“The professional predilection of military,” says retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson in a Thursday Real News Network interview with host Paul Jay regarding the Afghanistan War policy President Donald Trump announced last week, “is to keep the war going, not to end it, because that’s where you get your rank, that’s where you get your progression, your notoriety, your fame, your fortune, and so forth.” This has been the case, Wilkerson argues, for the last 5,000 years and has “just gotten a little more sophisticated” over time.
In Afghanistan, with Trump having put the generals in charge, Wilkerson says we should expect the military to be ”reinforcing strategic failure and thus deepening that failure” that has developed over the last sixteen years of US military action in the country.
Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary and served as chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration lays out the basics of the “deepening the failure” phenomenon in his first comments in the informative interview:
Paul, I saw this same thing happen with the Bush administration post-9/11, perhaps more understandably so given the impact of 9/11 on the American people. He turned essentially Afghanistan and then Iraq over to the generals, over to Secretary Rumsfeld in particular in terms of civilian control, and of course you always had Dick Cheney looking over their shoulders. But, basically, the generals were running it. And we saw what happened there.
What we just saw in Afghanistan is an illustration of 5,000 years of military history’s most egregious mistake by military commanders, generals, admirals of the fleet, and so forth and that is to reinforce strategic failure. That is the first desire of military officers in the field when they are losing is to say, “Give me more troops, and I will win.” Rarely do they win. What they do is they commit that incredible error of reinforcing strategic failure and thus deepening that failure. So we can have every expectation that, with the Pentagon running Afghanistan, and for that matter everything else we’re doing right now militarily, we will deepen the failure, and we’ll be even in worse trouble than we are now.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:
Following the interview, Wilkerson answered questions from viewers before losing his audiovisual connection to the program.
Wilkerson is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.