Despite having the biggest military budget in the world, five times larger than the next six countries, the largest number of military bases – over 180 – in the world and the most expensive military industrial complex, the US has failed to win a single war in the 21st century.
In this paper we will enumerate the wars and proceed to analyze why, despite the powerful material basis for wars, it has led to failures.
The Lost Wars
The US has been engaged in multiple wars and coups since the beginning of the 21st century. These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Venezuela and the Ukraine. Besides Washington’s secret intelligence agencies have financed five surrogate terrorist groups in Pakistan, China, Russia, Serbia and Nicaragua.
The US has invaded countries, declared victories and subsequently faced resistance and prolonged warfare which required a large US military presence to merely protect garrison outposts.
The US has suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties – dead, maimed and deranged soldiers. The more the Pentagon spends, the greater the losses and subsequent retreats.
The more numerous the vassal regimes, the greater the corruption and incompetence flourishes.
Every regime subject to US tutelage has failed to accomplish the objectives designed by its US military advisers.
The more spent on recruiting mercenary armies the greater the rate of defection and the transfer of arms to US adversaries.
Success in Starting Wars and Failures in Finishing Them
The US invaded Afghanistan, captured the capital (Kabul) defeated the standing army …and then spent the next two decades engaged in losing irregular warfare.
The initial victories laid the groundwork for future defeats. Bombings drove millions of peasants and farmers, shopkeepers and artisans into the local militia. The invaders were defeated by the forces of nationalism and religion linked to families and communities. The indigenous insurgents overcame arms and dollars in many of the villages, towns and provinces.
Similar outcomes were repeated in Iraq and Libya. The US invaded, defeated the standing armies, occupied the capital and imposed its clients—- which set the terrain for long-term, large-scale warfare by local insurgent armies.
The more frequent the western bombings, the greater the opposition forcing the retreat of the proxy army.
Somalia has been bombed frequently. Special Forces have recruited, trained, and armed the local puppet soldiers, sustained by mercenary African armies but they have remained holed up in the capital city, Mogadishu, surrounded and attacked by poorly armed but highly motivated and disciplined Islamic insurgents.
Syria is targeted by a US financed and armed mercenary army. In the beginning they advanced, uprooted millions, destroyed cities and homes and seized territory. All of which impressed their US – EU warlords. Once the Syrian army united the populace, with their Russian, Lebanese (Hezbollah) and Iranian allies, Damascus routed the mercenaries.
After the better part of a decade the separatist Kurds, alongside the Islamic terrorists and other western surrogates retreated, and made a last stand along the northern borders–the remaining bastions of Western surrogates.
The Ukraine coup of 2014 was financed and directed by the US and EU. They seized the capital (Kiev) but failed to conquer the Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Corruption among the US ruling kleptocrats devastated the country – over three million fled abroad to Poland, Russia and elsewhere in search of a livelihood. The war continues, the corrupt US clients are discredited and will suffer electoral defeat unless they rig the vote .
Surrogate uprisings in Venezuela and Nicaragua were bankrolled by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They ruined economies but lost the street wars.
Wars are not won by arms alone. In fact, heavy bombing and extended military occupations ensure prolonged popular resistance, ultimate retreats and defeats.
The US major and minor wars of the 21st century have failed to incorporate targeted countries into the empire.
Imperial occupations are not military victories. They merely change the nature of the war, the protagonists of resistance, the scope and depth of the national struggle.
The US has been successful in defeating standing armies as was the case in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Ukraine. However, the conquest was limited in time and space. New armed resistance movements led by former officers, religious activists and grass roots activists took charge…
The imperial wars slaughtered millions, savaged traditional family, workplace and neighborhood relations and set in motion a new constellation of anti-imperialist leaders and militia fighters.
The imperial forces beheaded established leaders and decimated their followers. They raided and pillaged ancient treasures. The resistance followed by recruiting thousands of uprooted volunteers who served as human bombs, challenging missiles and drones.
The US imperial forces lack the ties to the occupied land and people. They are ‘aliens’ serving time; they seek to survive, secure promotions and exit with a bonus and an honorable discharge.
In contrast, the resistance fighters are there for the duration. As they advance, they target and demolish the imperial surrogates and mercenaries. They expose the corrupt client rulers who deny the subject people the elementary conditions of existence – employment, potable water, electricity etc.
The imperial vassals are not present at weddings, sacred holidays or funerals, unlike the resistance fighters. The presence of the latter signals a pledge of loyalty unto death. The resistance circulates freely in cities, towns and villages with the protection of the local people; and by night they rule enemy terrain, under cover of their own people, who share intelligence and logistics.
Inspiration, solidarity and light arms are more than a match for the drones, missiles and helicopter gunships.
Even the mercenary soldiers, trained by the Special Forces, defect from and betray their imperial masters. Temporary imperial advances serve only to allow the resistance forces to regroup and counter-attack. They view surrender as a betrayal of their traditional way of life, submission to the boot of western occupation forces and their corrupt officials.
Afghanistan is a prime example of an imperial ‘lost war’. After two decades of warfare and one trillion dollars in military spending, tens of thousands of casualties, the Taliban controls most of the countryside and towns; enters and takes over provincial capitals and bombs Kabul. They will take full control the day after the US departs.
The US military defeats are products of a fatal flaw: imperial planners cannot successfully replace indigenous people with colonial rulers and their local look-alikes.
Wars are not won by high tech weapons directed by absentee officials divorced from the people: they do not share their sense of peace and justice.
Exploited people informed by a spirit of communal resistance and self-sacrifice have demonstrated greater cohesion then rotating soldiers eager to return home and mercenary soldiers with dollar signs in their eyes.
The lessons of lost wars have not been learned by those who preach the power of the military–industrial complex, which makes, sells and profits from weapons but lack the mass of humanity with lesser arms but with great conviction who have demonstrated their capacity to defeat imperial armies.
The Stars and Stripes fly in Washington but remain folded in Embassy offices in Kabul, Tripoli, Damascus and in other lost battlegrounds.
Originally published on 2018-09-12
Author: Prof. James Petras
Source: Global Research
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
The new US National Security Strategy released this week and the speech delivered by President Donald Trump Monday to introduce it constitute a grim warning to humanity that US imperialism is firmly embarked on a road that leads to a nuclear third world war.While the document has largely been passed over in silence by the president’s ostensible political opponents in the Democratic Party and given relatively short shrift by the establishment media, more thoughtful ideologists of imperialism have noted the far-reaching changes presented in the document.Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the historian Arthur L. Herman declared Trump’s National Security Strategy ...
Eleven Years ago: 11 July 1995, The Srebrenica MassacreFirst published by GR in February 2013.Renowned author Dr. Edward Herman spoke with John Robles of the Voice of Russia regarding the facts surrounding the Srebrenica Massacre, the pretext for the “humanitarian” invasion of the former Yugoslavia, and takes apart the “official” ; version that has always been promoted by the West. Dr. Herman reveals that there were in fact multiple massacres at Srebrenica, and that the killing of Bosnian-Muslim soldiers at Srebrenica (the West’s pretext) was in response to the killing of over 2,000 Serb civilians, mostly women and children, at ...
Martti Ahtisaari, the Finnish chairman of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the globalist New World Order “think tank”, set off a storm of controversy by his racist statement that Serbia was “guilty as a nation” and bore “historical responsibility” for the Kosovo crisis. How is preventing the creation of a genocidal and racist Greater Albania associated with “guilt”? Why should Serbia bear responsibility for combating a racist and genocidal separatist and secessionist movement endorsed by Ahtisaari? Ahtisaari’s comments are not only racist and bigoted, but they cover up his own nation’s “historical responsibility” for the Holocaust.
Ahtisaari, whose real name is ...
The 2004 “March Pogrom” in Kosovo: A book of photo evidence! (Making ISIL of a Greater Muslim Albania). Such books you will not find at any kind of the Western mass-media or university teaching programme's reading list.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
The WarmongersThe war, which began in August 1914 – to contemporaries the Great War, to posterity the First World War – marked the end of one period of history and the beginning of another. Starting as a European war, it turned in 1917, with the entrance of the US into a world war. The spark that triggered it off was the assassination of the Austrian heir-presumptive, Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1864−1914), by a Bosnian nationalist of Serb origin – Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Young Bosnia (Mlada Bosna) movement, in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914 on his official visit to ...
It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the line of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy…Historically this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting ...
America is coming to the rescue of Al Qaeda under a humanitarian mandate. The unspoken agenda is to undermine the Liberation of Aleppo. The pretext and justification for these actions are based on America’s “responsibility to protect” (R2P) the “moderates” in Aleppo from Syrian and Russian attacks and bombing raids.On October 3, the US State Department announced the suspension of bilateral relations with Russia pertaining to Syria (see document below), in response to which, France’s foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault was called upon to intermediate at the diplomatic level. Pointing his finger at Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jean Marc Ayrault casually accused Moscow ...
The consumption of history seems to be more widespread than ever: from general-interest history magazines and historical dramas and documentaries to historical fiction, popular history seems, well, unprecedentedly popular.
The evolution of the TV historian reflects this trend: where once real working historians who had written serious books hosted television programmes, these days they are as likely to be photogenic media presenters with minimal, if any, actual history qualifications.
The attraction of history and being a historian are not hard to work out. In the public imagination, historians are usually considered to be intelligent, objective people, if a little eccentric, who tell ...
Whenever bombings and shootings escalate in the Middle East, Israeli propagandists say that Israel is exercising its right of military self-defense against indiscriminate attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. But as this article documents, the right to use force in self-defense is contingent on Israel ending its military occupation and blockade of Gaza.
DON’T MISQUOTE ME ON THAT!
Doubtless some unscrupulous person or persons will quote or interpret this article out of context and claim that I’m saying that Israel has no right to self-defense at all. So, let me be clear: Israel is a nation-state like any other, like it or ...
In July 1974 the US-controlled Athens military junta organized a coup d’état in Cyprus and an assassination attempt against the President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios. Everything was executed in exactly the same way as it had been a year before in Santiago Chile. (Cyprus is an island of great strategic importance, now a member of EU and Eurozone. 82% of his population are Greek by nationality and 18% Turkish Cypriots. The country obtained its independence from Britain in 1960, after one of the most successful national-liberation struggles after the 2nd World War).
Unlike Salvador Allende, Makarios escaped death and with him ...
The facts do not support the mythology. The United States government did not need to make Japan a junior partner in imperialism, did not need to fuel an arms race, did not need to support Nazism and fascism (as some of the biggest U.S. corporations did right through the war), did not need to provoke Japan, did not need to join the war in Asia or Europe, and was not surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor. For support of each of these statements, keep reading.
This week I’m testifying at an Iraq Tribunal about the Downing Street Minutes. In U.S. thinking the ...
Gibraltar is famous for its 426m high limestone ridge and tax haven status. It is also famous for having Europe’s only wild population of monkeys – all 320 of them. It boasts a total area of just 6.8 square kilometres or 2.6 square miles, a total area approximately one third smaller than Bicester Village Shopping Mall in Oxfordshire. Most of the population of this peninsula live in flats, crammed on land at the base of the rock where around 12% of the workforce is employed by Gibraltar’s big online gaming industry, who are there to evade taxes – quite legally of course. ...
The following text was presented at the International Conference on “9/11 Revisited – Seeking the Truth”, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, November 2012IntroductionThe tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point.Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society. The post September 11, 2001 era is marked by the outright criminalization of the US State, including its judicial, foreign policy, national security and intelligence apparatus.9/11 marks the onslaught of ...
Some recent studies have reminded us of the characteristics of fascist movements and individuals, particularly as they manifest among politically active fascists. For example, in his recent book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us And Them Professor Jason Stanley has identified ten characteristics shared by fascists which have been simply presented in the article ‘Prof Sees Fascism Creeping In U.S.’These characteristics, readily evident in the USA, Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and elsewhere today, include belief in a mythic (false) past, propaganda to divert attention and blame from the true source of corruption, anti-intellectualism and a belief in the ...
The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”Part IIntroductionAs the 9th anniversary of 9/11 nears and the war on terror continues to be waged and grows in ferocity and geography, it seems all the more imperative to return to the events of that fateful September morning and re-examine the reasons for war and the nature of the stated culprit, Al-Qaeda.The events of 9/11 pervade the American and indeed the world imagination as a historical myth. The events of that day and those leading up to it remain largely unknown and little understood by the ...
Can the world wake up?
On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:
Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.
The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, ...
Last month was the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Serbian village of Kravica committed by Moslem forces from Srebrenica under the command of Naser Orić on Orthodox Christmas day, January 7, 1993. Several dozen villagers were killed in the attack, the remaining Serbian population was forced to flee to safety, and many homes were pillaged, demolished and torched during the several weeks that Kravica was forcibly occupied by neighbours from nearby Srebrenica. Regardless of arcane debates of who started the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on a human level the attack on the village of Kravica and the ...
The massacre of almost 50 Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. This mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a civil war in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, Russian military intervention in Crimea and an international conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. A conclusion promoted by the post-Yanukovych governments and the media in Ukraine that ...
RT: Kosovo wants to establish an army and has received several Humvee armoured vehicles from the USA. Although there was official NATO restraint, how much is the establishment of a Kosovo Army a fixed development?Marcus Papadopoulos: Kosovo is, effectively, a NATO protectorate today – and has been ever since Belgrade lost control of this Serbian province in 1999. It follows, therefore, that the illegal entity which is the Republic of Kosovo will begin the process of creating its own armed forces so that, in time, Kosovo will gain entry into NATO.RT: The EU has rejected the introduction of Kosovo sanctions ...
Voting Discrimination in America
Trump’s National Security Strategy: The Return of “Great Power” Military Conflict
Edward S. Herman: The Srebrenica Massacre was a Gigantic Political Fraud
Waffen SS Martti Ahtisaari and the Nazi Finland’s “Historical Responsibility” for the Holocaust
The 2004 “March Pogrom” in Kosovo by Muslim Albanians
The Great War in 1914 and the Balkans
“Unlimited Imperialism”: History of American Militarism
Air Strikes against Syria: Who are the War Criminals?
How Holocaust Revisionists Remake History as Nationalist Sham
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Killing a Republic – Kissinger and Cyprus
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Gibraltar: A Tax Haven not a Nation
September 11, 2001: The Crimes of War Committed “In the Name of 9/11″
The Psychology of Fascism
Andrew Gavin Marshall: “The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda”
Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China: Accept US Hegemony or Go to War?
The Srebrenica Massacre: Some Victims are More Equal than Others
The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
Kosovo Wants to Establish its Own Armed Forces
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS