The Military Failure of the United States of America. Why?

by fulltimestudent 18 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    The USA is undoubtedly the strongest military power in the world, and has often been willing to use that power against other nations, Some historians count 187 foreign wars in 200 years, and this youtube video lists the wars the US has fought in the twentieth Century, most of which, (in the earliest part of the 20th C) it can be argued, were won by the USA.

    This is not an argument about the rightness or wrongness of any war. The argument is why the mightiest ever military power, a political power that controls overwhelming destructive forces, a power that claims to stand on the side of its God, does not win wars?

    Have you thought about this question?

    In the next couple of years I want to write a paper that show the unintended consequences of the USA's invasion of the Philippines in 1899.*

    USS Olympia art NH 91881-KN.jpg

    USS Olympia in the left foreground, leading the U.S. Asiatic Squadron

    Stemming from that war, the paper will argue, came a long chain of consequences climaxing with Mao Zedong on the podium of the forbidden city in Beijing, proclaiming the 'People's Republic of China.' An event that had a major consequences in the USA, with the McCarthy purges, and the development of a mindset that seems to have led the USA to be involved in unwinnable wars.

    Past that point, I have in mind a second paper that will explore the failure of a west that has become more ideological than Mao's communists (or Joe Stalin's for that matter).

    If you have thought about this broader picture, I'd be interested in what you may see as the reasons for this.

    Since 1945, despite its overwhelming military technology, The USA has failed to achieve what we may call a solid victory. In both the Korean war and the Vietnam war the best the USA could achieve was a negotiated settlement.

    Who can forget the bomb flattened cities of North Korea, but with citizens still willing to fight. Its true that an arrogant Macarthur made a huge strategic mistake by proceeding to the border of North Korea and China, and thus involving China in the war. But the willingness of North Koreans to fight on was remarkable.

    And similarly, in Vietnam, more heavily bombed than Germany in WW2,

    its country side literally poisoned with Agent Orange, the affects of which are still producing deformed children in Vietnam,

    and yet the people continued to fight until the triumphant climax, when Vietnamese tanks broke down the gates of the US Embassy, as its occupants fled in helicopters.

    That war in particular led to social division within the USA.

    That division is part of the story, but is it a significant part? If it is significant, why have more recent wars not met with significant opposition? And yet, these wars have seen even more spectacular failure. Bush Jnr's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have both failed.

    In Iraq (an artificial state organised by the British, so that it was easier to control), the Sunni Muslim support base of Saddam Hussein ( a man who was supported by the USA to fight a proxy war against Iran) re-emerged in a much more dangerous form.

    And, in Afghanistan (America's longest war) the Taliban enemy is still gaining control over more areas. There's a map on this link:

    that shows Taliban held areas (or, where they are strong enough to contest the western established government) . Click on the red areas to see what the Taliban are doing.

    Bush's war has not been the success that the American elite thought that they could win.


    * I will attempt to show that the invasion and colonisation of the Philippines turned the influential Chinese politician Dr. Sun Yatsen against the USA. (He actually attempted to supply the Filipino freedom fighters with weapons). He later sought help from the Communist Comintern and allowed the then small number of communists in the recently formed CPC to have a dual membership in his KMT party. The communists apparently (I still have to research this part of the story) made very rapid progress in China. Sun's successor, Chiang Kai Shek, opposed the Communists and set in train a series of events that led to the civil war of the late 1940's from which, the communists emerged as the victors. The communist victory was achieved by making alliances with a broad alliance of people who saw the CPC as the best hope for China. The CPC of the time was a party consisting of both dogmatic marxists and a more pragmatic strain of Chinese nationalists who were rationalists. The pragmatists eventually won control of the party (actually before Mao's death). Mao contested their control of the party with his Red Guards. What has emerged is a very pragmatic China that is willing to experiment.

  • Billyblobber
    The U.S. often wins the actual fighting skirmishes, but can't maintain control/occupy the countries it invades. The stated goals of the world never come true because interventionalism is often a lost cause.
  • Simon

    Grenada was the best.

    The problem with US military campaigns is that the expectation and the requirements don't match the political cycles. The campaign in Iraq needed to be for 30+ years at least to work (which I said at the time) and of course the US loses interest and resolve once some body bags start coming back.

    Another problem is that the US military is geared up to fight Russia or China ... but when your enemy doesn't have battleships and infrastructure it's harder to be effective against them - just the wrong tools for the wrong job.

  • fulltimestudent
    Good point Billy! They can win the military clash, but loses the occupation. But why?
  • freemindfade


    Same reason diseases never get cured. That won't make money.




    These things are kept as chronic and not acute to make money....

    It's really as simple as that.

  • Crazyguy
    In the latest wars like in Iraq and Afghanistan the US gained their original objective. Destroy Saddam, put the country back on the US dollar standard and privatize the oil fields. In Afghanistan they have blocked China's influence opened up the area for a pipeline that will benefit US oil interests and now have control of the countries precious metals which again keeps China from monopolizing these metals. The US got what they wanted and problems like Isis and the Talaban are just little issues they really don't care about.
  • fulltimestudent
    Simon: . The campaign in Iraq needed to be for 30+ years at least to work (which I said at the time) and of course the US loses interest and resolve once some body bags start coming back.

    Long enough to re-educate? But are American (official) values, really universal?

  • fulltimestudent

    Smile. fmf your another cynic

  • cofty
    But are American (official) values, really universal?

    No they're not.

    Not everybody is ready for democracy. Tribalism and honour culture is incompatible with the Western political system. Vote for your man and in return expect him to give all the best jobs = opportunities to take bribes, to the family, clan, tribe.

    We sometimes underestimate how far we come in the west. Trump and his fans make me worry we have not come far enough.

  • Simon
    They can win the military clash, but loses the occupation. But why?
    Long enough to re-educate? But are American (official) values, really universal?
    Same reason diseases never get cured. That won't make money.

    That's really it.

    To occupy and transform a country and introduce your culture and values you need to be there for a long time so a generation grows up accepting them as the nom. That means doing all the boring stuff - run bureaucracies and infrastructure.

    Look at the old imperial countries (UK, France, Holland) and the countries they occupied. Most still identify with their previous rulers to some degree, especially with the UK (Canada, Australia, India, numerous island nations).

    America is always looking for a quick fix and there are too many people wanting and allowed to make a quick buck. They don't want to introduce values they want to impose ideology. Democracy can appear under both but America itself isn't the strongest example of democratic process so how can it sell what it doesn't have?

    Toppling a regime is the easy bit. Too often it leaves a power vacuum and there is no effort made to prevent it.

Share this