Views: 148477|Replies: 154

America Cannot Keep Hoping the Military Will Solve Everything   [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 5Rank: 5

Medal of honor July's Best Writer 2012 June's Best Writer 2012

Post time 2018-8-21 00:25:33 |Display all floors
This post was edited by UYA at 2018-8-21 00:30





Whether its North Korea, Iran, or even Russia, there are far too many in Washington’s foreign policy establishment who advocate reliance on the military to solve any real or perceived international problems. This overreliance on military instruments poses a dangerous and counterintuitive problem—the more the United States uses it, the greater America’s insecurity.


Most Americans agreed that a military response was necessary to seek justice for 9/11. By mid-2002, however, the Taliban and al Qaeda were destroyed in Afghanistan.



At that point in time, President George W. Bush should have redeployed U.S. troops, refocused efforts to repair the breach in security exposed by 9/11, and set about building a stronger country. Instead, Washington doubled-down with actions that both extended and expanded American insecurity.


In 2003, the U.S. took what had been a strategic nuisance in Saddam Hussein's Iraq and after removing the strongman from power, turned it into a terrorist breeding ground (for there had been no international terror threat coming from Iraq before the regime change). In 2005, a handful of U.S. troops faced a small—but irritating—insurgency in Afghanistan and instead of closing out the mission, expanded it to include 140,000 U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops. In more recent years, Washington has increased the use of lethal military power into places such as Syria, Libya, Yemen, Chad, Niger, and Somalia.


America has increasingly used both direct and veiled threats of military force to compel North Korea and Iran to bend to Washington’s will, and every Administration since 9/11 has used (or expanded) the scale of military exercises in Europe to counter Russia and in Asia to counter China.


This strategy has cost the blood of tens of thousands of American sons and daughters (6,971 killed; 52,682 wounded in action since 9/11, according to official Department of Defense casualty figures). How has this strategy protected U.S. national security interests?


If the answer is a reduced terror threat, more stable relations with Russia and China, and a strengthened U.S. military, it may well be argued the price was worth it. Instead, for this extraordinary charge in blood and treasure, America has purchased very nearly the opposite.


Had the United States left Saddam Hussein in his strategic box in 2003, Iraq would most likely still be contained . Had President Bush withdrawn the military in the summer of 2002 after successfully routing al Qaeda and the Taliban, America would not have spent the next seventeen years there in futile search for a victory.


Had America not joined in the attack against Libya in 2011, or the fight in Yemen, or expanded lethal military operations into a dozen states in Africa, those areas might have still descended into chaos, but they would have been purely local challenges that posed no threat to U.S. national security. To end this overreliance on military power and increase America’s chances to prosper as a nation, the United States must make several changes to its grand strategy.


First, Washington must recognize that American military power is not going to solve political, ethnic, or religious problems. Second, U.S. leaders must accept that America cannot solve every problem in the world—nor should it try.



For the past thirty years, China has been expanding its economy and modernizing its military, but still remains far behind matching U.S. power. Russia is a shell of the military power the Soviet Union was during the Cold War and with its economic, geographical, and demographic limitations, it will remain at most a regional menace. Both states are nuclear powers, but neither can challenge American conventional power and America's advanced nuclear deterrent constrains both.


America has blown out of all proportion the threat posed by North Korea and Iran. As the United States has successfully deterred Russia and China for seventy years, it can deter the tiny nuclear arsenal Pyongyang has and the strategically impotent conventional military both Iran and North Korea wield. In short, the actual threat to U.S. security posed by the totality of all potential adversaries is real, but nowhere near as pervasive and offensive as is routinely claimed.


The primary purpose of the U.S. government is to keep Americans safe, defend its borders from attack, and ensure its ability to prosper as a nation. Maintenance of a strong military is an important component in accomplishing those objectives, but it is not the only one.


True global leadership is led by sustained diplomatic and economic engagement. Through the effective give-and-take of hard-nosed diplomacy, the United States can find mutually beneficial trade relations with its allies around the world to foster continued prosperity for its country. Likewise, America can leverage those favorable relations and its own economic power to positively influence its competitors in ways that constrain behavior antithetical to U.S. interests while limiting the risk of retaliatory measures.


Due to America’s powerful nuclear deterrent, globally dominant conventional military, and its position as the world’s most powerful economic engine, America can indefinitely deter Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or any hostile nation on earth from attacking U.S. soil or U.S. citizens.


Should deterrence and diplomacy fail to dissuade any bad actor around the globe from attempting to harm U.S. interests or citizens, the U.S. military will not hesitate to use whatever means necessary to properly defend the homeland. But even here it is critical to distinguish when military force should and shouldn't be applied.

Lethal military power should be used sparingly and only when American lives or property have been attacked (or are in imminent danger of being attacked). Failure by America to merely get its way is not a justifiable reason to kill others. Nor is attacking others justified because of what might happen in the future.  



Adopting such a guiding philosophy is not only moral and right—it is also the best path to a consistently successful outcome at the strategic level.


Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after 21 years, including four combat deployments. Follow him@DanielLDavis1




Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2018-8-21 20:47:21 |Display all floors
From your source..national interest.org

7 Signs that China's Military is Becoming More Dangerous
Chinese military power is expanding beyond its Western Pacific backyard--and beyond.


Western media seized on a new Pentagon report that Chinese bombers are training to strike deep into the Western Pacific, including Guam, the Philippines and Japan.

But China's military is improving in numerous other ways, according to "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2018," a report that the Pentagon is required to deliver to Congress each year.


For example:

China's army is becoming more flexible:

Forget the Cold War stereotype of Chinese human waves. The world's largest army is moving from a clumsy big-unit doctrine of corps-sized operations to a more Western (and now Russian) model of maneuver by brigades and battalions waging combined arms warfare. "Each group army now consists of multiple combined arms brigades, an artillery brigade, an air defense brigade, a SOF [special operations forces] brigade, an army aviation brigade, an engineer and chemical defense brigade, and a service support brigade," the report notes. "The subordinate service support brigades provide group armies an integrated ability to set up a command network and organize battlefield transportation and equipment repair for their tactical units."

The People's Liberation Army is embracing all those capabilities that make an army more deadly than mere numbers suggest. 2017 "saw increases and improvements in air defense, artillery, sustainment support, engineers, and chemical defense systems at all echelon levels. This selective modernization enables the shift to the brigade and battalion as the main operational echelons by giving their commanders critical organic force protection, firepower strike, reconnaissance, and sustainment capabilities."

China's military is becoming a joint force:

While the U.S. military is accustomed to joint land-air-sea operations, China's military has traditionally been centered on the army, with the air force and navy as supporting players. But China is revamping its armed force into a joint force capable of combined operations. Joint exercises have become more common, and new communications networks facilitate inter-service cooperation.

China is worried about U.S. missile defense:

China is developing multiple countermeasures to enable its ballistic missiles to penetrate the missile defense of the U.S. and its allies. These include maneuverable reentry vehicle (MARV) warheads, multiple nuclear warheads (MIRV), "decoys, chaff, jamming, thermal shielding, and hypersonic glide vehicles," according to the Pentagon report. China's government also wants to make sure that it has control over its nuclear weapons: "the PLA will likely continue deploying more sophisticated C2 systems and refining C2 processes as growing numbers of mobile ICBMs and future SSBN [ballistic missile submarines] deterrence patrols require the PLA to safeguard the integrity of nuclear release authority for a larger, more dispersed force."

China is developing a deadly drone force:

"In 2017, Chinese defense industry representatives claimed to be developing long-range stealthy and near-space UAVs, and the PLA may soon begin receiving the long-range, high-altitude Xianglong UAV," the Pentagon said.

Taiwan is in trouble:

"Taiwan’s military spending remains at approximately 2 percent of its GDP," the report noted. "Taiwan’s President Tsai recently pledged to increase the island’s defense budget at a pace at least equal to overall economic growth, not including an additional special fund reserved for major defense procurements. Meanwhile, China’s official defense budget has grown to roughly 15 times that of Taiwan, with much of it focused on developing the capability to unify Taiwan with the mainland by force."

Chinese military power is expanding beyond its Western Pacific backyard. "In August 2017, China officially opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti, deploying a company of marines and equipment to the base," said the Pentagon report. "China likely will seek to establish additional military logistics facilities in countries with which it has longstanding, friendly relationships."

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest.


Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 5Rank: 5

Medal of honor July's Best Writer 2012 June's Best Writer 2012

Post time 2018-8-22 02:38:54 |Display all floors
Saul Post time: 2018-8-21 20:47
From your source..national interest.org

7 Signs that China's Military is Becoming More Dangerous

"Dangerous"?
China is a defensive nation, not a offensive one.
Any nation that wants to wage war against them will have their hands full.
America should stick to its own backyard, instead of bullying into others.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2018-8-22 05:59:16 |Display all floors
UYA Post time: 2018-8-22 02:38
"Dangerous"?
China is a defensive nation, not a offensive one.
Any nation that wants to wage war a ...

For a straw hammer, every blade of grass looks like a nail.

China's defensive posture can be interpreted as "dangerous" only by those who are a seeking needles in a haystack,

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 5Rank: 5

Medal of honor July's Best Writer 2012 June's Best Writer 2012

Post time 2018-8-22 10:02:06 |Display all floors
wchao37 Post time: 2018-8-22 05:59
For a straw hammer, every blade of grass looks like a nail.

China's defensive posture can be inte ...

Things don't look good for Trump (and America) today.
Breaking News!!!!!
Coehn pleads guilty.
Manafort found guilty.

America is in disarray.
China should take back Taiwan soon.
(while the chicken is without its head)

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2018-8-22 13:01:24 |Display all floors
This post was edited by wchao37 at 2018-8-23 00:32
UYA Post time: 2018-8-22 10:02
Things don't look good for Trump (and America) today.
Breaking News!!!!!
Coehn pleads guilty.

Those arrests and admission of guilt still won't pull him in.

85 percent of Republican congressman still support him although only 40 percent of the general public does -- according to a recent poll.

That's why it is predictable that he will continue to agitate against China no matter what comes out of the talks.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2018-8-22 15:09:41 |Display all floors
Daniel L. Davis is reasonable and has a clear head. I hope there are more like him in the US.

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

BACK TO THE TOP
Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email: blog@chinadaily.com.cn
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.