My late father was a WWII India veteran. Originally trained at Aberdeen MY in Chemical warfare, his unit was switched to “Air Corps Quartermaster in charge of Graves Registration”, per him, on arrival in the Assam area. He had a gift for languages, learned Hindustani among others, and ended the war running a Quartermaster operation using native laborers. He was adamant about the following.
“The only thing an Asian understands is a boot on his neck, and rice in his belly”.
Like many testosterone infused young troopers in Germany, circa 1965, I volunteered for Vietnam. None of us went; much less costly to train and ship someone from the States, from the Army’s point of view, then ship someone from Germany, and then replace him with someone from the States. Can’t remember just how my father found out I volunteered, but he wrote me a scorching letter. Unusual, as writing letters was my mother’s job. The main point of the letter?
“I fought in one Asian war. I didn’t raise a son to fight in another”.
I can only imagine the outburst had he lived long enough to see a grandson go off to another Asian war.
I see lots of opinions, in the news, on blogs, and
the political opinion galleries that the answer is to “bomb them out of existence - smash them flat. Perhaps the appeal is that bombing, from the point of view of those not doing it, is a “clean” solution. For the crews that fly those missions, the ground support personnel that support the missions, and the staff that plans those missions, it is a hard, brutal way to wage war. Ask the aircraft carrier personnel what it is like.
Worse, to date, it hasn’t worked. Please read this, then come back.
What bombing does is allow “boots on the ground” with fewer causalities. Boots on the ground are what puts an end to conflicts, if an end is ever achieved.
There are sound arguments to merge the Air Force back into the Army and Navy.
The tip of the spear is what decides things. All this squabbling about what part of the spear shaft is the most important just detracts from the need to have the damn spear to begin with.
But I wander, and will try to return to the path of my father’s teaching.
We have, for decades, shipped “implements of destruction” to the Middle East. Granted, much of that benefited our domestic industry. We have trained the Arabs, built their infrastructure, and put them in a place where they can take care of their own problems. And, they should. I don’t give one half of a rat’s ass about the fortunes of Halliburton and others. They took on the risks with the expectation of immense profits. The blood of our children should not be spent to save their financial asses.
But WSF, it is the resources. Well, duh. Those resources aren’t going anywhere, just the ownership may change. For the resources to have any value, there needs to be a market. Try this scenario. Not one tanker load of crude transit’s the Straits of Hormuz for six months. Which collapses first, the world economy, or the Gulf State’s economies? Who then kisses who’s ass?
Like anyone, I’m appalled by the savagery of ISIS, by the slaughter of ancient religious groups, Christians, and ethnic groups by these murderers. The answer is in the hands of the people of the region to put a lid on it. It is time for we in the West to stop thinking our way of conducting our affairs should be the way of the world conducts theirs. That is racism in it’s purest form.
Last but not least. The wealthy Arabs need another favorite song than, “Onward Christian Soldiers“.