Collage of war if Afghanistan
I just read Nick Turse's article, "A Failed Formula For Worldwide War, How The Empire Changed Its Face, But Not Its Nature" in Thursday's TomDispatch.com.
In it Turse gives an overview of U.S. military engagements since W.W. II beginning with Korea, Viet Nam, through Iraq and Afghanistan and all the other military engagements in between.
He also outlined a gathering of generals and admirals brought together at Quantico Marine Base for what he describes as a "futuristic war-game-meets-academic-seminar" which one of the participants likened to as a look at the "potential U.S. vulnerabilities in future conflicts" for the military in 2017.
Now with special forces deployed and/or training proxies "from Africa to Asia, Latin America to the Middle East" notably Libya, Somalia, Northern Mali, Burundi, Burkina Faso, the Philippines, Timor, Honduras, Guatemala, Yemen, Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan, the U.S. is militarily engaged throughout the world.
Turse writes, despite all the "failures, stalemates, debacles and wheel spinning in Afghanistan, American politicians never tire of extolling the virtues of the U.S. military now hailed as the finest fighting force in the history of the world," which he describes as "grotesquely at odds with reality," (to which any fair minded observer would agree).
But the fact is none of the military's failures, debacles, stalemates or "wheel spinning" really matter, not while the military/industrial/political complex as well as the other corporatist oligarchs have a stranglehold on the country and its miltarist policies.
The cold war ended with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the raison d'etre justification for our massive military expenditures ended with that countries dismemberment. But to continue to justify the unnecessary, bloated defense spending requires "enemies". And if "real" enemies don't exist, invent them and conjure them up to "appear" as real threats.
Thus we got Saddam Hussein's Iraq with "weapons of mass destruction, visions of mushroom clouds, allied with Osama bin Laden and connected to 9/11", all false of course but contrived and presented to the American people to "appear" real. Put fear in the minds of the people, get them to support pre-emptive invasions and occupations, now drone strikes and missile attacks, throw in some triumphalist showboating by a half wit president, add in rhetoric from the MSM and their talking head generals, glorify the likes of a General Patreous, kill rather than capture Osama bin Laden and EVERYTHING becomes "officially" justified to defeat the "enemy" despite it all being hyped propaganda.
Chris Hedges wrote a book called, "Empire of Illusion". Its title is an apt description of the global misadventures the U.S. has engaged in and seemingly ready to continue and expand.