Troops have now been fighting longer in Iraq than we fought in WWII. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15898612/) And this comes as news that the insurgency is financially self-sustaining
Is it now safe to stop saying that the United States has the most awesome military machine of all time? I mean, we can't even pacify this puny little state that we've been beating up on forever. Here's an interesting factoid: Iraq is smaller than Afghanistan, both population and people. Even righties admit we attacked because we thought it would be the easiest bad guy to put down. But we can't. Our military has become like our health care system: the most expensive in the world, but not all that effective for all that.
I've been reading a history of the Pentagon which is very interesting. For example, did you realize that the reason the Pentagon is shaped like it is was for landscaping reasons? The original plan was for a rectangle, but a corner had to be cut off to make room for roads. The architect thought it looked funny, so he evened it out on the other sides. The building was later moved (originally it was going to be built on Robert E. Lee's family farm), but we were in too big a hurry to redesign the thing (WWII and all). It has almost no steel because it was all going into war material (that's why there are lot of ramps and few elevators). It was originally built to have segregated bathrooms, but when Roosevelt realized that on his first tour of the building, he outlawed them. Therefore the Pentagon was the first building in Virginia to have desegregated bathrooms.
But here is my point: the air war in WWII was incredibly ineffective. At most our air campaign nullified theirs. Our bombing did little to impact production, and arguably increased production by destroying city centers and forcing even more of the workforce into factories. In fact, air power has never worked liked it always seemed it should. We bombed the hell out of Vietnam (hundreds of pounds of explosives for every man, woman, and child) to no effect except terrorism. The same has been true everywhere we've tried it. For all of our reliance on air power and "precision" munitions, are we really that powerful?