Biden, Ukraine, and Technowar
Joe Biden is following the dictates of the production model of war, which calls for increasing the “production capacity” of Ukraine and which was employed by the US in the Vietnam War. The problem is that in Vietnam, this model of war “simultaneously destroyed both [US] troops and the Vietnamese people, but it could not produce victory.” [The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam, p. 125]
The emphasis is properly on the words “could not.” The only way to produce victory via the production model of war would be the total annihilation of the enemy. That this is so may be illustrated by the North’s conduct of the Civil War, and in WW II by Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. In Ukraine, the production model of war is destroying Ukrainian and Russian troops and the Ukrainian people but it cannot produce victory, just as it couldn’t in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The slaughter, the savagery will continue despite Biden’s decisions to increase the productive capacity of Ukraine and despite Putin’s decision of the same kind regarding Russian forces. The war will end when it dawns on those with power that victory cannot be achieved militarily, as happened to the Russians and the United States in Afghanistan. With regard to Vietnam, the Vietnamese won because they understood that the war was a continuation of politics, not a prelude or an alternative to politics. Because the Vietnamese knew that the war could only be won politically, not militarily, they knew they could lose battles – some in the US say they lost them all – and still win the war. The US elites never understood this. Perhaps they will come to understand it in Ukraine but, given Biden’s decisions, it doesn’t seem likely.