May 18 2017

THE WAR ON TERROR IS A WAR OF CHAOS AND ‘MORE’

This LINK reveals a frightening, disconcerting, and repulsive reality of the U.S. empire’s global war on terror.

An excerpt: “The U.S. Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America’s supply of bombs. The usual crew of weapons makers evidently can’t produce such munitions fast enough to keep up, so the U.S. military is, for instance, cutting into its stockpiles of smart bombs in Asia to send some to the Middle East and Africa simply to keep pace with demand — and, according to recent reports, it may nonetheless be failing to do so. Consider this a longer term problem since, in the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further.

Everywhere you look, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria to Somalia, the American military is growing more assertive as civilian casualties rise and constraints of any sort, whether on special operations raids, drone strikes, or the use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, fall away.

Somehow — and this should be truly unnerving — Americans have gotten to a place where, it seems, they trust only soldiers. In June 2016, for instance, a Gallup poll found that 73% of Americans had “quite a lot” of confidence in the military, versus 36% for the presidency and 6% for Congress. Such disparities ought to inspire distress about the direction of our public institutions, but rarely do.

Where the nation puts its money both reflects this reality and aggravates it. Consider that in this fiscal year military spending exceeded $600 billion, or 12 times the State Department’s budget. Worse still, the new president’s proposed budget would cut State by more than one-third — despite former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’s quip that there are already more members of military bands than Foreign Service officers.

In nearly every recent instance when military commanders were asked for a strategy review, the response was the same. What was needed, swore the generals repeatedly, were more troops, more airstrikes, more bases, more money, and more time. A rare exception to this litany of more came from former Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey who laid out not just the options, but also the potential costs of a Syrian intervention.

Presidents deserve and require such real options. Too often, however, especially in this country’s 15-year “war on terror” across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, senior military leaders have failed to present plausible, achievable choices to the commander-in-chief. Nearly all of them have proved to be ‘more’ guys.”

Permanent link to this article: http://lacatholicworker.org/2017/05/18/the-war-on-terror-is-a-war-of-chaos-and-more

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