Ground Warfare in 2017 and Beyond
War is getting to be obsolete. Sheer fighting takes its place. For instance, the U.S. took Mosul with the old-fashioned thinking that that was that. We withdrew and unfriendly hostiles then captured Mosul. At present, I am not sure if ISIS or Iraq is in control. But either way, there is no reason to panic. We can always mercilessly bomb the wrong occupants from the air with virtual impunity. It will not completely drive them away, not at first, but in the long term, they will probably move out. For a while, they will go without sleep. Then they will adjust and try to rebuild. They will tough it out -- maybe. Our troops can be lowered to the ground, too, but only for short durations. It is far too dangerous. By the way, I have no expertise in such matters whatsoever. I am still, at heart, only trying to produce an article in order to keep writing. But what I hear and see on television moves me to voice an opinion I think is more right than wrong. We do not need Mosul. It is for another purpose that we fight. We are fighting terrorism wherever it digs in. After all, we can only do so much when there is an incalculable amount of anti-Americans working hard, every day, against us. From Mosul, eventually, we will also move on. As we do, our enemies will continue to burrow underground. I am not sure what can be done about their pernicious tunnels. But I am convinced airstrikes, over time, will ultimately have the desired result, provided there are enough of them. There must, to my way of thinking, be an urgent need for ground troops before they are called upon. Their lives are too valuable. None are expendable.
Recently, I read that 200 additional troops are being sent to Iraq. Pause a few minutes to contemplate what it means to send a couple hundred personnel into a quagmire within the midst of a million enemies. It depends. What are their objectives? How long will they be there? What provisions have been made for their safekeeping? Obama's policy of staggered withdrawals was only a start. He was right; troops need not languish indefinitely to protect so-called "American interests". To do so is to spread soldiers thinly throughout the world. It is a deeply troubled world, too. We especially do not need boots on the ground in the Middle East where soldiers are subjected to barbarous primitives. With the sole exception of protecting Israel, we should avoid the whole region. By the way, it is Israeli's choice to remain stalwart and steadfast. Israelis are welcome elsewhere, and many do in fact migrate. I assume we have a pact, that, in the future, might require sustained boots on the ground. To my line of thought, we should only be in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and in the skies above. The general terrain below is unsafe, non-strategic, and not worth bloodshed except to lend support to preserve the lives of allies and their holy sites.
Nukes & Stuff
As of now, the actual flashpoint for a nuclear confrontation remains up for grabs. North Korea is making the most noise, though its target -- Americans in Japan, South Korea, as well as mainland U.S.A. -- is also uncertain. It might go on testing forever. Kim Jong-Un is a strange leader. North Korea is a strange nation. Iran is still in a lengthy testing phase, too, not yet ready to show its hand. It has had a free pass the last eight years, but that could come to an end. After so much talk, it could not withstand the humiliation already brought to bear upon Syria and Iraq. The nuclear "game" has only a handful of skilled players. Resurgent, punitive economic pressures might neutralize Iran for good. It is anxious, committed, but conspicuously cautious. To be sure, great prestige would accompany a successful strike. But it is not yet equal to the task. Pakistan is always a concern, especially since it is allied with China against India. Plenty of atomic weapons to go around. But the best bet is a terrorist group with no return address. I find myself reading about "nuclear forensics". But the plain fact is that everything thus far is purely hypothetical.
Here is a question that has not yet come up. Is the manufacturer as guilty as the user? After all, they need not be one and the same, not anymore. Or, better yet, does it really matter? There are many fuzzy quandaries like this that are more for a chessboard than reality. In the paragraphs below I try in a sketchy fashion to advocate a more forceful nuclear stance. Unfortunately, it cannot be 100% bluff. Rather than multiply injuries and deaths in Afghanistan, or crash helicopters in remote mountains, hostiles around the globe should be made aware that the U.S. can, and will, if warranted, destroy as never before. Until now, terrorists have striven to keep things pat, that is, for us, mainly civilians, to stand stock still, and be involuntarily shot or blown up, according to plans linked mysteriously to Allah. Europeans must also beware. But America First makes perfect sense for Americans, though we have all long since become prime targets, individually and collectively. This must change 180 degrees.
The simple fact is, nuclear war is not inevitable. But add into the picture human nature, and the unthinkable readily emerges. It will not go away. The odds of its happening increase. That's the bad news. The good news is that from what I can garner, the U.S. is well-prepared. Warheads can be quickly assembled, codes inputted, and missiles made ready, within minutes. Procedures are routinely practiced. Every conceivable option is on the table in the same amount of time: pre-emptive strikes, retaliation in kind, massive retaliation, what have you. All that is lacking is experience -- except, not quite. There have been, here and there, during heated conflicts, unreported nuclear threats. Reacting to these, foreign armies have stood down or radically changed their strategies. This, needless to add, goes beyond mere deterrence.
Putting at risk all thirty of my hub followers, I will go on the record (since my opinion hardly matters anyway) in preference of repeated, devastating bombings, not necessarily nuclear, in lieu of boots on the ground. Yes, better them than us. It does not matter how long it takes. We are not the imperialists they might think. Nobody wants Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Libya -- the list goes on. It is their boots that are on their ground. Instead of asking should we use the horrible weapons we have developed and refined, we should be asking who really wants them badly enough? After all, right now they are only being stockpiled, pointed, and unpointed, never put to use. Naturally, everything we do can also be readily accomplished by the Russians and the Chinese. In fact, there are any number of checkmates involved in the luxurious thinking stage of nuclear confrontation.
Lessons From the Past
Two reasons I reached my own conclusion are WWI and WWII. Both were won with boots on the ground. Both were fraught with atrocities. But that was then, this is now. One might as well add Korea and Vietnam, too. Reflecting on this, the sublime begins to border on the ridiculous. American soldiers are usually tall and wide; they present big targets. Their enemies are likely to be thinner and shorter. They are harder targets. Keep in mind that Romans, who dominated the earth for eleven centuries, were approximately 5'5'' in height. It is, as the Chinese have asserted (in my reading), weapons that determine a war, not warriors. This being the case, airstrikes can, in fact, win against an enemy. They can totally wipe him out, as well as depersonalize the entire mission. At the other end of the spectrum, we can always invite an attack, and, in its aftermath, have ourselves videotaped groping about in various stages of death and dying to gain sympathy. Let's just say, it has not come to either of these two options yet.
Most of the time, it does not seem as though the 20th century has had the impact it should have had on the newer generations. They do not fully appreciate our glorious inheritance, now theirs. It was a bit more than nice how fifty million died fighting Nazis and the Axis. But now, most militaries have become to various degrees "nazified". At least, let us admit, they are de-sensitized. They are more prone to inflict pain and misery. After all, they are only too apt to be mistreated themselves. I would challenge almost anyone who harbors doubts about how much meaner soldiering has become. Everything points to it: universal disregard for the basics of life itself. If only we could afford to be more decent. Of course, there are the 501c bunch, who have not, to date, yet made an enormous difference. I am no prophet, nor a gambler, but apparently there is reason to believe that our clergy sold us a bill of goods. If so, it was not done maliciously. But the plain fact is, if we altogether reject life, we do not in fact have to live it. God will not force life upon us. Surely He understands that we cannot accept any form of it, no matter how oppressive or intolerable.
Kim Jong-Un is truly the nuclear war messiah, if one can imagine such a distinction. Without him, his antics, vile threats, and so many photo-ops, I could not credibly have written a word. It seems as though he is not a false messiah. Time will tell. My own best guess is that he will not make a genuine launch other than tests for the foreseeable future. Time is actually on his side. No attempt has been made by greater powers to shut him down. Quite often, he appears like a clown. But it could well be a mistake to regard him as such. All it takes is a single bomb to set off the fireworks. Consider Israel, known in nuclear parlance as a one-bomb state, since it should only require a single bomb of sufficient magnitude to destroy it. Nevertheless, that would not be the end of the story. Several submarines whose whereabouts are unknown will automatically retaliate. Among their targets, not just Tehran -- if such turns out to be the case -- many would also have a similar, hair-trigger system in place. The Russians are prepared, which probably means that the U.S. is, also. It would, then, not take long to put a finishing touch on the whole human race.