in there, of course, as does Israel. I say “**** ’em both”; they can spend their own money and treasure on such conflicts if they want but we simply have no reason to do it.
My foreign policy view is simple: You kill one American with your warlike bull**** who is peacefully conducting business, touring your nation or otherwise not engaged in hostile acts and we will level a city of our choosing in response. If you credibly threaten to blow us up we will destroy your means of doing it from the air, whether with missiles or bombs at our option. Other than that you can take care of your internal political issues however you like, but do realize that if you act like jackasses we won’t trade with you, we won’t let you use our banking and financial system and if you try to circumvent that we’ll confiscate whatever leaves your borders in violation of same.
The problem with such a foreign policy stance is that you have to have the nuts to actually do it when the threat arises and since we’ve been so full of crap for so long we’d probably have to blast at least one city or turn into rubble a few military plants or bases. It’s much easier to fight a “proxy war” and put troops here and there to try to play the “suppression” game, stacking governments here and there and, when things get serious, demanding “regime change.” At the same time we bitch when others try to influence our political process. The way I see it if we’re going to sodomize Ghadaffi when he doesn’t do what we’d like we have no room to complain when someone nukes DC on the night of the SOTU, targeting the Capitol Rotunda. We deserve it for what we’ve been doing for the last few decades.