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Foreign Policy and Combat Mission


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As far-fetched as this may seem; I think that some political discussions do happen to have some relevance to Combat Mission.

While CM wishes to focus solely on the military strategy in World War II, it seems all but inevitable to avoid the other aspects of the War. Some of those various aspects of the war include the social, economic, political, geographical and moral happenings of the war.

Although Hitler blundered in waging war on two fronts, and this was largely a political blunder, this same blunder can be applied to a basic principle in military strategy: Do not divide your forces. This just goes to show how increasingly difficult it is to isolate the military strategy in World War II.

Many discussions of a more politcal nature have recently been shot down by those moderators (Who, by the way, I think are doing a great job).

I wonder, however, how far these moderators can go... Recently I have been thinking about the United States' inclination to remain nuetral early on in World War II. One thing that I personally have taken from World War II is how isolationism does not work. We should remain involved in international affairs, especially if our national interest is concerned.

These are some of my general thoughts on some lukewarm politics, although my question is: Is this acceptable, or should I simply stick to the one dimensional analysis of the MILITARY strategy of World War II.

A pre-emptive thanks for your thoughts.

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I have to disagree, it's intervention that has caused the damage to all societies and all cultures. Granted there are evils that have been stopped by intervention but these have been far outweighed by the evils caused by intervention, not least of which is the destruction of cultural norms and the institution of bland, cookie-cutter values, businesses and politics. We would all be better off if the US stopped trying to tell every country how to live their lives and concentrated on fixing itself. I cannot say the same about other countries' policies, as I have not enough information on them, but I'd be willing to wager that it's the same out there.

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Did someone compare this to the Ealing comedies? I've shot people for less.

-David Edelstein

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Elijah,

But would you not agree that there are matters of both national sercurity and our national interest which would rightfully provoke our involvement in various regions around the world? (like World War II, for instance). You say that the US should spend its time fixing itself, but are domestic issues the only parts in which our country might improve?

And many issues of the present day are enormously more complicated than what eminates. For example, an issue discussed in the first presidential debate was the energy "crisis" we have on our hands. We as a nation are faced with the choice of either:

a)industrializing one of our most beloved natural habitats in Alaska, and opening the Alaskan environment to oil companies, etc...

OR

b)relying on the importation of a huge portion of our energy through various nations around the globe. Namely; Iran, Iraq, Saudi, and other middle eastern countries.

As you can see, often times these choices are not as easy as "we should mind our own business and worry about ourselves."

And when you talk about damage to other cultures I am not sure that I follow. As I understand it, the loss of culture comes naturally with the unavoidable integration of various cultures with each other.

But anyways, does anyone think that there might be some relation between the political, social, and economics aspects of World War II and with CM?

Or just the military aspects of World War II and CM?

Bub_bye, bedtime for Jimbo...

And JEEZ, whyd it have to be a Subway Series?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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Politics do matter when we try to get a more correct perception of what really happened in the war. Think of east front: after WW2 was over, western historians based their works mainly on (West-)German depictions, in which the deeds of German √úbermensch are possibly exaggerated, Soviets somehow demonized and German officers presented as angels who just had to follow the orders of Hitler.

Reading Soviet surveys might bring us a little closer, but then we should recognize, was history a political "weapon" in USSR, and if, then to what degree, and were all surveys politically motivated?

Otherwise I don't think politics are relevant here.

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Ghengis Jim,

You forgot about option 3)

Switch to alternate fuels (Solar, Hydrogen, Natural Gas, etc...), increase the use of mass transit, etc...

Possibly our (Canada and the US) consumption of energy us unaturally high for our relaistic needs rather than fuel prices being too high (instead of being overly and unjustly subsidised).

We are told oil is the key, as, oil companies pay for politicians to get into power.

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Although I love to agree with Thomas Jefferson, who felt that the U.S. would be much better off in the long run if it continued as an agrarian society disassociated with the rest of the world's controversies, I cannot agree in this case. We have come to a point now (and 60 years ago it wasn't all that much different) where we truly are on the verge of living as a global community. If you don't think so, take this forum as an example of the microcosm representing the macrocosm. It is very difficult for us not to get involved with other coutries from either a business or cultural standpoint. If we are this involved on other fronts, how we can abandon our partners/allies/friends when they have tough times, and especially when they are in a state of war.

Woodrow Wilson realized that world relationships would be an essantial part of the future when he created the League of Nations. He knew then that the world needed the ability to police itself, not one country at a time, but as one entity. This has lead us to today, where it is impossible to not be aware of what happens around the world, and cold-hearted not to help when the chips are down for another country. And while there are a number of issues on the homefront that go unresolved, we cannot ignore the call of our global community until our internal issues are resolved, because many of them never will be.

As for political influences on CM...only in that war is an extension of politics, by other means.

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"Nuts!"

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Major Tom:

Ghengis Jim,

You forgot about option 3)

Switch to alternate fuels (Solar, Hydrogen, Natural Gas, etc...), increase the use of mass transit, etc...

Possibly our (Canada and the US) consumption of energy us unaturally high for our relaistic needs rather than fuel prices being too high (instead of being overly and unjustly subsidised).

We are told oil is the key, as, oil companies pay for politicians to get into power.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oil is key, it is the key to those nations who sell it. What happens to those nations who depend on oil revenue to keep their country going?

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CavScout:

Oil is key, it is the key to those nations who sell it. What happens to those nations who depend on oil revenue to keep their country going?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What will happen is what happens whenever a countries' "cash crop" is rendered less valuable - there'll be a recession, and then the economy will shift to either promote a different good, or sell to a different market.

My guess is that if the US stopped importing oil and oil-based fuels, oil prices would drop dramatically, which would then allow smaller nations to buy more oil than they had been previously. Eventually the market would reach a new equilibrium.

But none of this matters because the US is not going to stop importing oil anytime soon. With the European fuel protests so recent and with the prospect of a fuel shortage in America, no American politician is going to suggest switching to the more expensive alternatives to petrol. It would be political suicide, IMO.

I do believe that in the next 10-20 years alternative fuels are going to become much cheaper and much more viable alternatives to petrol, but unfortunately, for the time being, we've got to stick with the nasty smelly polluting stuff.

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Soy super bien, soy super super bien, soy bien bien super bien bien bien super super.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Croda:

This has lead us to today, where it is impossible to not be aware of what happens around the world, and cold-hearted not to help when the chips are down for another country

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

hmm. i think CM's moderators have been pretty liberal about going off-topic. just to abuse the privilege, i'll add my bit here smile.gif

oh, it's quite possible to be ignorant of current events. meet my roommates. IMHO unless you look beyond mainstream news sources, in the US it's quite possible to not know about current events in most of the world, or to only see a distorted view

as for coldhearted, sure, i'd gladly be guilty as charged. IMHO the US is NOT the world's cop. it should protect its interests, -period-

being humanitarian sounds great, sure. however, try looking at it this way:

how many americans are you willing to see die? how much american money should be spent on an area which may well not matter to US interests? that's the equation, like it or not

if you haven't lived outside the US, or at least tried other news sources than network news/cnn/mainstream newspapers, please consider your answer carefully. the world is decidedly different than what mainstream US news shows

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elementalwarre, I agree whole-heartedly. I suppose I'm thinking #1) that it is impossible to be ignorant of world affairs at a government level, sorry for not clarifying. I myself often miss large stories for several days. And #2) I suppose I was going a little too Utopian. Not suggesting that the U.S. police the world (though I agree with protecting its interests, and I believe that one if its interests is the ideals set forth in the Constitution, and that those ideals are in fact man's, not America's, inalienable rights and that we should protect those rights when they are infringed upon) right, not that the U.S. should police the world, but that the world should police itself, and that other coutries whose governments back the same ideals as the U.S. should look out for those ideals around the world. Hope that made sense.

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"Nuts!"

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IMO, asking a question like "how many Americans are you willing to see die" is like asking someone if they've stopped beating their wife. No answer is going to be satisfactory.

Keep in mind that I'm a big soft leftie, but I think that if the US wants to lay claim to the term "superpower," we absolutely do have to be active in maintaining peace in other parts of the world. America's domestic problems are going to remain whether or not we're interventionist or isolationist.

Strict isolationism - tend to your own farm, ignore everything else - simply wouldn't work now. Even the US cannot afford to shut itself off economically from the rest of the world. Since politics affect economics, the US will need to remain involved in world politics if for no other reason than pure self-interest.

Now, seeing as I agree with Croda's first post (the one before he backtracked tongue.gif), I sincerely hope that the US will act, not out of pure self-interest, but also in an altruistic manner.

Toldja I was a lefty.

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Soy super bien, soy super super bien, soy bien bien super bien bien bien super super.

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American politicans and their voters should stick to their guns.

As a capitalist, and proud of being so, I like to see America bringing down trade barriers. At the moment the US is the only "antidote" to all the largely socialist European countries with their "high and mighty" attitude.

I am not sure what this topic was originally about, but as it is now about US foreign policy, I thought I'd add my views.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>At the moment the US is the only "antidote" to all the largely socialist European countries with their "high and mighty" attitude.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And I'd just like to publicly post my appreciation for someone muddying otherwise clean waters with an ugly comment.

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"Nuts!"

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These national imperatives are manufactured excuses, used by the corporations and political bigwigs in America to increase their power and holdings. The vast number and mind-numbing size of the contradictions in American (And other national) foreign policy does not hold up to even the most simple attacks. I cannot believe you guys can support intervention when American intervention has been so glaringly biased toward the rich and powerful. A small sampling:

-There was a small, peaceful and democratic Latin American country overthrown with CIA support in the middle of this century because they were giving lip to American corporations. Name the country, name the corporations and name the excuse.

-Gee those arms dealers sure liked World War I.

-The Bay of Pigs and our entire Cuba/Castro relationship. If you want to see every partisan historian's face twist in disgust and confusion, ask them about the last 100 years of Cuba in relation to American intervention and colonialism. And don't forget to ask whether or not sugar had anything to do with it.

Or the number of contradictory involvements we get into, where one decade we love a strong leader and the next decade he is satan. We were very happy to sell Iraq jet fighters and equipment, overlooking how they killed the Kurds (Ahem, Turkey, ahem) while they fought the evil Iran. We are now very happy to support the totalitarian leaders of Saudi Arabia. We were very happy to support the mysoginist, backward, cruel Taliban while it was fighting the USSR. But it's ok if the people of the Ivory Coast or PR of Congo die in their little wars. Hutus and Tutsis aren't nearly as important as Albanians and Serbs. Oh yes, those poor Albanians, we sure didn't seem to care about them when Albania self-destructed and a million Kalishnikovs got distributed to that nasty little region. Yes, Albanians alone do not warrant intervention but if you put a great big copper mine in the picture, the US is there.

Jefferson was, is and will be right.

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Did someone compare this to the Ealing comedies? I've shot people for less.

-David Edelstein

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wow we're good at veering off. we've long since left even ghengis jim's question, let alone CM

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chupacabra:

IMO, asking a question like "how many Americans are you willing to see die" is like asking someone if they've stopped beating their wife. No answer is going to be satisfactory.

I think that if the US wants to lay claim to the term "superpower," we absolutely do have to be active in maintaining peace in other parts of the world.

Strict isolationism - tend to your own farm, ignore everything else - simply wouldn't work now. ...the US will need to remain involved in world politics if for no other reason than pure self-interest.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

chupacabra, i snipped the quote to bits relevant to my comments. not trying to change the substance of your statement!

not arguing for isolationism. that's economically impossible and arguably assumes a too-optimistic worldview

i am arguing against being the world's cop - not quite the role i see the US filling right now, BTW

if you put people in dangerous places SOME WILL DIE. too bad if that's not a nice answer. it's true, almost as inevitably as gravity. deal with it or -do not send them-

world has several conflicts which won't stop unless the cultures change in those areas. to keep the peace in such places, be prepared to post troops in them for at -least- a generation, even longer if you don't use the time to transform the culture. this means be prepared for a steady dribble of troops killed for at -least- a generation

if you want to be altruist, fine. will you personally stand guard when -all- sides shoot at you when they're not stealing from and cursing you instead?

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And I'd just like to publicly post my appreciation for someone muddying otherwise clean waters with an ugly comment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've read that about four times now and I still think what the **** is that?!

Maybe it will make more sense tomorrow morning but I doubt it, that's like saying two negatives equal a positive or saying, "Many thanks to all the murderers out there who make our lives a misery."

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by M. Bates:

I've read that about four times now and I still think what the **** is that?!

Maybe it will make more sense tomorrow morning but I doubt it, that's like saying two negatives equal a positive or saying, "Many thanks to all the murderers out there who make our lives a misery."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It means, Bates, that your simplistic, overarching, jingoistic statement does nothing for a serious conversation about a serious topic.

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Did someone compare this to the Ealing comedies? I've shot people for less.

-David Edelstein

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Well, we always have been and always will be the lone superpower when its comes to baseball, baketball and football(not kickball mind you). Why get involved in a war when some of your best ball players have to go and fight.

[This message has been edited by Dittohead (edited 10-20-2000).]

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Most would agree that in today's international scene, there is what we call a "global economy". Our country, a capitalistic nation, relies heavily on a competitive and free market. This market does not stop at our county's borders. For this reason, it is extremely important that we protect this market even when it extends over seas.

If another country initiated outrageous tariffs for no apparent reason, this would hurt our country's market. Ultimately this action would damage the fragile global economy and it would definitely not encourage the growth of capitalism. Granted, the Cold War is largely over, but still, it never hurts to strive for a world of capitalists.

What this discussion actually has to do with Combat Mission? I am not sure, but that was the original question posed by yours truly. I am very encouraged by the courteousness of those participating,however, and by the democratic (not Politically democratic) nature of the moderators viewing this discussion.

On a sidenote:

The o-zone layer thing is a giant crock. Not that the o-zone layer does not exist, but rather, we have absolutely no impact on the maintaining And/Or restoration of the o-zone layer. All harmful toxins emitted by cars in all history do not add up to the amount of harmful toxins produced by ONE volcanic eruption. Needless to say, there is well over one volcanic eruption per year.

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As a vet whose ship took part in events related to the projection of American interests in the 80's, I tend to take a more personal perspective about this sort of discussion. For me this experience provides me with an empathy for the people directly affected by the orders that place them in harm's way and it has led me to an opinion that is directly connected to playing CM.

When one realizes that the forces necessary to accomplish a task are not just counters on a map but flesh and blood real people with families, feelings, and thoughts for their own futures, it should provide a pause in the advocation of committing them to anything but the most pressing of causes.

Anyone may express their opinion about the idealistic value of the United States (or any other country since a human life is a human life regardless of origin) being involved in "Nation Building" or other aspects of peacekeeping missions, but those who have never been in the position of having to fulfill these missions IMMO should temper their enthusiasm for them greatly.

There is never going to be a shortage of places in the world where the presence of the U.S. Forces might have an impact at lessening a local suffering. To habitually commit troops to intervene has the real effect of separating real people from their homes, spouses, and families and to ask members of the armed services to potentially give the ultimate sacrifice, it is encumbant that the cause be of the ultimate worth.

To link this with CM, perhaps this is part of the bad aftertaste that so-called gamey tactics that waste the lifes of units leaves in the mouth of those who have a better realization of the true costs of war.

Without a doubt there is a fine line and worthy argument as to which missions meet the conditions setting apart an honorable sacrifice and the waste of human life.

A quick point about the difference in committing troops of the United States and those from other nations. It is not that the loss of an Indian or a Nigerian is less than an American, but rather that the global significance that U.S. involvement in any situation brings makes the prestige value of that loss much more magnified. The United States makes a much more important target to those who would wish us ill because of the added notoriety that defeating America makes the risks of attempting to do so more attractive. Therefore, we should be much more reluctant to commit to any mission not directly related to a narrowly defined national interest. Doing good for the sake of doing good is not enough even though the natural instinct of advocating action when suffering is apparent is strong. If you are not willing to go over and do the job yourself, this altruism should be curbed because some other real person is going to have to suffer to make you feel good about the fact that you are doing something.

BTW: Chup I would still enjoy the opportunity to share a few pints together even if you are a big soft lefty.

BDH

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

- Ben Franklin

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I've read that about four times now and I still think what the **** is that?!

Maybe it will make more sense tomorrow morning but I doubt it, that's like saying two negatives equal a positive or saying, "Many thanks to all the murderers out there who make our lives a misery."

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My point was made exactly by Mr. Meeks. Your comment degrading the governments of other countries was unnecessary, unrelated, and totally inappropriate. You'll notice that the rest of this conversation has been without comments of that sort. Many people on this board are residents of those "High and Mighty" Socialist countries, and I'm sure they were not at all impressed by your wonderful candor. Enough with you, there are educated people here to discuss with.

Meeks, I again agree with you (I'm agreeing with a lot here, aren't I?). The fact of the matter is that no person will be perfect, and considering that governments are made up of people, they will always contain corruption, mistakes, and simple stupidity. My government makes foreign policy blunders all the time. I suppose I am an idealist at heart, and would prefer to see our government back up everyone or no one. The John Wayne mentality really. You stick up for your little brothers, and considering the size and might of our armed forces, we have a lot of little brothers. Some of them we take care of for the wrong reasons, and some of them we neglect for the right reasons. Ideally, a multinational force should be the ones who deal with international incidents...the world policing itself. We have done more of that lately with UN peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, Ireland, Somalia and the likes, but I feel that should happen more. I feel the UN should end up with more power, more communication and centralization leading to more conformity, less rebelious national leadership, and a better world in general.

Here's the problem: It will never happen. There is too much at stake; too much to control, too much power to wield, and too much money to be made. And as such, we will continue on as we are. Empires more powerful and culturally sucessful than the good old U.S. of A. have risen and fallen, and it will happen again. It is our nature to destroy what we have created, to destroy ourselves, which is why we are all in a forum dedicated to a past war which saw millions of people die. So you have idealism versus realism. Reality will win. And someday maybe people will be in a forum arguing over the area of destruction of a 50 kiloton warhead, while playing cm: beyond total global annhilation. But I digress, quite far in fact. I have pbems to send out.

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"Nuts!"

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Preface: This isn't an American bashing statement, but, rather one that should have us ALL (since most of us are from western/1st World societies) open our eyes and take another look at our priorities in life and our positions (real and imagined) in the world.

My main beef with the 'great' democracies of the west (more than just the US!) is the fact that we have all lost our way.

It used to be all about "LIFE, Liberty and Property".

Now all that it is, is "the Liberty to gain Property at the expense of Life".

We judge our interests solely at dollar value. If an event will cause us to lose money we will act instantly. If an event will cause us to lose our morality, we will debate about the loss of money for acting and eventually do nothing.

The true argument isn't the loss of American soldiers in a foreign war, it is the loss of American money (soldier's lives are never on a politician's mind, just re-election). Again, it is not just America, but, the entirety of the western/industrialized world. The US/West doesn't hesitate to send its troops to die if it will save/gain some money, but, it does procrastinate if it will save some lives. Presidents and Prime Ministers are elected to SERVE THE PEOPLE, not to SERVE THE CORPORATIONS. We better serve ourselves having a clear conscience and strong morality than a fat wallet.

I can honestly say that ignoring horrific occurances around the world for the sole reason that they do not directly effect me is an absolutely horrible argument. Have our societies become (or have they honestly been) that pathetically selfish?

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>It means, Bates, that your simplistic, overarching, jingoistic statement does nothing for a serious conversation about a serious topic.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I will carry on contributing in any way I like as long as I keep to the forum rules, so please ignore me and stop taunting other contributors.

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barrold I could not agree more; very eloquently put, a truly great post. Major Tom, I would have advised that you had read barrold's post before posting yours, as it seems he pre-emptively countered your entire argument before you even started.

Also, Major Tom, I don't mean to try to pick on you, but if you don't mind me asking, what exactly have you done for other needy countries that fully demonstrates your total comprehension of moral code? Have you passed out condoms in Africa, or only purchased goods from Taiwan? Just curious...

(Sorry about that condom thing in Africa in advance, maybe it was a little insensitive...)

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