The Pence Prophecy: VP Predicts Perpetual War At West Point Graduation

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Major Danny Sjursen via AntiWar.com,
ZeroHedge.com
Tue, 05/28/2019

Time was that a stint, or even a career, in the military did not necessarily translate into any serious combat duty. That may seem hard to believe eighteen years after 9/11, but this middle-aged middling major is just old enough to remember such a bygone era. As a cadet at West Point (2001-05), having joined the army just months before the September 11 attacks, most of my professors and tactical officers had never been to war. The colonels had joined in the early 1980s and, at worst, saw limited combat in the petite (and absurd) conflicts in Panama and/or Grenada. The captains and majors commissioned in the early 1990s. As such, most just missed Persian Gulf War 1.0, a few deployed to Somalia or the Balkans, and most hadn’t seen the elephant at all.

Back then, soldiers trained for war but didn’t necessarily expect to fight in one. The Cold War, post-Vietnam army was built as much to contain America’s enemies, and to deter war, as it was to actually engage in combat. Those days seem charmingly quaint from the viewpoint of 2019. Indeed, when I entered the U.S. Military Academy on July 2, 2001, my expectation was to travel the world and maybe do some light peacekeeping in Bosnia or Kosovo, not to fight extended wars. How naive that seems now.

Instead I spent a career training for and deploying to wars across the Greater Middle East. Hell, that’s been the story of my entire generation of soldiers. When I graduated in 2005, this still seemed unique and profound. More than a decade later it’s simply the mundane way of things. So it was, this past week, that Vice President Mike Pence addressed the graduating class at West Point, and reminded them to prepare for ever more war.

The content of this bellicose, and banal, speech should have been remarkable; should have raised Americans’ collective “spidey-sense.” Instead, hardly anyone noticed that Pence, like a Punxsutawney groundhog, was veritably predicting many more years of winter (read: warfare). Still, the vice president’s oratory was disturbing on a number of levels.

First off, he bragged about President Trump’s absurd military budget and explained that the cadets should be honored to join “an Army that’s better equipped, better trained, and better supplied than any United States Army in the history of this country.” Evidence for such an assertion was glaringly absent, and none in the audience had the opportunity to ask why this unsurpassed army hasn’t won a single war in this century. Also absent was any discussion of the tradeoffs inherent in ballooning defense spending, the opportunity costs of such largesse, or an explanation as to why the US spends more on its military than the next seven nations combined. And why should he have brought any of this up? Defense spending is politically popular; it’s the one type of public outlay that draws essentially no criticism.

The Rest…HERE

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