The end of Declared Wars or Fight to Win




By Leo G. Alvarez

Korea was the beginning of the US becoming involved in “Actions” rather than wars.

Putting our boots on Korean soil put our military into a war that was never fought to be won, nor was land fought for to hold onto, nor were troops to remove bad governance to install a democratic form of government such as we did in Japan and West Germany after World War II.

In Korea China became the haven for the planes (Chinese pilots) who bombarded our ground troops and fought air wars against our planes.   The 38th Parallel was not to be crossed if the enemy pilot crossed it while being pursued.  Our Pilots were superior to the Chinese pilots and if left to pursue could have easily scored more wins.  Had  our Air Force been permitted to bomb the enemy’s air bases it might have turned the war around and North Korea might not be the threat it is now.

It was the war in which restrictive Rules of Engagement led to more casualties on our side. Such rules were also applicable to and in Viet Nam.  In Viet Nam troops often had to announce that they would be moving into an area thereby removing any element of surprise.  Again, certain military targets were placed off-limits to bombardment from field artillery and bombings from the air.

Things were simpler for Commanders in the Second World War.  The Rules of Engagement were flexible and freed them loose to plan and execute war strategies that resulted in Victory.  Besides, communications were primitive in comparison to today’s instant visual and verbal contact with non-military leaders halfway around the world as well as Commanders in War Rooms.

Rules of Engagement in the Middle East are overly restrictive and force boots on the ground to withhold fire until they actually see weapons or do not permit them to pursue combatants into homes.  Such rules place our personnel at risk.  Rules on the bombing of buildings are restrictive due to a fear of striking other targets.

For centuries wars have been fought within cities because buildings provide cover for the combatants making civilian casualties inevitable.  Wars are all too often fought from building to building.  It is unlikely that this tactic will ever change, but our civilian “leaders” limit our troops’ options and therefore put them at risk of being wounded or killed.

Since Korea we have ordered our troops to fight what are essentially civil wars in other countries with no recompense or gain to America.  Korea is still divided.  Vietnam is totally Communist. Even though our troops have fought and died on their soil, and after centuries of Sectarian wars, the Middle East is still in turmoil.  Russia fought in the Middle East and finally pulled out after years of warfare with nothing but casualties and the shame of defeat to show for it.

In Vietnam the Rules of Engagement tied the hands of our powerful air power because of fear that if we “won” Russia would jump in to save North Vietnam.  So, why were we there, and why did we stay so long?  It was so unpopular with people here in the States that our military members were shamefully spat upon by fellow Americans.   It was a war in which our troops openly used drugs and resorted to “fragging” (used fragmentation grenades) on their Field Commanders nearly 900 times.  Statistics prove that restrictive Rules of Engagement have increased our casualties.

We have voted into power those who don’t have the testicles to declare a War but continue to send our men and women into combat in civil wars declaring in the process that they are defending our Principles and Country.

One can argue that bombs exploding in Syria are not a threat to our freedoms.  In countries ruled by religious leaders under religious laws how can one argue that we are defending our Rights by sending our troops in?

The counter argument is that if we do not fight and “win” in these religious and civil wars on their soil the Radicals will win, become stronger and bolder and rain even more terror on the free world.

If we must shed the blood of our Men and Women on foreign soil then we should be willing to fight such wars to the point of Unconditional Surrender by the enemy.

We did so in World War II and Japan and Germany have strong economies, democratic governments, and are now our Friends and allies.


Leo Alvarez retired from Law Enforcement after 33 years and is the Co-founder, with his wife Jane, of The Children’s Wall of Tears™


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