Here’s a post about a subject that doesn’t directly involve the Navy to any great extent but contains lessons directly applicable to naval operations.
From a Military Times website article we learn that air strikes in
are near peak levels. Afghanistan
For July, strike metrics saw highs across the board as the result of a surge in operations post-ceasefire, according to AFCENT.
flew 749 strike
sorties, 88 of which included a weapons release. Both are monthly highs this
year," according to the AFCENT press release accompanying the monthly
statistics. "Also, the U.S. employed 746 weapons
in July, the highest monthly total since November 2010.” U.S.
The total number of weapons released this year, which includes both manned and unmanned platforms, tops out at 3,714. That number is higher than every year’s total going back to 2013, with the exception of 2017. (1)
How many years have we been in
and what have we accomplished? At best, we’ve achieved a stalemate that
continues only due to our continuous military involvement. In other words, the stalemate we’ve achieved
is not even a stable one. Afghanistan
More realistically, we’ve wasted the lives of too many servicemen for no lasting gain, ravaged our readiness, spent countless dollars on strikes that accomplish nothing, and forged a military that is now ill-equippped, trained, and experienced to carry out its primary function which is fighting peer wars.
, Afghanistan , and the like have devastated our
military in so many ways. Iraq
Worse, there is no end in sight and even the stated objective is nebulous and unlikely to produce a permanent positive outcome.
U.S. aircraft continued to pound Taliban positions across Afghanistan to convince the insurgent force that negotiating with the Afghan government is their only option, according to a press release and statistics provided by U.S. Air Forces Central Command this month. (1)
That’s our goal??? To pressure a ruthless, evil, terrorist organization to negotiate with a corrupt government with the absolute certainty that the moment we withdraw our military support the Taliban will renege on any agreements and attempt to re-conquer every territory they’ve lost?
This is what we’re dying for, crippling our readiness for, and spending our budget on?
This is the perfect example of ComNavOps’ philosophy of war: in it to win it or don’t get in it. We shouldn’t be in this one if those are our goals. We have no compelling national interest in
or, at least, none that we’ve
enumerated. A case can certainly be made
for a compelling interest in crushing a terrorist organization, the Taliban,
but we’re not attempting to do that so the case is moot. Afghanistan
Lacking a compelling interest, we need to leave. More, we need to learn the lesson that it’s idiotic to keep jumping into minor conflicts where we have no compelling interest and no intention of winning decisively.
Returning our focus to the Navy, the Navy’s Freedom of Navigation exercises, for example, serve no purpose other than, perversely, reinforcing the legitimacy of
’s territorial claims and increasing
tensions in the region. We have no
intention of “winning decisively” so why are we doing them? China
The Navy’s patrolling off Yemen and the claimed attacks on US warships are another example of getting involved in a dispute that we have no elucidated compelling national interest in and no intention of “winning decisively” so why are we there?
Consider the Navy’s endless patrols of the
Persian Gulf region. A case can certainly be made for a compelling
national interest there but we’re utterly failing to deal with the issue
decisively. We should withdraw from
patrols and back away while clearly telling the Iranians that if they cause an
incident that affects the , they’ll be punished severely. If the Iranians cause an incident (and they
will) then we should hammer them hard – meaning, wipe out their laughable navy
and air force and decapitate their military so that they can cause no further
The combination of limited involvement and decisive action when we do get involved preserves our forces by not wearing them out conducting useless patrols, deployments, and operations and maximizes their effect when we do take action. Taking decisive action also significantly reduces the need for such action since potential miscreants will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that crossing the line will result in death.
In it to win it or don’t get in it.
(1)Military Times website, “US airstrikes in
continue to climb this month,
highest this decade”, Kyle Rempfer, Afghanistan 28-Aug-2018,