According to Piera's Tom Streithorst, even after spending $500 billion annually on defence, the United States hasn't won a single conflict since the first Gulf War. He looks at the reasons why and puts forth some alternatives to what is nothing more than destructive symbolism.
I never thought I would say this out loud, but Donald Rumsfeld was right about one thing: the American military is too big and bulky. Special Forces are lean and mean and - not coincidentally - more successful. The one triumph of the misbegotten War on Terror was the rapid defeat of the Taliban in the fall of 2001. With almost no regular army involvement, a handful of Special Forces commandos slipped into Afghanistan, liaisoned with Northern Alliance units, and coordinated air strikes against Taliban positions. At the time, the Taliban held all but a few slivers of Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance was outnumbered, outgunned and heading towards ignominious defeat, but the combination of local boots on the ground, elite American scouts and massive American airpower proved unbeatable. Within a month, the Taliban recognized they had lost and faded away, at least for a few years.
The military would be more successful if it was smaller and more concentrated. America should shrink its regular army and focus on elite units who can get in, accomplish a targeted mission, and get out quickly. A smaller footprint solves a multitude of problems, both logistical and political.
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