RT recently aired a piece titled, "Homemade bombs beat high-tech? Afghan war failure looms," in which the astronomical amount of money spent on military weapons systems is examined versus the apparent inability of the US to "win" in Afghanistan.
If this sounds like a familiar narrative, it's because the United States fought a similar war in Southeast Asia spanning Laos and Vietnam. Dr. James William Gibson, author of the book "The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam," was interviewed in 1987 by "Alternative Views" and gave an in-depth cautionary history of a war driven by a "production process" mentality, complete with quotas motivating soldiers, driving commanding officers, and directing policy makers, all within the backdrop of reasserting a slipping global imperial paradigm.
Soldiers motivated to meet quotas for body counts will fabricate numbers, or worse yet, take innocent life in an increasingly desperate and degenerate bid to survive (missed quotas meant more time spent out in the field).
The vector sum is a war not based on the just cause of national defense, nor driven by actual achievable strategic objectives, but a war motivated by opportunistic interests attempting to profit from the "rules" set by policy ~ from the soldiers on the ground seeking the "payment" of survival, to the officers managing the conflict seeking advancement, to the corporations and their representatives at the top seeking profits and geopolitical corporate-financier hegemony. In this way, the war can take on a life of its own, a dangerous tropism.
The Vietnam and Afghan Wars were never wars of national defense.
They were military adventures sold to the public as "necessary" for national defense.In reality, each in turn was a response to shifting geopolitical spheres of influence and the ruling elite's desire to dominate them.
In Vietnam, the goal was to reassert Western influence over the Vietnamese who were setting a dangerous anti-imperialist precedent for the world.
It too has taken on a life of its own, with profiteers and opportunists seeking its preservation, even expansion to justify increasing bottom lines. For example, "Defending Defense" is a lobbying front assembled by the American Enterprise Institute ~ a think-tank with Fortune 500 interests fully represented upon its board of trustees, advisory council, and "national council."
The lobbying effort not only cites current wars the US is fighting, but cites future potential wars that require yet more money to be shifted from productive peaceful progress, to the pursuit of hegemonic megalomania ~ because it is not just about war profits, it is about the power derived in the pursuit of global preeminence.
The military industrial complex, however, came out only stronger.
These leaders have learned the perfect balance
They've managed to push soldiers just enough to keep them in line and on mission, but not too much to where widespread meaningful dissent forms.
Indeed, our leaders have learned much from Vietnam.