I am not normal, ask anyone who knows me. I am a Priest who is also a military history and theory “wonk.” I guess part of the reason for this as that I did not begin life as a clergyman. In fact way back when, when I was a young whippersnapper it was my desire to be in the military. I was a Navy brat who grew up during the height of the Vietnam War and had friends whose fathers did not return from that war. Likewise when my dad was serving in Vietnam surrounded by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in a town called An Loc I had a blessed Sunday school teacher tell me that my dad was a “baby killer.” When you are an eleven year or twelve year-old and get told that your dad is a baby killer by some hippie wench you grow somewhat cynical about such people early in life.
Even worse than Limbaugh and Hannity is Michael Savage. Savage who despite having an earned PhD in the field of nutrition is so clueless and rude in discussing military issues that I can’t believe my ears whenever I run into his program. His absolute disdain that he shows for military leadership and actual implications of how we wage war in this era is so off base that it isn’t even funny. For all of their lack of understanding of military strategy and policy at least Limbaugh and Hannity for the most part treat people in the military respectfully.
We no longer live in the World War Two world, warfare has changed and as the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review notes that the United States must “prevail in today’s wars” while at the same time “prevent and deter conflict” which involves “preventing the rise of threats to U.S. interests requires the integrated use of diplomacy, development, and defense, along with intelligence, law enforcement, and economic tools of statecraft, to help build the capacity of partners to maintain and promote stability.” If deterrence fails we must Prepare to defeat adversaries and succeed in a wide range of contingencies: If deterrence fails and adversaries challenge our interests with the threat or use of force, the United States must be prepared to respond in support of U.S. national interests. Not all contingencies will require the involvement of U.S. military forces, but the Defense Department must be prepared to provide the President with options across a wide range of contingencies, which include supporting a response to an attack or natural disaster at home, defeating aggression by adversary states, supporting and stabilizing fragile states facing serious internal threats, and preventing human suffering due to mass atrocities or large-scale natural disasters abroad.” (2010 QDR Executive Summary pp. v-vi)
So tonight I am highlighting a series of articles that I have written that deal with the kind of war that we are waging in Afghanistan and have done in Iraq as well as a couple of studies from military history that discuss how the diplomatic, intelligence, economic and military resources of a nation are all important in the continuum of conflict and the importance of alliances when waging global warfare. These are the articles that I have produced so far and will as time goes on continue to add to. They span the spectrum and hopefully will assist the reader in sorting through a lot of the mindless gibberish that is pumped out from the political right and left on TV, radio and the internet. Some of these are drawn out of military history but have an application today while others are more targeted at what is going on today. Since this is an ever expanding subject for me I expect to post more articles on a regular basis.
I hope that this rather diverse series of articles and my comments will be helpful to the reader in sorting through all the crap that floats about as “truth” from all sides of the media and the various political parties, special interest groups and others more intent on seeing their often divergent and uninformed agendas.