Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Robert Gates: Ignorance on display

Another history-impaired Administration functionary has just embarrassed himself by lashing out at NATO: "They can't fight insurgent wars! They're locked in a Fulda Gap mindset."

Well, apart the glaring fact that the alliance is an anti-Russian treaty, no they can't, Robert, because they are not colonial powers anymore. As a matter of history, they had plenty of experience fighting insurgent wars in Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaya and Algeria that killed hundreds of thousands, to mention only the biggest and bloodiest.

Gates has some gall to make such a statement in public, because I seem to remember scores of Spaniards, Italians, British, Dutch and Canadians dying for Uncle Sam in Afghanistan. When you have allies such as these, countries with leaders maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan despite domestic objection, some of who are even non grata in Washington (Zapatero), you keep your mouf' shut. I see that the Hague is hopping mad, and Holland has been one of the big cheerleaders for maintaining NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Perhaps rather than asking for higher body counts, Mr. Gates should consider what the hell he is trying to achieve in Afghanistan (besides revenge) in the first place.


Blogger Veritas Realpolitik said...

I agree with you comments here. Why are American military leaders lecturing the rest of us about how to deal with insurgencies anyhow? It is not as if they have shown any aptitude in this regard. Vietnam, a failure because of their inability to recognize the true nature of that conflict.

What is even worse is that the USA creates its' own enemies, and then expects the rest of us to come help them clean up. The Taliban are remnents of the Mujahadeen, trained by the USA to take down an Empire (the Soviet Union). Now they are talking about training tribals in northwestern Pakistan to fight the Taliban. Blowback is a bitch, and the USA has created tons of it.

Gates needs to focus more on the failures of his own nation than on the presumed failures of its' few remaining allies. As a Canadian I was only slightly ticked off by his statement. I have come to expect nothing better of the US military. If the enemy isn't sitting in the open waiting to be bombed, the USA doesn't really know how to fight them. By invading Iraq the US has shown that it doesn't have the first clue about how to "fight a war against terrorism" (which makes about as much sense as fighting a war against flanking maneuvers).

Thankfully the US is squandering its' resources quickly, and will only remain as a Superpower for a decade or two longer. Let us just hope that China, the next Superpower, does not interfere in places they have no right being in. That is why the US is falling apart.

2:22 PM  

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