Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Few Thoughts
     Several thoughts occur to me as I watch the emotionally fueled political/diplomatic theatre to decide whether the United States should involve itself in the Syrian civil war.  Syria; a country where the US has no apparent vital national security interest.  Syria; a country that has taken no military action against the US.
1.  At the receiving end of "precision, surgical, limited shots across the bow", missiles look like acts of war.
2.  In Iraq and Afganistan the US has had difficulty finding the "exit ramps".  Now we have turned 180 degrees in that we are finding difficulty finding the "entrance ramp" to Syria which leads me to believe that finding the "exit ramp" there may be even more difficult.
3.  Pundits are saying that the American people are "war weary" despite the fact that less than one percent of the military age population has served in the military.  Some gave all.  Most gave nothing.
4.  Most analysts believe that even the most limited strike against Syria would cost at least one billion dollars.  At the same time we are cutting funding for school lunch programs and Head Start for disadvantaged American schoolchildren and ignoring a crumbling domestic infrastructure.  We are a nation with a sixteen trillion dollar debt.
5.  Winston Churchill, a man who knew a bit about war, wrote in 1950 that "War is mainly a catalogue of blunders".  Given the catalogue of strategic, political, and diplomatic blunders evident even before we enter this one, why would we believe that the prosecution and outcomes will be good?