I don’t claim to understand much about the whole spy game, or even the whole war game. Sorry, that won’t stop me from voicing what I do think that I understand about it. After all, I did do the history thing in college & if nothing else, history teaches you a little about warfare.
We’ll start with the travel alert. From what I understand this whole thing is suspect because intelligence picked up the information fro cell phones & e-mails. That’s enough to make me suspect about it & it appears that I am not alone on this.
Terrorists & guerrillas know better than that. It’s great that we picked it up & all, but really, that’s enough to make me think its bunk. If I was a terrorist, I’d know that those phones & the internet are the two worst things I could possibly use to convey information to my brothers-in-arms.
Its a game of trust & you just can’t trust things that people can monitor. I mean, a fourteen-year-old hacker could probably pick it up & we already know that children have the computer know how to shut down government websites.
Terrorists convey information by boots on the ground. Drop boxes, flash drives, written notes & word of mouth. Games like this you use phones & the internet to gather information & create disinformation, not to distribute information. If you really want to know what terrorists are doing, you have to have people risking their lives within that organization & then you have to play the same game, because, honestly, they are monitoring the phones & internet just as much as you are.
You need a lot of boots on the ground because they are probably going to work in small anonymous cells. Small cells with as little contact with one another as possible. Make sure they know what to do, put them where you need them, & then leave them to operate on their own & only contact them for the most important information. No oversight, that’s just a risk.
Your spies are your real soldiers. In the case that you are at war, you need an army, throw them out into the field, out into the countryside, & let them walk around so that America has to field an army chasing them. That army, it doesn’t have to win a single battle to win the war, all it has to do is exist & force America to spend money & lives chasing them all over the country side. In 2011 America spent $685 Billion dollars on the military, if I was a terrorist I’d look at the sum & think “I’m winning.”
Especially since a lot of people in the government think that spending $2-4.5 Billion over a decade is too much money to spend on health care for their own people. When that argument pops up & those same people that think that $2-4.5 Billion over a decade is too much to spend on its people but $685 Billion in a single year can be spent on fighting my terrorist organization, it totally means they are winning. These wars aren’t won in the country that they are fought, they are won in the country that they is fighting them.
That’s why we lost Vietnam & it looks like we still haven’t learned that lesson. We won every major engagement in Vietnam but we still lost the war. There was a famous exchange between an American & Vietnamese over the negotiating table that I can’t exactly remember. But the American was mad & said that we won every major engagement & the Vietnamese said the equivalent of, “it doesn’t matter.”
Back then, in Vietnam, we had the idea that we need to win their hearts & minds. But like now, we ignored the fact that the hearts & minds of America will turn against the war if it takes too long & costs too many lives. We’ve done a pretty good at hiding the military & Iraqi & Afghan civilian causalities from American eyes, but governments still labor under the illusion that they can keep things like that secret. Especially in the digital age.
This is why America is so gung-ho about Manning & Snowden. Honestly, what they did helps the terrorists win their war. They just don’t understand that American’s feel that they have the right to know & prosecuting Manning & Snowden simply does more damage to the war at home than the information that they leaked. Prosecuting them helps the terrorists even more than the information that Manning & Snowden leaked. When America prosecutes them, not only does it tell Americans that we are guilty of war crimes it also tells them that we are guilty of denying Americans that information.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am in favor of what Manning & Snowden did. I think they are heroes, but the historian in me just has to admit that they actually aided the enemy. That being said, the worst thing America can do is imprison them, prosecute them, or charge them. They did not directly put any American soldier in harms way, all they did was hurt the war at home. They made it harder for the government to win American hearts & minds. And a government can’t charge them & prosecute them for harming the propaganda war without admitting that they harmed the propaganda war.
What America can do is use what Manning & Snowden did to their advantage. The harm is already done. Charging them of a crime only does more harm to the war effort. But American soldiers have to swear an oath to defend the country from all enemies foreign & domestic. If you prosecute them you put the information that they leaked & the fact that you are trying to cover it up in the headlines. It becomes front page news again & stays on the front page even longer.
America has been harmed & they are only making the situation worse.
Now if you give them medals, if you praise them for defending the country from domestic enemies & protecting the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, than the harm is turned into a positive. The people that you put on trail are the people that caused the problem, not the people that leaked the information. If America does that, than the American public will not view its actions to deny them the information. Journalists like Amy Goodman can cover the outrage of the war crimes in the leaks, but won’t be able to attack the government for prosecuting the leakers.
If you turn Manning & Snowden into heroes & make a media buzz that involves the government & the military praising them as such it negates the problem. The harm comes more from the prosecution & the government, or rather, how the population perceives them. If you turn them into heroes, the public will be forced to view the military and the government as defending freedom, the world over rather than restricting the freedom of Americans & their right to know.
The shock isn’t that America commits war crimes. That comes with war & most people understand that they run hand-in-hand, & if you want to win the war those crimes should be kept secret. But they should also be avoided, because they lose the war at home. Those things will eventually get out. The less they occur the better. The anti-war people are anti-war because they understand that these things come hand-in-hand with war. You win the hearts & minds at home by avoiding them at all costs & in the event that they are leaked, the population will support the war effort more if the people that leaked them are praised rather than vilified. We live in a republic, because of that the public will always feel that it has the right to know these things. The damage is always multiplies by trying to cover it up when they do eventually come out.
Now the war itself. This is a guerrilla war. They win the war by making you spend $685 Billion a year fighting them & then turn around & bicker over the fact that $2-4.5 Billion over ten years is too much to provide health care for your own people.
They do this because the American military & government is still laboring under the illusion that it actually has to fight them. Remember, they don’t have to win a single battle to win the war. All they have to do is get the military to engage them & spend money fighting them.
If you must invade, you don’t have to send out your military to the country side to fight them. That costs money & lives & each dollar spent & each life spent turns the American population against the war.
If you must invade, the best thing to do is take the cities & ignore the armies that are roaming in the countryside & in the mountains. You use the military to secure the city & hold it as you rebuild it & provide for the citizens. Build schools, hospitals, homes, defend the city. The real game is the spy game.
Ho won because he out spied us. It’s easy to do if a military is occupying a country & fighting the guerrillas in the field & burning villages & farm land.
What is the going price for heroin? Isn’t that the cash crop for Afghanistan? Now why isn’t the military buying it at a markup? Burn the shit after you buy it, but buy it just the same & offer double the price if they grow & sell you actual produce. One of the reasons the terrorists are so strong in Afghanistan is because they are turning the poppy into money for the farmers. If we can spend $685 Billion in a year fighting an army that doesn’t have to win, we can ignore the army & win the countryside through economics, not blood.
We can do the same thing in the cities. The people are going to be livid that America is occupying the cities & more of them are going to turn to spies for the bad guys. But if we take away the contractors & let them see that the military is rebuilding & modernizing their cities & not restricting their culture & way of life. If the infrastructure we create is turned over to the people & not to for-profit American companies, there will gradually be less reason for the population to side with the people that America is fighting.
It will be easier to get them to spy for America when America builds a textile factory hires Afghans to run it at a living wage with benefits & allows them to retain the profits & control. If the terrorists blow it up, its the terrorists that harmed the Afghans, not the Americans. Even this can be avoided by the spy game.
But this only works if the military actively ignores the flying columns in the countryside. We aren’t there to fight, we are their to build. The only military engagements should come if the cities are attacked & then it should be done in a way that makes it clear that the military is defending the people.
Its not the military that wins these wars, its the spies. Each military engagement loses the war a little more. Soldiers in the field lose the war, even when they win the engagement. It’s a question of aggression, its a game of Go not Chess. America has to occupy as much territory with as few pieces as possible. Military aggression will lose a guerrilla war. When you are fighting a guerrilla war, your military has to be passive & your spies have to be aggressive.
And you do this by winning the hearts & minds. You can’t win the hearts & minds by outside contractors. They have a vested interest in the factories & hospitals that are built & that interest is economic. That interest will turn the hearts & minds against the force of occupation. The military, on the other hand, will look at the factories & the hospitals, & the schools as what they are, propaganda. The military can spend the money to build & guard them without a care of economic gain. This leaves the economic gain for the people you are occupying, which in turn will win the hearts & minds of the people.
Otherwise, all the army is doing is making the same mistakes every other military has done in the past & like the insane, they are expecting different results.