Saturday, November 29, 2008

Conservatism Betrayed: G.W. Bush

I'm wondering where the conservative party went that was called the Republican Party?

I’ve been a lifelong Republican voter. The behavior of the Bush Administration in this latest economic crisis has made me question my allegiance. This calls into question the Country Club wing of the party. I don’t think they can be trusted to govern.

The Republican Party has always been the party of the business interest. And unlike Democrats we understand we do need rich people to create jobs. Amazingly poor people don’t create very many. So the policy is to promote risk and reward, where some people get rich and others not so. And limit the scope of government as the Founding Fathers intended since unlimited government can do unlimited amount of wrong including take our liberties away. That’s the idea anyway. Note all these political ideas come within the context of a Christian ethos, not Confusion or Hindu or Islamic, etc.

The Country Club set has been the moneyed presence behind the party. They have little interest in cultural issues; and give lip service to its crazy religious fanatics like me (kinda like the crazy uncle best avoided). But they need a popular movement like a pro-life message to support their unpopular policies benefitting large multi-national corporations and such. That’s ok, I’ll get mine in the afterlife and more importantly must answer to my behavior here to Almighty God. Of course foolish talk to sophisticated secularists. And the majority of non-church goers don’t vote Republican. They don’t want to be cheated here, since there’s nothing in the after life; better get yours while you can. There’s always talk from the Country Club set that it’s time to ditch the Pro-Life wackos: the most recent example was the candidacy of esteemed Rudolf Guliani, former Mayor of New York, whose get tough stance was wedded with stands on Pro-Abortion and legalizing non-traditional marital relationships. Much touted by the media as the anointed front runner of the Republican Party early in the 2008 campaign, he polled something in the low single digits in the primaries. I guess his Country Club friends didn’t show up to vote for him. And maybe they did but there weren’t that many of them.

Country Clubbers think they can pander to the “Seculars” with a social program here and a concession to “progressive” social policy there. Of course little do they know that a full loaf is better than half and so folks that place Faith in government to mitigate the inequities, i.e. seeing those rich bastards living off the fat getting their justs, will vote for a government that wants to take from the rich and give to the poor like our friends the Democrats. Country Club set simply wants to appear friendly and not so judgmental like those religious fanatics and that won’t be enough. Conservatives want to see life defended and individuals taking responsibility for their decisions.

The Bush administration Supreme Court justice appointments have been commendable. Unfortunately, this leaves the Pro-Life movement only something at a level a kin to a situation prior to a Brown V. Board of Education like ruling, in other words the first baby step towards the Civil Rights movement for the unborn has yet to be taken. So we haven’t even gotten to a Court Ruling yet and Republican Justices have been appointed again and again to virtually no result. There’s some million or two unborn being murdered nonetheless each year. Nothing has been done for the Pro-Life movement despite the generous Judicial appointments. So the prospect of a favorable judicial ruling is the highlight of the administration; that is some day in the future the Supreme Court might recognize that abortion is not an unlimited privilege.

Republicans become a Party without Fiscal Responsibility: once in power they failed to restrain government spending. All the decades of calling the Democrats tax and spend Liberals rings hallow. Republicans became spend like a Liberal party. They have soiled their reputations as the party of fiscal responsibility; this can’t be reclaimed for at least a generation. How can ideals of Conservatism be claimed here?

Tax policy was skewed to the wealthy unlike Reagan who tried to equalize taxes on all income types. Tax policy has virtually removed taxes from un-earned income with rates at zero to 15%. In contrast earned income for the vast majority of the self-employed populace is taxed at 35% to 45%. I bet you’re wondering how that could be. Most folks are in the 15% or 25% Federal income tax bracket then add the 15.3% Self Employment tax and say 5% for state income tax and guess what? You’re paying a giving a very large portion of your income to the government to earn a living.

On the other hand if you’re sitting around with large capital investments say into rental housing spinning off paper losses then you don’t have any deemed income and pay no tax until you sell the investment and once again you’re at tops 15% capital gain rates and maybe zero, same as dividends (taxed at capital gain rates). Ironically, the Self Employment tax helps to support Social Security payments, which are in fact one big income transfer program from one generation to another: the putative Social Security fund to have been built up over generations, depleted long ago by overgenerous entitlements. How can we expect a majority of people to see this as fair?

As been the policy over many Presidents, Republican and Democrat, a policy of a strong dollar was maintained. A strong dollar to finance deficits and provide cheap consumer goods comes at a great cost: the insistence on strong dollar and the vaunted global economy have destroyed our manufacturing base. Eventually, this Great Republic will be behest of the international financial market and currency traders, whose perception of value of the dollar it is. A dramatic decline in the dollar will cause financial disaster; prices would soar, since nothing or little is made here any longer. Ok, I exaggerate. 25% of our economy is from foreign trade. Upon collapse of the dollar, inflation would run rampant as oil and consumer goods would suddenly be priced much higher. I still hear voices that the strong dollar much be maintained with an eye to the oil sheiks, China and Japan, etc. who finance our trade and budget deficits. America is so indebted its already beholden to its lenders. One can’t fault Republicans solely for this one but this policy still values cheap consumer goods over a manufacturing base: needed to give good jobs to citizens of the Republic and not put the Republic at risk to foreign financial powers.

The ultimate outrage was the massive effusion of funds to corporations, best termed as Corporate Welfare, to the tune of over a $trillion dollars in response to faltering financial markets. Suddenly it was deemed necessary to prop up financial corporate America, save them from their own wrong headed moves in contradiction to a risk and reward system. Now it’s a no risk policy and bail you out if you fail system. First Bear Stearns, a stock brokerage firm, gets $30 billion to prop it up. These are engineered by Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, formerly head of Goldman Sachs. Then AIG (insurance) gets rewarded twice once for $ 80 billion then another $50 billion or so for their stupidities with Credit Default Swaps (they would continue to receive billions in 2009); the sale of insurance against bond failure: as it turns out insurance on bad mortgage backed securities that AIG in their genius figured would never default. Ooops! Mortgage backed securities begin to fail and they don’t have the funds to cover the losses.

It seems they’re for capitalism except when it comes to a financial industry which makes bad decisions. These bailouts mentioned above were done independently by the Treasury without oversight. (Note that the $30 billion to bail out Bear Stearns had absolutely no oversight or strings attached; kind of like here’s your $30 billion check, Johnnie, don’t spend it all in one place.) I fail to mention a $100 to 200 billion bail out of the mortgage giants Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Wait we’re not done yet.

Thence came the mother of bailouts that is the proposal to buy up the $700 billion worth of bad mortgage loans that caused the financial meltdown in the first place. This was presented to the public and the Congress with all the hysteria of an impending financial holocaust a la Great Depression 1929. It was implied without this “remedy” the economy would go into irretrievable collapse and the stock market would sustain massive reverses. Well, the package was rushed through Congress with the approval of both Senatorial presidential candidates as well as President George W. Bush. Then the Stock Market proceeded to lose over 20% of its value despite the Bailout.

Amazingly, after the election the Bush Administration announced it made a mistake it really wasn't going to use the bail out of $700 in the means protrayed; an astounding admission of incompetence. The initial alarm with all the panic that Civilization as we know it will cease to exist if we don't get the bail out money then a month later saying we've changed our mind about this we're not going to use like we said we would.

Now, the underlying subtext is no political party wants to be presiding over another crash of ’29; the Republican Party didn’t get fully back into power for another 60 years. Nonetheless this was a massive shift in policy; a massive intervention into the financial markets far beyond what could have thought to have been envisioned by a conservative party. A Republican opposition would have railed against these measures as socialistic or even worse. But it continues, Paulson decides to give some $25 billions in cash to bolster banks some of whom really didn’t want it, at least as it was reported. (In 2009 these cash payments are done repeatedly to Citi Bank and Bank of America to prop them up… We lose track how much of the taxpayers money gets handed over.)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are governmental sponsored entities (corporations), funded by the Federal government and administered by private management. Their mission was to promote homeownership with below market mortgage loans. Congress with its Community Re-investment Act would force Banks to lend to clients with subpar credit to plow money back into communities. These Government Sponsored Entities (GSE) would buy securities backed by this mortgages, allowing banks to off load these suspect mortgages. When their massive accounting irregularities came to light in 2005 Congress could find no defalcations or even see a need for more scrutiny. Most culpable were House Democrats, many of whom were recipients of extensive campaign contributions, namely Barney Frank and Barbara Waxman, who wondered why this organization’s procedures were called to question at all. Note long time Congressman Barney Frank’s lover was a high level executive with Fanny Mae. Barney was also a campaign finance recipient. Three years later this financial mess came to roost. These are the securities AIG insured and brokerage firms purchased to leverage other investments.

Just as offensive were the truly spectacular salaries that some of the corporate executives that headed these bail out recipients. The newspaper USA Today, Oct 1, 2008, reported bonuses for these departing executives.
• AIG CEO Martin Sullivan received $25.4 million, including $322,000 for private use of corporate aircraft, $153,000 for car and parking, $160,000 for home security and $41,000 for financial planning.
• Former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld got $187 million. (Actually allowed to fail!)
• O'Neal of Merrill Lynch received $66 million, including $357,000 for car services and personal use of aircraft in 2007. (Bought by Bank of America which is now showing signs of failure as well, taxpayers next bailout?)
• Prince of Citigroup made $42 million, including $180,000 for corporate aircraft, ground transportation and security services.
• Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein made $76.2 million, including $233,000 for car and driver services and $61,000 for financial and benefits counseling services. (Not bailed out….yet.)
All deserving chaps, everyone of them, I suppose. The problem being, corporate America gives itself great liberty to “manage” its work force with layoffs in any economic clime (see the forced layoffs in the 1980’s to simply make additional profits and insistence on using foreign employment) and reward management very handsomely indeed as seem above. Corporate Welfare violates this pact with its modern latifundia.
This brings me to foreign policy. Anyone for spending $500 billion to remove a foreign regime, destroy a country then re-build it, namely IRAQ? This is a praiseworthy project. Saddam Hussein was presumed to be a threat to America, with violations of UN resolutions and an all around vicious guy with lots of weapons of mass destruction to pass around to others. Once again in Biblical proportions America destroyed a country on the other side of the global losing a hundred or so soldiers. An incredible historic military feat. Now that the Iraqi house was destroyed, how to build it back up again? Well, being a Democracy the house of Iraq, the Cradle of Civilization some five millennium old, some four millennium before Western Europe could even read, had to be rebuilt to our specs. It’s still being built after some five years. 2008 Presidential Candidate John McCain didn’t mind if it took an hundred. All commendable and I had young men from our block and from our church who dodged bullets and bombs over there and I stand four square behind them. Unlike the 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates both of whom who voted to cutoff funding, much like what was done in Vietnam era, in which the government collapsed under invasion of the North Vietnamese much for lack of funding. This precipitated a reign of communist terror in the region with the loss of several hundred thousands of innocent lives slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and a Communist Regime in South Vietnam so reprehensible with thousands sent to “re-education camps”, many died there, that thousands preferred to flee anyway they could to the endangerment of the lives as the “boat people” testify.
Anyway back to the re-building of Iraq, American Democracy couldn’t just put someone in place aligned with the most powerful segment sympathetic to America in the country, whether Shiite or Sunni and let them knock heads to any resistance: problem solved - no more crazy Saddam with WMD. They had to “Nation build” and create a mini-America there. Years later and hundred of billions of dollars America is still building.
Nonetheless carrying on foreign policy like this is one extremely expensive. It’s difficult for the majority of the public to comprehend and then they vote you out, ala 2006 when both Houses of Congress went Democratic. This was the first vote of no-confidence. The extended campaign in Iraq lost Republicans congress.
America must know its limits and not forget the lessons of the World Wars in the 20th Century upon which large amount of blame can be placed on Great Britain’s policy of hegemony punctuated by continued land grabbing in the Middle East with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War One which was itself precipitated by insistence on Britain’s pre-war hegemony. Germany, a newly formed nation in 1871 with a Constitutional Monarchy, a nation of laws, was exercising its newly attained hegemony in continental Europe and was painted as pernicious warmonger not simply threat to British colonial interests.

A new conservative party may be the only way to go. Question is still open as to who’s going to lead the Republican Party. The conservative wing has no confidence in the current leadership in the former White House or many ci-disant of the Senate. It would be better to lose a few elections until the Pork Barrel Party of Democrats has completely discredited itself. And based on its record in the first month and half with the massive Stimulate Big Government bill of $800 billion jam packed with pork, it may only to the next election that the public will have forgotten the incompetent policies of the party in opposition. Then again the Republican House must be cleaned and if not a new party has to be created.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pickett's Charge: Failure of a Desparate Gamble

There’s little in which to defend Lee’s charge against prepared positions on the Third day of Gettysburg July 1863. It was foolhardy anyway you look at it. The better than three quarter mile march across open ground against those two Federal corps, the First and parts of the Third that held the higher ground. It speaks of Lee’s disrespect for his opponent. Mind you he had time and time again defeated them, as recently as May, 1863 at Chancellorsville.

There was no finer general and man in the Civil War than Bobby Lee. His character was such that men would go anywhere he led. Contrast him with Confederate General Braxton Bragg, who fought in the West, who managed to alienate all around and about him from his senior officers that called for his removal and the front line troops that basically would no longer fight for him as evidenced in the Battle of Chickamauga in November 1863. Here Grant’s troops pinned down in Chattanooga amazingly were able to drive the Confederates off the commanding heights of Missionary Ridge and break the siege of Chattanooga. Bragg was finally removed from command. I’m off point already, lets go back to Lee and Gettysburg.

Between July 1 and 3 Lee cast the dice in hopes of destroying the Federal Army in a Cannae, a decisive annihilation, as the Ancient Romans had suffered under Hannibal in the Carthaginian Wars. The Confederacy couldn’t invest the North. So from the beginning his strategy was a gamble. His army had to live off the land for supplies. There was no thought of a permanent presence in the North and he knew it; nothing like the North was trying to do in the South and had been relatively successful in the West. Lee needed to strike the larger Federal Army in detail; overwhelm a portion of it to gain a decisive victory. The fear was this larger Federal Army could smother the Confederate Army as it did the year before around Richmond with McClellan in 1862.

If you slept through your history lesson (then again they may not even be teaching the Civil War in school any longer) Pickett’s Charge of some 12,700 Confederate troops, under command of General Longstreet including Pettigrew’s, Trimble’s and Pickett’s divisions, was a frontal assault against prepared positions with the Federal infantry having the benefit of high ground on Cemetery Ridge.

In rough figures off the top of my head they would have been crossing some 1000 yards of open ground. The last 400 yards would be under the fire of canister, a tomato juice can size of ball bearings which would be exploded just above the marshaled troops as they march forward by the thousands. Cannon could fire three of these a minute and there were some 80 cannon directed toward the charge. And rifled musket began to be deadly at that range as well. Surprisingly, at what was called later the “Angle”, the Union lines were breached momentarily by the small fraction of what was left of the total number in the charge. The Confederates needed support to hold the breach, which was not forthcoming, and they were driven back. Less than have half made it back; meaning some six or seven thousand casualties, including thousands of prisoners. The charge took something less than an hour.

There have been a couple books with Lee’s Real Plan in the title that surprisingly purport Lee had something up his sleeve that day but it all went array. I don’t have the time to pour over them but one seems to say that Lee was just naturally trying to get the high ground on Cemetery Ridge that the Federals occupied so a charge up the hill made sense. The other seems to place the blame on Jeb Stuart’s failure to push past the Union Cavalry that same afternoon Northeast of the battlefield and disrupt the Federal rear. My apologies to both gentlemen for most likely butchering your theses, however the little I have read doesn’t support either one of those ideas, if my understanding is correct.

Note the purpose of cavalry was for reconnaissance primarily. If the author is correct about having the cavalry become an assault force, I don’t know of any other instance where cavalry was meant to have been used as an assault force against infantry (meaning to say if they were successful at brushing the Federal Cavalry aside); on any given day infantry would wreck attacking cavalry. Union Cavalry General Buford is highly praised for simply delaying for a short while the Confederates approaching Gettysburg from Chambersburg until the Federal Infantry could arrive the morning of the First day of battle. The Confederate cavalry was no where to be seen until late in the Second Day.

The rap against cavalry: “I never saw a dead cavalryman” was mostly true but there’s mitigating circumstances. They were constantly skirmishing with the enemy, many times over the instances in which the infantry would see battle. These cavalry, if they fought pitched battles, would soon be wasted away and cease to be able to perform their scouting and reconnaissance functions.

I’m not sure what the author Lee’s Real Plan had in mind when he mentions firing off of a single cannon in all four directions by Stuart, Confederate General of Cavalry, as a signal to Lee to coordinate attacks, Pickett and Stuart. At this very time the Confederate artillery barrage of Union positions prior to Pickett’s charge was taking place. Nobody over there would have been able to hear it.

If Lee had a plan, it doesn’t appear he told General Longstreet who had very grave reservations about the charge.
He was to have told Lee:

General, I have been a soldier all my life. I have been with soldiers engaged in fights by couples, by squads, companies, regiments, divisions, and armies, and should know, as well as any one, what soldiers can do. It is my opinion that no fifteen thousand men ever arranged for battle can take that position.

Longstreet didn’t even have 15,000; he had some more than 12 thousand. You really have get out on that battlefield and see the expanse across where they would have marched and have to wonder, what was Lee thinking? Longstreet had those same thoughts. I read he even tried to distance himself from responsibility by giving General Alexander, commander of the artillery barrage prior to the charge, the authority to cancel it, if Anderson deemed his barrage ineffective. Anderson, a junior officer, did all he could to place responsibility back onto Longstreet.

As far as the futility of frontal assaults there is an example a half year before. Fredericksburg was fought in December of 1862 with Federal General Burnside using frontal tactics against Lee’s fortified positions much to Union forces futility; they were shooting ducks.

Later in the war in June 1864 at Cold Harbor 1o miles outside of Richmond, Federal troops would attempt to advance on fortified positions; Grant would hear of some 6,000 killed and wounded in a matter of less than an hour and the advance was halted. Orders to renew the assault were ignored. The battle around Richmond and Petersburg would last some 10 months.

A much lesser know frontal assault was made later in the year in December at Franklin, TN by Confederate General Hood where some 19,000 assaulted Union troops over a period of 5 hours; it was a disaster with some 6,000 Confederate casualties and 6 Confederate Generals killed or mortally wounded. The Federal General Schofield withdrew in the night but Confederate troops were decimated. Federal General Sherman was meanwhile marching through Georgia to the inspiration of many of a Civil War novel. General Hood’s army wouldn’t last much longer after that battle. Lee wasn’t the only one who tried these sanguinary charges. And the military genius of the day figured they were worth bloodshed. See the success of a frontal assault up a mountain a the Battle of Chattanooga as the exception that proves the rule.

Lee left much to the discretion of his subordinates, which worked when he had indomitable General Stonewall Jackson, who was killed in May at the victory at Chancellorsville. At Gettysburg Lee remained at his headquarters issuing nary an order the 3rd Day of battle. The hands off style let him down miserably.

On the First day Hill’s corps fought the 1st and 11th Corps at McPherson Ridge, then with the assistance of Ewell’s corps pushed the Union army off McPherson and Missionary Ridges through the town of Gettysburg to the heights and hills southeast of town. Ewell was ordered by Lee to take Cemetery Hill (not to be confused with the long Cemetery Ridge that ran south of it) if practicable, having driven as we said the Federals off Missionary Ridge through Gettysburg. He chose not to attempt to take even it though Brigadier General John B. Gordon felt it was missed opportunity, whose opinion being on the spot holds great authority.

After chasing the Federal troops through Gettysburg, the Confederates were disorganized. They were no longer ordered for battle; they were chasing down Federal prisoners and such. Ewell would have had to quickly re-organize them to continue to attack on the heights which may have not been practical. Only for a short while, a window of an hour or so, were those heights lightly defended. By 5:30 PM there were some 27,000 Federal troops there.

One author suggested that the real failure was Lee’s decision not to send in Anderson’s Division of Hill’s Corps on the right to Ewell’s assistance. A follow up was needed to take the heights; very likely the Confederates didn’t have it in them after a days fighting but without it the re-enforced Federal Army had a commanding position for days 2 and 3 of the battle.

Lee also had suggested to Ewell that he might swing from the left his, current position, to strengthen the Confederate right. A swing of that nature might have made a charge like Pickett’s more formidable. Lee was dissuaded from it for military reasons, one of which was a proposal to invest unoccupied Culp’s Hill. Culp’s Hill would command Cemetery Hill. Once again the window of opportunity was small, a couple hours and before Ewell moved that hill was occupied as well. This is the difference between great generals and the others, knowing when to act decisively. With Lee leaving Ewell where he was on the left, without result as it turned out, this allowed Meade, the Commanding General of the Federal forces, the interior lines in the next two days, meaning to say Federal troop movements left and right would be quicker to supply re-enforcements than the Army of Northern Virginia.

Prior to thee charge Confederates fired the most massive artillery barrage of some 150 to 170 guns of the war. This was to have softened up the Federal positions, but most of the ordinance went over the heads of the lines. In fact General Mead’s headquarters behind the lines were hit; one of his aides was wounded and 16 of their horses were cut down. It was decided to move back from the lines for safety. All in all, the barrage was ineffective.

In addition due to low ammunition artillery couldn’t move up with Pickett’s charge to support it. This is a glaring oversight of the commanding generals, since they were far from supply bases and had been fighting for two days. The question of how much ordinance should have come up. When Pickett asked if it was time to start out Longstreet was too choked up with emotion and simply nodded.

Failure of the campaign began by sending the Confederate Cavalry off, as it ended up, to harass the Union Army not provide reconnaissance and intel. The Confederate Cavalry was lost for 10 days, the eyes and ears of the Army. If Lee was going to be able to hit the Union Army in detail he would have had information as to its whereabouts. The hesitance of Lee on the First day of battle was lack of information and as a result troops weren’t marshaled ahead of time, the Union Army locations being unknown before hand. The Union Army somewhat outnumbered on the First day was able to quickly gather itself with four corps the 12th, 3rd , 2nd and 5th Corps coming up by the end of the First Day. Longstreet’s Corp would arrive on day 2. Note Confederate Corp were much bigger than Union; there were three (3) corps in the Army of Northern Virginia versus seven (7) for the Army of the Potomac about the same size. So on the First day, Confederates had about two thirds (2/3) of its Army and Union two sevenths (2/7).

After the battle the Army of Northern Virginia would no longer be an offensive weapon. The gamble, that this campaign was, might have been the only way to crush the Union Army and break the will of the Northern people, giving the Northern Peace party some credence. Yet with the invasion into the North the Confederate Army was conceived as a threat and with its defeat the North could claim a great victory. The Peace party, the Dixiecrats, was silenced at least for a while.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bomber War over Europe WWII

The massive bombing campaign of WWII over Europe wrecked great destruction over Germany. In Germany numerous cities were flattened. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were killed. Massive amounts of resources were expended to pursue strategic bombing, resources only Britain and America could spare.

In contrast Germany used their aircraft in large part as a Tactical bombing with immediate military results. The Stuka 87 was used extensive against enemy military positions to destroy tanks and such. Strategic bombing needed years to show results although the proponents of it thought otherwise.

The British who began the strategic bombing campaign first by November 1941 in the Butt report determined that the bombers couldn’t find nor hit their targets. Only 30% of the bombings were as close of 5 miles of the target. And they found daylight bombing too costly. With fewer resources than America they went to night bombing.

Area attacks on cities began to be the object; the goal of the bombings became terror against the civilian population. As was found out this only hardens the civilian determination as it did in both in England and Germany. Before the war the idea of strategic bombing was to destroy the countries means to carry on war and shorten wars. In the light of the bloody stalemate of WWI this was seen as a way to relieve war of the butchery with its millions of casualties.

Armadas of airplanes were required to propagate the campaign. Groups up to 1000 airplanes were sent up to reign bombs over German cities. Flying tight formation almost wing tip to tip to concentrate fire power and not allow a small group or single plane to be picked off.

Americans came into the bombing campaign with a thought that it could do daylight pinpoint bombing over strategic industries. B-17 was to have been literally the Flying Fortress able to defend itself against fighter attacks. Problems arose. European skies were overcast much of the time. And thus the Norden bombsites that were to have guided the bombers to their final destination were ineffective. In the bomber campaign of the Battle of Berlin, Royal Air Force here, of the winter of 1943-44 the cloud cover so obscured the target that these bomber groups of 500 or more bombers missed it completely, a city of some millions.

Unescorted daylight bombing was perilous the British had quickly found out. With the Flying Fortress the Amercian airforce thought they could fly into Germany to attack industrial sites with pin point bombing. On August 17th, 1943 USAF fly in force over the Schweinfurt ball bearing plant some 38 were shot down out of 200 hundred. On September 6 they went to Stuttgart and 48 out of 338 were shot down. They came back on October 15 and some 60 bombers were shut down. These type of losses simply couldn't be maintained. But unlike Britain's stated military policy America's was always directed to industrial type targets; in practice due to the inaccuracy of bombing in the war they participated with Britain in their "area" bombing as well.

Despite the fact a vast majority of the bombers got through, even with a kill rate of 5% or so, your highly trained air crew and hugely expensive machinery would be run through in no time. 30% of bomber crew wouldn’t survive 25 bombing trips if the kill rate was 5% which oft times it was higher. Americans lost some 25,000 airmen during the war, that is one tenth the number of Americans killed in WWII.

Bomber groups got bigger thus more defensible and the P-51 and P-47 fighters began to escort the bombers on their entire trip. The P-51's and 47's were superior aircraft to what the Germans could put up and they began to hunt the hunters so to speak as well. During 1944 the German fighters were wiped from the skies at least during day.

Hilter effectively ruined the effectiveness of German fighter defense against these bomber attacks by refusing to put the necessary resources into it. In fact the Me-262 jet plane, meant to have been a fighter plane, was forced to be used as a bomber. This plane could have in use by spring of 1944 but Hitler was always thinking offense: V2 rockets and such. He thought fighters as defensive agents were a waste. Only in late 1944 were the Me-262 began to used as a fighter in much fewer numbers than could have accomplished earlier. The result Germany was eventually overrun. More importantly the arsenal of democracy, United States, was able to massively produce thousands of fighters and bombers to overwhelm Germany.

Hitler’s Germany couldn’t afford to pursue a strategic bombing policy. In its attempt the London blitz in 1940 was carried on over the Fall by fighter bombers that were meant to be able to fly away from their pursuit. Great Britain’s Spitfires fighters fought off the bombers, although thousands of civilians were killed during the bombing, but with increasing destruction of the bombers, the campaign was halted. The biggest failure of the Lutfwaffe was the fact that the Royal Air Force was not driven from the air and thus gain freedom of the skies that would permit invasion by land forces across the Channel.

After all the expenditure of resources its telling that in 1944 Germany produced more armaments after three years of strategic bombing than ever. Much thanks to Albert Speer, whose contribution was held so highly he spent the next 20 years in prison. And of course especially revealing was Britain’s concession to the inaccuracy of strategic bombing by a change to area bombing, which in effect was terror bombing.

Since WWII no nation has targeted cities as was done in WWII. In America’s wars against Iraq great efforts were made to avoid collateral damage, as was the bombing in Kosovo despite the unfortunate collateral casualties.