The Sept. 12 speech by Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, before the Association of the U.S. Army, is now posted in full on the website of the Joint Chiefs, and according to informed Washington sources, it represents a top-down consensus by the Joint Chiefs against unnecessary wars, and was approved by Jt. Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey. In no uncertain terms, the Winnefeld speech was part of the military offensive against Obama’s military threat against Syria that would have triggered a growing confrontation leading to a thermonuclear war threat, as Lyndon LaRouche has warned.
The full speech is even more of a dramatic repudiation of the recent decades policy of long counterinsurgency wars than was previously reported. Implicit is a clear rejection of the notion of humanitarian interventionism and “Right To Protect” that has been promoted by top Obama aides, including Susan Rice and Samantha Power.
Not only did Winnefeld say “We should take to heart three principles that [Maj. Gen.] Fox Conner imparted to Eisenhower and Marshall when they were both young officers: never fight unless you have to, never fight alone, and never fight for long,” but he also quoted Sun Tzu, the Chinese author of The Art of War from the 6th century B.C., who “said when the army engages in extended campaigns, the resources of the state will fall short.”
In addition to the quotes previously reported, Winnefeld reported that JCS Chairman Dempsey had changed the approach to the production of the annual chairman’s risk assessment, to actually define national interests.
“Similarly, knowing how we prioritize, what we intend to protect in this world, can guide our investment decisions,” Winnefeld said. “All of the things being equal, the more a way or a means contributes to protecting greater interests, more and higher interests, the more likely we should be to invest in it. And the opposite is true as well….
“Chairman Dempsey introduced this concept into the chairman’s risk assessment this year. We changed that document from a tour d’horizon of all of the various regions in the world to a tour of our—what we believe are our national security interests. And it worked pretty well for us.” [Emphasis added]
Other exemplary quotes from the Admiral’s speech:
“For example, the greater the number and importance of our interests that are affected in a given situation—you pick it—the more likely we are to use force, to do so unilaterally, to take great risk in doing so, such as boots on the ground, to expend great resources doing it, to push against international law and to accept opportunity costs elsewhere in the world. And the opposite is also true. I’d also submit that we’re seeing this model play out very well in Syria today. We’ve seen it play out in Libya and elsewhere in the world.
“Our nation will always need the ability to take and hold ground. While others help, only ground forces can do that. But future battlefields and the way we employ our nation’s Army to do that are very likely to change.
“I’d submit that we’re more likely to see a Desert Storm type of operation, ejecting a nation that has invaded an ally or a friend of the United States than we are to see another decade-long counterinsurgency campaign. I simply don’t know whether the security interests of our nation are threatened enough to cause us to need a future major extended COIN campaign, though we very well might provide support to a nation fighting its own COIN campaign.”
In the question-and-answer period, Admiral Winnefield tackled some tough skeptical questions. Asked about how to avoid getting stuck in the long-war trap and the “same traps” that Rumsfeld and [Gen. Eric] Shinseki fell into regarding Iraq, he replied:
“First I’d say that one of the points that we tried to make when we put together the defense strategic guidance … was that we were going to try to avoid institutional hubris….
“But I still would make the point that we don’t … see a situation in the real world where we will have a long counterinsurgency campaign. We believe that the types of conflicts that we will be in would be shorter than 10 or 12 years, but potentially we could experience four years wars as in the past…. We also have a very clear sense that the American people are just exhausted by long wars.
“And I do believe our political leadership has it in mind that they will do what they can to avoid a long war now. And when circumstances get beyond their control, where it just runs out of control and you find yourself stuck in some kind of a long war, possibly. But we’ve got to make some very difficult decisions in a very tough financial environment.”