The title aptly portrays the theme of this column. Stay out of civil wars, fight wars to win.
Modern day warfare involved. Starting with the Russian Civil War 1917-1922.
The following will surprise you. A little known fact. The United States invaded Russia in 1918. Remained through 1920. The United States was part of an Allied Expeditionary Force. At least a dozen other nations involved. Including Britain, France, Japan and Canada.
The United States sent 13,000 U.S.Army troops. Five thousand to North Russia and eight thousand to Siberia. All at one time. Not piecemeal as is done today.
A primary purpose of the Expeditionary Forces was to squelch Communism. The White Russians initially controlled the new government following the overthrow of the Tsar. They were forcefully kicked out In 1917. The Red Russians led by Lenin and Trotsky took over.
Fighting continued through the early 1920s. Civil wars take time. In the end, the Reds were firmly ingrained.
History reports President Wilson was a sneak. The United States Expeditionary Force was put together in secret. Wilson was clandestine about it. The American people were not interested in sending troops to Russia.
The people of the United States and their leaders were opposed to Bolshevism. Another term for Communism. They feared an influx of immigrants would include Communists. They were also anti-Semitic, feared Jews in large numbers would enter the United States. Even racism came into play. It was feared militaristic American blacks might be motivated to overthrow whites once influenced by Communists.
The name of the game was to keep Communism out of the United States.
The United States withdrew from Russia in 1920. Not much had been accomplished, except a lot of dead. Millions were killed in the Civil War itself. American troops included.
Mass killings / genocide were rampant. Both sides engaging. Each side killing the other in one time numbers of 1,000 and more. Sometimes in excess of 100,000 over a period of time. Jews included. For some reason, Russians on both sides disliked Jews. One hundred thousand were killed in the Ukraine alone.
Typhus took three million.
The United States and the Expeditionary Force were fighting the Reds. The Reds won. Never forgot the nations who fought against them on their way to independence.
The United States had backed the loser.
The Japanese remained to 1922. Japan’s concern was to grab huge amounts of land so as to create a buffer between Japan and Russia. Japan had no success.
Russia initially sided with Germany in World War II. When Hitler sent his Panzer divisions into Russia, Russia joined the Allied side.
The Russians never trusted the Allies. Nor did the Allies trust Russia. It was a game of outfoxing whenever Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill met.
Historians claim the Cold War began almost instantly following the end of World War II. I disagree. I believe it began in the 1917-20 time frame when the United States and Britain sent large numbers of troops to defeat the Reds. The same Reds who became partners with the Allies during most of World War II.
The United States intervened in Russia’s Civil War and Russia never forgot. Except for a few years following 1989-90 when the Soviet government fell, some degree of Cold War has always existed.
Putin is now in power and has been for many years. Russians love him. Russians are having a hard time economically. The people do not care. He is their man. He is returning Russia to its days of former glory.
The two World Wars were wars to end all wars. It never occurred. The United States has been involved in a number of wars since.
The United States either stalemates or has lost subsequent wars or defeats a non entity opponent.
North Korea cannot wait to drop a nuclear device on the United States. Vietnam was unquestionably a humiliating defeat. Lebanon in the early 1980s is difficult to categorize. After 241 Marines were killed in a bombing, Reagan pulled all U.S. forces out saying these people are crazy. Meaning the Lebanese, of course.
The United States has had one victory. No question about it. The first Iraqi War.
Other victories include places too small to consider victories. The United States merely stomped the aggressor under its boot. Places like Grenada, Panama and Haiti.
Now comes the Middle East. Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. No war with Iran yet.
Can any of the United States’ efforts since 2001 in the Middle East be considered victories? No way.
In the Middle East, the United States has been involved in civil wars. Beware, my admonition continues throughout this article. In none o fthem has it appeared the United States fought to win. World War II was won because there was the commitment to win. A nonexistent virtue in recent times.
The United States fought to win the first Iraqi War. No other war since World War II and since the Iraqi War.
Wars cannot be won sending 50 or 100 men to fight at a time. Wars must be fought to be won. Right away. Full force and equipment. Not years later.
Victory seems an illusion, except for World War II and the first Iraqi War.
There is a study that suggests ninety percent of all wars the United States has been involved in since World War II have been civil wars.
I suspect another reason wars have not been won is that the United States is the greatest power in the world. For shame were the United States to inflict its power on a small country.
One step further. The small country involved in a civil war fights as if the war is the most important thing in its life. It is! People with such dedication are hard to beat.
I started this article intending to discuss the United States’ invasion / intervention in the Russian Civil War. Nothing else. No moral to the story. Merely an occurrence in history.
I got carried away. Glad I did, however. Things like stay out of civil wars and fight wars to win are rarely heard these days.
Wake up America!