Quick Hits: Surgical Strikes

The new year is upon us and we are already rife with controversy in the realm of foreign policy and military options. Almost everyone has heard of and is following the surgical strike that killed General Soleimani at a Baghdad Airfield. Of course, the usual “experts” have weighed in and taken to their foxholes on either side, in support or opposition of the strike. No one should really care what these losers with no life experience think, but the surgical strike could signal a paradigm shift that is important. We are seeing the use of force in a calculated, decisive and military driven way that does not commit large numbers of troops.

We’ve covered before the general ineptitude of pundits who comment on wars, but never fight in them. In the case of Soleimani though, there was little build up and little commentary. The military had a valid target, and according to their targeting parameters, pushed the decision up the chain of command and made the strike. Previously, there would be conjecture, theorizing and a back and forth between the media, career bureaucrats and politicians. This was an inefficient system.

A system with a huge push and pull, that involves folks with no vested interest in events outside of financial or publicity value, is quite flawed. Not only was this ad-hoc system difficult to navigate, it made timeliness nearly impossible and hampers the ability for the military to respond in an appropriate fashion. Instead of a missile strike or a drone strike, Soleimani goes back to Iran, but now we have a company of US Army Infantry patrolling the area he was in three weeks ago, providing nothing but a target…

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There is no need for increasing hostilities with Iran, an escalation or “surge” in the MidEast region, or even combative rhetoric. When presented with the opportunity to defend American interests, our military and policies should do so. Previously, this was a zero sum game, with full on invasions and “liberations” of perceived threats or little interaction at all. Maybe we are entering a new era…

The chain of command, running through the military and up to the civilians who oversee the military should conduct the combat and security affairs tasked to them, and carry out the missions assigned to them. This includes the planning, logistics and execution of a simple foot patrol or a massive use of force in fully declared war. Career bureaucrats, media pundits and “analysts” have no accountability in such a system and only stand to benefit when things go right.

The big risk with letting the military conduct their own affairs (as they should) is the fear that there will be no accountability. This is of course, a valid fear. No one wants to see American Imperialism, propped up by the whims and wishes of the upper crust Generals running roguhshod over the world. This is why we have elected officials and civilians oversee military affairs at the top of the chain of command. Instead of having naysayers, yes men and opportunists at every level, we need to focus on having a consistent chain of command that is held accountable by elected officials and able to operate quickly and freely when the opportunity arises.

 

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