How the Dimmest and Dumbest Give us their Worst
Losing Wars and Promoting Chaos for Profit
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
A recent analysis has shown the 40 year old American M-16 rifle to be a failure in Afghanistan. The weapon that caused more American deaths in Vietnam than the enemy is still junk technology today, even with its Star Wars derivitives. The result is still “Palinesque” or as I would call it, “lipstick on a pig.” The wrong design, the wrong cartridge, no range, no stopping power and poor reliability, 40 years of failure in the most important area of the battlefield, our combat rifle. This wasn’t an accident but part of our defense tradition, fighting wars with junk, fighting wars meant to eat money, put fighting men and women under the dirt, fighting wars meant to go on forever, as long as the money flows. A new study, over 40 years late, challenges our basic infantry weapon’s effectiveness:
The U.S. military’s workhorse rifle — used in battle for the last 40 years — is proving less effective in Afghanistan against the Taliban’s more primitive but longer range weapons. As a result, the U.S. is reevaluating the performance of its standard M-4 rifle and considering a switch to weapons that fire a larger round largely discarded in the 1960s.
The M-4 is an updated version of the M-16, which was designed for close quarters combat in Vietnam. It worked well in Iraq, where much of the fighting was in cities such as Baghdad, Ramadi and Fallujah. But a U.S. Army study found that the 5.56 mm bullets fired from M-4s don’t retain enough velocity at distances greater than 1,000 feet (300 meters) to kill an adversary. In hilly regions of Afghanistan, NATO and insurgent forces are often 2,000 to 2,500 feet (600-800 meters) apart.
The recent fiascoes of battlefield corruption began in Iraq in 2003. The website, Soldiers for the Truth, formerly run by Colonel David Hackworth, one of America’s greatest heroes, began reporting that our body armor was ineffective, ill fitting, overpriced and part of a fraud driven by the Pentagon “revolving door,” the tradition of serving officers in acquisitions moving into suppliers they were supposed to have been regulating, upon retirement. Stories of falsified tests came out, still the military tried to prosecute troops whose families spent thousands on quality protective gear such as Dragonskin (TM) armor.
Hundreds died because of this and we eventually got better equipment but only after tens of millions lined the pockets of people who belong in prison. Nothing was done. Surprise, surprise.
America’s most famous failure is the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, something we still use. Newer versions have some armor upgrades and work part of the time, but the Bradley has never been more than a rolling target, the most expensive fiasco in military history. HBO made a film about the selection process for the Bradley called The Pentagon Wars. It was a comedy.
Our new “secret weapon,” the Stryker, a rehashed Swiss designed vehicle from the 70s, has one real value, cheap rubber tires. These “battleships of the highway” lay as burned hulks across Iraq and Afghanistan, another “lipstick on a pig” weapons system.
The problem is much wider, much deeper than simply sending our troops into the field to face rocket propelled grenades in Humvee’s with canvas doors than couldn’t stop arrows. Every aspect of our defense has been hard wired to fail for one reason or another, let’s look at some of these.
BORDER PROTECTION AND THE SECURITY RACKET
The Army Corps of Engineers can build a barrier around Gaza for Israel but each day, thousands of illegal aliens, many drug runners and criminals, some even terrorists, flood into the US. You would think we can’t see or hear them, that they sneak through tunnels and are invisible in the desert. You couldn’t be more wrong. America’s defense companies have received billions to develop technologies that, not only see hundreds of miles into Mexico, using advanced optics and specialized radars but systems on tethered balloons give us warning of anyone approaching from so far away that this information is highly classified, yet we fail to either protect or react.
Even this isn’t the real story, the technologies we have deployed already, the ones we seem to ignore and misuse, the ones that give evidence that filling the country with illegal aliens may not be an accident, aren’t the only scandals tied to this disaster tearing America apart.
WHAT WE CAN DO BUT DON’T
Billions have been spent on technologies that integrate into systems that can protect, not only borders, airports or entire nations, they can be deployed on the battlefield to recognize combatants and terrorists among civilian populations. However, our most advanced technologies are deades old, long superceded by systems suppressed because of, well, the fact they are actually too effective.
These “war changing” technologies have been available for years but have been purposefully suppressed, while we chose to use either nothing or 1960s rehashed junk. The companies developing new technologies, not only receive no help at all, no contracts and no interest, many are subjected to attacks on their stock, their lines of credit and are pushed to destruction. One thing has become clear, if you are developing anything that actually will win a war or solve a problem, your company will suffer the same fate as the mysterious “run your car on water” companies did years ago.
What can we do? One technology alone, called “hyper spectral analysis” can close the US Border overnight at almost no cost at all. These are visual sensors that deploy on vehicles that link together with databases, software and capabilities long ready for deployment, that can recognize any individual, bio-metrically “tag” them for life and either track them for immediate detention or follow their every move through cities, airports or across battlefields.
These units can scan airport passengers from hundreds of yards away for, not only weapons and explosives but for diseases, bio-weapons and false identities. They can find a Taliban fighter, beard shaved and no weapon, on a street corner in Kabul, they can pick out an illegal alien in a Detroit shopping mall or close 50 miles of border, even in rough terrain, in less than a day. This isn’t the only “beyond space age” technology we have, this is just the worst offender as it is deliverable and cheap and insanely effective.
It would eliminate billions of dollars of airport scanners and useless technologies, long meant to fail, that enrich people like Michael Chertoff and the companies producing “junk science” in a box, many of them Israeli. The biggest “commercial” for this failed industry was the “Crotch Bomber” incident in Detroit. Follow the money, the fingerprints are all over this one.
Few Americans get to see the “war plans” to stop piracy off Somalia. It is almost amusing if it weren’t a dangerous situation. Not only is the piracy itself a result of bad policy decisions by the Bush administration but hundreds of millions are being made banking ransom payments and in the marine insurance industry. Much more is being made in keeping dozens of ships on station or in sending secret “contractors” against the pirates as part of “Rube Goldberg” schemes.
Our plans have involved running up and down hundreds of miles of coast when the pirates themselves come from a very small areas, easily observed, pirates that could be intercepted minutes after they enter international waters. America has tested using LTA platforms, we call them blimps, that carry advanced optics and radar, are low cost and devastatingly effective. These vehicles, designed by Airship Management Company and used by the US Coast Guard and Navy, are so effective they can be a “game changer” in dozens of key areas of the world. Using advanced optics and radars, they are a combination of UAV and AWAC. They just don’t cost enough and are too effective. No pirates, no pirate problem, no pirate problem profits. End of story.
HOW WE STARTED DOWN THIS ROAD
I blame the Air Force during the Eisenhower era. Every pilot wants to retire a general. The Air Force seems to exist for that. A US Senator with no military capabilities at all can get into an Air Force unit and become a colonel in days. Check out Senator Lindsay Graham, Air Force lawyer, openly gay and promoted over dozens of highly qualified combat vets. He isn’t the only one, simply the laughing stock of the Air Force.
The problem, a problem that nearly destroyed the United States grew out of a desire to build bombers when the Russians were developing missiles. It was the old “taking a knife to a gunfight” scenario. We ended up a decade behind in technology with rehashed German WW2 technology while Russians had put satellites in orbit, men in space and could drop nukes on any American city. This wasn’t the Air Force’s first “dance” with the Russians. We went into Korea with propeller fighters and primitive jets against the advanced Mig 17, a plane that could fly rings around anything we every brought into that war including the F 86 Sabre.
OUR “SPECIAL OPS/IRREGULAR WARFARE” ADDICTION
“Whoom,” like a giant vacuum, all of our leaders, our brightest soldiers are sucked into the “black hole” of our endless special operations commands. Speak 5 languages, can shoot a quarter out of the air blindfolded, we are dropping you into a rathole village in the middle of nowhere. What we don’t say, however, is that the intelligence you are given is false, your mission is a joke and you are only being put in harms way, facing death at the hands of a 10 year old child using a Soviet weapon, probably better than yours, that was paid for by American taxpayers. Currently, over 250,000 “state of the art” Russian assault rifles “went missing” in Iraq, all paid for by the United States.
America has become addicted to elitism, forming group after group with overlapping missions. Every service has some type of commando, all basically a rehash of the Marine Corps. Because we have them, we use them, not because there is a need, not because there is a mission, simply because we have them. In the end, we fracture our military, duplicate capabilities, capabilities that we have seen time and time again were never needed in the first place. We have spent billions building forces meant to fight scenarios that exist only in movies and video games.
One thing for certain, drop a small group of people somewhere and some idiot, perhaps more than a few, will show up to kill them. Welcome to the world of “irregular warfare.”
NATION-BUILDING FOR FAILURE AND PROFIT
How can you tell a country has been “saved” by the United States? They have rigged elections, leaders they hate, no electricity, dirty water, massive drug production, corruption everywhere, suicide bombers on every corner and a permanent civil war.
What do you think our Washington “think tanks” teach us? Whenever America “fails” what other country gains? The third largest arms exporter in the world is Israel, a country that controls the organizations responsible for most of Amerias “strategic planning.” We give billions, much of it “under the table,” to ultra-wealthy Israel while millions of American children can’t afford dental care. Israeli children have dental care.
In Afghanistan, every weapon, every bullet, every explosive used against American troops has been paid for by the United States and either supplied by us or one of our “allies.” For years, Pakistan has been pouring evidence of Indo-Israeli support for the Tabiban, reports shelved and shredded by intelligence agencies ordered to “look the other way” even when New York City is attacked.
IRAN, “YOU’LL LOVE THIS ONE”
Iran is one of the wealthiest and, at one time, one of the most westernized states in the Middle East. Their current ruler, another Ayatollah and President Ahmadinejad face massive opposition inside their own country and among the millions of Iranians who fled that country because they couldn’t stand living somewhere run by a extremists belonging to an Islamic sect considered “heretical” by most Muslims. So, how is this unpopular government, a government that has run a massive oil producing country deep into debt, in power?
The United States, with the help of Israel, are propping up Ahmadinejad.
Holding office only due to massive election fraud (perhaps they have electronic voting machines there too, like Florida and Ohio), the current extremely unpopular regime in Iran stays in power only because of continual rhetoric from the US and Israel, rhetoric threatening sneak attacks and invasion. Without this deluge of empty threats, Iran might be asking for NATO membership. The last “semi-credible” enemy, or as the Bush administration loved calling it, “axis of evil” member in the Middle East, preserving Iran as an enemy is vital to the defense industry. With every other country in the region either a US ally, militarily helpless or occupied, only Iran can be used as a justification for the massive US military presence in the region.
That Iran has no capability of projecting power and has no offensive weaponry nor any remote capability of operating beyond their own borders is never spoken of. What Iran does have is a very large population of people who want their own government gone, are willing to risk their lives in the process and deeply resent efforts by the US and Israel to promote an oppressive and incompetent government that has made their lives a living hell. Conspiracy theorists have long put forth rumors that Ahmadinejad is an Israeli “asset.” Were this true, it might explain alot.
DRUG POLICY IN AFGHANISTAN, SCHIZOPHRENIA GONE WILD
For years, Americans were told the Taliban and “Al Qaeda” were financed by the poppy fields of Afghanistan. Billions of dollars were spent to eradicate drug production in Afghanistan, which grew from “nothing at all” to massive levels, with increases every year. In fact, the more we spent to “eradicate” the more production increased. Colonel Eugene Khrushchev says the following about US policy in Afghanistan:
“The new American drug policy is easy to understand. America is telling the world it can no longer eradicate opium/heroin production because “poor farmers” are going to suffer. In truth, the poppy fields America now protects are run by drug lords with ties to the Karzai regime. America is building a narco-mafia behind the government of Afghanistan tied to an unsound and corrupt policy being peddled by the Special Envoy, Richard Holbrooke.
The US has no plans to eradicate drug production in Afghanistan, production they and everyone else claims is funding the Taliban and is certainly pumping 65 billion dollars into somebody’s hands. This is what NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal has decided to do:
McChrystal’s solution is to set up a “slush fund” to pay off the Majah opium poppy growers. What this is doing is to dismantle any real counter-narcotics program the DEA and SOF were supposedly implementing. What we are learning is that the US State Department, for reasons unknown and unknowable, wants to manage Afghanistan as a crime ridden “narco-state” for the foreseeable future.
What the Secretary of State called “the best decision in the face of an array of less-than-perfect options” has set in motion the worst-case nightmare scenario – a boon for the drug lords, a bane for the drug busters.
As the story goes, the Marines ought to cash in $12 million from the Commander’s Emergency Response Program – “to disrupt the Afghan opium harvest”. The whole scheme is a total scam, nothing is “disrupted,” far from it. In fact the policy is much closer to “agricultural support and subsidy,” with the product being death dealing narcotics and the goal almost too insidious to imagine.
Here are the main fraudulent premises of the swindle – political & financial – attributed to the US administration as outlined in the Washington Post:
• “Eradication would drive farmers into the hands of the insurgency”
• “Poppy farmers are poor creatures who face economic peril if they cannot harvest or sell their crops”
These disinformation sound bites betray the Holbrooke hallmark and are adroitly exploited by narco-insurgency propaganda. Ambassador Thomas Schweich, a former US top drug buster in Afghanistan, exposed this drug lobby guerilla marketing in his seminal article “Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?” in the NYT way back in July 27, 2008:
“UNODC shattered the myth that poppies are grown by destitute farmers…Eighty percent of the land under poppy cultivation in the south had been planted with it only in the last two years …these farmers didn’t need an alternative livelihood. They had abandoned their previous livelihoods…to take advantage of the security vacuum [which coincides with UK military presence] to grow a more profitable crop: opium…Yet Afghan officials continued to say that poppy cultivation was the only choice for its poor farmers.” (p.4)
How does the world’s largest money laundering scheme and the world’s largest narcotics distribution network totally escape American attention in Afghanistan? This isn’t America’s first “dance” in this arena, with a massive drug war on its border with Mexico and decades of efforts in South America having little or no effect.
We are also ignoring decades of substantive reports of CIA involvement in using narcotic trafficking to fund covert operations. You can’t turn on a TV without seeing this mentioned, the CIA-drug connection is a major part of American culture. Former FBI translator, Sibel Edmond’s testimony of US involvement in shipping drugs from Afghanistan on rendition flights has proven to be widely reliable and has received key support from members of the military and intelligence community.”
Warnings about the “military industrial complex” started with Washington, were carried into the 20th century by General Smedley Butler and our sternest warnings came from President Eisenhower. The warnings were clear, given free rein, all power will flow into the hands of racketeers, gangsters given the power to push America into war for profit, profit from weapons, profit from stolen resources and, worst of all, geopolitical manipulation meant to keep the world in continual war and chaos.
With America’s government and those of key allies beholding to defense and oil money, subject to media under the control of “war fed” corporations and manipulative foreign governments, security and peace has become undesirable and thus, unattainable.
With permanent war as a business, global policies leading to cohesion and stability and defense technologies that can make war obsolete are crushed at birth. Illegal aliens can flood into America as though invisible, terrorists move through world airports untouched, airports no legitmate tourist or business traveler survives unscathed, pirates roam the open seas as though we were living in the 16th century, colorful poppies, thousands of acres of them, escape the watchful eye of “drug eradication” forces, everything a sham, everything a scam.
I think back over 40 years ago, my M-16 E1 rifle, issued to Marines though a failed prototype, jamming in combat. I think of the 5.56 mm rounds with their “devastating killing power” hitting Viet Cong with the stopping power of a ping pong ball. I think of the video from Iraq showing our troops welding steel plates onto their vehicles in a desparate attempt to survive the endless rain of RPGs they had been subjected to.
I can also find a thousand multi-millionaires who live in obscene luxury while we stick aluminum limbs on our young people. Every step of every process is owned, corrupted, infected, from “position papers” to “intelligence analyses” to “weapons system evaluations.” Are there Americans who would push our kids into a war for oil profits, no bid contracts or to provide “cover” for the ambitions of our own fanatic extremists, both homegrown and those of our closest ally with whom we have an “unbreakable bond?”
Junk policy, junk weapons, junk thinking leads to a junk world ruled by junk people.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.