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It is the pentagon (the Department of Defense) that is lobbying in Washington. Therefore, the news that the U.S. forces failed in China practicing many times in a simulated is exaggerated. The many simulations indicating the naked defeat in the war all claim that an increase of the budget is necessary.
But there are a lot of points that there should be concern about even if additional information was taken into consideration. Even if the U.S. forces win when war breaks out on the stage of the Pacific, there may be more American casualties than the 2,352 people lost in Afghanistan in the past 20 years.
If the U.S. will fight against China, even a fraction of the expected damage becomes a trial bigger than the war in Afghanistan, but it is different and more should be considered.
Neither international terrorist organization al Qaeda nor the anti-government armed group Taliban was the world’s largest country which challenged the U.S. The administrative organizational structure of each organization did not attract a third group which modeled itself in the same way.
The U.S. will leave for a historically magnificent enemy from the enemy who is tough, but can be contained by shifting a world strategic focus from the “the Middle East” to China.
It is not wrong still to be pleased with this change. Regarding the U.S. forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, there is a formal criticism that the Republican Party directs at the U.S. President Biden.
The U.S. enters the period when it fights enemies and needs greater military power and from the period of terrorism which the U.S. could not gain an advantage.
The U.S. is very strong by the power politics that affect large countries, but the correspondence of revolts and internal disturbances on a local level are poor, and there are many failures.When the U.S. just had been born as a republic, it escaped from the menace of the British Empire and kept Europe away from the Civil War. Afterwards, it defeated Imperialistic Japan and Nazi Germany and led the two countries to the democratic nation of pacifism. Also, it set the Cold War with minute and enormous plans and patience in the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, in Southeast Asia and the Middle East and an area called “the Horn of Africa”, the U.S. continued failing in non-regular wars with enemies other than sovereign states.
A part of the reason is difficult revolts and internal disturbances. In addition, the U.S. specific history as the superpower is another factor.
The U.S. has not had an official colony except for in Cuba or the Philippines. Therefore, besides the U.S. politics and the elite of military authorities, even the elites in journalism tend to consider a dispute to get up between nations. Here causes the opinion to attribute a great blunder in the occupation in Iraq to the interference by Iran.
Therefore, it was necessary during the war on terrorism that an enemy was not a nation that was dependent on the U.S. Competing against China which is called a superpower is something the U.S. is more accustomed to.
The U.S. government being full of motivations about a confrontation with China said that it calmly recognized that China is a strong rival. It is a signature of the relief that the governing classes rediscovered the duty of the U.S.
The switches from anti-terrorism to against China extend to the armaments without remaining in a design. The Pentagon made a plan to fight in a regional conflict twice the size of the Afghanistan at the same time for a generation. However, this plan was changed in 2018, and the policy that the U.S. could fight in one war against a powerful enemy that it focused
The new military affairs position should go well from the time of the war against terrorism. The U.S. revolutionized the most powerful armed forces in history for an anti-terrorism war. Therefore it poured vast budget and human resources.
It is not appropriate to conclude that the policies of the U.S. forces by the war against terrorism were wrong. Without reform of this time, the result of the Afghanistan war is that it might have become even worse than now.
Still the most recent reality that the U.S. forces stayed in Afghanistan for 20 years is Taliban adding to power. Biden objected to the U.S. forces reinforcement of Former President Obama in despair in Afghanistan war in 2009.
In Afghanistan, the aim of the U.S. was vague and the enemies uncertain, so the U.S. forces were forced to take control of the country. Actually, it was easier for the U.S. to make friends than to defeat its enemies. The confrontation with a large country is an understandable feeling for the U.S.
If the U.S. only confronts China with the armaments, it becomes only good news for the U.S. forces upper echelon. The reason why a confrontation with China is more desirable for the U.S. than a war against terrorism is that the country which lacks unity may come together.
In the U.S., confrontation with other countries was a chance to unite nationally. The U.S. united from the war interphase that political party conflict did not die out because it participated in World War II. The former Soviet Union, where a purge continued was the opportunity to unite as a country when World War II was finished.
And the nonpartisan mind that remained in Washington collapsed when the Soviet Union collapsed. The last time the Upper House unanimously approved a candidate to the Supreme Court was in 1988, just before the Cold War. The war against terrorism was not able to settle country like the Cold War.
It is not a death toll the same as the Pearl Harbor attack that is outstanding for the Afghanistan war of the U.S. It is not the war period when it became the longest in U.S. history. The Korean War has not legally terminated and the U.S. still establishes the stationing corps of tens of thousands of people and protects the Korean Peninsula.
The biggest characteristic of the Afghanistan war that lasted 20 years is that unity in the U.S. collapsed after the U.S. synchronized terrorist attacks. Though brutal violence by terrorism was often taking place, it was not able to bring a sense of unity that we had in the past.
If it is a conventional superpower with a population 4 times as large itself, it may realize the unity. The U.S. often found the identity of its own country through “others”. Such a country cannot be found in Afghanistan.
From Nikkei shinbun article, translated by Ms. Shimada and correctwd by Mr. Corson
(Nikkei Editor: Hiroyuki Kotake.)
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