My Photo

American Empire Project Web Site

Birthdate
 
 Yes, please send me e-mail updates about The American Empire Project and other information from Macmillan and its partners.

March 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

The Books

Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
Base Nation

How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
by David Vine

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
No Good Men Among the Living

America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
by Anand Gopal

Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country by Andrew J. Bacevich
Breach of Trust

How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country
by Andrew J. Bacevich

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
Power Systems

Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire
by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse
Kill Anything That Moves

The Real American War in Vietnam
by Nick Turse

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren
We Meant Well

How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People
by Peter Van Buren

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War by Andrew BacevichWashington Rules
America's Path to Permanent War
by Andrew Bacevich


Dismantling The Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers JohnsonDismantling The Empire
America's Last Best Hope
by Chalmers Johnson


The Limits Of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich
The Limits Of Power

The End of American Exceptionalism
by Andrew Bacevich


Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World by Noam Chomsky
Imperial Ambitions

Conversations on the Post-9/11 World
by Noam Chomsky


Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism by Greg Grandin
Empire's Workshop

Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism
by Greg Grandin

A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Alfred McCoy
A Question of Torture

CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
by Alfred McCoy

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael Klare
Blood and Oil

The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare

« Hold Onto Your Underwear | Main | Explain Something to Me »

February 18, 2010

Comments

The Germans in WWII were brilliant tacticians, but proved to be miserable strategists in the long term. Their greatest mistake was - not acknowledging any limit to their capability. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

I disagree with the author about dismissing successfully military tactics. Military tactics and strategies are important. However, one must realize they are only tools, not ends. These are not emotional matters. If you must fight, then it's perfectly good and well to use the best tactics you can come up with for the situation, whether it's lightning war or a defensive wall. It is a mistake to be enamored with these things, as well as it is a mistake to dismiss them merely because others have been enamored by them.

Bush's worst mistake was turning his back on "the graveyard of empires" and began a second front -- Iraq... Just like how the Germans under Hitler were not satisfied with attacking the British, they had to open up a second front with Russia... History will tell us they won neither front.
This does not bode well for the future, but somehow, most right wing Americans think this won't happen to them. That history will exempt them because the are god's chosen people.

Isn't it so that in WWI the Germans didn't lose because of the opponent's military strength, but due to not being able to finance the ongoing war effort? Remember, they had beaten the Russians to the east (laying the ground for a successfull communist revolution in Russia) and they stood firmly on (or should I say "in") foreign soil on the western front. Losing WWII was not so much due to the failure of tactics and lack of operational provess as to the fact that
1) the (paranoid) leadership meddled with military affairs, 2) that the two largest allied countries could continue their war production largely unhindered by the enemy. I.e. the Russians moved their war production east of the Ural mountains, thereby out of reach of the German war-machine and the US avoided large scale attacks on its main land due to geography. Also remember that while the russian army had few well trained officers due to Stalin's pre-war paranoia, the Germans, due to the conditions in the Versaille peace treaty, had to train all their soldiers as sergeants, thereby gaining an upperhand on most of the armies of the countries surrounding Germany. I can understand people's fascination with the German method(s), but I believe that tempering said fascination with an equal fascination for the pragmatism that was employed both by the Russian and US army during the battles of WWII will prove a better "mix" so to say.

"We began to see war not as a human-made disaster but as a creative science and art."

And that's where it goes wrong in the end.

Eirik: you are rigt, the Germans lost largely because their industry couldn't keep up; but their earlier mistake that lead to this, was they opened too many fronts. Luckily for us, they enormously overextended themselves.

The U.S. did a brilliant campaign, but I think there was one more move that was missed: the U.S. could have allowed Germans fight Russia for a while longer; both Germany and Russia would have pulverized each other, and the Cold War might have been entirely averted! (Of course there was the humanitarian issue of the concentration camps, but the already desperate Germans might have agreed to hand them over).

If your enemies are busy killing each other, you can save your own army from needless casualties.

The comments to this entry are closed.