Tuesday, November 13, 2012

David Takes A Dive

Just a few days ago General David Petraeus went from hero of the age to flawed mortal. The immediate source of this transition was a woman. I know, surprise, surprise. Suddenly there was no shortage of hagiographers putting on sack cloth and covering their heads with ashes. The Moron Media got suckered again-- big surprise.

Forgive me for being so cynical, but I was never buying what Dave The Dolt was selling.  For me the man was just another careerist hack in a brass hat. A little harsh you might say? Well gentle reader, sometimes harshness is called for when far too many people buy into a dog and pony show.

Understand one thing, Generals are people too. They are just as grand and just as flawed as any other member of the genius Homo Sapiens Sapiens. More to the point, they are politicians through-and-through; with all that entails.

Maybe you have to serve in the military to truly understand this. Maybe you need to ask an important question to a flag officer and get a mealy-mouth dodge of an answer. Maybe you have to suffer through Micky Mouse procedures a brass hat has imposed due to some pet peeve of theirs to get it.

There is a reason the Enlisted refer to some Flag Officers as Ticket Punchers. The Enlisted know the symptoms. They know the apple polishers looking for the next step up. Petraeus was such a man. He was a kiss up, a man looking for the next step up, and willing to do anything to get that next promotion. To rise to the top he told people what they wanted to hear. He found a way to support dodgy policy.

Understand that Davy’s can do spirit was not unusual. If you serve in the military you take on a results orientated mindset; you find a way to accomplish things. Petraeus found a way for our military to effectively occupy a foreign land; he never asked why such an occupation was necessary in the first place; he never questioned grand strategy. What David did was simply tactics, and fairly simple tactics at that.

The “Surge” was nothing more than a math exercise; a numbers game. But that game revealed what a fraud the man was. Move On was right, David did Betray Us. He betrayed the nation to get an extra star on his shoulder. He betrayed us by aiding and abetting George Bush’s war of lies by adding one more bright and shining lie.

Let me explain. Petraeus big idea is nothing more than a math exercise. You take the basic numbers, plug them in, and get a result of boots on the ground. It is very simple stuff. The first number is the population of the nation you want to occupy. In this case the number was for Iraq. The second number is the number of counterinsurgents needed to keep the first number in line. Petraeus math, COIN math, is 20 to 25 counterinsurgents for 1,000 population. Thus, take the population of Iraq, twenty five million, divide by one thousand then multiply by say 23. That gives you a force compliment of roughly 575,000 to do the job.

And there gentle reader, is the rub. Even with the surge, boots on the ground never reached the near half million men mark. Dave The Dolt betrayed his own grand theory, he shredded the Field Manual he created, to curry favor with the worst president of the modern era-- George W. Bush.

Petraeus killed his own program in the crib, he starved it to death. All the other ideas attached to his program were moot because he never had sufficient reliable counterinsurgents on the ground. But that did not stop him for taking credit for the lucky stroke of the Sunni Awakening. It also did not stop taking him for taking credit for the “stability” brought about be ethnic cleansing.

From Iraq it was an easy step up to Afghanistan. Politician that he was, Davy was able to dodge the blame for our woes in the Graveyard Of Empires. We Surged again, and again that effort was doomed by the maths inherent in the project. To actually occupy the badlands of Hindu Kush you need right around a million troops. That would be hard to do as active duty strength is around 561,000 and total reserves are around 205,000. You could do it if you committed every last active duty member, every last reserve, and every last National Guard member. That would give you around one million one hundred thousand people. Of course there would be the small problem of who would be keeping the Pentagon running and all that.

But that small niggle was for some other bright and chipper lad to figure out. David was off to DC to run the CIA. And it was here that Dave The Dolt finally Peter Principled in to a brick wall. That brick wall was known as Benghazi. Granted Petraeus had a lot of help in screwing the pooch in Libya. He had Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as his help mates.

The Hamlet of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue mulled over what to do with the clown prince of the Maghreb, Muammar Gaddafi, after he went off the rails one last time. With the threat of whole scale slaughter being a real and present danger, and all that lovely oil in the ground, Barry had to do something. Still, Obama mulled, and hemmed and hawed and was finally shoved into action by NATO.

Yet with all that mental effort deployed, not a soul considered an answer to the question “what comes after Gaddafi?” With the bitter end of Muammar, the US was blundering around the landscape without a plan or a clue. Chief among the blind leading the blind was Dave The Dolt. Exactly how Petraeus managed to miss a terrorist act aborning on 9/11 in the shifting hot political sands of Libya is a question that is just beginning to be asked.

I have my own theories and they have everything to do with the oxymoron of Military Intelligence. Having Petraeus run the CIA was the final triumph of Military Intelligence over civilian intelligence. We don’t really have a functional intelligence organization any more. We have a dis-organization that is radically skewed in favor of the military and one set of results. We have an intelligence structure that lacks any real intelligence; that is stupid to the bone.

I have been harsh on David Petraeus. I have been cruel. I have been mean-spirited. I have been all these things because he represents everything that is wrong with our elites. He was and is a ticket punching mediocrity, an empty suite with a great PR operation. He was and is a mindless technocrat with no real soul and no real clues. He was a willing servant of a interventionist and hegemonistic policy that no longer serves the true interest of the United States.

That policy is a brainless and immoral affair. It weakens the nation. It involves us in pointless, no win conflicts that slowly hollow out the nation. It is a policy that continues mainly on force of habit and an unwillingness to accept the new post-modern, post Cold War reality. It is a policy of a political and economic elite that is rotten to the core. Anyone who serves that elite deserves all the derision that one can muster.
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