Foreign/Defense Policy

Independence Day and the Meuse-Argonne Battle

By John Biver

Historian John Keegan writes that on July 4, 1917, elements of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) paraded in Paris. A year later some of those men were to fight and die in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the biggest and most costly military campaign in America’s 232 year history. Sadly, too few people have even heard of it.

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D-Day + 64 years

By John Biver

Visiting places of incredible bravery, sacrifice, and seeing the final resting place of so many thousands of Americans is a powerful experience. Walking on Omaha Beach, between the white marble crosses at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, or in a Belgian forest just outside Bastogne brings an incredible sense of awe – even for someone who has never had a problem feeling pride in his country.

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Acts of war…and suicide

By John Biver

From the Chicago Tribune last week (March 3, 2008): Army struggles with rising suicide A soldier’s tale illustrates the prevention battle inside the service as 2007 set a new high for troops taking their…

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CPAC and answering the anti-McCain hysteria

By John Biver

The sniffling anti-McCain conservatives meeting at the annual CPAC conference had better blow their noses and wipe away their tears and wake up to their failures when it comes to building a real political…

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Notes on the War in Iraq: Many Americans have forgotten or never learned what war is

By John Biver

World War II, which saw almost 300,000 Americans killed (and over 670,000 wounded), was not as controversial as one that has so far taken a small fraction of that terrible toll.

Previous eras saw a resolve, toughness and realism that is sorely lacking today. People understood then that being at war with Hitler’s Germany and Hirohito’s Japan meant that many of our fighting men would die or be wounded.

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Notes on the War in Iraq

By John Biver

My series from late 2007: 1. Since the Terrorists Target Public Opinion, So Should We 2. September 11, 2001 and the Reality of the Threat 3. What Didn’t Work Before 9/11 and What Needed…

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Notes on the War in Iraq: Examples of things that libertarians and liberals explain away

By John Biver

“Some people think wars are no longer necessary. There has always been a utopian strain in both Western thought from the time of Plato’s “Republic” and the practice of state socialism. But the technological explosion of the last 20 years has made life so long and so good, that many now believe our mastery of nature must extend to human nature as well.”

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Notes on the War in Iraq: The good news cannot be ignored

By John Biver

September and October 2007 were not good months for those who believe the people in the Middle East are barbarians who should be left to their own devices. In other words, they believe that the war can’t be won, and the nation of Iraq will never be anything other than a breeding ground for people who wish to rule through bloodshed and terror.

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Notes on the War in Iraq: Where things stand as of November 2007

By John Biver

“Opponents say the war’s proponents seek to sustain the illusion that Iraq is central to the war on terrorism. They might want to consult with Islamic terrorists on this matter. After all, it is Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri (the top two leaders of al Qaeda) who have declared Iraq to be precisely that.”

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Notes on the War in Iraq: Why it’s difficult and taking so long

By John Biver

“Ours is the first generation of Americans that thinks it can demand perfection in war. Our present leisure, wealth, and high technology fool us into thinking that we are demi-gods always able to trump both human and natural disasters. Accordingly, we become frustrated that we cannot master every wartime obstacle, as we seem otherwise to be able to do with computers or cosmetic surgery.”

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Notes on the War in Iraq: What is Going Right

By John Biver

“Deposing the Taliban regime still remains the single most important blow that has been struck against the terrorists. And virtually no one could have predicted that a half-decade after the attacks on September 11th, we would not have been hit again. Such things don’t happen by chance.”

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Notes on the War in Iraq: What went wrong

By John Biver

“To solve the mystery of the Iraq War you have to explain how a brilliantly executed invasion turned into a messy counterinsurgency struggle. Part of the explanation, at least, is a lack of troops, a fault for which the Defense Department has been responsible.”

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