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  • The USA is the world's sole superpower and has  rarely lost a battle since the Second World War.  

  • Despite this, America has lost nearly  every war it has entered into since then.  

  • Its time for America to stop  losing, and this is how.

  • Threat: 'Other'

  • The west likes nothing more than to fight good  old fashioned stand-up wars, and it's really  

  • quite good at it when it does. However, going  as far back as the American revolutionary war,  

  • the west has lost nearly every conflict against  irregular forces that it has ever faced. America  

  • is no different, which is rather ironic given  that its own birth- the revolutionary war- was an  

  • irregular war fought against a global superpower  that it wound up winning. Two centuries later,  

  • it would be the global superpower and it would be  the one losing to the exact same type of warfare.

  • Irregular warfare is defined as war  with no clear enemy, battle lines,  

  • and sometimes even objectives. In a conventional  war the enemy wears the uniform of their nation,  

  • fights for material strategic objectives, and  war is waged along clearly defined battle fronts.  

  • An irregular war however eschews all  of this, is waged in the shadows,  

  • and largely for poorly defined, intellectual  objectives. America really sucks at this.

  • It's not necessarily the US's fault, for decades  its primary concern has been fighting off endless  

  • hordes of Soviet tanks pouring across the  Fulda gap in Germany. When it got dragged  

  • into irregular conflicts such as Vietnam, SomaliaIraq, and Afghanistan, it brought the exact same  

  • army and doctrine tooled to crush Soviet forces  in Germany to bear against insurgent forces.  

  • The unstoppable military Juggernaut was  inevitably left reeling and blindly lashing out,  

  • all while its enemies ran circles around it. Fighting an insurgency is not a military  

  • action - it's a police action, and the use of the  US military to fight insurgencies is like bringing  

  • a hammer to perform surgery. The right tool  needs to be applied to the right job. However,  

  • the US has no correct tool in its arsenal for  this kind of job - but one friendly nation does

  • The French Foreign Legion has a reputation known  all across the world, and has fought in conflicts  

  • in nearly every continent. The Legion fights  far from France's shores, and recruits from a  

  • pool of candidates that come from all over the  world. Service guarantees citizenship, and is  

  • an honorable path into integration into French  society for many who might otherwise choose to  

  • try and enter France through other, illegal means. America needs its own Foreign Legion, and it needs  

  • it twenty years ago. Not only is the US military  the wrong tool for a policing anti-insurgency  

  • role, but deployment of the US military for  extended periods of time is very expensive,  

  • saps morale, and is incredibly unpopular  with voters. It also lessens readiness for  

  • the military's main job: serving as  a deterrent against China or Russia

  • An American Foreign Legion, made up largely  of non-American recruits, suffers from none  

  • of these disadvantages. It could be deployed for  very long terms without national morale issues  

  • or voter fatigue back home, and establishing  a semi-permanent forward presence dramatically  

  • reduces operational costs. The AFL would allow  US forces to be present in regional hotspots for  

  • years, decades even if necessary, remaining  forward-deployed for nearly its entire lifespan.  

  • This would also grant the American Legionnairesfamiliarity with the people and culture that would  

  • be priceless in combating an insurgent force. Today, the Afghanistan Taliban has won victory  

  • against US forces by simply exhausting themThe AFL would permanently negate this strategy,  

  • because the AFL would remain in-country until  the job was accomplished. While colonialism was  

  • a terrible legacy, there is a reason why colonial  strategies were very effective in combating  

  • insurgencies- the permanent occupation favored the  side with the most resources: the colonialists

  • The AFL would not be a tool of colonialismwhich would require strong public policy to  

  • ensure- and it would operate only at  the invitation of local governments.  

  • But it would allow US forces to remain in the area  and negate America's foes best strategy of simply  

  • exhausting US will to keep troops overseas. The next way for America to begin winning  

  • irregular wars is to ditch antiquated ways  of thinking. When America blundered into  

  • Afghanistan, it did so with a strategy of national  unification under a strong democratic government.  

  • This lofty ideal was doomed to failure at  the outset. In order to win in the future,  

  • clearer, more realistic goals  need to be set and achieved

  • Let's look at Afghanistan again. The US originally  invaded the nation in order to shut down  

  • Al-Qaeda's ability to operate and the Taliban's  support for them. If the goal was to prevent  

  • Al-Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a staging  ground for attacks against the west, then military  

  • action should have been limited to this onesingular goal. Sweeping the Taliban out of the  

  • country and installing a nation-wide democratic  system was certainly noble, but completely foolish  

  • and only added to the misery of the Afghan people  who've been in conflict for twenty years now

  • Rather, the US should have pursued a singular  objective: prevent Al Qaeda from using Afghanistan  

  • as a staging ground. This means no peacekeeping  patrols, no removal of the Taliban from  

  • government, and no winning hearts and minds. You  strike at AQ targets when they show themselves,  

  • crush any Taliban forces that have an issue  with that, and rinse and repeat until the  

  • Taliban government has been punished enough  to accept they can no longer support AQ

  • It may not have been a pretty way of doing  things, but it would have been far more  

  • effective and saved many more lives in the end. Next, the US needs to focus more spending on  

  • special operations forces in order to  fight asymmetrical foes. Special forces  

  • are designed and trained to fight the same shadowy  conflicts that insurgent or terrorist forces wage,  

  • while rank and file forces are cumbersomeclumsy, expensive, and typically cause massive  

  • collateral damage. A single Ford-class aircraft  carrier costs more than the US SOCOM budget,  

  • and odds are that one of these carriers will never  once be used for its primary purpose: fighting  

  • China or Russia. Meanwhile US special forces are  daily fighting conflicts its normal forces can't. 

  • Threat: Russia The US military absolutely  

  • dwarfs Russia. In war, Russia would be forced to  resort to nuclear weapons if it wanted to avoid  

  • a complete and total military defeat at the hands  of the US. Despite this, Russia has been running  

  • circles around the United States for decades. Russia's greatest weapon against the United  

  • States is its ability to influence and  manipulate the American population. Despite  

  • overwhelming evidence that Russia had interfered  directly in the 2016 US presidential election,  

  • nearly half of Americans refused to believe itwith that refusal ironically powered by the same  

  • Russian operations that influenced the election  in the first place. Russia has weaponized trolls,  

  • memes, disinformation, instagram and FacebookThey have succeeded in dividing America along  

  • political lines, and shielded their actions  by playing on false American patriotism,  

  • painting political opponents as unpatriotic  and outright enemies of the state

  • Meanwhile, their asymmetrical forces operate  in Ukraine, where it has seized 7.2% of the  

  • country without ever formally declaring war. It  has also reversed nearly all progress made by  

  • American-backed militants in the Syrian civil  war, winning for itself strategic ports along  

  • the Syrian cost which it can use to threaten the  Mediterranean. In October 2019, the US began to  

  • withdraw nearly all of its troops from Syrialeaving Russia alone to dictate policy in the  

  • region and influence it to its own interests. All along, American internal division has kept  

  • the US too preoccupied to care. The superior US military is of no consequence  

  • in this new style of war, and in order to counter  Russia in the future the US will need to respond  

  • with the same 'gray area' tactics, strategiesand forces that Russia operates so deftly against  

  • the slow, lumbering American juggernaut. The  US needs a strong investment into electronic  

  • warfare- but not more radar jammers or spooferselectronic warfare in the realm of digital social  

  • life. Only by preempting Russian digital influence  with its own, can the US mitigate its impact,  

  • and shape global narratives to its own ends. Russia is already a fading power. Its population  

  • has been in a downward trend since the end  of the Cold War, and its economy has long  

  • been in shambles, leaving many Russian citizens  dissatisfied and disillusioned. Many of those  

  • skilled and educated Russian citizens are joining  a growing exodus of talent and intellect leaving  

  • the nation for greener pastures in the westIf the US wants to win against Russia, it needs  

  • to begin preparing to fight not a physical  war that'll almost certainly never happen,  

  • but the cyber war for hearts and minds  that has already been raging for a decade

  • Threat: China In 2020 the US Navy  

  • finally admitted what many had suspected forlong time: in the case of war, it would no longer  

  • be able to operate freely in the South China  Sea. China had officially won the opening salvo  

  • of a Sino-American war before it even started. For years China has been using a militarized  

  • coast guard service to bully and intimidate  other Southeast Asian nation's ships.  

  • Meanwhile, its actual military has been busy  constructing artificial islands in order to  

  • enforce territorial claims to those same watersdespite an international ruling at The Hague  

  • declaring this illegal. While the world debated  the legality of Chinese artificial islands, it was  

  • busy basing fighters, bombers, missile batteriesand long-range radar installations on them,  

  • turning the islands into unsinkable fortresses. And now in the case of war against the US,  

  • there's little the US could do about it without  pulling troops away from responsibilities  

  • in other theaters of the war. So what did America do while China's  

  • coast guard drove away other nation's fishing  fleets and commercial gas and oil prospectors,  

  • so that it could get to those same resources  itself? Nothing. What was the US response when  

  • China began to illegally militarize islands  in other nation's exclusive economic zones?  

  • It sailed ships past those islands to show  China it didn't 'recognize its authority'. 

  • Meanwhile China added even more anti-ship  missiles to further strengthen that  

  • authority that America wasn't recognizing. There is little that the US needs to improve  

  • in its arsenal to militarily defeat China todayEven with the state of the South China Sea being  

  • what it is, the US retains the long-term military  advantage. Such a war would be dramatically more  

  • difficult today thanks to US inaction than it  would have been even ten years ago, but it is  

  • still a very winnable conflict for America. Yet the US is rapidly losing the influence war  

  • in the South Pacific, and if it continues to do  so it will inevitably be shut out of the region  

  • as it becomes clear to South Pacific nations  that the real regional power is not America,  

  • but China. With Chinese military forces now deep  into the South China Sea, nations such as Vietnam,  

  • the Philippines, and Taiwan are having to wake up  to the reality that it's China, and not the US,  

  • who controls the waters around them. Losing  faith in the US will inevitably force them  

  • into China's sphere of influence, which would  only grow with each new nation to ditch its  

  • historical cooperation with America in favor of  not suffering the wrath of the Chinese military

  • China doesn't even need to be able to win a war  against the US to undermine American allies and  

  • partner's faith in her. It simply needs to make  the conflict so costly that it's no longer worth  

  • it to oppose the Chinese Communist Party. Even if  Manila knows the US will inevitably defeat China  

  • in a multi-year war, it'll mean little if it has  to suffer the economic devastation and possible  

  • Chinese occupation during such a war. Better then  to simply turn to the CCP and forge a new path

  • To win against China, the US must strengthen  ties in the region with historical partners  

  • such as South Korea, Japan, AustraliaMalaysia, and the Philippines. It must  

  • also be willing to engage in new partnershipsno matter how difficult, such as with Vietnam,  

  • whom itself is diametrically opposed to  growing Chinese influence in the region

  • Of special importance however is the growth of US  influence in the region of the Straits of Malacca.  

  • China may be growing a military capable  of challenging the US Pacific Fleet,  

  • but it has one glaring achilles heel- most  of its trade, specially of strategic goods,  

  • comes from overseas, and a large amount of that  trade passes through the Straits of Malacca.  

  • US presence in the straits, and partnerships  with nations such as Singapore, Indonesia,  

  • Vietnam, and Malaysia would effectively choke this  vital trade artery for China in the case of war,  

  • slowly bringing the nation into submission. But the US should be specifically seeking the  

  • help of a sister democracy in the region. Since its independence, India has grown to  

  • become a formidable military power, and today  is the largest democracy in the world. As a  

  • free and open democracy it is alreadythreat to the Chinese Communist Party,  

  • who fear their 1.3 billion strong population  making any real push for democracy themselves,  

  • but India and China have had many recent disputes  for a variety of strategic and political reasons.  

  • This simmering hostility between the two nations  has even led to open conflict along border  

  • regions, the most recent taking place early  in 2021 and resulting in many Indian deaths

  • The US and India already share a common threatand with strong democratic ties that bind the  

  • two nations together, an alliance between the two  would reshape the balance of power in not just the  

  • South Pacific, but all of Asia. HistoricallyIndia has been reluctant to get too close to  

  • america due to the US support of Pakistan. TodayPakistan has proven it's no friend to the US,  

  • as it has been often caught red-handed protectingtraining, and equipping the same insurgent  

  • and terrorist forces that were killing Americans  across the border in Afghanistan. It's also almost  

  • certainly a foregone conclusion that Pakistan was  fully aware of Osama Bin Laden's hiding place,  

  • given that the city he was hiding in  was Pakistan's version of West Point-  

  • an area with high concentration of senior  military and intelligence officials

  • But in a more practical sense, the US should begin  to aggressively counter the actions of the Chinese  

  • coast guard directly. Being thousands of miles  away from US shores however, it's not practical  

  • for the American coast guard to be involved in  countering Chinese bullying of local fleets,  

  • so instead the US should dedicate resources to the  building and training of an indigenous fleet of  

  • small craft, similar to the Chinese coast guard. For a fraction the cost of a supercarrier,  

  • the US Navy could outfit an indigenous force  capable of confronting the Chinese coast guard,  

  • which so often precedes actual Chinese military  vessels and military activity. For years, China  

  • has used these 'gray area' forces to not outright  declare war or carry out kinetic hostilities,  

  • but still achieve the same effect. Its coast  guard forces have allowed Chinese economic  

  • exploitation of zones either in open ocean or  directly inside the economic exclusion zone of  

  • other nations such as Vietnam or the Philippines. Rather than engage in largely symbolic freedom of  

  • navigation exercises, the US could make it very  clear that it doesn't recognize Chinese influence  

  • by instead using its naval vessels to directly  support this force of indigenous ships  

  • meant to harass and drive away  China's own coast guard forces,  

  • using the same non-kinetic tactics of rammingintimidating, and blasting with water cannons.  

  • Then, much like Chinese ships do today, US missile  cruisers and destroyers could simply lurk in the  

  • background, discouraging Chinese vessels- now  on the defensive- from acting out of line

  • This of course is not in keeping  with established maritime laws,  

  • but for two decades the US has stoically stuck  to maritime law while it and its allies and  

  • partners have lost ground to the Chinese  navy one artificial island at a time. If  

  • the US is to win against China, it has to not be  afraid to operate in the same manner as China

  • Now go watch These 7 Things Could Start World  War 3, or click this other video instead!

The USA is the world's sole superpower and has  rarely lost a battle since the Second World War.  

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What USA Must Do to Stop Losing Wars

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    Summer posted on 2021/10/09
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