Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Winning The Last War

Generals always do a damn good job of winning the last war. Now some retired generals are criticizing President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, whining that we needed more troops on the ground in Iraq As if more troops on the ground wins a war against terrorists. We had massive numbers of troops on the ground (and in the air, and on the sea) in Vietnam, never lost a battle, and lost the war. The Powell doctrine of overwhelming force is the only way to go in conventional warfare, but has never succeeded in wars against terrorism. Ask the Soviet Union about Afghanistan.

In an attempt to have it both ways, the Liberals have called on their defense experts (excuse the typo, I meant “expert” -- he has a day job at Burger King) to conclude more troops were needed, while sticking to their position that large numbers of troops in Iraq created more terrorists in the Middle East.

In World War II, Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF (Retired), a junior officer at the time, suggested to the generals how the bombing of Europe could be done more precisely with fighter bombers at a huge reduction in lost aircraft and aircrews, reduced loss of civilian lives, vastly reduced collateral damage to German churches and historical structures, huge savings in fuel, bombs, aircraft maintenance, and other scarce resources, and he was totally ignored – ignored until 20 years later, when he proved his concepts in Vietnam.

Robin Olds, at the time an Army Major, argued that 70 P-51 fighters armed with 500 pound bombs could do as much damage as 1,000 bombers. Olds concluded that the massive bombing raids used against German factories usually resulted in only 50 percent of the bombs landing within 3,300 hundred feet of the target, and little loss of German war production.

In spite of the demonstrated ineffectiveness of World War II bombers, and the proven efficiency of modern fighter bombers, the old-school generals have hung on to dinosaurs like manned bombers, and we still hear of absurdities like enormously expensive modern bombers flying sixteen-hour missions from bases in Kansas to bomb Iraq.

When a few retired generals get whiny, you know they had their toes stepped on. In the old days military fossils court martialed Billy Mitchell when he showed how bombers could revolutionize warfare. Now the mossbacks try their challengers in the Court of Public Opinion, which for too long has been dominated by the leftist Main Stream Media.

Now, thanks to the Internet, we can finally fight back.

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