Periodically General David Petraeus, our surge general, notes that it ordinarily takes up to 10 years to subdue insurgencies. Pretty obviously he and the neocons have no intention to depart Iraq. We are at the moment laying out half a billion dollars to build a colossus embassy in the middle of Baghdad with 21 buildings to house thousands of employees. Permanent occupation under a compliant Iraqi government is obviously the name of this game. Such has been the U.S. approach to nations that can provide us with valuable resources since long before the Cold War — check out our invasions of Latin American and other nations during the past several centuries.

A small catch here is that we do not have sufficient military personnel to staff the hundreds of military bases that we have scattered around the globe. How long will it be before someone at The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace or other right wing think tank type suggests that we offer green card status to undocumented immigrants who sign up for a decade or so of military service — America’s very own mercenary army?

A second larger catch is that we are sacrificing the economic interests of the next generation or two by bankrupting the nation with massive military outlays for which we cannot pay without stinting our own infrastructure and basis services — medicine, education, affordable housing, and all the things necessary to sustain such down to sewers, water supplies, safe bridges, and homeland security. I am relieved that I no longer have to enter a totally unguarded subway station in Brooklyn evenings and travel through an equally vulnerable tunnel under the East River to make my way home to Manhattan.

It is only a matter of time before those angered by our wide-spread invasions and occupations find the wherewithal to strike back. There will be no counter threat to deter them as was the case of a nuclear attack during the Cold War, as we will have no idea from whence our enemies are coming. Would it work to have attacked Saudi Arabia because 15 of the 19 9/11 suiciders came from that country? Which of our cities will receive its first nuclear bomb — via a shipping crate? Such are still scattered about the former Soviet Republics. And Dr. Khan of Pakistan is a fund of information on how to build new ones.

My officer’s training back when taught us the primary truth that military minds are always mentally fighting past wars with their outdated tactics and, thus, losing the present ones for which they are unprepared. Occupying resistant peoples — Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine — is not the way to go. Such worked up through the 20th. century, but now merely sponsors recruitment efforts of embittered terrorists determined either to get rid of us or to make us pay for our depredations. Our killings of innocents are even scaring the bejesus out of our chosen occupation pols. See Karsai’s complaints.

General Petraeus is sadly out of touch and still living in the century past where he received his training:

Only a jerk as president would follow his military lead.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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