Washington spews lies at us about Syria while madness reigns

Summary: Our war in Syria has torn the curtain concealing the Deep State, showing the true Left and Right in America, the power of the Deep State, and the sham nature of our bipartisan system. Most importantly, we see that we have no allies in the quest to fix the Republic. These revelations might be the most important result of Trump’s presidency.

“We’re about to have a very graphic demonstration of the near-total uniformity of the political class when it comes to the military and its role. The war party is ready for a coming-out party.”
— “We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends” by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone.

Trump and Syria

Our objective in Syria since 9/11 has been to destabilize and replace the regime. That has long been obvious despite the lies told us.

John R. Bolton has served as a high official for Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., and now Trump (as National Security Advisor). On 6 May 2002, Bolton (then an Undersecretary of State) gave a speech designating three nations as “rogue nations” “beyond the Axis of Evil”: Cuba, Libya, and Syria. Nations warranting immediate action to suppress.

Cables released by Wikileaks described these efforts by State during the Bush and Obama years. For example, in December 2006, William Roebuck (just returned from tour as Deputy Chief of Mission in Damascus, then Director of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs) cabled a report “Influencing the SARG in the end of 2006” {SARG: Syrian Arab Regime Government} discussing ways to destabilize the regime (see analysis of it here and here).

After civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, President Obama provided both explicit and covert aid to the insurgents. We know only fragments about this, such as the CIA’s Timber Sycamore operation providing training and arms. Obama’s efforts escalated during his years in office. In 2013 Obama was on the verge of launching massive air strikes against Syria, deterred only when notified that the bogus evidence of gas attacks by Assad would not withstand scrutiny (the authorization bill in Congress was quietly killed). But we continued to provide arms to the insurgents. See details of Obama’s programs here. All illegal, of course. Acts of war against a sovereign nation without authorization from Congress or the UN.

In 2014 Congress authorized funds for the Special Forces to train and equip forces to fight Assad’s regime – cloaking this in a pretense that this was also fighting ISIS. We spent $500 million to equip tiny numbers of “fighters” – most of whom either defected or just turned their weapons over to jihadist groups.

In 2014, Flynn (then Director of the DIA) said that his agency had been warning since 2012 that there was no moderate opposition to Assad – and that the CIA was arming jihadists. The “Free Syrian Army” was window-dressing based in Turkey. Details here. After that, the US government more or less stopped pretending. Assad was fighting ISIS. We were fighting Assad.

Like many of these wars throughout history, you need a monthly program to know who is doing what to whom – and can only guess at their motives and long-term plants. Turkey, Russia, Iran, Israel, America, the Saudi Princes, etc. Americans are told child-like fables about the action to keep them happy and docile (just like the stories of the virtuous mujahideen in Afghanistan fighting the evil Soviets (see photos from before-American-intervention and afterwards to see the results; send your personal apologies to Afghanistan’s women).

Trump is planning to do some sort of slowing to our mad intervention in Syria. Withdraw some troops, perhaps offset with more aid and training – and more bombing (definitely more bombing). We do not know exactly what America is doing there. Nobody has told us about the policy change. Proles need not know such things. But the bottom line is obvious. We are beginning to leave. The Assad regime is still there. We lost. He won.

Perhaps Trump might do something similar in Afghanistan, perhaps offset by even more military/CIA intervention in Africa. General “Mad Dog” Mattis is unhappy with any cuts to the Long War, and resigned. Remember how the Right went berserk in 2013 when Obama fired Mattis, then head of Central Command, for pushing too hard for war with Iran. My favorite: “Exit another fighting gen.” in the New York Post.

“Could it be that, as Obama prepares to cede Afghanistan back to the Taliban, the last thing he needs is an obstreperous general gumming up the surrender?”

From
From “Alice – Madness Returns.”

Hysteria erupts in Washington

Any mention of leaving failed wars is heresy to the Deep State, its lackies and useful idiots. The reaction is beyond anything I have seen since Nixon or even thought possible. See Kristinn Taylor’s list of lunatic reactions by our political leaders (both parties) and journalists. Plus many many others. Leading leftist Robert Reich (Professor of Public Policy at Berkeley, official in the Administration of three presidents, and assisted Obama; Wikipedia). Leading Leftist Rachel Maddow (PhD in politics from Oxford, broadcast on MSNBC and Air America; Wikipedia). Mia Farrow, Bette Midler, and Cher.

A few voices remind us about the law.

Matt Taibbi says that “The real line is between a war party, and everyone else.” Unfortunately the “war party” consists of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and almost entire national ruling establishment (e.g., journalists, think tanks, defense contractors). Our superiority of numbers means nothing so long as we remain gullible and apathetic.

Who knew that ending failed illegal wars was so unpopular in America? “Rogue Journalist” Caitlin Johnstone gives us the bad news. First, “Endless War Has Been Normalized And Everyone Is Crazy.

“In an even marginally sane world, the fact that a nation’s armed forces are engaged in daily military violence would be cause for shock and alarm, and pulling those forces out of that situation would be viewed as a return to normalcy. Instead we are seeing the exact opposite. In an even marginally sane world, congressional oversight would be required to send the US military to invade countries and commit acts of war, because that act, not withdrawing them, is what’s abnormal. Instead we are seeing the exact opposite.

“A hypothetical space alien observing our civilization for the first time would conclude that we are insane, and that hypothetical space alien would be absolutely correct. …

“It is absolutely bat shit crazy that we feel normal about the most powerful military force in the history of civilization running around the world invading and occupying and bombing and killing, yet are made to feel weird about the possibility of any part of that ending. It is absolutely bat shit crazy that endless war is normalized while the possibility of peace and respecting national sovereignty to any extent is aggressively abnormalized. In a sane world the exact opposite would be true, but in our world this self-evident fact has been obscured. In a sane world anyone who tried to convince you that war is normal would be rejected and shunned, but in our world those people make six million dollars a year reading from a teleprompter on MSNBC.”

Then she sums up the news.

“So while the jumble of information and speculation about Trump’s possible Syria maneuverings doesn’t necessarily tell us a whole lot, the reaction to it tells us why the world looks the way it looks. The most powerful military force in the history of civilization inflicts violence and domination with total impunity and total disregard for national sovereignty, demanding total respect for its own borders and total compliance from all nations outside its borders. Nations which obey are absorbed into an alliance that is so tight and streamlined it can effectively be called an empire, while nations which disobey are invaded, occupied, disrupted and destroyed. …

“We’ve got to evolve beyond this mentality of intrusive domination which is so aggressively promoted as normal by the mass media. The idea that it’s okay for a powerful nation to insert its military force into a weaker nation in order to manipulate geopolitical dynamics to its advantage is a sickness, and we need to heal it.”

Being polite, she does not mention that our leaders do this because we applaud. If we voted against them, they would not do so. If we protested in the street, this would end quickly. These are our wars. Our responsibility. Any blow-back from them will be well deserved. This is not the world we fought in WWII to build. It is the kind of world we fought to end.

Change takes courage

For More Information

A few rational voices are raised amidst the madness about Syria.

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about our war in Syria, about our incompetent senior generals, and especially these…

  1. Peter van Buren asks what the Middle East would look like if we hadn’t helped.
  2. Trump says the truth about our wars. Do Not Listen!
  3. Secrets about our attack on Syria & Russia to help jihadists.
  4. Big news about Syria. It’s news for proles! – “Trump agrees to an indefinite military effort.” WaPo on 6 September 2018.
  5. Trump protects al Qaeda in Syria. The Resistance applauds.
  6. Syrians don’t own Syria. It’s everyone’s, a devil’s playground. – By anthropologist Maximilian Forte.

Essential reading to understand modern war

The Transformation of War: The Most Radical Reinterpretation of Armed Conflict Since Clausewitz by Martin van Creveld.

The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World by General Rupert Smith. One of the great books about modern warfare.

Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts.

By Harlan Ullman (Naval Institute Press (2017).

“This book should be read by all practitioners and serious students of national security as the guide for avoiding failures and miscalculations in using American military power.”
— General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993) and 65th Secretary of State.

Anatomy of Failure is part Von Clausewitz, part Tom Clancy, with personal insights by Harlan K. Ullman that brilliantly translate why the United States, the most powerful nation on earth, has so often fallen short of its objectives.”
— Michael Lord Dobbs, creator of the series “House of Cards.”

Available at Amazon.

From the publisher …

“Why, since the end of World War II, has the United States either lost every war it started or failed in every military intervention it prosecuted? Harlan Ullman’s new book answers this most disturbing question, a question Americans would never think of even asking because this record of failure has been largely hidden in plain sight or forgotten with the passage of time.

“The most straightforward answer is that presidents and administrations have consistently failed to use sound strategic thinking and lacked sufficient knowledge or understanding of the circumstances prior to deciding whether or not to employ force.

“Making this case is an in-depth analysis of the records of presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama and Donald Trump in using force or starting wars. His recommended solutions begin with a ‘brains-based’ approach to sound strategic thinking to address one of the major causes of failure: the inexperience of too many of the nation’s commanders-in-chief. Ullman reinforces his argument through the use of autobiographical vignettes that provide a human dimension and insight into the reasons for failure, in some cases making public previously unknown history.

“The clarion call of Anatomy of Failure is that both a sound strategic framework and sufficient knowledge and understanding of the circumstance that may lead to using force are vital. Without them, failure is virtually guaranteed.”

 

38 thoughts on “Washington spews lies at us about Syria while madness reigns

  1. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    That sums it up pretty good.

    It sucks being a leader.
    As for “losing all wars”, the US is still the dominant power.
    This could change if you don’t keep your eye on the ball.
    Trump is a distraction!
    Good luck America.

    1. Funny how a story this big gets buried by talking heads talking about five billion for a wall and Russian collusion…Still.

  2. “Most importantly, we see that we have no allies in the quest to fix the Republic. ”

    I’ve found this to be true. Strategy is disconnecting they enemy from its centers of gravity and connecting more of your own. How is this done in this context? The enemies of the Republic have the press, the establishment, and a gullible American people. You can’t even discuss the problems with an American: they just glaze-over. “Hey, uh, no country can survive this sexual ideology of anti-natalism, transgenderism, and sodomy. Now pedophilia is being normalized. It’s over unless we do something.” Response: “*crickets*”

  3. It’s tempting to comment on the comments. Such despair! As usual Ole’ Maximus, you’ve stirred the pot between our ears.

    From this Ole’ Buzzard and his flock to you and yours, enjoy the sweet moment(s) of the Season … priceless for certain and as delightfully hopeful as, in counterpoint, the despair is seemingly, hopelessly endless.

  4. “our leaders do this because we applaud. If we voted against them, they would not do so.”

    Indeed, we do not protest strongly enough. But Obama was elected in 2008 promising to end the wars. He did not do so. Trump was elected in 2016 promising to end the wars. He now appears to be doing so. Finally.

    Trump may be distasteful, but he is willing to take on the Deep State.

    1. Mike,

      “Obama was elected in 2008 promising to end the wars. He did not do so.”

      Amnesia much? See these posts quoting (with links) Obama’s speeches promising to be a good and aggressive war President.

      “Trump may be distasteful, but he is willing to take on the Deep State.”

      Trump is in his third year of office, and so far has been a loyal servant of the Deep State. Let’s not give him awards until he actually does something. Trump’s talk often does not match Trump’s actions.

  5. Dear Larry,

    Here in Europe there is great consternation about this decision of your President. Not so much about the decision itself (withdrawing troops from a war-front is something anyone can or should be able to understand), but about the way it was taken and its suddenness. It appears that Trump simply had a telephone conversation with the Turkish President Erdogan, who assured him he would take over the fight against ISIS and felt comfortable to announce it via Twitter without consulting with anyone, not even his closest advisors, and without considering the consequences to his allies, the Kurds, who contributed the “boots on the ground” for the war against the islamic state. Kurds are now facing a catastrophe, abandoned by the US they are now at the mercy of, well, everybody: The Turks, first and foremost., the Iranians, ISIS, the Russians, Basar al Assad-you name it. The French are supposedly taking over, but it is

    Other US-allies like Greece and Cyprus that were counting on US-support on various issues are now having second thoughts: What if we are abandoned just like that too, without warning, via a presidential Twitt?.

    1. Taraxippos,

      “but about the way it was taken and its suddenness.”

      Wow. How sad that you folks have not been paying attention. Trump was skeptical about our foreign wars during the election. Trump repeatedly questioned our foreign wars during the first two years of his term – but he gave the national security establishment the opportunity to demonstrate progress. They’ve failed quite decisively.

      “over the fight against ISIS and felt comfortable to announce it via Twitter without consulting with anyone, not even his closest advisors”

      America elects people to lead. That often means making hard lonely choices. JFK disagreed with all of his senior advisers (civilian and military) during the Cuban Missile Crisis (they wanted a hard line, risking nuclear war). LBJ fought his own instincts and followed his advisers’ recommendations to expand the Vietnam War.

      “without considering the consequences to his allies, the Kurds”

      Wow, that’s quite bizarre. Turkey is an ally, a key member of NATO. The Kurds are a stateless people, often at odds with both Turkey and another ally of the US – Iraq. We can’t be friends with everybody. Diplomacy is a process of making choices.

      Nations often make abrupt decisions to help and hurt other nations. The Brits have knifed allies over the years to stock a Model UN. As has America. It’s life in the real world.

    2. Follow-up to Taraxippos,

      You folks in Europe are welcomed to send money and people to fight in Syria. The EU’s population and GDP are larger than America’s, and you are far closer. It is only right and proper that you take over. We’ll swap places, with us judging your actions.

    3. LK: You folks in Europe are welcomed to send money and people to fight in Syria…

      Best comment for this post.

      I also think that if the EU was not happy with the US posturing and warring, they could act on that as well.

  6. The fifteen billion slated for Syria next year will help build the southern border wall instead. Turkish president Erdogan and other regional leaders can take it from here. Afghanistan is next, good bye.
    “Time to focus on our Country and bring our youth back home where they belong” DJT

    1. Ron,

      “The fifteen billion slated for Syria next year will help build the southern border wall instead.”

      The Democratic majority in the House will approve that …never.

      “Afghanistan is next, good bye.”

      I suggest caution when predicting what Trump will do. Both friends and enemies have poor records of success.

  7. “You folks in Europe are welcomed to send money and people to fight in Syria. The EU’s population and GDP are larger than America’s, and you are far closer. It is only right and proper that you take over. We’ll swap places, with us judging your actions”

    Yes we complain about American foreign policy the same way the kids in the back seat complain about there parents driving style.
    But still, Trump could have been less abrupt, what ever way you look at it the Kurds are in trouble, and they have been pretty faithful US allies, but as you said that does not weight much in the balance realpolitik is considered.

  8. I’ll say this in defense of Mattis, he resigned over a policy disagreement. He didn’t resort to MacArthur style insubordination, or start scheming to get a special counsel appointed, a la Comey and Rosenstein. I respect him for resigning over a matter of principle, even if I don’t think much of the principle.

    “Trump is in his third year of office, and so far has been a loyal servant of the Deep State.”

    Well, maybe. Mike Flynn was certainly critical of American policy in the Middle East, and look what happened to him. He was railroaded out in short order. I know you don;t like Trump. I don’t much care for him either, but I think you have to grade on the curve. Trump came to office facing an actual slow motion coup to reverse a Presidential Election (I think that’s a fair interpretation of Russiagate) and without much of a support network in Washington of people who owe him favors. Even joining his Administration now is hazardous because anyone who works for him is a potential target of investigation and or an FBI perjury trap. I think he came to office with the best of intentions, and understanding that our foreign policy was seriously misguided. But wars that were never begun and fought legally maybe can’t be easily ended legally either.

    People point out rightly that Trump hasn’t delivered on much of what he promised, but the Presidency is a constitutionally weak office. He can’t appropriate money for his wall, and he can’t force Congress to fund it. The military or the executive branch might have been willing to carry our Obama’s illegal orders, but Trump won’t be cut the same slack.

    “If we voted against them, they would not do so.”

    We did

    1. Did Mattis resign or was he asked to resign? At this point, I don’t know.
      Trump told everybody what he was going to do three years ago, as far as I know that’s why he got elected.
      You can’t say he isn’t trying, politicians hate outsiders.

      1. Ron,

        “At this point, I don’t know.”

        We might never know.

        “Trump told everybody what he was going to do three years ago”

        Can you provide any evidence of that? I carefully tracked Trump’s statements about our wars – and saw nothing like that. See the CNN debate, his first major foreign policy speech, and his platform. See his list of campaign promises kept – quite a few bellicose ones.

        Nothing remotely supporting your memory. This is much like people applauding Obama the Peace-maker – after he promised during the election to be a great war president. Our amnesia and dreams – our weak ability to see and remember – makes us easy to rule. We are a gift to the 1%.

        “You can’t say he isn’t trying”

        That’s absurd. Trump promised to be a populist. He has governed as a standard GOP president. Cut taxes for the rich, send the deficit skyrocketing, attack unions, cut regulation of corporations, boost military spending, etc. Nothing populist. Nothing unusual.

    2. The Man,

      Me: “If we voted against them, they would not do so.”
      You: “We did.”

      False. Trump made a wide range of statements about our Long War, nothing remotely like being against it. As for Congress, we send pro-war representatives to Washington like clockwork. The Soviet Politburo had a higher turnover rate than Congress.

  9. Larry,

    “The Democratic majority in the House will approve that …never.”

    I believe the Syria money has already been appropriated.

    “I suggest caution when predicting what Trump will do. Both friends and enemies have poor records of success.”

    I agree but it’s Trump. I hope he has good bodyguards and loyal Generals left.

    1. Ron,

      “I believe the Syria money has already been appropriated.”

      That isn’t what you said. You said “The fifteen billion slated for Syria next year will help build the southern border wall instead.” The Dems will not allow that to happen. Trump can’t just move $15b around at will.

  10. @Larry.

    Like I said, I am not judging the decision per se, but the way it was taken. In that scenario the Kurds were the allies who fought at great cost at your side. Promises were made, obligations were taken, and all that is cancelled overnight.

    ” How sad that you folks have not been paying attention.”We are. And getting a headache for our pains. He seems to change his mind every five minutes. Yes, I know, he told something about getting out of Syria in 2016. So what? On another occasion he ordered the assassination of Basar Al Assad and wanted every military installation in Syria raised to the ground. In 2016 he was calling Kim Jong Un “Rocket Boy”. Now they are BFFs. Or maybe not, I haven’t read the news for about 30 minutes, so who knows?

    “You folks in Europe are welcomed to send money and people to fight in Syria. The EU’s population and GDP are larger than America’s, and you are far closer. It is only right and proper that you take over. We’ll swap places, with us judging your actions.”

    Agreed. But, wait a minute…we already are! There are French, Belgians, Germans and so on fighting in Syria too as we speak. And Greece received about 1 million refugees in 2015 alone (roughly 10% of its population), a consequence of, among others, the Syrian civil war. So we are paying, in another currency.

    You may not like it, but the US being the most powerful nation on Earth, its head of state claiming the title “Leader of the Free World” its foreign policy affects the interests of every other nation on the planet. That being the case. we will not refrain from judging your actions. Sorry about that, I wish it were different.

    1. Taraxippos,

      “Promises were made, obligations were taken …”

      You are just making stuff up.

      “He seems to change his mind every five minutes.”

      No. His policies have been consistent and incremental, esp in foreign policy. You confuse what he says with his policies. That is a mistake with any political leader.

      “But, wait a minute…we already are!”

      Please don’t troll us. Those are tokens, only. My statement was specific: if you want to replace the American money and troops, the EU is more than able to do so.

      “but the US being the most powerful nation on Earth”

      You keep making stuff up. The US is not “the most powerful nation on Earth” by any metric, except in the sense that we spend more of our limited resources on the military than any sane nation would. Cutting back on that is just good sense. Europe has the resources to equal or exceed our military spending. Don’t whine. Act.

  11. Larry,

    “That isn’t what you said. You said “The fifteen billion slated for Syria next year will help build the southern border wall instead.” The Dems will not allow that to happen. Trump can’t just move $15b around at will.”

    I’ll take your word on it. Nothing will get done after January anyway.

    1. Ron,

      First, that’s been the official position of the US government since we first intervened in the Syrian war. Every president says that we’re fighting ISIS – while we in fact fight Assad. That’s the key point to the first section of this post.

      Second, you can’t have voted for Trump based on “his first interview after he won the White House.”

    1. Ron,

      That’s a great article. It is cited in this post in the For More Info section. You’ll usually see interesting links there.

  12. Larry,

    “That’s a great article. It is cited in this post in the For More Info section. You’ll usually see interesting links there.”

    I should have known to read more, lol. How do you acquire this much info and keep it all in your head? How fast can you read? Quite amazing.

  13. “You are just making stuff up.”

    No I am not. I happen to follow the news on Syria and the Middle East on a daily basis, and it was quite obvious to anyone with half a brain that the US were planning to stay in Syria for a long time: building small outposts on the Turkish-Syrian border, supplying the Kurds with heavy equipment and what not.

    “if you want to replace the American money and troops, the EU is more than able to do so.”

    I do not want you to do anything, I am just drawing your attention to some of the consequences of the actions of your President. BTW, nobody asked you to go to Syria, you went there out of your own accord…

    “You keep making stuff up. The US is not “the most powerful nation on Earth” by any metric, ”

    Really? The US are the country with the greatest GDP on Earth, about 50% larger than the GDP of China, which is on second place, even though it has the greatest population. And you own the greatest military force on the planet too. Is that not powerful enough for you?

    1. Taraxippos,

      “I happen to follow the news on Syria ”

      Let’s see your evidence that “Promises were made, obligations were taken …” (your words).

      “I am just drawing your attention to some of the consequences of the actions of your President.”

      I am just drawing your attention to the bogus nature of your big talk. And your making stuff up and falsehoods.

      “The US are the country with the greatest GDP on Earth,”

      GDP is compared using dollars at purchasing power parity (to provide a common metric). As of 2017 – China: $23 trillion. EU: $22 trillion. USA: $19 trillion.

      “you own the greatest military force on the planet too.”

      First, that’s silly. The EU nations are easily capable of replacing the US in Syria. The numbers and dollars are small compared to EU resources, financial and military.

      Second, that is (like your other statements) bogus. The EU is well able to build a military as large or larger than that of the US. Plus having a far larger population (512 million vs. 326 million). That you choose to not do so does not mean you get to whine about America does or does not do.

  14. It is better if both the USA and Russia are not in Syria at the same time. That’s because of the potential for tragic mistake further souring relations between the USA and Russia. This is the low point right here. Coalition, accidently bombed Syrian government forces, nearly allowing ISIS to overrun the beseiged city of Deir ez-Zor in 2016. The USA claimed it was a mistake, but the Russians never bought that — and after this, they seemed to just stop caring what the USA wanted anymore. If the mistake went the other way, and accidental Russian bombs allowed ISIS to overrun Americans, what would have happened? There was communication between USA and Russia in Syria, but it wasn’t always good, and there is no trust.

    The last of ISIS is tucked away on the Euphrates, just on the border between Syrian government and USA controlled airspace. I suggest, maybe it’s better if only either Russia or the USA fight ISIS in Syria. Having both do it just makes it all more complicated.

    Is Trump about to leave Syria? I don’t know. Even if he doesn’t — he has already changed the situation just by announcing all this. Those on the fence are going to start picking a team. Same with Afghanistan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2016_Deir_ez-Zor_air_raid

  15. @Larry.

    “Let’s see your evidence that “Promises were made, obligations were taken …” (your words).”
    Evidence, like in a trial? Well how about Stratfor:

    https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/syria-pros-cons-us-withdrawal-russia-turkey-kurds
    “Washington has invested significant resources and time into building ties with the SDF and providing support for the organization. Moreover, Washington has repeatedly promised not to abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria.”

    Or the Washington Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/what-trumps-syria-decision-means-on-the-front-lines-of-the-fight-against-the-islamic-state/2018/12/23/f4735f9c-06ff-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d814ec74e498

    “The EU nations are easily capable of replacing the US in Syria. The numbers and dollars are small compared to EU resources, financial and military”

    You don’t seem to know very much about the EU. The EU is not a country, has no army, and will not get one in the foreseeable future. The countries comprising it have no imperial aspirations, so the armies they keep are solely for self defence (some exceptions are former colonial powers like France and the UK, which is about to leave anyway).
    My claims are not bogus, you don’t seem to be able to read. Yes, the EU countries can build an even larger military than the US if they liked, but they don’t want to. Why would they?

    “Second, that is (like your other statements) bogus. The EU is well able to build a military as large or larger than that of the US. Plus having a far larger population (512 million vs. 326 million). That you choose to not do so does not mean you get to whine about America does or does not do.”

    There is also nominal GDP, which is better to determine the actual size of an economy. According to this metric the US economy is way larger than the Chinese:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

    I will close this conversation and probably won’t bother you again here: This conversation has been very disappointing on all levels. You were rude with no reason, misread my statements and arguments, put words into my mouth I never said…plus your mentioning the British Empire and how they treated their allies is pure “whataboutism”. My post was meant to give you an idea of how people outside the US might see this particular decision of your President. Obviously you don’t care. Maybe that is the reason you have been losing all these wars after WWII. Ever thought about it?

    I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

    1. Taraxippos,

      Another round of correcting misinformation and bogus excuses. I’ll just hit the high points.

      I said “The EU nations are easily capable of replacing the US in Syria. The numbers and dollars are small compared to EU resources, financial and military.”
      Your reply: “The EU is not a country, has no army”

      That’s quite a reading FAIL. I specificially said the “EU nations.” If action in Syria is so important, in 20 minutes they could decide to replace the 2,000 US troops in Syria. See their armies (members that didn’t want to send troops could provide financing instead).

      French Army: 117 thousand.
      Greed Army: 72,000.
      Germany: 62 thousand.
      Total military personnel of the European Defense Union: 1.4 million as of 2016 (source).

      “The countries comprising it have no imperial aspirations, so the armies they keep are solely for self defence”

      What a nice way for you to say that you want America to do stuff, while you get to hector and criticize. Charming.

      “There is also nominal GDP, which is better to determine the actual size of an economy.”

      That’s an economic fallacy known as the “Money Illusion.” Purchasing power parity (ie, adjusted for under- or over- valuation) is the best metric to compare GDP’s of different nations (that’s what it is for). In much the same way as real currency values (ie, adjusted for inflation) are used to compare purchasing power over time. Nominal values are useful for comparisons within one country (or currency group) at one point in time.

      “put words into my mouth I never said”

      I reply to direct quotes to avoid that.

    2. Taraxippos,

      I forgot to reply to your first point.

      Stratfor: “Moreover, Washington has repeatedly promised not to abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria.”

      Real agreements between groups are done in writing. Promises made over drinks or pillows are just air. “We’ll always defend you.” “I’ll respect you in the morning.” “Of course I’m on the pill.” Only fools take such things seriously.

    3. Taraxippos accidentally makes an important point about Empires.

      “The countries comprising it {the EU} have no imperial aspirations, so the armies they keep are solely for self defence”

      The American people have no “imperial aspirations” and want our military to be solely for self defense. Hence Taraxippos and his ilk – who say that we should spend our money and blood interfering in place like Syria – are seen as either conmen or foes (or both). Which is one reason we got Trump. There is no reason for the US to spend our money defending european nations. Ditto for foreign adventures in places like Syria.

    4. Taraxippos,

      This is too important point to ignore.

      “Maybe that is the reason you have been losing all these wars after WWII. Ever thought about it?”

      I and others have thought a great deal about it. There are scores of posts about this on the FM website. Why the reasons are obscure, the underlying fact is of the highest importance: with the exception of raids, nobody has won foreign wars since Mao brought 4th generation war to maturity (winning in 1949). As Martin van Creveld discusses the most common form of war in Chapter 6.2 of The Changing Face of War (2006):

      “What is known, though, is that attempts by post-1945 armed forces to suppress guerrillas and terrorists have constituted a long, almost unbroken record of failure …{W}hat changed was the fact that, whereas previously it had been the main Western powers that failed, now the list included other countries as well. Portugal’s expulsion from Africa in 1975 was followed by the failure of the South Africans in Namibia, the Ethiopians in Ertrea, the Indians in Sri Lanka, the Americans in Somalia, and the Israelis in Lebanon. … Even in Denmark {during WWII}, “the model protectorate”, resistance increased as time went on.

      “Many of these nations used force up to the level of genocide in their failed attempts to defeat local insurgencies. Despite that, foreign forces have an almost uniform record of defeat. Such as the French-Algerian War, which the French waged until their government collapsed.”

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