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Old 02-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Defense secretary warns against fighting more ground wars

100% agree with all of this but what is totally surprising is the source: Robert Gates

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in what he said is his final address to the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, warned Friday against the United States getting involved in another major land battle.
He told the cadets that wars like Afghanistan are not likely, and in fact he would advise against it.
"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as Gen. MacArthur so delicately put it," Gates said.
Gates remarks contrasted with some in America who are pushing for the U.S. military to take a more active role in other places like Libya, where huge groups of protesters are trying to overthrow the government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
The defense secretary told cadets they'll be leading a force that has drastically changed how it fights.
Gates, who has previously announced he intends to retire this year, said it's impossible to know what the next war, that these cadets will be part of, will look like.
"When it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect," he said. "We have never once gotten it right, from the Mayaguez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq and more -- we had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged."
Defense secretary warns against fighting more ground wars - CNN.com
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think Gates is a dummy. And none of his remarks should be a surprise to anyone with any kind of historical perspective (that excludes YOU, flag-waving conservative militarists).

I think his remarks were intended for a specific audience - that is, the politicians who may, in the near future, be tempted to embark on a military operation for anything less than dire national survival. Whether or not they will listen is another matter.

The salient fact right now is that we're already over-stretched economically as well as militarily. Wars are mega-expensive, even more so now than they have been in ages past. Empires have gone broke from fighting too many wars and we are not exempt.

Of more concern to me is the social disruption that wars create. No war in this country's history has ever been met with 100% social acceptance. Not even the Revolutionary War. And a military that relies, like ours, on volunteerism cannot survive long casualty lists.

As for not knowing what the next war will be like, that's a problem for the ages.

Fighting the Last War? » HistoryNet

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We often excoriate armies for getting ready to "fight the last war." In some sense, they all do that. It's unavoidable. The real problem, however, is that they train based on mistaken notions of what the next war will be like. And they always will, until someone devises a way to peer into the future.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as Gen. MacArthur so delicately put it," Gates said.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Defense contractors everywhere lick their lips.

This must mean more "smart" bombs etc.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Never fight a land war in Asia, Never invade Russia in the winter, and never, never give a gun to ducks.
Too late
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree. The wars should be fought by bots!

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Old 02-26-2011, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree. The wars should be fought by bots!

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Old 02-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We had no idea we'd be in Iraq a year before we were?

I'll bet your predecessor did.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We had no idea we'd be in Iraq a year before we were?

I'll bet your predecessor did.
Probably the first American political party to ever make their plans public in their election platform.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree. The wars should be fought by bots!

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Old 02-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree. The wars should be fought by bots!

That is old school. This is what they are working on now:



Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey | Danger Room | Wired.com

Looks like they have dropped all pretense of it not being an offensive weapon.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jesse Barnett View Post
100% agree with all of this but what is totally surprising is the source: Robert Gates



Defense secretary warns against fighting more ground wars - CNN.com

I guess Gates never read General Norman Schwartzkopf's book... they were wargaming an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait over a year before it happened.

The CIVILIANS may not have thought of it... but the military damn well did... as well as many other scenarios.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess Gates never read General Norman Schwartzkopf's book... they were wargaming an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait over a year before it happened.

The CIVILIANS may not have thought of it... but the military damn well did... as well as many other scenarios.
Gates was CIA director under Bush. I have a feeling he knew that very well.

Which leads me to believe you missed his point.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I guess Gates never read General Norman Schwartzkopf's book... they were wargaming an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait over a year before it happened.

The CIVILIANS may not have thought of it... but the military damn well did... as well as many other scenarios.
And the high level invasion strategy with the marine water landing feint and the hail mary move was originally drawn on a napkin.

And it freakin worked!
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That is old school. This is what they are working on now:



Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey | Danger Room | Wired.com

Looks like they have dropped all pretense of it not being an offensive weapon.
too late. russians beat us again.

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jesse Barnett View Post
That is old school. This is what they are working on now:

And slowly but surely, the U.S. military becomes real life Japanese anime.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That is old school. This is what they are working on now:



Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey | Danger Room | Wired.com

Looks like they have dropped all pretense of it not being an offensive weapon.
This is what happens when you give Transformers action figures to future weapons designers while they're kids.



Also, I wonder if you'll be able to combine them to form VOLTRON, DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE!
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