Thursday, June 18, 2015

War is a Racket

Like most of America last weekend, I caught "Jurassic World" which was a good movie but not a great movie. Despite it being just a good movie, we already now two more sequels are going to be made.  Why/  Because big money is about backing the sure thing.  This is the reason I'm becoming convinced that the next President will be another Clinton or Bush.  It's not about how much money either candidate can raise but rather which candidate big money is willing to back.  To the big money, it really won't make any different which one (Clinton or Bush) wins as they are much more alike then they are different.

I arrived at this conclusion is a rather round about way.  First was this headline from the Air Force Magazine's daily update, "Defense Secretary Ash Carter restated his support for President Obama's threat to veto the defense authorization and appropriations bills if they use the overseas contingency operations provision to boost Pentagon spending while keeping budget caps on domestic programs."  The story continues, "Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said: "I find it unimaginable we would send tens of thousands of troops to the region, but tell their families we won't support them." He also asked if Carter had analyzed the impact on national security from not getting the $37 billion being added to OCO. Carter said he agreed America can't have the world's finest fighting force without adequate resources, but said, "I haven't changed my view that we need a long-term stable budget," instead of the "herky-jerky" approach of one-year OCO increases. "I hope we can come together on a multi-year approach." (Air Force Magazine)

The next headline I came across was from the Daily Mail, "U.S. military being forced to scale back drone bombing missions in Syria as pilots are facing burnout from video-game style warfare they are waging 7,000 miles away".  Basically drone pilots are burning out from 12 hour shifts of staring at what are essential game consoles compounded by the cognitive dissonance of then going home to their families each night as though they aren't really at war.

The third item was from the BBC about the role Bulgaria is playing is receiving and granting asylum to refugees escaping Daesh.  What gets lost about the war with Daesh is how many thousands upon thousands of refugees have fled into nearby Turkey and Bulgaria which perhaps present the most compelling case of how much the Obama doctrine has failed the region.

Looking at three seemingly unrelated headlines I also began to ponder the increased sorties being flown against China by the US Navy and the announcement last week of plans to stage more US tanks and other heavy equipment in Eastern Europe.  It seems to be all contradictory.  Cutting the defense budget while simultaneously fighting Daesh and increasing tensions with Russia and China.

I can only come up with one conclusion, Mr. Obama (as a lame duck President) is laying the groundwork for either Clinton or Bush to have a clear slate to declare war.  As Major General Smedley Butler said in his book War is a Racket, "Out of war a few people make huge fortunes." The big money that is going to push either Clinton or Bush into the Oval Office doesn't give a damn about their domestic agenda or politics. No, the big money wants in on the money to be made if the US goes to war with China or Russia.

Why then cut the military you say? Because it allows the gaps in military strength to be filled with contractors. When I was in Qatar eleven years ago, I would say half of the personnel at Al Udeid were contractors. That's where the money is going to be made, selling contracts for everything from food services to flight operations and everything in-between.

Obama can't declare war, it's not in his charter from the higher ups. He has to be seen as a peace broker (while keeping the embers of war glowing). Pulling the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan were not just to end the war but the set in motion future events that could be used to justify new wars. For example, Daesh was only able to establish its stronghold in Iraq due to the absence of a credible military force. (Contrary to Mr. Obama's criticisms of the Iraqi military, it wasn't just their fault. The US knew damn well the Iraqi Army was in no condition to fight a determined foe, yet Obama pulled the troops out while pretending to the US people that this was a good thing).

As I'm typing this, the news is full of the latest mass murder in South Carolina. Some punk-ass racist killed nine African-Americans. Despicable but unfortunately this will keep most Americans from following the real Game of Thrones that is going on in Washington.

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