10 September 2013

Who Started What Now

In our marches toward (modern) war I like to remind people that the President in nearly all of them has been a Democrat.

WW1: Wilson (D) - Win
WW2: Roosevelt (D) - Win
Korea: Truman (D) - Ongoing
Vietnam: Kennedy/Johnson (D) (It's really LBJ's war) - Loss
Kuwaiti Liberation: Bush (41 R) - Win
War on Tarra: Bush (43 R) - Ongoing

I'm not counting small operations like Wilson and the Pancho Villa Expedition, Reagan and Grenada, Bush and Somalia or Clinton and Haiti.

Looks like the dems have a better winning streak going too.

In the wars prior to the 20th century though...

1812: Madison (Democratic-Republican) - Draw (Maybe win since the British didn't gain anything)
Mexican-American: Polk (D) - Win
War of Northern Aggression Civil War: Lincoln (R) - Own Goal
Spanish American War - McKinley (R) - Win

I also note that WW2 is really the only war we've fought since the Civil War where we went full court press on it.

Another thing to pay attention to is presidential elections.  Wars get boned when the White House changes parties in the middle.

Eisenhower took over from Truman, the Korean war did not really stop.

Nixon took over from LBJ; and this one is a tough one.  Vietnam was effectively won, or at least no worse off than Korea when we withdrew ground troops.  The first invasion after that was beaten back because we gave air and logistics support.  The successful invasion from the north we gave nearly no support because Congress (D controlled) denied funding for support.

Somalia deserves mention in this thought.  It didn't become a clusterfuck until Slick Willie took over.

Obama took over the War on Tarra from Bush and the wheels done come off.

The War on Tarra might not even be properly Bush's war.  There's pretty decent work that shows it's our stupid foreign policy decisions starting with Eisenhower in the Iranian coup in '53 and getting stupider as we go until today.

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