In most American war film, it’s always the American forces are the good guys, while men in AKs are the bad guys. Well, ‘War Machine’ is different. The perfect combination of true story, comedy, and drama. An eye-opener. The war just can’t possibly be won so they sack the guy who’s not winning it and bring-in some other guy. And that other guy was Glen.
Starring Brad Pitt as a Four-Star General Glen McMahon who’s recently appointed as the leader of of the United States Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. Together with his best team, he was tasked to clean the mess the US government left in Afghan War. He thought, war should be fought by men and won by ideals. At first you would thought, hey! He’s the best guy for job. Yes he is. He’s born in a military family, he had graduate degree in political affairs and military history and graduated in ranger school. The right guy for the job right? But sometimes, the guy is not the problem. Sometimes it’s the job.
Why don’t we spice up the discussion by putting your feet inside of General McMahon’s combat boots? Let me give you an idea. You will be sent there to assess the country and form a solution. Help rebuild the economy and protect the remaining population …basically, you’re there to clean up the mess. And you will fail. Yeah. Like what happened to Glen and all of his predecessors. Here’s why:
The Civilian Executives are standing on your way of greatness. The American executives wants to get involved as you go to the heart of the problem while they sit on a comfy chair and dictates what needs to be done. They make you feel good by building your confidence and promised they will give you anything you needed to make “it” done. Which of course, they didn’t.
The Leaders of the Afghan republic doesn’t care. Maybe they’re too tired of fighting for their own land and just give up because citizens won’t listen anyway. This will give you the idea that you won’t get any physical support from the Afghanistan President. Only a warm “good luck”.
Math of Insurgency is more difficult than Algebra. When, however, you’ve just gone and invaded a place that you probably shouldn’t have, you end up fighting against just regular people in regular-people clothes called Insurgents. Insurgents are people who picked-up weapons just like what would you do if someone invaded your country. the bad thing is that insurgencies are next to impossible to defeat. Let’s say you’re a soldier and killed two out of ten insurgents, the answer will not be eight but twenty.
Convincing locals that you didn’t invade them which what obviously the United States Government did. The government gave you a very heavy responsibility of convincing the locals that you’re there to help. It’s a popularity contest, convincing the locals that they’re better off with you than they are with the terrorists or insurgents. Plus the fact that you are wearing the uniform of the invader. It’s just so hard to trust you.
Political issues are delaying the progress. I will no longer explain this part since we all know politics is only good in cooking temporary measures and delaying the good ones.
Journalists can cover-up a story and are experts of ruining somebody’s career. They’re swift and quiet, you will never know what hit you. You’ll just wake up one day and you’ll realize your whole career is over. Like how they turn the focus of the real problem in Afghanistan to the only person capable of fixing it. And this is the one that led Glen’s glorious conquest into nothing but a paragraph in his authored book.
In 2 hours, the movie pretty much explained everything. This isn’t the story of soldiers fighting rebels. This is the part of the war we don’t see. This war, as Glen saw it, didn’t won because it wasn’t being led. At first I felt bad how everything turned out for Glen. But we can say it’s a good thing too for him that he was relieved from work. The US government don’t deserve a man like him. That’s just how it is. They sack Glen because he’s not winning it and brought-in again some other guy again.
Glen wrote in his book titled ‘One Leg at a Time, Just Like Everybody Else.’ in it, he wrote “All men are imperfect creatures. Left to their own devices, all they really wanna do is play with their d*cks and eat chicken.” Now, you know why. This is the problem when you’re the right guy for the job, but you’re serving the wrong people. “It” is the main priority of rebuilding, supporting and protecting the civilian population despite the fact they don’t trust you.
“The mission was to protect the people. Not killing them. We can’t kill them and help them at the same time. It just ain’t humanly possible.”
-General Glen McMahon