Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Douglas MacArthur's Perennial Wisdom

Many officers in the US Armed Forces are bright and very good tacticians.

Some are bright tacticians and very good with strategy.

A few are strategic geniuses.  Douglas MacArthur was one of those.  For that reason, John F. Kennedy sought and received advice from him.

Most famous was MacArthur's aphorism that one should 'never fight a land war in Asia.'  He saw the problem first-hand in Korea and indirectly in China, during WWII.  But LBJ--who thought that HE was the smartest guy in the room--ignored MacArthur's advice and lost a land war in Vietnam.

MacArthur also though that the "domino theory" pressed by the usual suspects in the Chamber of Commerce was idiotic.  He was right, of course; ballistic missiles are sufficient deterrents to "dominos." 

But MacArthur saw something else that he impressed upon Kennedy.

...At the heart of the August 16 discussion is MacArthur’s view that America’s greatest asset is its economy. America’s adversaries, on the other hand, had always struggled (and failed) to match its economic output, and particularly its agricultural output. “The Achilles heel of the Russians and Chinese,” he said, “is food.” In this sense, MacArthur is a stand-in for nearly every senior officer of his generation who looked on America’s industrial and agricultural assets as its strength. Nothing else mattered. Put another way, while Russia’s “strategic depth” is its geography and China’s strategic depth is its mass of people, America’s strategic depth is its economy. To destroy America, you must destroy its economy. No one ever had....

Don't ever forget that.

It's not likely that Obama ever read anything about that meeting.  It's also unlikely that Obama ever read anything at all by or about MacArthur other than the usual high-school and college babble.  But his puppetmasters probably did--thus, Obama's determination to kill the US economy.

He didn't succeed, but they will try again.

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