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Thread: Open letter to all Americans

  1. #1
    Regular Member aileron172's Avatar
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    Open letter to all Americans

    Recently I was asked to look at the recent events through the lens of military history. I have joined a cast of thousands who have written a "open letter to Americans"


    Dear friends and fellow americans like everyone else in this great country, I am still reeling from the Sept 11th attacks on the WTC in NYC. But unlike some, I am not reeling from surprise. As a career soldier and a student of military history, I have a diffrent perspective and I think you should hear it. This war will be won or lost by the American citizens, Not dipolats, politicians or soldiers.

    Let me briefly explain.


    I spite of what the media, and even our own goverment is telling us, this act was not committed by a group of mentally deranged fantics. To dismiss them as such would be among the gravest of mistakes. This attack was commited by a ferocious, intelligent and dedicated adversary. Don't take this the wrong way. I don't admire these men and I deplore there tactics, but I respect there capabilities. The many parallels that have been made whith the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour are apropos. Not only beacuse it was brilliant sneak attack against a complacent America, but also because we may well be pulling our new adversaries out of caves 30 years after we think it's all over, like my grandfathers generation had to do with the formidable Japanese in the years following WW II.


    These men hate the United Staes with all there being, and we must not underestimate the power of there moral commitment. Napoleon, perhaps the worlds greatest combination soldier and statesman, stated "the moral is to the physical as three is to one". Patton thought the Frenchman underestimated it's importance and said moral conviction was five times more important in battle than physical strength. Our enemies are willing- better said anxious to give there lives for there cause.

    How committed are we America? And for how long?

    In addition to demonstrating great moral conviction, the recent attack demonstrated a mastery of some basic fundamentals of warefare taught to most military officers and enlisted world wide, namely simplicity, security, and surprise. When I first heard rumors that some of these men may have been trained at our own Air War College it made perfect sense to me. This was not a rondom act of violence, and we can expect the same sort of military compentance to be displayed in the battles to come.


    This war will escalate, with a good portion of ot happening right here in the USA. These men will not go easily into the night. They do not fear us. We must not fear them. In spite of our overwhelming conventional strength as the worlds only true "superpower" (a truly silly term), we are the underdog in this fight. As you listen to the carefuly scripted rhetoric designed to prepare us for the march of war, please realize that America is not equipped or seriously trained for the battle ahead. To be certain, our soldiers are much better than the emeny, and we have some excellent "counter-terrorist" organizations, but they are mostly trained for hostage rescues, airfield seizures, or the occasional "body snatch" (which may come in handy). We will be fighting a war of annihilation, because if thier early efforts are any indication, our enemy is ready and willing to die to the last man. Eradicating the enemy will be costly and time comsuming. They have already deployed there forces in as many as 20 countries, and are likely living the lives of every day citizens. Simply put, our soldiers will be tasked with a search and destroy mission on multiple foreign landscapes, and the public must be patient and supportive untill the strategy and tactics can be worked out.


    For the most part, our military is still in the process of redefining itself and presided over by men and women who grew up with-and were promoted because they excelled in Cold War doctrine, strategy and tactics. This will not be linear warefare, there will be no clear centers of gravity to strike with high technology weapons. Our vast technological edge will certainly be helpful, but will not be as decisive as in the past. Perhaps the perfect metaphor for the comming battle was introduced by the terrorists themselves aboard the hijacked aircraft-- this will be a knife fight and it will be won or lost by the ingenuity and the will of the citizens and soldiers, not by the software or smat bombs. We must also be patient with our military leaders.


    Unlike Americans who are eager to put this messy time behind us, our adversaries have time on there side, and they will use it. They plan to fight a battle of attrition, hoping to drag the battle out untill the American public looses it's will to fight. This might be difficult to believe in this euphoric time of flag waving and patriotism, but is generally acknowledged that we as Americans lack the stomache for a long fight. We need only look as far back as Vietnam, when North Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap defeated the United States with out ever winning a major tactical battle. American soldiers marched to war cheered on by flag waving Americans in 1965 were reviled and spat upon less than three years later when they returned. Although we hope Usama Bin Laden is no Giap, he is certain to understand and employ the concept. We can expect not only large doses of pain like the recent attacks, but! less audacious "sand in the gears" tactics ranging from livestock infestations at water supplies and power distribution facilities.


    These attacks are designed to hit us in our comfort zone forcing the average American to pay more and payless and eventually eroding our resolve. But it can only work if we let it. It is clear to me that the will of the American citizenry- you and I- is the center of gravity the enemy has targeted. It will be the fulcrum upon which victory or defeat will turn. He the enemy believes us to be soft, cowards, in a statement by the Taliban we lack the courage to attack. He may be right, but if so we must change. The Prussian general Clausewitz says that there is a "remarkable trinity of war" that is comprised of 1) the will of the people 2)the political leadership of the goverment 3) the chance and probability that plays out on the field of battle, in that order. Notice number 1 will of the people. Every American citizen was in the crosshairs of Sept 11th attack. Our very way of life was attacked. The will of the American people will decide the outcome of this war. If we are to win, it will be because we have what it takes to persevere through a few more hits, learn from our mistakes impovise and adapt. If we can do that, we will eventually prevail.


    Everyone I've talked to in the past few weeks had shared a common fustration, saying in one form or another "I just wish I could do something!" You are and you have by giving blood by the sacrifice of the rescue workers. Just keep the faith in America continue to support our president and our military, and the outcome is assured. We willl, we have to put an end to this enemy, he will not rest untill we are beaten and defeated. I end this letter with this: We, as Americans are undergoing a test we can not fail. If we want our liberties and freedoms we must not faulter. The horrific events of Sept 11 will be fore ever etched in our minds and it will take a long time to heal. We must stand strong and unite and we will prevail. God Bless America


    Written By Dr. Tony Kern, Lt Col. USAF (ret)
    Last edited by aileron172; 10-01-01 at 03:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    Best In Show Noevo's Avatar
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    yup, good letter. Just please don't tell me your trying to pass that off as your own.

  3. #3
    Sprinkler Dude IranianHobo's Avatar
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    Its possible Neovo.....
    ---the Iranian Fury

  4. #4
    Best In Show Noevo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by IranianHobo
    Its possible Neovo.....
    http://forums.speedguide.net/showthr...ght=superpower

    http://forums.speedguide.net/showthr...ght=superpower


    not really IH

    unless this is Dr. Tony Kern, Lt Col, USAF (Ret) Former Director of Military History, USAF Academy himself posting.

    And im not saying he is saying it's his. You just need to be careful and make sure you give credit where credit is due.
    Last edited by Noevo; 10-01-01 at 03:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Sprinkler Dude IranianHobo's Avatar
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    Ah I see...well then in that case considering he says hes in the Navy reverves I guess it's not possible. Cool letter all the same.
    ---the Iranian Fury

  6. #6
    Regular Member aileron172's Avatar
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    oops did I sign it as if I did let me check nope don't think so. Written by a former professor at the Air War College

    Dr Tony Kern, Lt Col. USAF (ret)
    The only easy day was yesterday

    Its Mind over Matter- If I don't mind-It Don't Matter

    Click to test you connection speed

    Click here to drop me a line

    Where I go to School

  7. #7
    Best In Show Noevo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aileron172
    oops did I sign it as if I did let me check nope don't think so. Written by a former professor at the Air War College

    Dr Tony Kern, Lt Col. USAF (ret)

    Cool. But when you post it like you did without a name or anything it is hard to tell sometimes. Like I said, not trying to give you a hard time about it, just making sure the author gets his credit for this great letter.

  8. #8
    Regular Member aileron172's Avatar
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    took the time to type it. Thought you might like it did not realize it was going to turn in to a flame fest
    The only easy day was yesterday

    Its Mind over Matter- If I don't mind-It Don't Matter

    Click to test you connection speed

    Click here to drop me a line

    Where I go to School

  9. #9
    Best In Show Noevo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aileron172
    took the time to type it. Thought you might like it did not realize it was going to turn in to a flame fest

    relax, not flaming you

    pull up a chair, enjoy the forums. Might I suggest staying out of religious threads. They get a little ugly


    welcome aileron172

  10. #10
    Regular Member aileron172's Avatar
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    Very true, I am relaxed . I recieved the letter via email from some of my buddies. I realy did not intend it to come across that way I simply forgot to put the name at the end before I hit submit.
    The only easy day was yesterday

    Its Mind over Matter- If I don't mind-It Don't Matter

    Click to test you connection speed

    Click here to drop me a line

    Where I go to School

  11. #11
    Sprinkler Dude IranianHobo's Avatar
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    Relgious threads dont get ugly if you just add a smiley to every post. However you cant use the two red ones ( ). Also helps if you act like me and just give very much about what people say bout religon, but guess thats just me since im not very relgious.
    ---the Iranian Fury

  12. #12
    Flip Chip Qwijib0's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Noevo

    pull up a chair, enjoy the forums. Might I suggest staying out of religious threads. They get a little ugly
    The #1 Survival tip at SG.....
    If your browser can't read unicode, you should probably switch!

  13. #13
    Official Photographer Dakota's Avatar
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    I posted this same letter a week or so ago...
    We Remember...
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    40 miles SW of Mt. St. Helens

  14. #14
    Regular Member aileron172's Avatar
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    It's a great letter worth reading again im my opinion/
    The only easy day was yesterday

    Its Mind over Matter- If I don't mind-It Don't Matter

    Click to test you connection speed

    Click here to drop me a line

    Where I go to School

  15. #15
    Official Photographer Dakota's Avatar
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    Yeah...like every day!
    We Remember...
    9|11
    40 miles SW of Mt. St. Helens

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