The insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost fewer U.S. lives than the Filipino insurgency of 1899-1902.
Buchanan’s message is that the Generals have warned that the army is too small and will break without more soldiers. It doesn’t take long for Buchanan’s spittle to fly:
Who do we think we are kidding? America today is like an auto insurance company with the cash on hand to handle one or two fender-benders, but anything beyond that means Chapter 11.It’s not the content of Buchanan’s message that is chafing as much as his bitter acidity and his know it all neo-isolationism. His tone is grating, but his message is depressing.
In the Reagan decade, writes national security analyst William Hawkins, the United States had 18 Army divisions. Clinton cut it to 10. Yet, since Reagan, we have not cut commitments, but added to them: in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Gulf and the Taiwan Strait.
The American Imperium is hollow. We have nowhere near the troops to sustain the security commitments and war guarantees we have ladled out. Like the Brits in 1945, ours is an overstretched empire with a sinking currency, whose enemies are salivating at the prospect of being in on the kill.
America may need a larger Army. More imperative is the need for a radical reduction in treaty and war commitments.
If our Army is "about broken," has our commander in chief lost his mind when he issues bellicose ultimatums to Tehran? And if our Army is not built to "sustain a long war," are not those people insane who talk wildly of fighting "World War IV"? In World War II, we had 12 million men under arms on V-E Day.What kind of message does that send to the enemy? Those are harsh words coming from a reputed Republican; a member of the President’s own party. The President is under attack from the left and the right and the Iranians, the Wahhabists, the Baathists, and even bin-Laden from his cave are sure to hear our about our "broken army and broken empire" on CNN International, al-Jazeera and al-Manar.
President Bush can thank his own Generals for pitching that softball to Buchanan who took the opportunity to announce to the world that we are weak, just as bin-Laden said. But Buchanan didn’t make it up. The Generals are saying they can’t do it, the left is ready to leave “yesterday” and the pseudo-realists like Buchanan would never have gone in to begin with. Buchanan, like C4, James Baker and Jimmy Carter have absolutely no affinity for Israel and will toss them overboard without a second thought. The Democrats are ready to flex their muscles in Congress. Unfortunately for them, their razor thin majority will limit them to symbolism more than substance. I expect that we’ll be seeing more counterproductive visits to Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and other world despots with whom dialog is deemed critical. Think "dozens of Neville Chamberlains."
To compound the President’s problems, the Republican Party is in disarray and regardless, his political capital with them is probably spent. The lame ducks, Blair and Bush, will probably spend more and more time traveling abroad and focused on foreign affairs.