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Justifying War

Of course, I have no reason to think that anybody in Iran is silly enough to offer the United States any sort of military provocation, but there's now overabundant evidence that such provocations can be made up at will in Washington: vide the gulf of Tonkin non-incident; the non-phone call from the US ambassador to the Dominican republic, hiding beneath his desk from rebel non-gunfire; the non-provocation that killed 200 (WX official) and 2000 (everybody else) civilians in Panama City when the current president's daddy was in the White House. And the amazing Grenada adventure that generated more US military medals than there had been US military participants. Medal designers evidently rule.

The current situation in America is a distressing and constantly refreshed illustration of just how fragile is the rule of law, and just how easy it is to run rings round the constitution. The new attacks on US federal judges by, among others, a US senator who is himself a former judge, show just how perverted American society is at the will of its political leaders. A survey a few weeks back in Australia established that this nation sees the US as much more of a threat to world peace to anybody else on the horizon. And in my view, this goes on just for one cause, and one cause only: winning domestic elections in the United States. Hardly a sacred cause.

The FDR|Japan nexus has been widely known outside the United States since, oh, 1950. Betcha almost no American believes it today.


Ed: Just like Nazi Germany, the war machine will keep attacking new “enemies” until it goes too far and falls apart.

War with Iran would be ugly  

This edition of G2mil contained some very important material about the potential, apparently growing, for a military conflict with Iran .  Since the "liberal" media has remained in the coma it seems to have slipped into sometime after September 11 the general public is getting very little information about a war that might very quickly and quietly be sneaking up on us.  Such lethargy makes it easy for the administration to isolate people like Seymour Hersh and marginalize their contentions.

 Sadly, I fear that even if the mainstream press was smothering every angle of "U.S. Headed for War With Iran?" story, it would not result in an uproar of public indignation.  A portion of people, many of who opposed the war in Iraq, would voice their opposition.  However, I suspect that a large percentage of Americans would not oppose a new conflict for one or more of the following reasons.  First, some people are so enamored with George Bush that they would support military action against the moon if he proposed it.  Second, Iran is synonymous with terrorism in our collective world view (not without some justification). Third, and most importantly, I truly believe that most Americans believe we are militarily invincible and would simply pummel any nation we chose to go to war with.

I cannot count the number of times I've encountered that attitude in people.  The images of military hardware paraded across our television screens beginning with the first Gulf War coupled with the duration of that conflict and our insulated geographic position have engendered in us the notion that no nation or group would dare stand against us and any war would be quick and easy.  We in the United States are sorely in need of a sense of perspective and scale, an awakening to the fact that when wars start people die and that when you cast a stone into the water, no matter how small, eventually the waves will hit the shore.  As appalling as the human losses have been in this current war it seems to have had little effect on people (aside from those of us who have friends serving and/or dying there).  

I pray that we as a nation will not have to suffer the sort of bloodletting that others have before we take a genuine interest in being part of a global community.  Any war with Iran has the potential to be horribly costly and highly counterproductive.  Nothing would legitimize the semi-popular theocracy of that nation more thoroughly than US forces crossing its frontier.  I have no doubt that any large-scale conflict with Iran would make the war in Iraq look like an ice cream social.  Keep sounding the alarm G2 lest more families here and there end up starring into the bottomless darkness of mourning.

                                                                                                   Luke Swinson

Hull Ultimatum 

Perhaps one of the best, or single best, pieces of evidence that they did indeed entice Japan to attack is the ' Hull note': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_note Its language is extremely explicit and the quandary it puts Japan in is obvious.

Also interesting to note that the Flying Tigers [the original "private security contractor"] arrived on mainland China one day before the attack.  But ultimately if enticing Japan to attack was what was required to get Hitler and the rest of them then so be it - maybe their motives weren't that pure and they did of course allow themselves to profit off of all of them, especially Japan, right up until the last possible moment, but it did end up doing some good.

And from an Australian perspective I can tell you that if the US had remained isolationist things would have gotten very bad indeed.

                                                                                                 Ben Poston

Ed:  I suspect the Australians could have held out against the Japanese, although they would have had to pull their troops out of Africa and let the Brits fight their own war.

Phony Wars

Excellent commentary in your latest issue of G2mil. I agree with virtually everything you wrote and share your disgust not only for the neocons and their unjust war in Iraq, but for Wilson in getting us into war against a nation that was not our enemy. To this day, my blood boils when I read about FDR and his conspiring to bring about Pearl Harbor to get us into another war with Germany allied with his good friend, Josef Stalin, the most murderous and monstrous dictator in world history. I have also read "Day of Deceit", "The New Dealers War" and am now reading Thomas Fleming's "The Illusion of Victory" about the tragic US involvement in World War I.

                                                                                                   David Pyne

The Fast Sealift Myth

As a retired merchant mariner with 10 years at sea.  There are a few corrections to your article you should address. The fastest most economic speed for a displacement vessel is 23 knots, whether it is diesel, GT or CODAG. It is simple math and you can not escape the equation. That is why Maersk are building the 6600 TEU 'S' class. The size of INCAT ships is limited only be the fact that their major slipway is upriver from the largest bridge crossing the Derwent River. I understand they have or are building a facility down stream to provide larger vessels. Wave piercing cats can be used economically at 23+ knots if you design them for such. The ships used to date have been based upon a fast ferry design using water jets and it is a simple written request from the customer to get different performance. 

For example you can create a vessel with 10000NM range and the ability to loiter for days on end at 3 knots ( near impossible to do with a water jet) if you so desire.  Regarding the "pelican", it is basically a plane, not a WIG vessel. I have discussed increasing the load capacity to 10000 tonnes with the project manager at Phantom works which is entirely possible (and relatively economical) with a RORO WIG vessel. That would give you the ability to land 1 Marine armored division almost anywhere upon a coast. This is seen as a "3rd or 4th generation" of the Pelican. The crew at Phantom works are plane guys and not boat guys, so they can't wrap their brain around it. Finally there is simple existing technology that will improve the fuel consumption of a displacement vessel by up to 4% but as with everything at sea, it takes 20 years longer to implement it then anywhere else. I think the real problem is just that. Old ideas applied to new problems and it takes a generation before advances take effect. 


War Stocks

It'll take me a while to go through all the stuff in that  GAO report, but those were what must be called "high visibility" items for which even a nincompoop could expect to have shortages.  It's like the tire shortage in Desert Storm. Yes, that's part of the problem, it's based on the unrealistic expectations of wear-out which  the Army profiles in the very  antiquated "big Bertha" book that tells logisticians what  to expect in wear on DBA and NDBA equipment. Guess what? Some of the analyses were done during WWII, Korea, and  maybe even Vietnam on equipment that we don't use anymore, or in operational environments that are different from Iraq. During ODS, we had no idea what various equipment's battery life would be, but now that we have had a model, do you think that there is a handy book about it? Not likely.

The current army model for resupply is like a Ford dealership in New Jersey. If they haven't called for an item in the past two wars, we must not need it on the shelf.... oops, it wasn't being manufactured or used  back then... GPS batteries, for example. Hmmm, no model, no stockage. It goes on, but you know that. Other stuff is kept in onesies and twosies because they are simply too expensive to stock a lot of. Suddenly, we're using a bunch of NODs all up, and that backorders them clear to the manufacturer, but in the meantime, we strip the available units of their TA.


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