Treat the captives well, and care for them.
All the soldiers taken must be cared for with magnanimitty and sincerity so that they may be used by us.
This is called ‘winning a battle and becoming stronger.’
Hence what is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations. . .
– The Art of War
Military contractors do not seek victory, but, “prolonged operations.”
Instead of breaking minds and bodies in order to win hearts and minds, maybe we should have read more history.
I have recently read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. Although this book was written over 2300 years ago and in a time before drone missiles, military contractors and Military Industrial Complexes, I feel that it is a good book to read for everyone who would like to learn the age old and time tested concepts of military strategy.
The best translation of “The Art of War” in my opinion is the work of Samuel B Griffith, who goes into deep historical detail in the quest of relating the times and circumstances Sun Tzu and his contemporaries lived in during the age of the Warring States in China between 450-300 B.C.
Within the many translations of Sun Tzu’s work there are many gems of wisdom, such as these.
Where the army is, prices are high; when prices rise the wealth of the people is exhausted.
Huge military contracts that are paid out of the American treasury and American tax dollars kept prices high at home and abroad, as resources that would have been sold at a lower price in America (or services, or skilled labor) can now be sold to a higher paying market abroad, whether the buyer is Bechtel, or Haliburton, or the free markets that emerge only after you have flattened the previous structure of the local competition. (Think Iraq, the day after “Shock and Awe” began)
When a country is impoverished by military operations it is due to distant transportation; carriage of supplies for greater distances render the people destitute.
Oil is our military. American tanks run on oil, so do planes, so do missiles, in a way.
In the time of Sun Tzu it was horse carriage and how far a man could walk.
Now we have a similar problem. We travel vast distances to engage our enemies half way around the world. This takes a great effort that comes at a great cost, to both the nation, but also the population of that nation. That means peasants like us.
We suffer, so that our national wealth can be used to fight wars.
It has become clear that we go to war not to fight true enemies. What nation could possibly fight an American force that spends more money yearly on itself than all of the other nations of the world combined No, we fight wars so we can be able to fight wars. Just as an army of scientists, scholars and historians followed the army of Alexander the Great into Asia, the American military is followed by an army of contractors, subcontractors, experts and all of the people required to feed, house, clothe and fleece them.
America fights war today foolishly. We do so with vague goals, with vague reasons to do so, and we do nothing more than claim bases where we will be attacked and where we will attack from in the future. As important as it may be to curb terrorism where we can and to protect our interests at all costs, without clear cut goals there can be no real victories, and to wage war without the ability to gain victory is worse than foolish, it is criminal.
Thus a victorious army wins it’s victories before seeking battle; an army destined to defeat fights in the hope of winning.
We wage war for money. Pure and simple. Bombs must be exploded so that bombs may be built, and the same is true for bases and drone missiles and transport vehicles and the like. We do not fight our enemies because we must, we do so because we can. That is not how to win a battle, and why should we fight at all if it is not to win?
Victory is the main object in war. If this is long delayed, weapons are blunted and morale depressed. When troops attack cities, their strength will be exhausted.
The question of our troops begin overused and often exhausted is undeniable. The same is true of our national resources, both the wealth we spend and the price we pay in our countrymen’s dearly lost blood. I believe that the leaders we lose everyday we stay at war with no clear goals or path to victory is the greatest of all losses we can suffer as a nation.
I leave you with one more quote from the venerable Sun Tzu, and one more thought before I go.
For there has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefitted.
And that is as true today as it was in 300 B.C.
If we do not fight to win, if we torture for false evidence to allow war to take place in order to profit from it, are we not destined to lose at least as much as we seem to gain, if not much more?
And if President Obama does not respect the rule of law, is he not complicit as well?