“Think about this on VE Day” says Harlan Ullman

Seventy-four years ago this week, guns fell silent as the war in Europe finally came to an end. May 8 marks VE-Day, for Victory in Europe, when Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies in 1945. Next month marks the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings that marked the beginning of the end of Hitler.

A critical question is what should we have learned from World War II, the last and most important time the United States and its allies prevailed in a global and very bloody conflict.PauseUnmuteLoaded: 0%Progress: 0%Remaining Time-3:43Fullscreen

First, allies count. In Europe, after France fell in 1940, Britain stood alone until June 22, 1941, when Hitler invaded Russia. Without the Red Army exacting huge casualties on the Wehrmacht and the RAF and RN keeping Hitler confined to the continent, German could have become the global language. In the Pacific, as the Japanese expanded their Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere westward throughout the Pacific, without Australia, India and New Zealand as part of the British empire and a few friendly bases in the Solomon Island chain, winning that war would have been far more difficult.

Second, going to war against enemies with flawed strategic assumptions and aims helps. Having driven the allies out of the lowlands and France, Hitler believed he could win a two-front war and defeat the Soviet Union. The Japanese high command misread America’s character and misjudged its reaction after losing much of its battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Japanese leadership assumed America would sue for peace and accept a truce that would enable Tokyo to keep its territorial gains. That did not happen.RELATED Icy Moscow visit underscores need for dialogue

Third, mobilizing and creating a massive and responsive defense industrial base that would churn out tens of thousands of aircraft, warships, tanks and other sinews of war and raise a military force 12 million strong, along with nuclear weapons, was decisive.

Fourth, a cogent and well-conceived strategy matters. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt were able to agree on and implement a strategy based on demanding an unconditional surrender by the enemy, with focus first on the European theater, and then engaged the Soviet Union and other allies in this endeavor.

Finally, public support was vital. Despite the isolationist years following World War I and great reluctance in becoming involved in the war in Europe that began in September 1939, American public support was instantly and dramatically reversed following the “dastardly” attack on Pearl Harbor.RELATED U.S., Russia must work to thaw relations

Obviously, many other factors in winning a world war were involved. However, the five conclusions noted above are sufficient metrics to use in evaluating the relevance of the current American strategy of conducting a global competition with peers and the requirement to deter — and if war comes, defeat — a number of potential adversaries.

Today, the United States has many allies, particularly NATO. But NATO’s coherence is being challenged by divisive domestic politics in several member states; uncertainty over the commitment of the Trump administration to the alliance; Russian meddling through “active measures”; and China’s “belt and road” and use of economic tools to exert influence and gain access to markets for goods, services and raw materials.

Second, it is by no means clear that China or Russia suffer from the same flawed strategic thinking that doomed Nazi Germany and Japan.RELATED Russia cuts off contact with NATO over worsening relations

Third, while the U.S. defense industrial base produces marvelous weaponry, the time from conception to operation is measured in decades. Repair and replacement of these systems from battle damage in the event of war will also take time measured in many months or years.

Fourth, no definition or concept of how to deter and defeat any of these potential adversaries mandated in the Pentagon strategy has been put forward in a cogent manner beyond basic aspirations and intentions.

Last, it is unclear how much public support exists for American military interventions after almost two decades of engagements in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq, Libya, Syria and in the global war on terror.

What this preliminary comparison suggests is that the United States must conduct a thorough analysis of the assumptions underwriting its national security and defense thinking. Of course, this is 2019 and not 1939 or 1941 or 1945. Of course, technologies and international politics change. Of course, thermonuclear weapons continue to threaten such destruction to suggest global war remains “unthinkable.”

The end of World War II in Europe should remind of us what it takes to win a war as perhaps the best means of preventing a future conflict that could be massively destructive and conceivably existential. Or will we remain historically tone deaf as we have in the past?

Harlan Ullman is UPI’s Arnaud de Borchgrave Distinguished Columnist. His latest book is “Anatomy of Failure: Why America Has Lost Every War It Starts.” Follow him @harlankullman.

As Big Al agreed with Harlan’s essay last week, he certainly agrees with this one. How about you?

  1. On May 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm,
    cfs says:

    I don’t believe WWII should be taken as a model for any future war; the world has changed too dramatically.
    Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) has been quite successful at diminishing all out conflict, and, I believe modern society is too easily sabotaged for any future war, short of total eradication of nations to be successful.
    If any country believes they are powerful enough to enter into major conflict without irreparable damage, they should re-evaluate their capability.

  2. On May 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm,
    cfs says:

    I know it is the standard belief that, but for Americans, the world would now be speaking German. However, while Britain could not have survived without the huge American sales of armaments to the UK, I not at all sure that Hitler would have won.
    He was a lousy tactician. Secondly, while the allies had substantial losses due to U-boats, Germany never had full command of the seas; the specialty of the British for many generations. Out gunned and out-number the british had controlled much of the North Atlantic and Britain from the Spanish Armada (1588) through the Napoleonic Wars (early 1800’s) and through WWI, so even if Hilter conquer mainland Europe, he would have had difficulty in taking the British Isles. Britain, although slow to learn colonial tactics, would have been good at hit and run sabotage, and attempts to rule with an iron fist only work against people who would accept to be “pacified”. What might work in France probably would have met with more resistance in the U.K. The British are a less easily pacified lot. The Roman Catholics in Ireland fought from 1536 to this day for independence from England. The Scots only accepted British rule when a King of Scotland (James VI) was put on the English throne. (James I of England) And we have not seen how really bloody-minded the English could be, not having had a a successful invasion in 1000 years. (other than the Channel Islands, who were British, but self-governing.)
    Perhaps, if WWII had gone on longer, superior German technology would have won out, who knows, but to assume a Hitler victory without US troops, I believe, is debatable.
    My best guess is that Hitler would have been killed or assinated before a longer war ended….and then what?

  3. On May 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm,
    cfs says:

    The mueller dossier was simply the result OF DNC PROJECTION, trying a protective defense by accusing Trump of WHAT DNC and HILLARY Wwere ACTUALLY DOING.
    Here comes retribution….

  4. On May 7, 2019 at 2:17 pm,
    cfs says:

    First few minutes of this are worth listening to:


  5. On May 7, 2019 at 3:02 pm,
    irishtony says:

    Is the Iraq, Shock & Awe…Coming to IRAN.?
    Pompeo is in Iraq right now , cancelled meeting with Merkle.
    B-52 bomers been sent to the middle east.
    Abraham..( jewish name ) Lincoln carrier strike group been sent to the middle east.
    Bolton..( the FECKING WAR MONGER ) gets info that Iran is about to attact American assets….but where ?
    Information comes from Isreali mossad…(LIARS )…..
    You must realise , people..that IRAN is preventing Isreal from controlling the whole of the middle east .
    So they will get their LACKYS in the US to take out IRAN.
    May GOD protect the people of IRAN….People just like you & i , From the ZIONEST MADNESS.

    • On May 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm,
      irishtony says:

      BTW…..OY, Mr Ullman would you care to comment on what i just wrote ?

      • On May 7, 2019 at 4:24 pm,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        Mr. U….will never comment……he might get an ear full……
        The MIC micky mouse congress, should get out of town before the next election, …..I do not think it will be safe harbor for many…..JMO

      • On May 7, 2019 at 5:12 pm,
        cfs says:

        Harlan Ullman is probably much too polite to call you an idiot, Irish, but I will.

        Have you any idea of the number of Jews in Israel versus the number of Arabs in the Middle East?
        Have you any idea of the size of the Middle East.
        There is no way Israel could control the Middle East.
        No more than England could take over Europe at ANY TIME IN THEIR HISTORY.

        • On May 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm,
          OOTB Jerry says:

          Hold on there Professor…….be more polite to Tony……..
          I think he has made some great comments……….JMO

          • On May 7, 2019 at 5:48 pm,
            cfs says:

            I agree, Irish has made lots of good comments. The one above just was not one of them.

          • On May 7, 2019 at 6:02 pm,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            No need in calling him an idiot……..
            How about this one…..There are a number of FAKE JEWS in Israel…….and in the very end there will only be 144,000 REAL JEWS., according to scripture….
            and according to scripture it makes no difference the amount of enemies the REAL JEWS have,….because the enemy will fall in great number…in the end, according to scripture.

          • On May 7, 2019 at 6:03 pm,
            cfs says:

            Irish, just to give you an idea of the size of Israel.

            It is smaller than wales.
            And Wales is more defensible.

            Or put another way Israel is less than 1/4 the size of Ireland.

          • On May 7, 2019 at 7:33 pm,
            cfs says:

            As you know, I am neither a Christian nor a Jew.
            Quoting scripture has little meaning to me.
            Out of respect for Big Al, I have deliberately chosen not to criticize the false nature of scripture, not because I could not easily show the ignorance of others.
            Much is known today that was not known prior to 50 years or so ago.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 4:06 am,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            Unfortunate for you……..sorry to hear that……

          • On May 8, 2019 at 7:01 am,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            The only ignorance that will be shown, will be those who are in darkness.
            Romans 1:22-32 King James Version (KJV)
            22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

          • On May 8, 2019 at 7:11 am,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            1 Cortinthians 1…….(word to the wise)
            19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

            …20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 8:43 am,
            GH says:

            Yes, for CFS to resort to insults while at the same time immediately putting his own blind spot and one-sided thinking on display is more than a bit rich.

  6. On May 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm,
    irishtony says:

    Hi Jerry….Its always bugged me that AL gives people air & printed time , but not very many reply to the comment section…Mr temple & the Doc do , even Cory is a bit shy when it comes to comments , & he is the one who seemes to be running the site.
    I think Al & Cory should ask their guests to interact with the people on this site who make the effort to comment on what they have to say…..Will this happen ? I dont know.

    • On May 7, 2019 at 5:21 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Hello Irish……..I agree 100%……..sometime , I think it is just a waste of time contributing But, I do enjoy hearing from you…..always glad to share any and all thoughts….Thanks for being there…….

      • On May 8, 2019 at 8:47 am,
        GH says:

        Full agreement with you there, Jerry.

        My own statement from another thread, basically saying the same thing:

        “Despair is for losers…though understandable in the face of massive denial of the evidence that has come to light in the last few years.

        We see it here with KER’s commander in chief. I regularly see Big Al refuse to believe what the evidence implies, yet also refuse to provide countervailing evidence or logic.

        I don’t see that getting us anywhere worthwhile.

        KER has a handful of really good commenters who get it. But they’ve (we’ve) been saying the same thing for years, as have the others.

        I think Korelin will talk in circles ’til the storm troopers are at the door.

        Matthew’s the smartest guy here, and he knows better than to engage in the political discussions here. I’m gonna try to learn that one from him as well.

        At the very least I’m going to look for a venue where the host understands that respectful exchange of ideas means that if you deny someone’s evidence and logic you need to provide countervailing evidence and logic, not just a statement of belief.”

        I’ll repeat that for Big Al, because I think he misses a lot of details in the commentaries:

        I’m going to look for a venue where the host understands that *respectful* (also *useful*) exchange of ideas means that if you deny someone’s evidence and logic you need to provide countervailing evidence and logic, not just a statement of belief.

        • On May 8, 2019 at 9:32 am,
          b says:


          Could you let us know if you find it?

          I think one reason Al doesnt engage in so many issues is he supports Israel big time.

          I dont think he really understands the dif between Jews that follow their teaching (not the talmud) and Zionists.

          Ya cant blame him, there are 100 of thousands of christians that believe as they are told to believe.

          But Al did a great job creating this site and being fair he allows alot of opinions posted that he obviously doesnt agree with and there has been some excellent exchanges of opinions.

          So, altho I agree with you, its still a big thx to Al.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 10:06 am,
            GH says:

            I suppose it amounts to faith-based politics.

            The last straw for me was Al’s commentary this weekend.

            “I also don’t have a huge fear of Israel as some folks do. As I have said numerous times in the past, I do think the country does flex its muscle perhaps a bit too strongly at times.”

            Al’s seen the evidence and arguments, and hasn’t refuted them, but they’re like water off a duck’s back anyway. But never any satisfactory evidence and logic. Not respectful, not respectable.

            Al wants to make excuses for Israeli criminality and poisoning of US politics, that’s his choice.

            But I can’t think of any good reason to lend my energy to his undertaking anymore, given he supports things that I cannot in good conscience support.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 10:49 am,
            b says:

            I understand GH.

            I have liked to think there are readers of this forum that may get informed as opposed to trying to educate Al, maybe Im wrong maybe there is no interest other than the very few posters that appear regularly.

            You said that Mat was the smartest person here, you forget Shad and underestimate yourself.
            I dont intend to downplay Mat saying that.
            There have been some pretty darn interesting and intelligent people posting here over the years, they obviously lost interest.

            Just for fun try a christian forum, lol, talk about banging your head against a wall.
            They are so focused they see absolutely nothing.
            In my experience anyway.

            No offence to the christians here, if ya dont believe me try it yourself.
            Try explaining the dif between a Zionist and a Jew, and who and what they support by supporting Israel, good luck.

            Anyway, thx for all ur contributions I have enjoyed them.

            If you do find somewhere else please let us know.

            I havnt as yet, well, nowhere that isnt swamped with trolls, which is a bonus here, there are very few trolls.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 11:19 am,
            GH says:

            That was loose talk, calling Matthew the smartest, though it might be true. The highlight of KER for me are the commenters. Doc, Temple, Rick, and other regular guests are great too, but it’s the crowd here that is really special.

            I do appreciate what Al has done building KER, and that he provides a free speech forum is worth a lot.

            But my points stand.

            You voiced my thoughts exactly–one hopes someone is benefiting from the commentary, but one doesn’t really have much idea. I’d guess that whoever here is going to get it has long since gotten it, except for whatever influx of new visitors there might be.

    • On May 7, 2019 at 5:55 pm,
      b says:

      Britain stood alone until June 22, 1941.

      I guess if you dont count Canada and the rest of the commonwealth Britain was alone.

      Canada especially,
      the longest battle of the 2nd war was the battle of the Atlantic.

      RAF and RN keeping Hitler confined to the continent, he is wrong here as well.

      Hitler decided not to take Britain, there was no army left after the destruction of the bef.
      One ww 1 artillary pce for every 5 miles? for coastal defense.

      Britain was Germanys if they wanted it and the Germans knew it full well as did the British.

      • On May 7, 2019 at 6:15 pm,
        cfs says:

        Britain was supported by most of its ex-colonies. Australia, New Zealand, (Not India,although they stopped fighting for independence against british troups there, but some Asians fought with the Brits, e.g. Ghurkas, Tailand, South Africans.
        But England was also fighting in Asia after Japan entered the war.

        The 1942 battle for the air over Britain was never won by Germany, that’s why Hitler didn’t try to invade.
        He came damn close to winning, but was losing too many planes.

        • On May 7, 2019 at 6:24 pm,
          cfs says:

          oops, the zero is just under the 2 on my laptop.

          The Air battle of Britain was late summer of 1940, not 1942.

          • On May 7, 2019 at 7:40 pm,
            b says:

            That is the popular thinking CFS.

            Not the battle dates but the reason for Germany not invading.

          • On May 7, 2019 at 10:32 pm,
            cfs says:

            Without control of the sea and the air, it is difficult to move a lot of tanks and men across the English channel. Besides Germany was spreading itself pretty thinly across Europe.
            And the shortest route across has the problem of cliffs on the English side,White cliffs of Dover and all that, which meant using ports, which were heavily protected or taking longer routes.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 9:42 am,
            b says:

            Its an interesting study as to why Germany didnt invade.
            After years of lookin at it I wonder if the reason is one of the 100 year secrets.
            Remember who financially backed the NAZIs, without the Zionists it wouldnt have happened at all.
            Throw in the required 6 million Jews dead and………it makes ya go hmmmm

            The Brits had the air,and ships, but they were undefended, the army was beaten to a pulp and disarmed.
            Germany easily had enuff to cover a landing, they did not require air cover from top to bottom of the island to land.
            Russia was massing huge numbers of troops……

            Its an interesting study.
            If ya like that sorta thing.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 12:08 pm,
            cfs says:

            I use to live part of the year in England (in Norwich, near the UEA0 until my house was burglarized and torched a few years ago. The logical alternative landing area might have been in East Anglia. But have you driven around in Southeast England?
            To this day there are concrete pillboxes all over, still. Now I know the Brits had a comedy shows like Dad’s Army which displayed the homeguard as a bunch of idiots, but it really wasn’t like that; no more gthan Hogan’s Heroes displayed life in POW camps.
            There were mines all over the British coastline, and there are still no-go areas to this day, because it’seasier to fence off areas than actually remove unexploded ordnance.

          • On May 8, 2019 at 12:43 pm,
            b says:

            Germany has a reputation of being incredibly efficient at the time, and the Brits were supposed to be bunglers, i believe it was the opposite.

  7. On May 7, 2019 at 5:59 pm,
    Ebolan says:

    Here’s an article for all the 4D chess players out there…or is it 5D? Sorry, I can’t keep up.


    Looks like the deep state swamp creatures are torturing Assange…but I’m sure some 5D chess players here can explain how it’s all for the best…I’m sure there must be a good reason but I’m not smart enough to play 5D chess…heck, I can’t even play 3D chess…sorry.

    • On May 7, 2019 at 6:08 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Kind of says a lot about……US of A….
      There are no words. Nothing can be said. 2 plus 2 does equal 5. The FBI is our own special Cheka. The CIA Director’s hands are wet and her organization does not serve American values. Rather than choosing to stay secretive for national security, the modern CIA must stay secretive in order to survive, because it has become functionally illegal. Our president, who puts America first, is putting American values last, even as he tweets his concern for freedom of speech.

    • On May 7, 2019 at 10:49 pm,
      cfs says:

      How exactly are the deep state swamp creatures torturing Assange?

      The years he spent in the Enbassy were at his own choosing, because he did not want to face a trial.
      Do you seriously think he would have been convicted in Sweden? I don’t know, but have not heard bad things about Swedish courts.

      Are the courts in Sweden controlled by Deep State?

      I still don’t know how the U.S. has jurisdiction over an Australian citizen, potentially doing criminal activity not on U.S. soil. It can claim jurisdiction, but whether a foreign court will agree is another issue.
      Is making computer suggestions a crime in England?
      Assange doid not hack anything himself.
      I know Trump wants him, Assange, to prove he, trump, had nothing to do with hacking the DNC.
      But courts in the UK don’t rubber stamp Trump’s desires, anymore than U.S. Courts do.

  8. On May 7, 2019 at 6:05 pm,
    b says:

    More earning the title of “Great Satan”.

  9. On May 7, 2019 at 6:08 pm,
    Ebolan says:

    BOYS! You have to see this!

    And to think this ding bat wants to run our lives with her “green new deal.” These are the kinds of idiots we have ruling us!


    • On May 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Where has she been…..I thought she was a Boston grad…….

  10. On May 7, 2019 at 6:18 pm,
    b says:

    I like Tulsi Gabbard now.

    Course the mic wont like her so she doesnt have a chance.

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