War myths

Military-Industrial Complex (influence of)
War for Oil?


Various media, political, and think-tank figures
have been claiming that the (or at least a) critical requirement
for American success in various Third-World regions,
in particular, Afghanistan and Iraq, is
training indigenous armed forces.
Michael O’Hanlon always seems to emphasize this,
as in late 2009 has Senator Carl Levin with respect to
building a native Afghan armed force.
The claim, implicit if not explicit, seems to be that
if the West could just get sufficient qualified trainers to Afghanistan,
and put sufficiently many Afghans through a competent training regime,
that those forces could “take back Afghanistan” from the Taliban.

The point that never seems to be made is that
training, by and large, merely provides technical skills.
Just because an Afghan has been trained by NATO doesn’t mean that
he wants to fight for NATO.
He may well, once trained,
take his knowledge and defect to the forces that he has favored all along.
Or, even worse,
he may stay in the armed forces of what he views as a puppet state,
but only to send intelligence on upcoming operations to the guerillas.
In Vietnam, the ARVN was riddled with such agents for “Charlie.”

Thus the underlying question is:
How many Afghans want to fight for the sort of regime
that would be acceptable to the American PC “elite”?

The article “Something for Nothing” by Nir Rosen asks:
“If I take drug dealers and gangbangers from the streets of D.C.
to an eight-week program
and then put them back in the same environment,
can we expect it to change their activities?”
one skeptical COIN expert working on Afghanistan asked....
The expert,
whose government employment bars him from making public comments, added,
“If the corrupt force is the problem, why put twice as many police out there?”

I posted the above remarks back in 2010.

A 2015-11-01 Michael Scheuer post surveyed the situation to that date.
I think the part italicized below (my italics, not Scheuer's)
is an expansion of what I said above.

U.S. general officers seem clearly unacquainted with truth and reality
by Michael Scheuer
non-intervention.com, 2015-11-01


Training Foreigners:
Those advancing this idea are merchants of idiocy, cowardice, and America’s defeat.
The U.S. military has proven beyond doubt’s fabled shadow
that they cannot train Muslims who have no desire —
indeed, they have an aversion —
to fighting and dying for
either Washington’s fundamentally pagan foreign-policy goals
or, in the case of Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis,
to regain the pleasure of being ruled by murderous Shia regimes.

[Actually, the point is that training and motivation
are totally independent aspects of a person.
As I mentioned above, you can train a person all you like,
but you can't control what he will do with that training.]

Yemenis, Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis, and Kurds,
all have been trained thoroughly and expensively by U.S. forces
and none of them have fought worth a lick.
At their best,
the U.S.-trained foreigners have proven to be
a completely reliable and speedy medium
for transferring massive quantities of modern U.S. arms and ordnance
to the mujahedin.
Overall, the U.S. military’s training of Muslim foreigners
has increased the Islamists’ strategic advantage
through their defection to AQ and IS as already trained fighters,
by depleting the U.S. military budget,
and by necessitating the reintroduction or retention of U.S. forces —
as today in Iraq/Syria and Afghanistan —
to prevent the collapse of U.S. trained-and-armed militaries and their governments.
The training tack does not produce any chump change at all, it is all loss.


The so-called military-industrial complex

Elements of the left continue to try to pin responsibility for
America’s “Long War” with elements of the Islamic world
on the so-called military-industrial complex.
I think that is fundamentally inaccurate.
Here is part of the reason why.

Surely the Washington Post editorial page
has consistently argued for military intervention in the Islamic world.
For some examples of its argumentation, see
WP prewar editorials on Iraq” and
Washington Post's Foreign Policy”.
Yet that editorial page consistently argues against
projects favored by the high-tech defense industry.
Projects they have opposed include:
For the Air Force, continued production of the F-22 fifth-generation fighter.
For the Army, the Crusader field artillery system.

Due to these, and many similar examples, it hardly seems creditable to consider the Washington Post a part of the “military-industrial complex.”
Yet, as pointed out above, they have consistently and strongly argued for
the most hawkish positions, whether Bush-43 or Obama-44 was president.
So to explain this,
we might look for reasons other than support for the defense industry.
What else does the Post consistently argue for?
Well, they certainly are strident supporters of
both the “Israel right or wrong” policies of the Zionists and feminism.
Feminists have surely been vocal in their opposition to
many elements of the way conservative Muslim men have treated their women.
Not all, but some Zionists have argued for need to fight “World War IV”,
based on a rationale which looks suspiciously like
desire to take the pressure off of Israel
to make a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians.

Yes, there really is a “military-industrial complex”,
but the projects it would like to build are being steam-rollered by
the needs of the PC-driven wars of PC-aggression.
For example:
a replacement for the Ohio class ballistic missile submarines.

The sad fact is, because of the needs of
the feminist- and Zionist-driven wars the U.S. is and has been engaged in,
the need to upgrade our weaponry has been sadly underfunded.

For more examples of how the Obama administration
is refusing to replace the aging high-tech weapon systems from the Reagan era,
Dr. Gates' cure for 'next war-itis'
by Jed Babbin, the Washington Examiner, 2010-04-28

War for oil?

Greenspan, Kissinger: Oil Drives U.S. in Iraq, Iran
by Robert Weissman
Huffington Post, 2007-09-17

So Much for the 'War for Oil'
by Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss, 2008-08-29

U.S. firms lag in bids for Iraqi oil

Russians, Europeans and Chinese
win most contracts for developing major fields

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post, 2009-12-13

[Leading up to the 2003 war with Iraq, and for at least five years thereafter,
the leading theory on the loony-toon left (is there any other?)
and in some libertarian quarters was that
the U.S. wanted to invade Iraq so it could control and profit from its oil.
(Google War for Oil)
Such articles would always note pointedly that
Iraq had the second-largest reserves of oil in the world;
many on the left are so conditioned to thinking
the entire U.S. foreign policy is motivated by economic reasons
that that fact in itself is sufficient to prove to their fervid little minds
the U.S. must be in it for the oil.
(Of course they always can find some economic scapegoat
for the U.S. foreign policies they wish to criticize;
Afghanistan is not exactly rich in natural resources, except for poppy fields,
so now they are trying to pin the forever Afghan war on the MIC.)
Economic determinism has always been a big favorite on the left,
especially on the Jewish left.
Of course all this economic rationalizing is intended to enable them
to avoid assigning responsibility for the war to either Jews or feminists,
which represent either their own clan or
the people they must appease and certainly never anger.

(It is interesting to note that Henry Kissinger and Alan Greenspan, both Jews,
have claimed that conquering Iraq was to gain control of its oil reserves;
cf. Greenspan here, both here.
One can only suspect this is part of a conspiracy to distract attention from
Israel's well-known and well-documented desire for that war.)

Anyhow, articles such as the one cited above,
along with lots of others showing the reality of who will profit from Iraq’s oil,
show what a crock all that left-wing lying was.
But what else is new?]

Lukoil-led group signs deal for prized Iraqi oilfield
By Ahmed Rasheed and Richard Solem
Reuters/Washington Post, 2009-12-29

[Yet more evidence that the “war-for-oil” crowd was full of you-know-what.
Of course, when they’re not making up stories to explain the big issues,
they’re lying their heads off about the politically incorrect.]

Risk-tolerant China investing heavily in Iraq as U.S. companies hold back
By Leila Fadel and Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post, 2010-07-02


[A]s the U.S. military draws down and Iraq opens up to foreign investment,
China and a handful of other countries
that weren’t part of the “coalition of the willing”
are poised to cash in.
These countries are expanding their foothold beyond Iraq’s oil reserves --
the world’s third largest --
to areas such as construction, government services and even tourism,
American companies show little interest in investing here.

“The U.S. really doesn’t know what to do in Iraq,”
said Fawzi Hariri, Iraq’s industry minister.
“I have been personally, as the minister of industry,
trying to woo U.S. companies into Iraq.
There is nothing yet. Nothing tangible.”


“I think Americans are fed up,” [French Ambassador Boris Boillon] said.
“There is Iraq fatigue in the U.S.
When you tell an American:
‘You can go to Iraq and make business, because there are opportunities,’
the guy thinks twice and says,
‘Oh, Iraq -- that bloody country.’ ”

[“War for oil.”
Right, left-wing lying dumb shits.
What’s next from you liars?]

China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom
New York Times, 2013-06-03


Notably, what the Chinese are not doing is complaining. Unlike the executives of Western oil giants like Exxon Mobil, the Chinese happily accept the strict terms of Iraq’s oil contracts, which yield only minimal profits. China is more interested in energy to fuel its economy than profits to enrich its oil giants.

Chinese companies do not have to answer to shareholders, pay dividends or even generate profits. They are tools of Beijing’s foreign policy of securing a supply of energy for its increasingly prosperous and energy hungry population. “We don’t have any problems with them,” said Abdul Mahdi al-Meedi, an Iraqi Oil Ministry official who handles contracts with foreign oil companies. “They are very cooperative. There’s a big difference, the Chinese companies are state companies, while Exxon or BP or Shell are different.”

China is now making aggressive moves to expand its role, as Iraq is increasingly at odds with oil companies that have cut separate deals with Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region. The Kurds offer more generous terms than the central government, but Iraq and the United States consider such deals illegal.

Late last year, the China National Petroleum Corporation bid for a 60 percent stake in the lucrative West Qurna I oil field, a stake that Exxon Mobil may be forced to divest because of its oil interests in Iraqi Kurdistan. Exxon Mobil, however, has so far resisted pressure to sell, and in March the Chinese company said it would be interested in forming a partnership with the American company for the oil field.

If the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq ended up benefiting China, American energy experts say the unforeseen turn of events is not necessarily bad for United States interests. The increased Iraqi production, much of it pumped by Chinese workers, has also shielded the world economy from a spike in oil prices resulting from Western sanctions on Iranian oil exports. And with the boom in American domestic oil production in new shale fields surpassing all expectations over the last four years, dependence on Middle Eastern oil has declined, making access to the Iraqi fields less vital for the United States.

At the same time, China’s interest in Iraq could also help stabilize the country as it faces a growing sectarian conflict.

“Our interest is the oil gets produced and Iraq makes money, so this is a big plus,” said David Goldwyn, who was the State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration. “Geopolitically it develops close links between China and Iraq, although China did not get into it for the politics. Now that they are there, they have a great stake in assuring the continuity of the regime that facilitates their investment.”


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