Sunday, October 27, 2013

     On several occasions I have written that we should exit Afghanistan immediately.  Here is yet another reason.  The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment recently reported that it will cost the US $2.1 million per year for each soldier deployed in Afghanistan in 2014.  From 2008-2013 the per soldier cost was $1.3 million per year.  In Iraq, the cost per soldier high point was $400,000 in 2005.  The US troop level in Afghanistan in 2014 is expected to be about 40,000.  You can do the math:  it's staggering.  At this rate, a debt burdened United States will spend billions to perpetuate an unwinnable war.  Why?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Exceptionalism II
     In my last posting I wrote about "American Exceptionalism"  in the eyes of our European allies.  It occurs to me that the Chinese (not necessarily a US ally) may also have some thoughts about exceptionalism.  Those thoughts may be influenced by Sun Tsu, who wrote The Art of War some 2500 years ago.  In the book he writes "to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.  In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good."  The recently "resolved" US government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis may reinforce Sun Tsu's advice.....just let them go.  Let them be dysfunctional, divided, and wedded to deficit spending and we will prevail without effort. 
     The modern day commentator, Rev. Al Sharpton, offers an updated interpretation of Sun Tsu;s counsel to the Chinese, "If your enemy is about to commit suicide, walk away.  Don't turn a suicide into a messy homicide",  The result is the same with no risk or cost to you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

     I just returned from a two week trip to Ireland and England and found that I was unable to post anything to this blog while there.  However, I had the opportunity to conduct a totally unscientific survey regarding the idea of "American Exceptionalism" while there through spirited discussions with the "natives" and my fellow American travelers and reading the European press.  The views of the two groups differed in two ways.  First, the Europeans thought that the idea of "American Exceptionalism" was a dangerous fantasy while the Americans believed in it.  Second, the Europeans could give pretty cogent reasons as to why they believed as they did; the Americans could not.  And this was before the current US government shutdown.
     Again, nothing scientific but interesting nonetheless