Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Caliphate, Bush's timeline, and the 500 year war.

As a few of you may know, I'm an active duty NCO in the USAF. I don't like to bring that up much, since it might seem that I'm trying to argue from authority rather than making my point through analysis of facts. But in this case, it's a crucial detail to what I'm writing about today.

Yesterday we had an "all hands call" here at Andersen AFB for junior NCOs (E-5 & E-6) to be briefed by the senior enlisted advisor of USSTRATCOM, Command Master Chief William N. Nissen and the senior enlisted advisor of USPACOM, Command Sergeant Major William T. Kinney (USMC) about long term strategy. Cool, I thought. Maybe I might learn something here.

Boy did I, but not the way I expected. The first half with CMCPO Nissen was informative, if a bit dry. He talked about how DoD structure worked in times of war vs. times of peace and what the functions of braches are vs. the functions of combatant commands. It was interesting, but I was getting a bit drowsy toward the end of it.

The second half was a different story. CSM Kinney got up and spoke, and his speech could not have been more blatantly partisan if he'd been wearing a GOP button. He mentioned "uneducated liberals", talked about Democrats as "quitters" and said that the enemy had influenced the election in their favor this past November. He said that people who voted for Democrats were voting from emotion vice intellect and that we needed to "educate" our loved ones back home or people we ran into in the airport about the nature of our enemy. He had a number of doozies, like referring to Saudi Arabia as a "moderate Muslim country", referring to people telling Israel to give up Jerusalem, and stating that the Iraq War is nothing like the Vietnam War because "when we left Vietnam, it ended! This is gonna keep going!" I still don't know what a "state-sponsored country" is, and I snickered out loud when he at his Freudian slip when he said that the terrorists had already gotten rid of a secular government in "Iraq... er, Iran".

He talked about how the Taliban said that we may have all the weapons, but they have all the time. That struck me as obvious, since it's sort of their fucking country and we're going to have to leave some day. Then he went into the Caliphate and how this apparently is the greatest threat to mankind since Nazi Germany. The Caliphate is a pipe dream of some Islamists to form a unified Muslim nation and institute Islamic law over half the eastern hemisphere. Frankly, most of the countries covered are already Muslim nations, and if it gets them to stop blowing each other (and us) up, I'm all for it. But that presumes that these Islamists have the means of carrying their dream out, which they don't. Philosophical views aside, most Muslims (like most Americans) simply want to be left the fuck alone to live their lives and only engage in terrorism under extreme duress or desperation. It hardly seems like the sort of thing around which we should be forming our long-term foreign policy and military strategy.

And how long term is it? Sgt Maj Kinney told us about the "Long War", which is what the Bush Administration now calls the Global War on Terror (GWOT). They've never offered a timeline in the past, but they apparently do have one. Sgt Maj Kinney let it slip with this one:

"We're entering into a 500 year war here, people."

Let that sink in for a bit. It took me almost a day before I said, "Wait, what!?" I initially ignored the remark because so much else of what he said was just complete bullshit, but he said this in the context of talking about how this was going to be a long war that Americans don't have the patience for because it's not the kind of short war that our MTV generation (and Sun Tzu, if you've ever read Art of War; he wrote, "No country has ever profited from protracted warfare." But I digress.) prefer. He was saying that we have to have the "will" to outlast them. On top of that, he's in a very influential position as the senior enlisted advisor for PACOM.

So it's not that the administration doesn't have a timeline. They do. It's just that they don't want to tell anybody what it is:

500 years.

I'm going to write some letters. I suggest you do the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work on a military base, and I hear some of this shit.

The new idea though, is that we should leave Iraq and encourage Saudi to go in. It is assumed that Iran will openly start fighting the Sauds, and things will spread from there, to encompass everyone in the area and hopefully kill them all, especially if Israel and Pakistan start using nukes.

Don't look funny at me, that's what the guys a couple of desks over are hoping for. And it seems to be fairly widespread here. A number of cons are openly supporting a fast pullout now, in hopes of this coming true.