Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quieter Wars

Our Libyan adventure not yet complete, Obama turns his gaze southward and sends 100 military advisers to Uganda. If done properly, it could be a good thing.

Stalwart conservative Jonah Goldberg points out that this action is authorized by congress, and furthers our goals of assisting South Sudan and Uganda.  It is not a matter of vital national security, but rather a case of us providing military assistance to friendly nations who have requested our help.  We already have USAID and Peace Corps people on the ground providing medical, humanitarian and economic assistance.

For a less rosy view, see Gene Healy's Reason article, Obama's Latest Military Adventure.

I don't criticize Obama's "Leading from Behind" baloney...

I think he stumbled upon it after dithering and flailing about, and I don't like the formulation, but the US and the rest of the world could use more of it. Regardless of where you come down on the Libya questions, it was refreshing to see other countries take a leading role in the Kadhaffi beatdown.

I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the wisdom of the Libyan operation, but just saying that if the situation arises, I'd like to see more like that and less like Afghanistan. Libya worked where Afghanistan has not for a host of complex reasons, but one simple fact is that the Libyans wanted it and they took matters into their own hands. John Barry writes about all this in his Daily Beast article, America’s Secret Libya War.

National Security First

Ron Paul famously stated that he would not have pulled the trigger on Bin Laden, and he stands on a firm, non-interventionist principle when he says it. But the fact that it makes lefties stand up and cheer gives me pause.  You should never tell your enemies exactly what you will or won’t do. Keep ‘em guessing. As for principles, it’s a very unprincipled world out there.  The constitutional principle of national defense comes first.  Take your stand on any other and you could end up making it upon a pile of rubble.

Military Assistance:  Helping those who help themselves

While I'm against any further large-scale land invasions, I am for small-scale military assistance operations, if legally authorized and diligently overseen. We've conducted thousands since the end of World War 2, but only a few ended up in larger conflagrations.

Military assistance builds goodwill with other nations, allows us to collect intelligence, and provides an opportunity for our soldiers to build professional relationships with fellow warriors in other countries.

Central America benefited from this in the 1980's, resulting in defeated Marxist rebels throwing down their arms and forming political parties. Our pre-9/11 forays into the Stans laid the groundwork for the blitzkreig toppling of the Taliban by the Norther Alliance partnered with our Special Forces.  The Philippines have almost rolled up Abu Sayyaf thanks to their hard soldiering backed up by our non-combatant assistance.

Meanwhile, we continue to kill terrorists in Yemen and Pakistan from the air, although it is unclear whether this is furthering US national security goals.

We cannot completely retreat from the world, since its problems now routinely wash up on our shores.  Helping friendly countries help themselves may not be vital to our national security, but done properly, it can further our national interests.

See Also:
Kevin Drum - Should US Troops be in Uganda?

31 comments:

Always On Watch said...

But how much more damage can our national budget sustain?

Also, some whom our nation help despise us later. "Winning hearts and minds" is a difficult matter.

I will say that the South Koreans whom I personally know are grateful for our intervention on the Korean Peninsula.

Sun Cracked Soul said...

So Obammy killed another world leader, bravo, we are now a nation of killers.

ecc102 said...

I smell Soros. Nothing this President does is what it initially seems.

And Obammy has killed no one. He can't even throw a baseball like a man. Do you honestly think he can take credit for anything military?

There is more going on here than we can see.

bunkerville said...

There was a time when I would be saying good idea. Lately, I am not so sure. After reading a number of foreign papers, I am sure we being told of the collateral damage-- HUMANS-- that are being killed. This Uganda thing is a failed state. We are mixing ourselves into something we know not of. We differ on this one, which is unusual!

conservativesonfire said...

I am supporting Paul for President in spite of some of the same concerns you have. I do believe Paul when he says he very much supports national defense. It is quite possible that once he was president and privy to certain intelligence information, some of his views might change. But aside from that, Paul's point is we are borrowing over forty cents of every dollar we spend including military support spending and we can not continue to pile on more debt. He has a plan that would balance the budget in four years. I hope people will begin to listen to him

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, I would only argue with your post here: "You should never tell your enemies exactly what you will or won’t do. Keep ‘em guessing. As for principles, it’s a very unprincipled world out there."

First, I do not care for secrecy in the republic. We have far too much of it as it is. On top of that, secrecy almost inevitably leads to a subversion of principles, and regardless of what the rest of the world's principles may be, we should not be in a race to the bottom with them (The same, I might add, goes for our pollution and workplace regulations).

JMJ

Ducky's here said...

Meanwhile, we continue to kill terrorists in Yemen and Pakistan from the air, although it is unclear whether this is furthering US national security goals.
----

Yeah we knocked off a 16 year old kid the other day. Son of a "terrorist", never convicted or even accused of anything.

Work we can be proud of.

President Peace Prize just got caught shoveling military "aid" to Bahrain. He'll do it through the back door and the right will cheer our getting on our knees to the Saudis.

Meanwhile, Silverfiddle is probably still perplexed if you tell him that some of those bodies he saw in Colombia were unionists as they continue to be executed at a rate that shames the so called "free" world.

Yeah, we're a freaking beacon of morality.

ecc102 said...

@Ducky,

I'm so glad I stopped by here today and was afforded the opportunity to read your comical satire! Thanks for making this rightist laugh! I appreciate it!

Cheers!

Oh, wait...you were serious? Oh. Um...(awkward moment of silence)

Ducky's here said...

ecc102 - serious as a fucking heart attack.

Silverfiddle said...

Not only is Ducky-Wucky serious as a heart attack, he's also as ignorant as any latte leftist that gets his information on Latin America from glossy socialist propaganda magazines.

There are no "unionists" outside of the major metropolitan areas, and "unionist" is a term the left uses to describe what is more accurately Marxist rebels.

ecc102 said...

"ecc102 - serious as a fucking heart attack."

Oooh, easy there, tough guy!

Silver, thanks for allowing Ducky to frequent your blog and comment. I simply adore his jovial spirit and comical relief.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, our history of involvement in Latin America is a bloody, evil stain, a horrific shame. You'd have to be a walking moral vacuum to deny this.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

I love those sanctimonious categorical moral statements from atheistic leftists...

Ducky's here said...

I can no longer sit back and allow terrorist infiltration, terrorist indoctrination, terrorist perversion and the international terrorist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids-
General Jack D. Ripper

Lisa said...

Obama-"And you thought George Bush was bad, well I'm badder"

Sun Cracked Soul said...

Ducky sounds like you woke up on the wrong side of the world this morning.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, do you know our history in that part of the world?

Silverfiddle said...

No Jersey, why don't you enlighten us...

Leticia said...

I don't think it is a bad idea to help out here and there, however, at this point our funds have been depleted and our military is being stretched beyond capacity.

We cannot battle all the bullies around the world. Not to mention the fact, that our government is incapable of even protecting its own borders.

Ducky's here said...

So jut redefine them as Marxists and you can do whatever you like?

Well I suppose an evangelical who cannot under any circumstances handle ambiguity has to deal with it that way.

It's also the reason the fringe right can't handle abstract art. Everything has to be revealed tightly defined truth.

Z said...

Ducky, you really are getting comical...the GOSPEL ACCORDING TO DUCKY :-)
You can't fight the subject so you have to bring in FRINGERS and EVANGELICALS and NOT UNDERSTANDING ABSTRACT ART as if that's some kind of character flaw? :-)
OH, GOD...we can always tell when you're lost when you have to start the "I'm so much better than them because I like abstract art and film noir" stuff :-)

Silverfiddle said...

I plead guilty to not liking abstract art, but I am a fan of Picasso's cubism.

I love Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. I also like Matisse's stuff...

Finntann said...

"I do not care for secrecy in the republic"

Dear Mr. Rommel,

We shall be arriving by sea between Pouppevile and La Madeleine, between Sainte Honorine des Pertes and Vierville sur Mer, between Le Hamel and Ver sur Mer, Saint-Aubin and Courseulles, as well as between Ouistreham and Saint Aubin sur Mer. Some of our party will be arriving by air at Benouville and Ranville.

We should be arriving around 06:30 and hope that is not too early for you. Our party will be approximately 160,000 and rest assured we will be bring our own food and supplies so it should not terribly inconvenience you.

To be fair, you may want to consdier moving the 243rd and 711th Infantry Divisions forward, as well as redeploying the 30th Mobile Brigade, the 1st and 12th Panzer Divisions, as well as the 17th Panzergrenadier.


Cheerio!

Love Dwight, Monte, and Omar

Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

Ducky's here said...

z, film noir is hardly abstract. Name 5 foreign films you've watched.

The fringe is parochial and they don't like going of the main trail.

Ducky's here said...

You surprise me Silverfiddle. Where do you fall in the Picasso/Matisse tussle.

I say he was always one step behind Matisse and couldn't keep up the competition.

Jersey McJones said...

Finntann, very silly.

I'm talking about policy, not wartime strategy. You guys, apparently always at war in your minds (who wrote about that? hmmm...), have a hard time differentiating war from crime or other social ills, or just differences of culture. Hence, today we have a "War on _____" for every friggin' stupidly tragic thing under heaven.

What I mean, of course, is that secrecy should always always only be utilized as a necessary evil, not an easy, coldly efficient toggle.

Silver,

I can't believe you could be so flippant about the history of Latin America and our entanglements there.

As for artists...

I'm not big on the superstars, but here's someone out of my personal favorites: David Macaulay. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=kjrmc&cp=14&gs_id=6&xhr=t&q=david+macaulay&qe=RGF2aWQgTWFjYXVsYXk&qesig=PvgwHdOcSMQmYRbqi-VzXg&pkc=AF

JMJ

98ZJUSMC said...

@ Z -
Ducky, you really are getting comical...

What do you mean "getting"?

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Without specifics, there's no productive conversation.

Ducky: I'm not into art as deep as you are, so I don't even know what the controversy is. I guess they were all kinda high strung?

I liked Matisse's Fauve stuff, the blue period or whatever it's called, and I liked Picasso's cubism. I remember having to do a paper on Guernica for one of my humanities classes.

Finntann said...

Jersey, just how naive are you?

Trestin said...

Don't believe anything the media tells you about Africa.

Silverfiddle said...

I view it all with a skeptical eye. I have friends from a few different countries in Central Africa, not the HOA where you were at. They are in communication with friends and relatives who still live there.