Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The necessity of large numbers of troops when a nation commits to war
Sometime over the past sixty years the United States of America has forgotten how to fight and complete a war without having to go back to fight the same war again. Since World War II, the United States left Korea divided that would lead to the creation of a rogue nation. Had the United States finished this war Korea by leaving Korea united. Korea would be a thriving united nation who would be a great ally to the United States.
In Vietnam President Nixon announced that the United States withdrew from Vietnam with Honor. Yes there was significant political opposition to our involvement in Vietnam. Once a nation elects to go to war, they are obligated to see it through until the end. After the last troops were withdrawn from Southeast Asia. North Vietnam invaded the south and proceeded to slaughter over 2,000,000 civilians before inserting their tyrannical Government. While those who had opposed the war were celebrating the end of our involvement. Innocent people were being wholesale slaughtered. It is amazing how the press and the people of America simply turned their backs on what was taking place on the other side of the world. The mass murders took place because the UN elected to get involved but refused to provide the necessary number of troops nor the commitment to see the war through until the end.
The final misnomer of modern warfare is that we can conduct “limited” warfare where few if any civilians are killed. While we have been involved in the Gulf wars, we have lead ourselves into believing that our technology has enabled us to hit targets without civilian casualties.
ISIS, Iran, Hammas and Iraq all know our delusional belief that technology alone can eliminate civilian casualties while decreasing the number of troops necessary to successfully win a war. The enemy knows our misguided belief that technology can solve all is being exploited by these terrorists.
The first tactic they are using is to blend in with the local populous in order not to be seen by our droids. Second is by keeping civilians terrified of retaliation has created an environment not conducive to winning the trust of the populous. Therefore they are not willing to provide us intelligence. Because they know allied troops are not going to remain long enough to provide protection for the local population to feel safe. Finally knowing how much Americans fear killing innocent people, the enemy has chosen to use human shields to protect their weapons and arsenals. The rules of engagement in the Middle East are also so restricting, it makes it impossible for US troops to accomplish their missions. We have lost more troops due to the asinine rules of engagement than we have to enemy attacks.
During World War two we had five million troops on the ground as we liberated Europe. Geographically Europe and the Middle East are reasonably close in size. The reason for having that many troops was not due to the limited technology of the day but the fact, as we liberated a town or city. We knew it was necessary to provide enough troops to ensure the citizens of that town were safe and that enemy troops who remained behind would not attempt to recapture nor intimidate the civilian population. In order to accomplish this requires large numbers of troops.
By providing security, food and housing to the recently freed populous instills trust between our troops and the civilians. This not only were we able to provide civilians with a stable environment, by providing the people the ability to begin rebuilding their lives. The Allied troops were also able to receive valuable intelligence. We also were able to recruit local citizens to assist us as we went on to free neighboring towns and cities where many locals had family.
Had we applied these same simple rules to the war in Iraq, not only would we not be forced to fight another war in the same place. We would have been able to gain the trust and valuable intelligence to defeat the enemy. Locals would tell us where and who to look for. In the process the Terrorist would be unable to deploy IED’s and car Bombs. Simply by providing the local population with safety and needed provisions.
If the United States chooses to go back into the Middle East, maybe we should take a moment to look back at what we know works and apply it to this war. Leave the fighting and decision making to the Generals and soldiers, so that they can do their jobs. Then leaving behind large numbers of troops to ensure the safety of the local people.
After the German’s surrendered on May 5th 1945, there were two factions of Germans who refused to surrender. The first was a paramilitary group known as the Wehrmacht (werewolves) and operation Odessa where Nazi sympathizers assisted high ranking officers to escape Germany to South America.
Even with the large number of allied troops who remained after the war, Wehrmacht attacks continued until the mid-1950’s. While project Odessa would continue on for an additional ten years. This is why we still had close to a half million troops in Germany twenty years after the completion of the war.
Not only did our troops protect the population from Wehrmacht attacks, our soldiers were able to track down the remaining members to eliminate them. While the Odessa Files remained open until the mid-1970’s. With the last Nazi-German was tried during the early 1990’s.
During the post occupation the Seabees and Army Corp of Engineers assisted in the reconstruction of Germany. While Diplomats worked with the German Government to create a new form of Government that would be fair and would work for Germany.
By the time our troops were redeployed, Germany was a modern, thriving country. With a combination of the old and new. I visited Germany in 1971 only six years after the majority of our troops had left. What I got to see was a beautiful thriving nation where there were virtually no signs that a war had ever taken place. Their economy was thriving while the United States had not only gained an additional ally, but we gained a new trading partner as well.
Though Technology will make our jobs easier, it is not an end all either. Nothing can replace troops on the ground. Not just a few but in sufficient numbers that can ensure public safety but who can help in reconstruction. When a nation is defeated, they are left with no infrastructure or economy where people can provide for their families. It is the responsibility of the victors to be there during the reconstruction period that can take twenty years or more.
The mistake made post Iraqi war was we did not have sufficient numbers of troops. So the people never could feel safe enough to trust us and provide our troops with the valuable intelligence to weed out the remaining enemy. Second we were unable to secure the borders nor stop the terrorist attacks that continued up until our last troops left.
When we left, Iraq was nowhere near having the ability to care for themselves. Most of the country was still in ruins, while the population of the country felt betrayed by the United States who promised them protection and delivered virtually nothing. This was not a failure of our troops but our Government for not providing sufficient numbers and equipment to complete the job.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and encourage our legislators to not only invest in our military, but to reinstate the draft so we can provide sufficient numbers of troops to complete the job. If our Government takes this advice to heart, we can do so much good. Not only can we spread Liberty but we can also enable people around the world to share what this great nation created. God Bless all of you and may GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Dan Wilson is host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Saturday Symposium with Dan Wilson.