"...when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve overwhelming force against the enemy, minimizing US casualties and ending the conflict quickly by forcing the weaker force to capitulate." -- The Powell Doctrine
Today we mark the anniversary of the Fall of Bataan. It’s like the battle of thermophyle in the movie "300" that we just watched over the holy week-- or atleast that’s what the local folklore and history would like us to believe.
An overwhelming force was used by the empire of Japan to over run the defenders of Bataan and the Rock fortress of Corregidor. It resulted in Japan's conquest of the Philippines.
Back in the first gulf war, Powell applied his doctrine of overwhelming force to secure victory for the United States. It resulted in the renaissance of of American Conservative Movement that was supposedly dealt a deathblow by the quagmire called "Vietnam" a generation ago.
Now, America, thanks to the Bush administration, has come full circle. It has a new VIETNAM.
A few days from now, the world will mark the 4th anniversary of the American Invasion of IRAQ. Some say that the invasion was a debacle because a self-proclaimed potentate of the pentagon named Rumsfeld decided to experiment with the United States Military Personell and Iraqi People by applying his own vision for the US military which seeks to "increase force readiness and decrease the amount of supply required to maintain forces, by reducing the number in a theater."
He probably figured that after years of bombing, the Iraqi Forces are so weak that using overwhelming force against it will be viewed by history as an unsportsmanlike conduct. It makes me wonder if the real reason why the defenders of thermophyle lasted longer than expected was because Xerxes wanted to show the world that his army was a match to any insurgent force, man-to-man, pound-for-pound. Maybe that's why he sent his men to the gates of Thermophyle in a piecemeal fashion.
Maybe he was the first one to apply the Rumfeld doctrine with disastrous results.
It is a flawed doctrine in the Art of War. The Rumsfeld doctrine forgot the military adage that the gods of war are always in favor of the army who comes into battle with the most number of men (and with the most number of digital buttons to push). Rumsfeld also forgot the first rule of hand to hand combat which is to NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR OPPONENT.
Powell was the only Republican I admired before he became the fall guy of the Bush administration. Who can forget his failed attempt at being the next Adlai Stevenson of the Security council? Who can forget that he was the one who made the case for the Iraqi Invasion because of imagined "material breach" of UN Resolutions, coupled by claims of even more imaginary Iraqi possesion of Weapons of Mass Destruction? Who can forget....
I take it back... The world has forgotten.
Now it's Barak Obama who could become the first Black President of the US.