"Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction." ~Aleksandr SolzhenitsynBe happy that the US is spending itself into oblivion on military hardware. The American military is a colossus in presence, spending and technology and they lack one vital feature, they cannot fight a sustained conflict anywhere. The spending numbers are deceptive because like all the traditional US budget legerdemain, there are plenty of ways to hide military spending such as the black budgets in the intelligence community, the Department of Energy nuclear programs and the ever burgeoning budget for veterans both retired and medically enfeebled who are starting to take a greater toll on government expenditures. This would include the aging military retiree population in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the care necessary for all the maimed and crippled soldiers returning from the failed attempt to install an American Caliphate on the Middle Eastern peoples. When it is all added up, it appears to exceed one trillion dollars which is merely 25 percent of the total budget for the US. As William Lind and other keen observers of the military industrial complex have observed, the US simply cannot prosecute an effective long term military conflict anywhere on Earth despite the vast resources and hundreds of military bases peppering the globe. There are a number of explanations for this. First, the US military is ill-suited to fight the cost effective and localist nature of most conflicts. There are currently hundreds of small-scale insurgencies and dozens of large-scale insurgencies and revolutionary movements around the globe. It is a large and cumbersome Second Generation warfare model although the USMC is showing signs of evolving into a genuine Third Generation warfare military engine. Excepting some special operations forces, the US is hopelessly mired in a stalled and ultimately futile effort to master Fourth Generation Warfare. There are some who claim that if we simply unleashed the forces to maximize their homicidal urges on both combatants and civilians alike, winning in Iraq and Afghanistan could be achieved. I would suggest that historically more restrictions on targets and surgical means to achieve military goals in these irregular warfare conflicts always give the greatest yield if victory is desired but then again victory has a different flavor in these conflicts as opposed to the WWII model that still permeates the thinking in the Pentagon and the modern US military machine.