With General McChrystal's "offensive" now complete the President has spoken. I think a little history lesson is in order. As most Americans know the place was "the Gulf of Tonkin" and "the incident" precipitated the Vietnam war. Obviously Vietnam was a war America wanted from day one. This time we have no "incident." According to those demanding the General's resignation "this is about civilian control of the military." Needless to say no one is claiming General McChrystal committed treason by talking to Rolling Stone. In fact no one can really say if he did anything wrong. Something had to change, though, and now we know: it's everything but "the war."
Now we do have a leader. We all know his name as well. General McChystal called him "Mr. One and Zero," implying he would not want to try and take over Afghanistan for fear of sullying his perfect record. As Muhammed Ali exasperatingly exclaimed to Joe Frazier in their Thriller in Manila, "I thought you were washed up." Welcome to General Petraeus' answer: "you thought wrong."
This is easily one of the most profound moments of this next American Century and the fact that no one will admit it being so makes it even more so. The Iraqi surge was one thing but the possibilities of what some are now calling "a chance for success" are vastly different to what was to be expected from George Bush's surge in Iraq.
Not enough people look at "winning" relative to America and war within America itself. Clearly the rest of the world does, though and they find it both terrifying and striking. You should too. Obviously we all know the pacifist retort: "there are no winners in war." The American variant however is something few if any have seen in history: it is called "Unconditional Surrender." As one searches the historical record for such striking totality as it relates to the ultimate "gray area" of war about the only society that ultimately believed in such a concept were the Mongols at the turn of the First Millennia. I say this not to be alarmist. I say this because this President's action I believe is now beyond his ability to become anything other than a "Khanian act." To paraphrase the movie War Games "you cannot unplug the machine."
Let me oh so briefly explain: this Army is unlike other deployed in our history. Not only have you the American people never seen such a thing, neither have the Generals and Admirals leading it. As a former Airborne Ranger I can perfectly relate to this force. It is more than just "behind the lines." It is "behind all bounds of even the common sense definition anything called friendly." If I were there it is exactly where I would want to be, too. Why? Because the "what" is so easily known: everyone knows "we're going to be fighting our way out of this." That is the obvious and true explanation of General McChrystal's "offensive." As they say, "he was just too high strung." General Petraeus obviously isn't. So now that we know the "what" the question as it has always been is "the how," right? For only the truly self-deceived have believed any other outcome other than this was going to happen.
The amazing thing about "the how" is that this is now as simple as "the what." His name is General David Petraeus, that's how. For the investing public at SA he's now the "Apple Computer" of war. I want to pause for a moment so you all can let that sink in.....That's right, one guy is "the how." He's the "20% of the market without which the whole market fails." To call this as well "striking" is more than mere understatement. The USA has never before fought an entire war in which the war itself was defined so purely by a single leader. For the excelling American this is cause for great alarm. "You are now lacking in choices, Barak. You can't ever get rid of this guy now." And of course they are right. And again the Ranger in me says, "I love it." There are so many details I have yet to discuss but I have an investing mission so I will now cut off your background brief in order to get to what matters to you the "wannabe monied elite."
The most important person going forward insofar as you are concerned will be one guy: his name his Larry Kudlow. Surprised? You shouldn't be because going forward he will be explaining in great detail one simple phrase which you should now repeat: it is called a "war supplemental." And they will be LEGION. While I will be as usual listening to Tom Keene's incredibly responsible morning show on Bloomberg (as should all of you) but it will be "the connection between government and the markets" that is now front and center. "His name is Larry Kudlow"--or as he was derisively called by his critics and friends alike on CNBC, "Captain America." In short all this "largesse" will now be "put to work" in the form of "firing up the industrial juggernaut" which as Larry as already noted "is showing striking signs of strength." In other words, "forget that budget deficit coming down anytime soon" because Barak Hussein Obama "Mr. Hope and Change" has now become "Saddam Hussein Obama" who now believes "only in war is there is hope and change." There is so much more to say on these dramatic events and as they transpire going forward I will try and continue to provide the context. As I close all I am looking at going forward is one word and one place: Kandahar. Should what I think will happen there actually happen I will continue to inform.
Disclosure: not short