Monday, April 23, 2018

Subcontracting The Dirty Work Of US Imperialsim

This report reveals that Trump's promises to "withdraw" from Syria mask an intention to subcontract the war to other parties:

Compare that to the predictions in my 2015 book No More Patriots:

It had become obvious that America would not be ending war; we would out of necessity be reinventing it. Instead of ending terrorism, the Global War on Terror had reinvigorated it. In spite of our invasions and our mighty efforts to “win the hearts and minds” of the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq, it seemed that everywhere we looked new terrorists popped up to take the place of each one that we and our allies killed. Our war on terror ran the risk of becoming endless.

And not only had the Global War on Terror failed to achieve its stated goals, it had become extremely expensive. The estimated cost to date had risen to $5 trillion, and since there was no end in sight it was impossible to know what the final price tag might be. If the war could not be ended, its cost had to be significantly contained.

One thing that was obvious from today’s speeches is that the citizen-soldiers who had fought our previous wars were being replaced with mercenaries. The percentage of contract personnel in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had been significantly higher than in World War Two. That percentage would continue to grow in an effort to contain costs.

Although we buried our war dead with honors, we also buried our living and dying veterans in a Department of Veterans Affairs which at times seemed to treat them in a dishonorable manner. The VA response to Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome had been too little and too late. The response to the flood of traumatized veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in many cases had been to just hand them a few pills and send them home. More of our troops had died from suicide than had died on the battlefield. There always seemed to be plenty of money for more wars, but little left over to care for the wounded. Shifting the burden of “boots on the ground” to mercenary armies whose CEOs and bankers would have to bear the cost of the wounded would help relieve the pressure on the VA, even if it was a cynical way to do so.

And instead of boots on the ground, our future wars would be fought using weapons and methods which would keep our forces as removed from harm’s way as possible, such as unmanned aircraft, drones, other long-range weapons, and snipers. Some day we would even use autonomous killer robots. Such changes required that our sense of “righteous warrior” had to be shifted from the GI Joe foot soldier to the mercenary, the drone operator, the sniper, and the robot. The movie “American Sniper” had done much to help in this regard, but so far it had proven difficult to glorify mercenaries and drone operators.

* * * * * * * *

With the demise of the US citizen-soldier, we are headed down the same road as the Romans and the British. And ultimately we shall suffer the same fate they did - our empire will collapse, and we will become nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment