Historical disgrace: the U.S. military mutiny forced Obama to retreat (German article, translated)

Historical disgrace: the U.S. military mutiny forced Obama to retreat

U.S. President Barack Obama apparently had to call off the planned military strike against Syria because of a formidable mutiny in the U.S. military leadership. The soldiers could not recognize the President’s strategy – and expressed grave concerns against the action. Never before have America’s soldiers so openly refused to follow a president.

The U.S. military refused to follow U.S. President Barack Obama (shown here with the Chief of General Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in memory of September 11): Obama has gone too far in the fight against terror. His soldiers did not want to go to war which they do not understand. (Photo: White House)
U.S. President Barack Obama’s surprising withdrawal from his Syria plans is apparently due to a massive mutiny in the U.S. Army.

The Washington Post reports that from four-star generals to the ordinary soldiers hardly anyone saw the benefit the military action promoted by Obama.
The Post reports that the soldiers are especially missing a clear strategy of what would happen after the planned military strikes. Many U.S. soldiers have had bad experiences with the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. At first they were promised heroic goals. But no sooner were the interventions in process, the troops were sent into always new adventures. In both cases there was no exit strategy. The announcements to withdraw from the battle zones were contradictory and drawn out in length.

In the case of Syria, Obama did not succeed in convincing the military of the sense of a military operation.

So far, the U.S. military has always been publicly silent and obeyed the orders of the military-political leadership. The bases for most operations were that the president succeeded in convincing the soldiers to believe that the particular mission served the "national security."

Obama also tried to use this concept in Syria’s case.

But his own soldiers did not believe him.

Even more embarrassing for Obama: Most of the officers and soldiers have a much clearer concept of reality than their president and commander in chief.

So said the retired Lieutenant General Gregory S. Newbold in the Post, "The politicians are naive about the obligations that exist in foreign policy. Many are woefully ignorant about what a military operation can achieve." Newbold was in the leading cadres of the Iraq war. He said that many of his active colleagues share his serious concerns.

An officer who would only comment anonymously, said, "I cannot believe that the president even takes this step into consideration. In the past 10 years we have been fighting against insurgents. Syria has advanced weapons systems. We would have to fight in a conventional war."

Already in the past week had Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed to the headlessness of the Obama administration. He told the ABC, "The simple use of weapons, without a detailed strategy on how the mission will be completed, probably never leads to the conclusion that we imagine."
General James Mattis said, "If the Americans actually perform such an operation, then it will be a brutal, very, very serious war."
Another active officer said, "What political end state do we want to achieve? I do not know what it is. We say it should not be a regime change. If there is to be punishment - there are other ways to punish someone. "
Many military leaders are also uncertain because of the rapid decay of the anti-Syria coalition leads to new tactical planning: Without the British the operation presents itself differently. Nato’s lukewarm support has also caused the military to wonder. Simply relying on France seems to many to be too little. And Turkey is already viewed with suspicion by the U.S. military. President Erdogan is not at all trusted, because by many U.S. elites the AKP is considered an Islamist movement that pursues its own agenda.

The fickleness of Cyprus, which made difficulties at the last minute due to Russia’s pressure, has also required logistical replanning - not even considering the legal ramifications.

Pictures like this are circulating on the Internet. Although it cannot be said whether this is a true soldier: the willingness of U.S. forces to fight is low. (via @ NewsNinja2012))
Other officers criticized the half-heartedness of the operation. The military operation, as planned by Obama, gives the U.S. allies in the Middle East the impression that the Americans do not want to seriously defend their interests in the region. The action would appear as if rockets are fired, just so that something would be done.

In the Post article, experienced officers point to the fact that the risk of a military strike is enormous. Especially when in Syria, as John Kerry unveiled on Sunday, the poison gas sarin is in use, a military strike could have unforeseeable consequences. A cruise missile attack could create be more problems than solve them.

Most active soldiers and military officials said explicitly that nothing is further from them than to back-stab the political leadership.

That much more remarkable is the fact that they speak out at all, and do not simply fall again into the always successfully retrieved reflex of simple patriotism as happened since September 11, 2001.
The war on terror seems to no longer serve as motivation to those who are sent to it into the fire. Most U.S. soldiers cannot make sense out of their political leaders’ geopolitical fights. They obviously have no desire to be sent as world police into increasingly remote regions of the world.
The dissent agrees with the assessment of the American population: Only a small minority favors a military strike.
For Obama, it will now be difficult to convince the Congress. Even the representatives face the action more than skeptical. 200 members have signed a petition against the military use.
On top of that, for Congress the same problem arises that also the soldiers have for their rejection: The defense budget has been dramatically reduced because the U.S. budget has gone through decades of an uncontrolled debt policy, which got out of hand.
The mutiny of the U.S. Army is a first in American history.
However, the pressure on Obama seems to have grown so large in recent days that he finally pulled the ripcord, and he had to call off the imminent military action.
And so we experience a phenomenon that until recently, many could not imagine: The mighty U.S. President declared war on a country. And his own soldiers say, "Imagine: The president says it is war, and nobody goes."

Sep 2, 2013

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