Friday, February 22, 2013

Why Africa - anywhere in Africa - is the new Afghanistan

When you've got a hammer, everything looks like a nail...

"In subsequent years this condition has been allowed to grow in an alarming manner. Military people can always rationalize almost any problem's becoming military and thus susceptible to a military solution. They dislike interference on the part of the State Department when that Department sees serious political consequences stemming from the use of military force.
I have discussed problems of this nature in the Pentagon, and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on many occasions. I remember quite vividly a senior officer in the Pentagon referring to State Department officers who were raising questions about the political aspects of Alaskan statehood. The General referred, rather derisively I thought, to State Department people as "those field marshals in striped pants."
Actually, it was the generals who were wearing the striped pants. The State Department acquiescence in the policies of the War Department was a most alarming portent of what was to come. The State Department translated this into a foreign policy described as "brinkmanship." Obviously this was not a policy. It was a slogan."
James M. Gavin
On to Berlin
"A fighting general's true story of airborne combat in World War II"
Viking Press, 1978, pg. 355-357