The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Nick Turse Archive
The U.S. Military Is Winning. No, Really, It Is!
A Simple Equation Proves That the U.S. Armed Forces Have Triumphed in the War on Terror
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later.

But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated the Confederate States of America. Similar legions of rifle-toting troops did the same after World War I ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1918. And Sherman tanks rolling through the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan? That followed the triumph over the Axis in 1945. That’s what winning used to look like in America — star-spangled, soldier-clogged streets and victory parades.

Enthralled by a martial Bastille Day celebration while visiting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in July 2017, President Trump called for just such a parade in Washington. After its estimated cost reportedly ballooned from $10 million to as much as $92 million, the American Legion weighed in. That veterans association, which boasts 2.4 million members, issued an August statement suggesting that the planned parade should be put on hold “until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home.” Soon after, the president announced that he had canceled the parade and blamed local Washington officials for driving up the costs (even though he was evidently never briefed by the Pentagon on what its price tag might be).

The American Legion focused on the fiscal irresponsibility of Trump’s proposed march, but its postponement should have raised an even more significant question: What would “victory” in the war on terror even look like? What, in fact, constitutes an American military victory in the world today? Would it in any way resemble the end of the Civil War, or of the war to end all wars, or of the war that made that moniker obsolete? And here’s another question: Is victory a necessary prerequisite for a military parade?

The easiest of those questions to resolve is the last one and the American Legion should already know the answer. Members of that veterans group played key roles in a mammoth “We Support Our Boys in Vietnam” parade in New York City in 1967 and in a 1973 parade in that same city honoring veterans of that war. Then, 10 years after the last U.S. troops snuck out of South Vietnam — abandoning their allies and scrambling aboard helicopters as Saigon fell — the Big Apple would host yet another parade honoring Vietnam veterans, reportedly the largest such celebration in the city’s history. So, quite obviously, winning a war isn’t a prerequisite for a winning parade.

And that’s only one of many lessons the disastrous American War in Vietnam still offers us. More salient perhaps are those that highlight the limits of military might and destructive force on this planet or that focus on the ability of North Vietnam, a “little fourth-rate” country — to quote Henry Kissinger, the national security advisor of that moment — to best a superpower that had previously (with much assistance) defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at the same time. The Vietnam War — and Kissinger — provide a useful lens through which to examine the remaining questions about victory and what it means today, but more on that later.

For the moment, just remember: 4,000,000,029,057, Vietnam War, Kissinger.

Peace in Our Time… or Some Time… or No Time

Now, let’s take a moment to consider the ur-conflict of the war on terror, Afghanistan, where the U.S. began battling the Taliban in October 2001. America’s victory there came with lightning speed. The next year, President George W. Bush announced that the group had been “defeated.” In 2004, the commander-in-chief reported that the Taliban was “no longer in existence.” Yet, somehow, they were. By 2011, General David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, claimed that his troops had “reversed the momentum of the Taliban.” Two years later, then-commander General Joseph Dunford spoke of “the inevitability of our success” there.

Last August, President Trump unveiled his “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia.” Its “core pillar” was “a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions”; in other words, the “arbitrary timetables” for withdrawal of the Obama years were out. “We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts,” President Trump decreed. “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.”

The president also announced that he was putting that war squarely in the hands of the military. “Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles,” he announced. “They are won in the field drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders and frontline soldiers acting in real time, with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.” The man given that authority was General John Nicholson who had, in fact, been running the American war there since 2016. The general was jubilant and within months agreed that the conflict had “turned the corner” (something, by the way, that Obama-era Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also claimed — in 2012).

Today, almost 17 years after the war began, two years after Nicholson took the reins, one year after Trump articulated his new plan, victory in any traditional sense is nowhere in sight. Despite spending around $900 billion in Afghanistan, as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction determined earlier this year, “between 2001 and 2017, U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed.” According to a July 30, 2018, report by that same inspector general, the Taliban was by then contesting control of or controlled about 44% of that country, while Afghan government control and influence over districts had declined by about 16% since Nicholson’s predecessor, General John Campbell, was in command.

And that was before, last month, the Taliban launched a large-scale attack on a provincial capital, Ghazni, a strategically important city, and held it for five days, while taking control of much of the province itself. Finally driven from the city, the Taliban promptly overran a military base in Baghlan Province during its withdrawal. And that was just one day after taking another Afghan military base. In fact, for the previous two months, the Taliban had overrun government checkpoints and outposts on a near-daily basis. And keep in mind that the Taliban is now only a fraction of the story. The U.S. set out to defeat it and al-Qaeda in 2001. Today, Washington faces exponentially more terror groups in Afghanistan — 21 in all, including an imported franchise from the Iraq War front, ISIS, that grew larger during Nicholson’s tenure.

Given this seemingly dismal state of affairs, you might wonder what happened to Nicholson. Was he cashiered? Fired, Apprentice-style? Quietly ushered out of Afghanistan in disgrace? Hardly. Like the 15 U.S. commanders who preceded him, the four-star general simply rotated out and, at his final press conference from the war zone late last month, was nothing if not upbeat.

“I believe the South Asia Strategy is the right approach. And now we see that approach delivering progress on reconciliation that we had not seen previously,” he announced. “We’ve also seen a clear progression in the Taliban’s public statements, from their 14 February letter to the American people to the recent Eid al-Adha message, where [Taliban leader] Emir Hibatullah acknowledged for the first time that negotiations will, quote, ‘ensure an end to the war,’ end quote.”

In the event that you missed those statements from a chastened Taliban on the threshold of begging for peace, let me quote from the opening of the latter missive, issued late last month:

“This year Eid­ al­-Adha approaches us as our Jihadi struggle against the American occupation is on the threshold of victory due to the help of Allah Almighty. The infidel invading forces have lost all will of combat, their strategy has failed, advanced technology and military equipment rendered useless, [the] sedition and corruption­-sowing group defeated, and the arrogant American generals have been compelled to bow to the Jihadic greatness of the Afghan nation.”

And those conciliatory statements of peace and reconciliation touted by Nicholson? The Taliban says that in order to end “this long war” the “lone option is to end the occupation of Afghanistan and nothing more.”

In June, the 17th American nominated to take command of the war, Lieutenant General Scott Miller, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee where Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grilled him on what he would do differently in order to bring the conflict to a conclusion. “I cannot guarantee you a timeline or an end date,” was Miller’s confident reply.

Did the senators then send him packing? Hardly. He was, in fact, easily confirmed and starts work this month. Nor is there any chance Congress will use its power of the purse to end the war. The 2019 budget request for U.S. operations in Afghanistan — topping out at $46.3 billion — will certainly be approved.


All of this seeming futility brings us back to the Vietnam War, Kissinger, and that magic number, 4,000,000,029,057 — as well as the question of what an American military victory would look like today. It might surprise you, but it turns out that winning wars is still possible and, perhaps even more surprising, the U.S. military seems to be doing just that.

Let me explain.

In Vietnam, that military aimed to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” It never did and the United States suffered a crushing defeat. Henry Kissinger — who presided over the last years of that conflict as national security advisor and then secretary of state — provided his own concise take on one of the core tenets of asymmetric warfare: “The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.” Perhaps because that eternally well-regarded but hapless statesman articulated it, that formula was bound — like so much else he touched — to crash and burn.

In this century, the United States has found a way to turn Kissinger’s martial maxim on its head and so rewrite the axioms of armed conflict. This redefinition can be proved by a simple equation:

0 + 1,000,000,000,000 + 17 +17 + 23,744 + 3,000,000,000,000 + 5 + 5,200 + 74 = 4,000,000,029,057

Expressed differently, the United States has not won a major conflict since 1945; has a trillion-dollar national security budget; has had 17 military commanders in the last 17 years in Afghanistan, a country plagued by 23,744 “security incidents” (the most ever recorded) in 2017 alone; has spent around $3 trillion, primarily on that war and the rest of the war on terror, including the ongoing conflict in Iraq, which then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore, in 2002, would be over in only “five days or five weeks or five months,” but where approximately 5,000 U.S. troops remain today; and yet 74% of the American people still express high confidence in the U.S. military.

Let the math and the implications wash over you for a moment. Such a calculus definitively disproves the notion that “the conventional army loses if it does not win.” It also helps answer the question of victory in the war on terror. It turns out that the U.S. military, whose budget and influence in Washington have only grown in these years, now wins simply by not losing — a multi-trillion-dollar conventional army held to the standards of success once applied only to under-armed, under-funded guerilla groups.

Unlike in the Vietnam War years, three presidents and the Pentagon, unbothered by fiscal constraints, substantive congressional opposition, or a significant antiwar movement, have been effectively pursuing this strategy, which requires nothing more than a steady supply of troops, contractors, and other assorted camp followers; an endless parade of Senate-sanctioned commanders; and an annual outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars. By these standards, Donald Trump’s open-ended, timetable-free “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia” may prove to be the winningest war plan ever. As he described it:

“From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”

Think about that for a moment. Victory’s definition begins with “attacking our enemies” and ends with the prevention of possible terror attacks. Let me reiterate: “victory” is defined as “attacking our enemies.” Under President Trump’s strategy, it seems, every time the U.S. bombs or shells or shoots at a member of one of those 20-plus terror groups in Afghanistan, the U.S. is winning or, perhaps, has won. And this strategy is not specifically Afghan-centric. It can easily be applied to American warzones in the Middle East and Africa — anywhere, really.

Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has finally solved the conundrum of how to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” And it couldn’t have been simpler. You just adopt the same definition of victory. As a result, a conventional army — at least the U.S. military — now loses only if it stops fighting. So long as unaccountable commanders wage benchmark-free wars without congressional constraint, the United States simply cannot lose. You can’t argue with the math. Call it the rule of 4,000,000,029,057.

That calculus and that sum also prove, quite clearly, that America’s beleaguered commander-in-chief has gotten a raw deal on his victory parade. With apologies to the American Legion, the U.S. military is now — under the new rules of warfare — triumphant and deserves the type of celebration proposed by President Trump. After almost two decades of warfare, the armed forces have lowered the bar for victory to the level of their enemy, the Taliban. What was once the mark of failure for a conventional army is now the benchmark for success. It’s a remarkable feat and deserving, at the very least, of furious flag-waving, ticker tape, and all the age-old trappings of victory.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch, a fellow at the Nation Institute, and a contributing writer for the Intercept. His latest book is Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. He is also the author of the award-winning Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. His website is

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
Hide 111 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. At least we’ve found the magic money tree; no need to fret about how much all this costing.

    All the troops we send are volunteers, and the Afghans certainly seem enthusiastic. Let’s carry on!

    • Replies: @Sean
  2. Military conquests are the most ephemeral. Colonisation lasts longer. A mere century or two in the case of Europeans. But even 900 years was not sufficient for Greeks to remove the military n cultural threat posed by the Semites n Iranians of Southwest Asia, from Alexander’s conquest in 323 BC till the Muslim “reconquista” of 632 AD. Only demographic “conquest” works in the end. If your women are not out-reproducing their women, then your military will fail spectacularly n quickly, as what had once been your population transforms into theirs. At that point, far from victory parades, you get to see statues to your former heros torn down, n the highest “patriotism” becomes enthusiastically opening the gates to what had once been your people’s deadliest enemies.

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @Alden
    , @annamaria
  3. Anonymous [AKA "KenR"] says:

    People here must have lot of time on their hands. Turse’s article could have been much, much shorter and better constructed. Life is too short to coddle garrulousness. Read PCR–he knows how to write tersely and tellingly.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @WorkingClass
    , @Uslabor
  4. the GWOT has 3 components:

    1. keep Israhell on the map.
    2. keep oil-producers taking dollars and only dollars for their oil
    3. keep the CIA’s poppy fields in Afghanistan in full production

    on 1: ongoing victory, Israhell is still there
    on2: Iraq and Libya back on the petrodollar, Iran pending
    on3: ongoing victory, CIA drug ops proceeding normally

    in ZOG-ruled ‘Murka, every day is a day of new victories.

    • Agree: Agent76
  5. Sean says:

    “Peace with Honor” did not mean what it sounded like either.

    Trump came in saying just withdraw, now he has given the Army less than a year to get the results they say are essential before leaving, after which time he is going to declare victory and then withdraw.

    • Replies: @Reactionary Utopian
  6. Some friends of mine think that the US ‘triumphed’ in the Korean war and the first Gulf war?

  7. Why is money so easy to come by and open debate so hard to find when America engages in one of its favorite pastimes — terminating lives? Why does the reverse appear to be true when it comes to saving lives as in universal helthcare or improving them as in universal college education?

    • Replies: @Sean
  8. Sean says:

    Maybe you should go read Trump’s Tweets if you want terse from someone whose remarks are always telling.

  9. Sean says:

    Because although Health and Education Keynesianisn would work as well as the Military variant, it also leads to an organised population mobilising for social change. And while wars do end eventually, social spending seems to increase over time without limit.

  10. Sean says:
    @Colin Wright

    Trump’s new Afghanistan advisor Zalmay Khalilzad has called for Pakistan to be listed as a terrorist state. Trump is going to exert unbearable pressure on Pakistan, and they certainly can affect the Taliban. As with Syria the boards are being cleared for an attack on Iran

    • Replies: @Moi
  11. I often wondered why the USA wants to win in Afghanistan.
    The answer seems to be: lithium, for batteries.
    But, as far as I know, no lithium whatsoever until now comes from Afghanistan.
    In Kosovo the USA did better, just western firms exploit the most mineral rich region of Europe.
    Thus, Kosovo, the same as Kuwait, Katanga, Burundi, Quatar, and the oil rich part of Sudan.
    Maybe I should also mention the far west of Argentina, where Barrick Gold digs gold and copper, the copper, it is said, for USA ammo.
    Ordinary persons cannot get nearer to Barrick Gold in Argentina than a 100 miles.
    The poisoning of Argentina’s rivers in the region, something went catastrophically wrong with poisoned water, until now Barrick hardly paid anything in damages.
    Mendoza wine comes, or came, from the region.
    Just a look at who supports Barrick, in their financial reports, explains why.

  12. @Sean

    It did not in the civilised societies of north and western Europe.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Respect
    , @Anonymous
  13. Anonymous[317] • Disclaimer says:

    Mr. Turse is a comic. What a beautiful summary of the situation.
    See a group, Imagine a possible threat, if both occur, bingo group =converts to =>terrorist
    and each member converts to a subliminal threat. Imagine the psychology that can be applied to that bit of information to produce next day propaganda. Let us not forget the real media that displays the propaganda is owned by just 6 entities; global access to knowledge and real truth is gated and directed by search engine magic these two facts are IMO a real global threat to humanity.

    Win by not losing/ In such a scenario increasing numbers in a terror group or increasing numbers of, or broadening the global distribution of terror groups produces more terror fodder. The competent imagination derives its threats from terror fodder ( fodder fits any size imagination).

    When ever it is needed, proof of any non self-inflicted terrorism can be conjured from the imagination. As Mr Turse says proof of terrorism can be found in the definition, proof of victory can be found in the attack (as Mr. Turse so adequately expressed), and both are recorded in the history of terrorism, which can be found in the daily media presentations and the MSM annual report “Dollars Spent Chasing Terrorist from the Imagination”. a joint publication of the Internationally linked intelligence services and the global college of paranoia producing propaganda.

    victory is found in the attack because dollars start to flow; the more dollars the greater the victory.

    But how much of this would be possible if the reserve currency were no longer the dollar? What will happen when Russia, China, Iran and others produce a new reserve currency or displace existing reserve currencies by assigning exchange value to the currency of each nation? The issuer of reserve currency measures its money supply by the checks he writes [their checks never bounce], everyone else measures their currency by the amount of the reserve currency they are able to keep in the bank ( to prevent their checks from bouncing].

    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
  14. @Sean

    I was almost sold on that explanation to my honest question, until the phrase

    wars do end eventually

    Would wars “ending eventually”, not render the MIC obsolete? Is it not the MIC that thrives on perpetual wars with seemingly endless supplies of cash to fund their wars? Even in periods of relative calm (if ever, since WWII that is), is it not the constant threat of war that keeps the military monstrosity grinding away?

    • Replies: @prusmc
  15. RVBlake says:

    74% of Americans express high confidence in their military? I wonder if 74% of Americans are even aware that we’re at war. I read somewhere that U.S. generals now define victory as getting the Taliban to the bargaining table.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  16. Sean says:

    As Reagan showed there doesn’t need to be actual wars for massive military spending on expensive weapons systems. I don’t think the MIC makes the decisions, it is more the Right’s fear of the money being used for social spending if it is not eaten up on defence. That deficit defence spending debt would make further social spending impossible was something actually espoused in private within the Reagan administration.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  17. The US did not suffer a “crushing defeat” in Vietnam. We left a country able to defend itself with some supply from us. The Easter Offensive of 1972 ended in a crushing defeat for the North Vietnamese Army. half the troops they sent south were able to go home. All we supplied was some aviation support. ARVN performed quite well.

    However, in 1975 Kennedy, McGovern, and Mansfield saw to it that ARVN would not have the supplies they needed to fight and they lost. The DimoKKKRat party has blood on their hands they will never expunge.

  18. Sean says:
    @jilles dykstra

    True, but in Sweden, for instance, it worked well while there was a certain population being made more productive by social spending. Now there is no longer a closed system (immigration) and the population isin many cases far less able to be upgraded to high productivity by health and education. There were cutbacks to welfare yet the problem remained the old establishment could not understand the problem. The Swedish model is dying, and a new consensus is emerging per the success of the far Right in the current elections.

  19. anon[268] • Disclaimer says:

    “It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” General Nicholson said.
    The general called on the Taliban to “stop killing your fellow Afghans,” but he also referred indirectly to regional players — particularly Pakistan, where the militants enjoy sanctuary — who have complicated the fight.

    “Whose voices are important?” he asked. “The outsiders who are encouraging you to fight, or the voices of your own people who are encouraging you to peace?

    A cry in the wilderness . Cry for help and understanding . Cry and contrition from a defeated man – :” Cant’ you see , you are hurting people”?

  20. @Sean

    Trump came in saying just withdraw, now he has given the Army less than a year to get the results they say are essential before leaving, after which time he is going to declare victory and then withdraw.

    How can you tell what Trump’s going to be doing later today, much less a year from now? Serious question. Trump has so many ingredients in his word salad bar, I can’t see how what he says means anything.

    I certainly hope a withdrawal, not only from Afghanistan but also from the whole rest of the ME, from Europe, and from Korea, happens in less than a year. We could use a not-very-large, professional, male, non-tranny army at our southern border, where — in case no one’s noticed — we’re currently being invaded. But considering all the neocons Trump’s surrounded himself with, and whose orders he takes, I think that chances of that happening are like unto the proverbial snowball in Hell. And as for anything Trump says … well, it does demonstrate that his voice is working. Beyond that, I think, nothing.

    • Agree: RVBlake
    • Replies: @Sean
  21. Tom Walsh says:

    “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” was coined by Col. David Hackworth as out “G” ing the G and was shown to work in the Delta. Read his book “About Face” or “Steel my soldiers hearts”

  22. I have found simple statements in old country songs often times go right to the heart of the matter, and can be applied to many situations. It was George Jones who sang in the song “The Race Is On”, the words I think that most aptly describes the U.S. military since those glory days in Vietnam right through our current state of affairs in “the war on terror”. All you have to do is substitute the word “love” for “war”. Those words are and I quote “THE WINNER LOSES ON”.

  23. Joe Hide says:

    The author should do much better research before he educates the rest of us. North Korea is no longer launching ICBMs into the Sea of Japan. N. Korea is no longer doing nuclear testing. N. & S. Korea are talking to each other now. Terrorist groups in Syria & Iraq are largely crushed. U.S. planes are no longer bombing empty desert in Syria to pretend they are doing something beneficial. Instead, they have actually bombed the pyschopath invaders in that country. Do you really think President Donald Trump’s orders for launching of cruise missiles was meant to strike some ancient Syrian air force planes? Research what they really targeted. Also, research the defeatist restrictions the former American administration placed on our military’s handling of Afganistan versus the realistic but civilian and military casualty lowering policies now being used & developed. How can you ignore results while just quoting numbers? Anyone can subvert numbers/ statistics to support their biases / agendas. That said, if you do great research and aren’t fired from your job for publishing it, your writing talents could be valuable to human awakening.

    • Replies: @Johnnie Walker Read
  24. The U.S. has been at war at various times since 1913 when the Zionist banking cabal took over America via their privately owned FED and IRS and recently the Zionist created wars never end as in the 17 years and counting in Afghanistan protecting the drug running of the CIA/MOSSAD/MI6.

    Orwell pointed out in his book 1984 that wars are not meant to be won, wars are meant to provide profit for the bankers and control over the masses via the continual threat of an outside force ie a country or terrorists, which effectively keeps the masses in fear and under control.

    Here in river city the Zionists have been successful in keeping America in perpetual war for perpetual profit for the Zionist banking cabal and the Zionist controlled MIC and for the Zionist NWO.

    The Zionists proved they control the U.S. on 911 when their attack killed some 3000 Americans and got away with it and every thinking American knows that Israel and the Zionist controlled deep state did it.

  25. Anonymous [AKA "Kjell Holmsten"] says:

    Elites, read Bolsheviks or Freemasons win no war, they do not win over diseases, crime, idiot bla, bla. They are making money on them and they always turn to both sides. To the criminal gangsters, to the associations of the sick, to the losers in war, they can win in 20 years, etc. etc. This article is foam, foam. The Elites are trying to do everything and nobody understands anything, so the elite wins – the banker always has his blood money.

  26. the United States has not won a major conflict since 1945; has a trillion-dollar national security budget; has had 17 military commanders in the last 17 years in Afghanistan, a country plagued by 23,744 “security incidents” (the most ever recorded) in 2017 alone; has spent around $3 trillion, primarily on that war and the rest of the war on terror, including the ongoing conflict in Iraq, which then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore, in 2002, would be over in only “five days or five weeks or five months,” but where approximately 5,000 U.S. troops remain today; and yet 74% of the American people still express high confidence in the U.S. military.

    Let me correct that 1st sentence for you: the United States has not REPEATED THE MISTAKE OF WINNING a major conflict since 1945.

    Why? Because as they quickly discovered, WW2 was the best thing that ever happened to the US economy, and that lots more money is made fighting wars than winning one, as proven by the above quoted figures.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  27. @Sean

    The health and education option would work for awhile until the infrastructure is built and completed, followed by what would become a decreasing demand for more borrowed funds to be paid back with interest.

    Wars, on the other hand are the ideal option since vast amounts of material and goods needed to fight them are simply disappear, being blown-up and wasted. Which in turn creates a perpetual, and never-ending demand for additional borrowed funds needed to replace what was blown up.

  28. Afghanistan, the godforsaken desert of imbeciles, has been devastated to the point of no return and that deserves a victory parade… let’s have one!

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Alden
  29. Agent76 says:

    September 17, 2014 US Pursues *134** Wars Around the World

    The US is now involved in *134* wars or none, depending on your definition of war.

    December 24, 2013 The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

    The US Military has bases in *63* countries. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of *737* bases in foreign lands.

  30. Hi Nick Turse,
    … Given OBL and Afghanistan Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 terror attacks, it appears likely that the W. Bush regime launched war upon the Taliban exclusively for geopolitical interests, minerals, i.e., lithium, and construction of natural gas pipelines directed southeast to the subcontinent, India.
    … Fyi, approximately seven years ago, I saw a U.S. Veterans informational map which identified the Neo-“Grunts” military bases as within close proximity to pipeline construction.
    … Consequently, for me, I see US military’s incessant stay in “the graveyard of Empires” as a stilted profit & loss (P&L) “‘victory,” but of course there’s no (!) dividend for dumb goyim American citizens, but voila, oodles for global energy companies, untouchable Military-Industrial-$ecurity Complex, & killing “Poppy Fields,” including Moneychanger pharmaceutical-opioid trade!
    … In short, the incredible cost for U.S. military’s GWOT & advanced targeting of Russia is diabolically placed upon future generations of American taxpayers who, at the moment-of-their birth, are in debt, & the Mom and Pop’ “victory” is incarnate in a ‘guvmint CHIP card.
    … ZUSA wars “victory” is in the pockets of P&L-benefactors, and on Sunday afternoons, one can feel the “bern” when fighter jets flyover NFL stadiums!
    … Thanks for the education, Mr. Turse!

  31. Respect says:
    @jilles dykstra

    The nordic ” model ” is dead , and it has been a bad example to the world . Sweden has 10 million people , Norway 4 , Danmark 6 . These little countries can not be a valid model for anyone .

    Like Toynbee said nordics are kind of a failed egoistic subcivilization of the germans , english of russians , with which they never had the courage to integrate . They seem to be happy in their autistic cold world , pretending to be a showroom for the UN perverts .

    • Replies: @Alden
  32. Respect says:

    The glamour of the luteran and luteranoid countries is gone down the drain in the last 30 years .

    No simpaticos anylonger . Kairos over .

  33. @Anonymous

    Yes thank you. A single point of sarcasm (U.S. military wins by not losing) that drones on and on and on.

  34. Thim says:

    As to Vietnam the author is just clueless. Where was the so called crushing defeat? When we Americans pulled out in 1971 to 1972 the NVA was still stymied and impotent. Our so called allies hated us totally and the feeling was mutual. We actually had no allies in Vietnam except the savage yard tribes. But yes after we pulled out the South collapsed fast as we knew they would. They got exactly what they deserved. But it was a South Vietnamese defeat. By 1975 our armies were long gone. Repeat, there were no American divisions, battallions or platoons to lose. We were gone.

    We still do not know exactly what Kissinger got from the Chinese at Paris in 1971-2, but he and Nixon seemed happy enough, and we pulled out and ceded Vietnam. We do know this was the exact time China began to cooperate with us in the Cold War against the Bolsheviks. Specifically, we know the Chinese allowed our B-52’s, loaded with nukes, to overfly, all along the Soviet border, and this continued to 1987, when the game was already up.

    I cannot speak lowly enough about the author of this article. It is a disgrace.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  35. @Dagon Shield

    Peter Levi, ‘The light garden of the angel king, journeys in Afghanistan’, 1972, 1984, Harmondsworth
    Winston Churchill, ‘The Story of the Malakand Field Force’, 1898, 2004, New York
    D. S. Richards, ‘The savage frontier, A history of the Anglo- Afghan wars’, 1990, 2003, Londen
    Perhaps the last book is the most interesting, except one man, a complete British army annihilated around 1830.
    At present, despite the USA’s might, after seventeen years, a country still not occupied.
    Who is the imbecile ?

  36. @James Charles

    As Great Britain triumphed in 1940 at Dunkirk

    • Replies: @Alden
  37. Moi says:

    Old Zalmay is a crypto-Zio and none to bright. Kind of guy our politicians like.

  38. @Thim

    I am absolutely certain that you even try to convince yourself with your lies.
    Let me know if you convinced yourself.

  39. Sean says:
    @Reactionary Utopian

    Trump works by getting the people behind him, he speaks their language .

    It is like Giuliani whose behaviour as Trump’s lawyer has been widely criticized as ineffective and clownish, but for Trump to be indicted still less impeached the country would have to approve. Mueller started with the American public squarely behind him, but now after the circus of the Giuliani back and forth with the media Mueller’s investigation is opposed by the majority.

    The Army is a machine for killing, I agree it is men’s work. The WEIRD-world is not yet ready for culling featherless bipeds as a means of immigration control. Israel uses indigenous minorities like the Bedouin and Druze as border guards, maybe the US could use Comanches.

  40. Alden says:
    @Sin City Milla

    Given your assumption that babies are conceived in a woman’s womb by some miraculous process that doesn’t involve sperm, only eggs ; I can only assume that you have no idea of how a baby is conceived because you have never in your 90 years done the deed that can result in conception.

    Maybe they didn’t have sex education or those you’re growing up and your body will change classes back in the 1930s. But surely you could have figured out that it takes both a sperm and an egg to make a baby.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Sin City Milla
  41. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Good one!!!

    It was a disastrous defeat. The equipment was abandoned.
    Churchill refused to send naval ships to rescue the army. So he sent out private ships including fishing and small recreational boats to rescue the army. And he proclaimed it a victory

    • Replies: @Haxo Angmark
  42. prusmc says: • Website

    There was a legitimate threat after WWII. That pretty much ended in1989-91. Interesting how now that the FBI and CIA are fully engaged in a coup against Trump there have been no domestic terrorist activities by Muslims or other groups (save the White Supremists).

  43. Alden says:

    Except for Sweden’s medieval and early modern military forays into Russia Poland and Germany, the Nordic countries haven’t done much of anything for a thousand years that affected even N. Europe.

    Until socialism the average Nordic workers were among the the poorest in Europe. Sweden bowed to the Muslims and now has the highest rate of rape in the world and the black and brown rapists are routinely acquitted or given probation and short sentences in the most luxurious prisons in the world.

    Instead of a heavy security presence and swift arrests of Muslims who grope women at big events, the Swedes are now having women only events.

    That’s bowing to Muslim law that women and men must be kept separate because men can’t control themselves.

  44. Sean says:

    That must be why countries like Afghanistan that have high rates of unmarried virgins have the lowest birthrates.

    • Replies: @Alden
  45. nsa says:

    Think like a vile warmongering jooie. Look at a map. Where would you like to place your compliant satrap’s giant military? Hmmmm…….. Think of a country sharing a long border with Iran from which you could supply the local joohadis and eventually launch an air attack…….hmmmm. Think of a country with a small border with China from which you could supply the Uyghur muzzie terrorists and cap off China’s expansion east……hmmmm. Think of a country from which the joohadi terrorists operating in the Muzziestans to the north could be supplied and promoted, threatening the soft muzzie underbelly of Russia……hmmmmm. Think of a country from which the recalcitrant muzzies of Pakistan could be droned ad infinitum with no risk at all but lots of profits. Hmmmmm……….

  46. Respect says:

    Definition of terror : a state of intense fear ( Webster )

    I have always been amazed by the expression ” war on terror ” which is used in the subtitle or this article , and is used frequently by the Media and Government of the USA .

    Terror is an abstract concept . The fear can be reactive to any problem or danger , or even to imaginary dangers such as paranoid people experiment .

    So when I hear the expression ” war on terror ” I think that the term is not correct , you can not make war on an abstract idea , on a inespecific concept .

    In my understanding the expression should be ” war on terrorism ” which is more concrete
    more precise , and would permit to put an adjective to terrrorism , war on which terrorism ? : on islamic terrorism , economic terrorism , monetary terrorism , armed terrorism , military terrorism , racial terrorism …. ???

    I wonder if the Media and the Governemet use the term ” war on terror ” just out of gramatical ignorance and IQ problems , or if they use this imprecise term with the evil idea of provoking more fear and confussion in the masses .

  47. joe m says:
    @James Charles

    Why don’t we ask the South Koreans or maybe the Kuwaitis if we “Triumphed? Would that please your intellect?

    • Replies: @James Charles
  48. Alden says:
    @Dagon Shield

    Has it been devastated? The Afghanis don’t seem to care about electricity water and sewage decent roads and the infrastructure of modern life.

    If we need an oil pipeline, minerals or something only found in Afghanistan, just pay off the applicable warlords.

    And leave them alone in their mountains to take care of themselves.

    • Replies: @anon
  49. annamaria says:
    @Sin City Milla

    On the coup d’état of 11 September 2001:
    “…certain senior personalities were lying when the Secretary of State for Justice and Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, revealed the names of the 19 presumed hijackers, because we already had in front of us the lists disclosed by the airline companies of all of the passengers embarked – lists on which none of the suspects were mentioned.”

    “We advanced the hypothesis of the masked coup d’état, in conformity with Edward Luttwak’s method of maintaining the appearance of the Executive, but imposing a different policy.”

    “…the USA Patriot Act suspends the Bill of Rights”

    “… the package of secret operations in 85 countries where Rumsfeld and Cebrowski intended to destroy the State structures…. placed US armed forces in the service of transnational financial interests. They betrayed your country and transformed it into the armed wing of these predators.
    We have seen the implementation of the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy – phony « civil wars » have devastated almost all of the Greater Middle East. Entire cities have been wiped from the map, from Afghanistan to Libya…”

    “In 2011, we saw the commander of AfriCom relieved of his mission and replaced by NATO for having refused to support Al-Qaïda in the liquidation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Then we saw NATO’s LandCom organise Western support for jihadists in general and Al-Qaïda in particular… So the jihadists once again became the allies of the deep state, which, in fact, they have always been.”

    “…the coup d’état of 11 September 2001… is the triumph of transnational interests which are crushing all of humanity.”

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Sin City Milla
  50. Alden says:

    Conventional wisdom is that it was only WW2 that ended the depression. We started manufacturing military equipment for France and England in 1938 and viola! The depression was over.

    Wars been the main cash crop of America ever since. Some countries export oil. Others sell produce for northern countries. China manufactures everything.

    And America exports useless wars we never win that makes us hated all over the world.

  51. Alden says:

    The alleged hijackers didn’t use their real names to buy the tickets. Each used one of the 59 false dr licenses the 19 had.

    Most of dr licenses were not forged or stolen. They were from states that give dr licenses with little documentation. Many of the dr licenses were from Virginia which had a policy of not looking at documentation before issuing licenses.

  52. Alden says:

    So you still won’t admit that it takes a man to make a baby. The old codger blathering about young women and conception is perverse.

    And how many children did you have and raise? Given your lack of knowledge that it takes both sperm and an egg to make a baby I’d say none.

    Many of you old codgers are like the primitive tribes who haven’t figured out it takes sex to make a baby. Like you old codgers they think it just happens with no help from a man and his sperm.

    The constant comments about conception make this site look really perverse and weird.

    • Replies: @Sean
  53. Uslabor says:

    But reading is FUNdamental!

  54. @Anonymous

    “produce a new reserve currency by assigning exchange value…”

    that’s not how it works. Violence rules:

    America holds most of the world on the dollar by forcing (at gunpoint: cf. Iraq, Libya…and soon Iran) major oil producers to sell their oil for dollars AND ONLY dollars. That forces non-producers to buy dollars before they can buy oil, which remains the principal commodity in international trade. Without which, ‘Murka’s debt-drowned, dollar-monetized ponzi’conomy would long ago have gone to hyperinflation and collapse.

    Russia is the world’s largest oil-producer and, remarkably, given ZOG’s lethal hostility to Russia, still takes dollars for oil. If Putin wants to hammer the (((Empire))) all he’s got to do is say “no more dollars”…but still has not done so. Maybe you can figure out why.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  55. The US “snuck out of Vietnam” and “abandoned its allies” only after murdering 3 million Southeast Asians. I’d call that a win!

    Vietnam Veterans have reason to be proud! That’s a lot of death-dealing, you bet ya!

  56. @Alden

    in fact…a fair number of RN destroyers were also sent, both to embark troops and provide AA cover for the merchant and civvy vessels. And the Luftwaffe sank more than a few of them.

    Dunkirk was a tactical defeat for the Brits, but a strategic debacle for the Germans. Hitler had most of the then-existent Brit Army (c. 10 divisions) at his mercy, dithered for 2 days, and let them escape.

    • Replies: @Respect
  57. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    They will and one day they will take real revenge . One thing is sure the children of the neocons will egg them to strike back.

  58. Respect says:
    @Haxo Angmark

    A medical explanation of the german inactivity in Dunkirk is that the germans had done the french blitz on amphetamines ( Pervitin ) and after the high came the down , just in Dunkirk , as it happened to them in many other fronts and battles

    • Replies: @Johnnie Walker Read
  59. Agent76 says:

    *All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars* By Michael Rivero

    I know many people have a great deal of difficulty comprehending just how many wars are started for no other purpose than to force private central banks onto nations, so let me share a few examples, so that you understand why the US Government is mired in so many wars against so many foreign nations.

  60. Anonymous [AKA "Rodrigo Santos"] says:
    @jilles dykstra

    The tax-to-GDP rate in those countries grew considerably in the last 30 years, and spending is nearing half of GDP. Also, most of them are heavily indebted(through as not as the PIIGS), and even then still have long-term problems with pensions and healthcare costs.

  61. Sean says:

    And how many children did you have and raise? Given your lack of knowledge that it takes both sperm and an egg to make a baby I’d say none.

    My knowledge is not unusually large.

    The constant comments about conception make this site look really perverse and weird.

    Very well, I shall get back on the topic of the post:-

    Afghanistan’s ‘Disposable Sons’ By Gunnar Heinsohn Sept. 17, 2009

    To understand why the U.S. and NATO—after eight years of hard fighting—face mounting losses in Afghanistan, we must look beyond the battlefield. Afghanistan has been at war or civil war since 1979. With a tiny population of 15 million, it fought a bloody struggle against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Treaty allies, which had a combined population of 450 million. While the Russians lost some 15,000 men, Afghanistan suffered more than a million dead. In the years that followed, Afghanistan was never at peace as new combatants, foreign and domestic, battled for control of the country. And yet as the U.S. and other NATO countries approach their ninth year of war in this forbidding land, Afghanistan today has many more men of military age than it did in 1978. […] Decade after decade, the women of Afghanistan have been averaging three to four sons each. […] Today, every 1,000 Afghan men aged 40 to 44 will be succeeded by more than 4,000 boys aged 0 to 4. In the U.S., there are only 980 boys per 1,000 men. In the U.K. the ratio is 670 per 1,000 and in Germany, which is committing demographic suicide, the ratio is 470 boys to 1,000 men.

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  62. @RVBlake

    I say it’s time to bring out the big guns and send Nikki Haley to Afghanistan to threaten the Taliban directly. That should do it.

  63. @Carroll Price

    I think that we all know that the US dragged its feet in WWII and actually won very little. The race to Berlin and the end of the war was joined solely due to the inexorable progress of the Red Army.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  64. Haxo Angmark, you are wrong. The Germans did not let them escape by dithering. French First Army placed itself as a blocking force between the Kraut and the Dunkirk enclave, no retreat, standing its ground and taking casualties. In one of French First Army’s counterattacks they captured a Kraut General. French First Army was destroyed protecting the enclave but covered themselves with glory. Show some respect for some of the most courageous soldiers in history. French First Army, true sons of France, the best of the best, they will never be forgotten.

    • Agree: RVBlake
  65. A bunch of theories about which “cabal” created a 17 year old war are not important, the cost is. The US had a surplus budget when Clinton left office.

    And the bottom line is that no matter how harsh things get for the rednecks at the bottom of the GOP demographic whose heroes like Bush are depicted sweeping leaves in their yards wearing cowboy boots to remind the rural whites that they are their people in the same way that Record Labels will depict a rap artist with white women around his feet in a marble house with a huge marijuana joint in his mouth, the rural whites won’t care.

    If a war with Syria or Iran is announced, the rural whites who have no 6 figure job to profit from and no medical degree to obtain will back it in order to have something to do.

    • Replies: @Sean
  66. denk says:

    James mad dog Mattis lies about Syria.

    Which SoOffence hasnt lied thru his tooth in his day job ?
    Which potus, SOS, CON-gress critter , senator was NOT a psychopath ?

    A psychopath is one who could look straight into your eyes while telling a bald faced lie .

    All elected leaders of the 6lies have been psychopaths, it might as well be written in the job requirement !

    Why do folks in the 6lies, aka fukusIndia or ‘democracies’ elect psychopaths for leaders….not once , not twice but hundreds of times ?

    According to Ian Fleming’s fundamental law of probability, something must be wrong with the 6lies electorates ?

    straight face psychopath…
    Exhibit one.

    Pompeo , with hundreds of certified genocides under his belt, points his blood soaked fingers at China,..
    ‘You must come clean with the ‘TAM massacre’ ‘ !

    sob repeat the same B.S. every 4/6,
    dont let the world forget TAM’

    bUT thats normal, 6lies leaders lie, its a given.

    What beats me is, thirty years after the debunking of TAM, those who ought to know better are still parroting their serial lying leaders ‘tanks crushing unarmed students in TAM ‘ canard.
    [Colin Wright]

    Lying psychopath,
    Exhibit 2

    CON-gress critters want sanction on China for its 1000000 Uighurs gulags.

    These days they dont even bother with fabricating ‘evidences’ like the Iraq WMM.

    jUST say IT, they know the sheeples would lap it up every time, including those who think they’r so savvy with geopolitics.
    When it comes to making up stories, their imagination is the limit.


  67. Sean says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    The US had a surplus budget when Clinton left office.

    There is such a thing as the economic cycle. Classical economics does not work on a democracy because the people who really suffer have a vote and are not willing to cast it for suffering in order to re-balance the economy. Persist with classical economics and people will vote for national economic solutions such as the New Deal.

    If a war with Syria or Iran is announced, the rural whites who have no 6 figure job to profit from and no medical degree to obtain will back it in order to have something to do

    Just as well those men rather enjoy killing as part of a high functioning team and getting paid for it.
    The sergeant wrote that the unit’s policy was to shoot not only guerrilla fighters (whom US troops called Vietcong or VC) but anyone who ran. This was the “Number one killer” of unarmed civilians, he wrote, explaining that helicopters “would hover over a guy in the fields till he got scared and run and they’d zap him” and that the Ninth Division’s snipers gunned down farmers from long range to increase the body count. […] Taylor recalled flying over rice paddies with Hunt: “He said something to the pilot, and all of a sudden the door gunner was firing a .50-caliber machine gun out the door, and I said, ‘What the hell is that?’ He said, ‘See those black pajamas down there in the rice paddies? They’re Vietcong. We just killed two of them.’” Immediately afterward, Hunt spoke again to the pilot. “He was talking body count,” Taylor said. “Reporting body count.” Later he asked Hunt how he could identify VC from the helicopter, without seeing weapons or receiving ground fire. “He said, ‘Because they’re wearing black pajamas.’ I said, ‘Well, Sir, I thought workers in the fields wore black pajamas.’ He said, ‘No, not around here. Black pajamas are Vietcong.’” […] That is, if 8% of the population [of] an area is VC about 8% of the people we kill are VC.”

    The battalion that killed the most got extra beer.
    I’ve lost track of how many times I have been told by ex-military folk that they were never so ill as when they returned to civvy street. It wasn’t that they weren’t as fit as they had been in the forces; it was that they kept falling ill with coughs and colds and the detritus of everyday life. When I mentioned the camaraderie of Army life, the odd pint and all that exercise on the drill square, they immediately got the point. Exercise, alcohol and friends — three great ways to trigger endorphins.

    • Agree: Carroll Price
    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  68. @Joe Hide

    Trump flip-flops again and is ready to jump back into Syria which could end up very badly for all of us.
    M Fer’ is Jew controlled just like our entire judicial and legislative branches, along with his past occupants of the oval orifice.

  69. Agent76 says:

    November 13, 2013 U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Afghan Opium Production

    Drug War? American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium It is well-documented that the U.S. government has – at least at some times in some parts of the world – protected drug operations.

  70. @Respect

    Must be the same “speed” our pilots use on those extra long bombing missions.

  71. @James Charles

    If the “triumph” was in reference to the establishment of a US Military Industrial Complex president Harry Truman, in 1952, warned the American people about, along with hundreds of subsequent wars (like the Gulf War) to assure it’s continued survival, then your friends are correct.

  72. anonymous[356] • Disclaimer says:

    Like most treatments of the Afghan invasion and occupation no attention is paid to the human cost for the Afghans to have endured all this for these many years. How many killed, crippled, orphaned, turned into pauperized refugees, how many premature deaths due to degraded living conditions? How much of a loss in economic development that was stymied due to the upheaval? Americans care not a bit about any of that and evidently do not consider Afghans to even be human, otherwise there’d be more questions like this asked-which they never are. Declare victory and get out no matter the real situation seems to be applicable here. When American robo-soldiers kill natives in their own contries they are fighting terror. If the natives dare resist then they’re labeled terrorists no matter they’re standing on their own home territory. Americans seem rather clueless about all this and see nothing wrong with them traveling to the other side of the globe to drop bombs on the heads of people living there. ‘War On Terror’? Hardly. It’s really a ‘War Of Terror’ waged by the US against millions of people around the world. It’s fascinating to see how the American brain operates and how it can’t comprehend these most basic facts.

  73. @Sean

    But there has to be a hot or cold war, with Reagan having his Cold War when making the observation, but which shortly thereafter unexpectedly came to an end, which in turn created an emergency situation calling for a 2nd Pearl Harbor needed to legitimize a hot, but fake War On Terror.

  74. @NoseytheDuke

    When compared to Russia, the relatively minor role the US and England played in defeating Germany, both late-comers got far more credit and territory than either deserved.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  75. “And that’s only one of many lessons the disastrous American War in Vietnam still offers us.”

    The only thing disastrous about Vietnam is how much baloney one has to deal with concerning the reasons were there., the nonsensical Vietnam protests amd ythe childishness pf arguments claiming that the US lost the conflict.\

    Tiresome and time consuming to forever correct the record. Rarely has a period in history been so shabbily recorded.

    • Replies: @nsa
  76. Fubar says:

    Why have an expensive battle simulator and war games when you can have the real thing. Rotate the troops, let them exchange gunfire in the dark with an unseen enemy, pin a medal on them and shout Hoo-rah. They’re now seen some combat. And it trains all the departments, communications, logistics, medics who treat the occasional severed leg. And best of all, Afghanistan will never own a boat, never significantly take the fight to the US (twin towers notwithstanding). They are a training enemy. A punching bag for the very expensive US armed forces to spar on to prepare themselves to some extent against a real enemy who could emerge ( it starts with Chin-).

    So it really can’t be a surprise that Afghanistan -with its bold history of wearing down invaders- would be pissed. Will always resist. Will continue to take American lives. But that’s okay to your politicians, because a) Americans are brainwashed when someone whispers the trigger phrase “support the troops”, and b) this multi-multi billion dollar industry funding this convenient training war buys your politicians, just like your top 1% buys all your politicians.

    Turn a profit to pollute some waterways and give some locals cancer and birth defects? Done! Turn a profit to dismantle public education? Sold! Sell generations into wage slavery so billionaires may be become trillionaires? Sir, we have a deal!

    There are vampire gods at the heart of the US quietly draining it of vitality. And, through the tireless work of lobbyists and groups with Institute in their name, have convinced the American people to attack each other in the meantime so that nothing gets done about it. Sadly, for all his blather, Donald Trump won’t help you because… well, it’s quite clear that he’s a liar and a moron. Don’t worry, the lobbyists have done their work, it’s nearly time for the vampire gods to step out into the light and be worshipped and for the adoring masses to willingly be consumed.

  77. Hank Yobo says:
    @Carroll Price

    re: Britain was a “late-comer” to WW II

    Which of these three nations was first to resist the Nazi menace and continued to do so despite Hitler’s proffer of peace in 1940? It certainly wasn’t the Soviet Union since Stalin had already signed a non-aggression pact before the invasion of Poland. Perhaps Germany would not have marched east in 1939 had they had not secured Russian support for this aggression. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  78. nsa says:

    Davie Hackworth called it “a complete collapse of the US conscript military”, but down at the VFW lounge you senile drunks are still fighting on to a complete victory (with honor) from high atop your bar stool perches.

    • Agree: Carroll Price
  79. Having had the debate over the childish notions that the US invaded Vietnam, controlled the government of Vietnam, lost the war in Vietnam on numerous occasions on this cite and elsewhere — let’s just say.

    The US left Vietnam in 1973 after the North Vietnamese agreed to a peace treaty. The US, Australia and South Vietnam forced the North, North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union — to quit.

    That’s called winning by anyone’s book. After the departure of the US North Vietnam launched another war – the US nor Australia had the political will to respond to supporting their previous victory and S/ Vietnam fell. The US was not present — that loss is on S. Vietnam. Our failure was not ensuring our initial victory — sloppy thought it may have been.

    Laughing — LOL . . . Mr Hackworth needs a lesson in military history of Vietnam. One need not refight am conflict – the record is pretty clear. But anyone suggesting that the US military draft military collapsed is nuts. Even the North Vietnamese would laugh at such a comment. TET Offensive response was a head to head demonstration of the fighting US marine and soldier — and it was a painful reminder that the draft was jot a failure.

    Good grief —- LOL . . . my encouragement to Mr. Hackworth — stop smoking marijuana dulls the memory..

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  80. @Sean

    White working class people did not vote for Bush instead of Gore for economic reasons but because the stuff were totally used to now came out of the 90’s-PC, anti-white mentality, the bubble city sneering at rednecks, the general distrust and cynicism of government personified in the X Files and the rise of movie anti-heroes, the anti-mainstream weirdness and anything goes attitude of the 90’s.

  81. @EliteCommInc.

    It is incredibly generous of you to offer lessons on history in Vietnam and one can only imagine just how much you could teach David Hackworth about military matters.

    Do you actually read your own comments before clicking to publish?

  82. Will says:

    Note to Self: Don’t read another Nick Turse article

  83. @Hank Yobo

    Not sure what point you’re attempting to make, but my comment was in reference to the fact that after Hitler ran England off the continent at Dunkirk, while taking mercy on them by not destroying their army which he could have easily done, England dared not set foot back in Europe until after Russia had completed the job of destroying the bulk of the German army, leaving England and the US with a relatively easy task of facing inexperienced, second-rate troops with no air power at their disposal.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  84. @nsa

    LOL. Best laugh I’ve had in a while.

  85. One of the unfortunate side effects of that era was the utter beat down of anyone who challenged the anti-vietnam war rhetoric. It has been taboo to provide any other analysis, even for men and women who know better, it’s just not worth the effort. Professionals in academia and politics any social science for that matter knows it’s very risky to tackle the politically correct mountain.

    If the comments regarding Mr. Hackworth are accurate, then he has fallen into that maze. He is not the first, nor will he be the last to jump on that convenient wagon.

    It would be to my advantage to improve my writing skills —

    However, that is another matter. I remain where I came in — if Mr Hackworth or anyone else thinks that our victory in Vietnam was a sign of the collapse of the draft – their accounting of the record is might shrift.

    Col. Hackworth had every reason to be dismayed and angry about the military incompetency as he saw it — that undoubtedly was fed further by the war protest rhetoric which upon examination got nearly everything about our presence in Vietnam incorrect. My comments in no manner challenge his honorable service.

    But I stand where I came in.

  86. What would “victory” in the war on terror even look like?

    It would look like an absence of Zio-Commies and their puppets (Hillary and Trump included) running the show. That pack of terrorists were the real “winners” of the world wars in their march toward world domination with the capitol in Jerusalem.Also, can you imagine never having to be subjected to a Netanyahu-skunk-eating smirk, ever again?

    That would certainly look good, and would no doubt smell good too.

  87. Vietnam victory.
    It did happen when Russians delivered first wave of heat seeking missiles to North Vietnam. (surprise surprise.)
    Americans declared victory than tuck tale and run.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  88. @Alden

    What a strange thing to say. As if populations haven’t expanded n contracted for millennia, n as if family “planning” is a modern invention, n as if the pill didn’t exist.

    However, I suppose it’s worth pointing out that only a small fraction of a society’s males ever fight in wars far enough away to affect total reproduction. Still, I suspect it’s no accident that the full mobilization of Frenchmen for 20 years after the Revolution was followed by a permanent collapse in French birth rates. And that a collapse in Hellenistic Greek birth rates was followed by conquest by the Romans whose population was exploding. And then a collapse in the Roman birth rates was followed by barbarian invasions (eagerly welcomed by Roman turncoats) n ultimately by Arab invasions–which were also happily welcomed by local Christians. In the 700s the Islamic iconoclast tendency was adopted by the Orthodox Christian of the Byzantine state n Orthodox Christians destroyed large numbers of Christian icons on their own initiative. Much like today’s destruction of yesterday’s heros statues, yes?

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  89. @Sin City Milla

    Societies expand when the highest social value for women is maximum reproduction. Societies decline when the highest social value for women is anything other than maximum reproduction. Confidence in a society’s values is a function of its reproductive rate, rising or falling like a stock price, where the stock is the political power of that society. ZPG > inverted social values > military decline. Inverted social values equals a population afflicted with self-loathing followed by attacks on its own social icons.

  90. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    You might want to review your history on the question. Despite the utter ignorance of Vietnam protesters concerning the conflict — it was the events in Vietnam that pressed out decision not to return.

    It was the lack of public will, not what occurred on the battlefield. In all ways the US fought that conflict with their hands tied behind their backs — when they were cut loose, including air power, the US owned the skies. And no one disputes the initial losses from from to ground missiles.

    But if you think that dissuaded those in combat to cry “uncle” — you are deeply mistaken.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  91. It’s a strange discussion that suggests that the US military runs from battle because they are in capable in some way at the same time some are bemoaning that not enough of the general population is involved in the conflicts.

    While I support a draft —- the testimony to US effectiveness is demonstrated that they actually are engaged in so many conflicts with so few troops.

    Had the US engaged fully in any of the aforementioned conflicts — “fo ge’d a aboud it.”

    Your own rhetorical complaint makes the case. My comments do not suggest I support needless conflict — but make no mistake, the US military can bring to bear an enormous amount of devastating firepower anywhere in the world in 24 – 48 hours. An And can do so in multiple arenas around the globe simultaneously.

  92. Correction: You might want to review your history on the question. Despite the utter ignorance of Vietnam protesters concerning the conflict — it was the events in the US that pressed out decision not to return.

    The issue is whether we should —

  93. The late 60’s and throughout and passed the 70’s great music — complete destructive liberal polity.

  94. @EliteCommInc.

    Come on! President Johnston called in Westmoreland and told him what do you need I will give it to you. Westmoreland could come up with straight answer.
    There was no effective military tactic in Vietnam due dense foliage.
    Standard US military tactic was from WW2 (What we were talking about at the time when it was happening), it was when encountering German enemy, usually one heavy machine gun nest, the tactic was to retreat, but keep shooting, and calling for air support.
    I do not say that I do have a contempt for this kind of tactic because it minimizes casualties.
    But after when Vietnamese were capable to brind down US aircraft, this tactic become ineffective.
    Consideration of terrain in military conflict is of utmost importance.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  95. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    No. The tactic in WWII was to beat Germany, including getting to the capital – Berlin. That was not the objective nor the strategy with respect to Vietnam. There was one objective, secure a south Vietnam. Now I think it is safe to say that we probably should have invaded and crushed the North entirely, including the complete destruction of their major cities — that would be reminiscent of WWII — we didn’t even come close to engaging that strategy.

    Sure jungle warfare was an issue — it always is. But the US has been battling in deep jungles all throughout southern Aisia and new guinea. They prevailed based on the record. The Vietnamese were capable of bringing down US attack aircraft, as soon as they figured out the US air tactics — something that Col. Hackworth would say is the problem – in which political policy over rode military necessity.

    Regardless of terrain — the US military was successful in Vietnam. It was not a loss, certainly not a military loss. This has been discussed in detail and detail and after that m ore detail in discussions on this site. The problem was military — it was the utter characterized hyperbole and incorrect arguments by those at home.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  96. correction: The problem was not the military (not that the military was without err — that is not my position)

    But the political issue was utterly mischaracterized hyperbole and incorrect arguments by those at home.

  97. Hank Yobo says:
    @Carroll Price

    “England dared not set foot back in Europe until after Russia had completed the job of destroying the bulk of the German army, leaving England and the US with a relatively easy task of facing inexperienced, second-rate troops with no air power at their disposal.”

    Not to be pedantic, but this statement is incorrect. Both the UK and the US invaded mainland Europe, through Sicily and Italy, in the summer of 1943. The German army was still in fine fighting fettle.

    “second -rate troops”? In both Italy and NW Europe, Allied forces encountered German parachute units, Hitler Youth, SS, and battle-hardened panzer detachments. All would be considered elite opposition by any standard.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  98. @Hank Yobo

    this kind of rhetoric has some appeal, but it’s a tad weak. Sure, it was the Russians that fought their way back across Europe and into Berlin.

    But that would have been impossible minus the grand strategic arena covered by the allies of French troops, the US, and Great Britain, Australia and others. That would have been impossible without the foreign aide provided by the US to all of the allies. Germany’s choice to take on a two or three front effort was unsustainable before the US entered the war. The logistics alone were not in place and several strategic objectives — such as controlling the oil fields along with the Chancellor’s own interference — made it difficult at best.

    I am not taking anything away from the communist fight —- but the constant bravada that they alone are the real winners in Europe is nonsense. By the time 1942 rolled around if not sooner — Germnan expansion had slowed or been stilled. If for the Russians alone — Germany would have defeated russia despite their logistical and strategic mistakes.

    and no the allies did not merely fight second rate troops.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    , @Liberty Mike
  99. Hank Yobo says:

    This was exactly my point. Thanks for your agreement and further insight.

  100. @EliteCommInc.

    Have you considered the possibility that you are overstating your position?

    Have you considered the possibility that your viewpoint has been shaped by American exceptionalism propaganda?

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  101. @EliteCommInc.

    500,000 strong and they couldn’t get the job done.

    There are still those who cling to the fable that the vaunted American military juggernaut didn’t lose, it was the politicians!

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  102. @Liberty Mike

    Whether the US is exceptional or not,

    the level aid provided to Europe and that includes Russia made a response possible. And there’s nothing unique about Germany’s logistical over reach and Hitler’s meddling into the matters he could not have possibly grasped regarding the value of logistics.

    During WWII, the US was in:

    Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe

    Russia was in — well Russia and the press forward for reasons previously discussed. And the more detailed, the richer that WWII, picture gets. Because we are talking about forces air, land and sea in all of those arenas. While ate the same providing aide to the allies — including Russia.

    But if one were to consider the US exceptional — the vast reach would certainly be in consideration.

  103. @Liberty Mike

    I need you to be more specific here . . .

    If you mean Vietnam — they did get the job done. And most of those 500,00 were not combat troops in the direct combat.

    Regardless, the effort forced North Vietnam to peace — that means the US wins.

    And S. Vietnam collapsed after said troops were withdrawn —

    I will tell what i find exceptional, the lengths people will go to make the victory in Vietnam look and feel like a loss. Bad info, weak minds, weak hearts and a lousy understanding of the historical record coupled with skewed understanding of what that record reflects.

    Next you’ll be telling me that the US invaded Vietnam . . .

    goodness me ooh my.

  104. I need you to be more specific here . . .

    If you mean Vietnam — they did get the job done. And most of those 500,00 were not combat troops in the direct combat.

    Regardless, the effort forced North Vietnam to peace — that means the US wins.

    And S. Vietnam collapsed after said troops were withdrawn —

    I will tell what i find exceptional, the lengths people will go to make the victory in Vietnam look and feel like a loss. Bad info, weak minds, weak hearts and a lousy understanding of the historical record coupled with skewed understanding of what that record reflects.

    Next you’ll be telling me that the US invaded Vietnam . . .

    goodness me ooh my.

  105. @Sean

    To drive home the point, even for those reduced cohorts (correctly) cited for the UK, n I suspect also for Germany n the US, the fastest rising boy’s name in popularity is Muhammad. The names Obama, Ali, n Hussein are probably not far behind. I don’t see crowds protesting their mosques in Afghanistan, like the mobs we see in the US n UK toppling their own statues. IOW, a lack of babies leads to inverted cultural values n eventually to military collapse, like what happened to France in 1940.

  106. @annamaria

    These details are noise n are impossible to confirm. But the result is that our government institutions are allying themselves with declared enemies of the American people, which confirms my point that demographic decline results in an inversion of social values leading to attacks by own people on our traditional values n on statues dedicated to our former heros, along with an unreliable n ineffective military.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  107. annamaria says:
    @Sin City Milla

    Interesting. — You have described, basically, an autoimmune system that is destroying the complex organism of our society.

  108. Da Wei says:

    “Call it the rule of ($)4,000,000,029,057.”

    Gen. Smedley Butler said it in 4 words back in 1934 or thereabouts: “War is a racket.”

    Count da money: somebody’s winnin’. Trump ain’t gonna buck that scam.

  109. Brilliant Nick! Gorgeously caustic sarcasm, right on target!
    Thanks a lot: at least for once I had a good laugh about Afghanistan.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Nick Turse Comments via RSS
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
Becker update V1.3.2
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.