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Sep 24

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:11 AM 

A bullseye in Syria, but the US border is still open


It's so simple.

We should stay out of the Sunni-Shia regional war developing in Mesopotamia.  Both sides are hostile to Christians and Jews.

Meanwhile, we should secure the borders, halt all immigration and enforce the law: deport the illegals.

These wise words come from an email from Col. Douglas Macgregor (USA ret.), a decorated combat veteran of the first Iraq War and noted military analyst. By this time, a selection of Macgregor's piquant critiques of COIN and the COINdinistas have made their way to this website, beginning in 2010 with the following comment from the famous McChrystal article in The Rolling Stone by the late Michael Hastings. 

"The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people," says Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal. "The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense."

That's all anyone needs to know, but, of course, there's more: 

From Macgregor in the Wash Times, 2011: No Existential Threat in Afghanistan So Why Are We Propping Up a Narco-State?

Good question.

Time magazine, 2012:

“Petraeus is a remarkable piece of fiction created and promoted by neocons in government, the media and academia,” argues Douglas Macgregor, a retired and outspoken Army colonel and innovator, known for Breaking the Phalanx, his book taking the Army to task for the way it organizes and uses its ground forces.

Macgregor elaborates:

“How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR in 2003, man who for 35 years shamelessly reinforced whatever dumb idea his superior advanced regardless of its impact on soldiers, let alone the nation, a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far? How does the same man who balked at closing with and destroying the enemy in 2003 in front of Baghdad agree to sacrifice more than a thousand American lives and destroy thousands of others installing Iranian national power in Baghdad with a surge that many in and out of uniform warned against? Then, how does this same man repeat the self-defeating tactics one more time in Afghanistan? The answer is simple: Petraeus was always a useful fool in the Leninist sense for his political superiors — Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Gates. And that is precisely how history will judge him.”

Alas, so far that reckoning is proving to be elusive. That's probably because we are still living in Petraeus-world, a place where the COIN strategies of Obama are really just extenstions of the COIN strategies of Bush, all predicated on a failure to act (or want to act) on the irreconcilable differences separating the Western and Islamic worlds.

The names change, but the disaster lingers on.

Today, Macgregor writes in about recent airstrikes in Syria:

The air strike campaign may disrupt the Islamic State fighters long enough to prevent them from expanding further at the expense of the Shiite Arabs in Southern Iraq, Jordan, or the Kurds, but not much more.  Unfortunately, the unwillingness of the Arab States and Turkey to commit ground forces to fight the Islamic State means that Americans will now spend millions of dollars to kill a handful of thugs in pickup trucks and bounce rubble for months and years.  This open ended air campaign may also allow the Assad regime, the Kurds in "Syria," & the Shiite Arabs allied with Iran to regain some territory, as it did for the Kurds in "Iraq," but the Islamic State Fighters will endure, regroup around new fanatics, and renew their attacks. Thanks to America’s duplicitous friends, the Turks and Sunni Arabs, the Islamic State will receive more money, arms and recruits.

Obviously, these facts don’t matter.  After all, measuring the success of the perpetual war scheme is impossible. Televised explosions on the ground are simply equated with success. This is great for America’s news media, Washington's beltway lobbyists, defense industries, “advocacy tanks” and indirectly, members of congress.  It’s a near-term win for all sides, but the American People.  Why? America’s borders are unsecure and America’s economy remains fragile. 

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