The US Military Catch-All Thread


#182

Except that was the comparison.

Timex: We’re better that Russia and China.
Scott: No we aren’t.
Me: Holy Christ, yes we are.
You: Well it was never about Russia and China.


#183

I think I’ll go with my words rather than your version of them, thanks.

I mean, this is like me attributing to you idea that we’re better because we killed women and children more humanely.


#184

That may very well be true, but the US does not act like other powers in history who have had the same degree of military dominance. We did not simply take over everyone. Even in places like Iraq, which was a mistake, we didn’t do it with the goal of annexing them and taking their wealth. Our goal was not to conquer and expand our empire.

Countries like China and Russia do not stay their hands in terms of expansion due to the goodness of their hearts. They do it because they fear the US will stop them.

Statements being made here are similar to those leveled against Athens by Sparta. Athens did bad things. But they were still the good guy.

Again, the US is flawed, but dramatically less flawed than the alternatives.


#185

You’re right doing double passes (drop bomb, wait for people to come out to save victims, then bomb those people) on civilian targets is completely the same as collateral damage.

Just like killing someone in a car accident is exactly the same as stalking them to their home and torturing them and their entire family to death. I mean both ways they end up dead, so it’s the same thing.


#186

I know, and it’s one of the reasons i fear Trump so much. He had, and will continue, to erode the standing of the US. And that will be worse for the world. And truly, if he is what America is, then so be it.

But i do not believe that Trump represents what America is.


#187

If you decide to bomb a wedding party, or a school bus, the result isn’t collateral damage.


#188

I very much agree with this. The question of what we want our military to do, is practically never discuss at a civilian level. To be fair the military does a significant amount and planning on the subject , the quadrennial defense review. Although their assumption are rather fanciful at times, two war simultaneously with little support by our allies. (Although maybe after 4+ year of Trump we will actually be fighting against our traditional allies, cheery thought.)

If we are strictly concerned about defense of the homeland. We would be just fine retaining our nuclear forces (our words are backed by nuclear weapons worked well in Civ). The Marine Corp, special force, and I guess Cyber Command, put all of he Army division in the reserve. Mothball 1/2 the fleet and almost the carriers.

But, I am very much in Timex camp. Team America World Police pretty much had it right the US is the world’s policeman and that requires us to have to ability to project large amounts of military power anywhere in the world.The fact that we have manage to fight Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and now ISIS for 17 year into a stalemate in the logistically probably most challenging place on earth is testament to our power. The Soviets took ~10x our casualties in 1/2 the time and it is right next door to them.

In theory there are other benefits/ perks to being world police. Laws don’t apply to us, we are free to interfere with your politics and don’t you think about screwing with our. The world economy runs on the US dollar and English, all nice perks of us being both an economic and military super power.

It is frustrating to watch primarily Republican advocate for increase military spending, while pursuing an isolationist policy. I used to see Democrats who complain about the US not doing enough to stop genocide and also bitch about military spending. Now days outside of Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, John Kerry, and Nicholas Kristoff no liberal seem to give a shit about what goes in the rest of the world. With the exception of small number of neocon the same things is true on the right.

I know my view, that US should be doing more not less to help the powerless, ro combat violent organizations and government, is wildly unpopular in the US. Past US efforts are viewed as failure despite the evidence to the contrary in South Korea, Iraq, Panama, Philippines, Haiti, Afghanistan etc.

So it looks like we are going have the opportunity to experience a world without cop. May we live in interesting times.


#189

Speaking as a current resident of Latin America, I can only say that this is profoundly ignorant. There is more than one kind of empire, more than one kind of annexation, more than one kind of resource extraction. And what they do have in common is the killing.

Wake me when China invades another country and kills a million people for no good reason.


#190

This badly misunderstands both the nature of asymmetrical threats and the fight we’ve been waging, and the degree of success we’ve had.


#191

Some would argue that creating conditions where Western multi-nationals can profitably invest in countries and our military can have bases is, in the current day and age, indistinguishable from “expand our empire”. China has learned that lesson and is currently following that US model of empire expansion around the globe.

I’d say we have a mixed record on being the good guys. We intervene in a country with noble intentions, but often we fuck things up further, and sometimes our interventions really seem to have no purpose beyond imperialism.


#192

Tell that to Afghan girls who’ve been going to school the last 15+ years.


#193

Glad to see you firmly in the Trump/Putin camp of America is just as bad as them.

Also we didn’t bomb a school bus. The wedding party was thought to be a legitimate target, though it seems it wasn’t.

Here’s the thing: legitimate target. Intel got it wrong, but they weren’t specifically targeting a fucking wedding.

Unlike you know, Russia, who is specifically targeting first responders.

Shit happens in war. Usually terrible shit, but we actively try not to do those things. If you can’t understand the difference in intent, then I don’t know what to tell you. You might be stupid.

They tried it in Vietnam. They got their asses kicked by the Vietnamese.

Besides they have plenty of people of their own people to kill.


#194

That country is called Tibet.

And we don’t need to go into the literal tens of millions of Chinese killed by their own government, or the political dissidents imprisoned.

The US is better than China.


#195

That’s cherry picking. Tell it to the children we killed.

That’s pejorative and dishonest to boot, so lay off.

The US routinely decides to attack targets they believe to be mixed with civilians. Sometimes they’re right about the targets, sometimes not; but they still willfully kill the civilians. It’s a bad lawyer’s game to pretend it’s unintended.

So, no need for cops then?

Of the things I’m sure of, we’re not going to invade China to make them treat their people better is very close to the top.


#196

Yeah, let’s compare how the Russians acted in Afghanistan compared to the US.

Also let’s not forget how China invaded and took over Tibet. But I’m sure they treated those people well.

Estimates of deaths vary; according to official government statistics, there were 15 million deaths.

But they totally didn’t kill a million people in a war.

They killed waaaaaay more than that.


#197

Which the Chinese invaded in…1950.

I’m not following the argument now. We need to be the world’s cop now so we can not stop the Chinese from invading Tibet in 1950. Is that it?


#198

And they have continued to murder people there for the past half century. Millions of them.


#199

And we’re totally going to arrest them any day, is that it?


#200

No, you asked to be woken up when China invaded another country and killed a million people.

I pointed out that they already did that.

Currently, they are expanding their power, literally creating islands to seize control of the international waters in the region.

China is not a passive power.


#201

I wasn’t born in 1950, sorry. I can’t really see how that’s relevant.

In any event, the question I’m asking is, what’s the point of being the world’s cop if we don’t stop this stuff? And we don’t stop it, that’s pretty clear.