Textbook of war: Decoding the lifecycle of an American invasion

The warmongers and war profiteers have blood on their hands as much as terrorists but they are unlikely to ever answer for their crimes against humanity.

ByRajan Laad
Textbook of war: Decoding the lifecycle of an American invasion
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In his final address as the president of the United States in 1961, Dwight D Eisenhower warned of a looming peril that could have devastating consequences if left unchecked.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” he warned. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

The US military-industrial complex is an unholy alliance of the myriad branches of its government, arms dealers, mercenaries. This wealthy and powerful coalition and their cronies profiteer from wars, so they persuade US governments to enter optional wars and then to protract the conflicts in perpetuity.

The current mess in Afghanistan and an examination of the history of recent US wars proves Eisenhower’s words prophetic.

The US waged a war in Vietnam from 1954 to1975, and in the Dominican Republic in 1965. In the 1980s, it was engaged in conflicts in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama. In the 1990s it launched wars in Kuwait and Iraq, and was involved in conflicts in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

In 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly to avenge the 9/11 attacks and stayed put for nearly 20 years. It also went to war in Iraq from 2003 to 2010, and in the last decade has been involved in conflicts in Libya and Syria.

Then there are its arms sales to warring factions and covert operations elsewhere.

Most of these conflicts were unnecessary and could have been resolved by surgical strikes and diplomacy. The United Nations usually was a helpless spectator to these wars.

The following is an attempt to decode the lifecycle of a US invasion. The entire lifecycle is only followed for audacious prolonged interventions. For relatively minor conflicts, there’s an abbreviated version of this lifecycle applied.

The first stage involves the selection of a country to invade. The first criterion is that the country should have a dictatorial or theocratic regime with a dubious record on human rights and governance. The second criterion is that it has to be rich in natural resources which can be plundered after the US military has brought “liberation” to the natives.

The second stage is selling the “cause”. The news media is deployed to whip up paranoia among the citizenry. These warmongers care little about what the public thinks but understand that a conflict with public support gives their actions the veneer of virtuousness and legitimacy. The media endlessly broadcast stories and pictures of the citizens of the country to be invaded being subjugated, persecuted, and tortured by the dictatorial regime. It is stated that the US has a moral obligation to intervene and facilitate democracy and freedom. But freedom and democracy by their very definitions have to be desired and not forced upon the public. But that irony is lost on the warmongers and their cohort.

At times, violent extremist groups are called intrepid freedom fighters who need to be armed. Years later, when the public memory fades, the same groups are deemed terrorists who needed to be annihilated. Certain pliable regimes are regarded as worthy of support and business is conducted. When the regimes become non-cooperative they are denounced as evil and deserving of being overthrown.

Politicians and top-ranking officials from the armed forces make claims and presentations of imminent terror threats and the presence of weapons of mass destruction. At times, leaders define a red line that should not be crossed, else a war is inevitable.

The relentless propaganda through the media causes enough fear to sway public support since most people are casual consumers of news or mere headline readers. There’s nothing that focuses the mind better than the prospect of death. Once they convince the citizenry of the presence of villains who are going to murder them, earning support to defeat the “bad guys” is easy.

The third stage is the invasion. The media gleefully carries footage of dark skies being illuminated with missiles and explosions. In time, the US is declared to be triumphing over their “enemies”. Once the evil regime or terror group has been dethroned, a point is made to broadcast celebrations on the streets and declare that their mission has been accomplished.

Rarely are we told about the consequences of invasion such as the devastation of property, killing of citizens and human rights abuses. This instability and destruction is a fertile ground for radicalization of the youth. But this radicalization is a blessing for the military-industrial complex, as it offers them an excuse to prolong the conflict.

A new glossary of euphemistic terms is invented: mercenaries became defence contractors, civilian casualties became collateral damage and torture becames enhanced interrogation techniques.

The fourth stage is the rebuilding. The economist John Maynard Keynes proposed that to revive a flailing economy, governments should hire the unemployed to dig ditches and fill them up again. It appears that the military-industrial complex has applied this principle to countries: first destroy them and then attempt to rebuild them. The contracts of reconstruction are given to their cronies in the industry. Calamitous consequences of these wars hardly matter.

The fifth stage is the installation of a “liberal”, “forward thinking”, “pro-democracy” puppet regime. ”Elections” are conducted and if the desired pliable candidate doesn’t win, the results are manipulated. This puppet is for all intents and purposes an obsequious agent of the US and has no connection to the citizens he is supposed to lead.

The final stage is ignominious withdrawal, which often involves a shameful betrayal of the allies – an inglorious tradition of the US warmongers.

The Bay of Pigs invasion began when a CIA-backed group of Cuban refugees landed on the Cuban shores to topple Fidel Castro’s communist government. The plan immediately fell apart when the landing force met with unexpected counterattacks by Castro’s military. The US refrained from providing further support, and the uprising never happened. Over a hundred of the attackers were killed and more than 1,100 were captured.

Something similar occurred in Iraq in 1991, when the US government implicitly urged Shia and Kurdish rebels to overthrow Saddam Hussein. When the actual rebellion was attempted, the US negotiated a ceasefire deal with Saddam without including the rebels. Consequently, the rebels were massacred and the US did nothing to help them.

The most recent betrayal has occurred in Afghanistan where US personnel surreptitiously left their bases without informing their local allies. Afghan nationals who supported the Americans in the hope of building a modern nation woke up to discover that they had been abandoned and were at the mercy of the Taliban.

By the end of the entire cycle, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent, arms dealers, corrupt puppet regime leaders, and cronies are enriched. The losers are almost always the people whose country has been turned upside down and armed personnel who have lost lives or have been wounded or have to live with debilitating PTSD.

Radical Islamist groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban that have slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians are rightly described as terrorists to be wiped off the face of the earth.

But what does one call the US-led military-industrial complex that takes relatively stable countries and unilaterally destroys them. They have blood on their hands as much as the terrorists but will rarely face the consequences of their crimes against humanity.

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