Thursday, November 01, 2007

5 Myths of Modern War

Borrowed from this article by Ralph Peters- 12 Myths of 21st-Century War:

  1. War doesn't change anything. Wars, in fact, often change everything. Who would argue that the American Revolution, our Civil War or World War II changed nothing? Would the world be better today if we had been pacifists in the face of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan?
  2. Insurgencies can never be defeated. Historically, fewer than one in 20 major insurgencies succeeded... In the mid-20th century, insurgencies scored more wins than previously had been the case, but that was because the European colonial powers against which they rebelled had already decided to rid themselves of their imperial possessions... In the entire 18th century, our war of independence was the only insurgency that defeated a major foreign power and drove it out for good.
  3. There's no military solution; only negotiations can solve our problems. In most cases, the reverse is true. Negotiations solve nothing until a military decision has been reached and one side recognizes a peace agreement as its only hope of survival. (As proved in Vietnam and the Arab Israeli Wars, endless negotiations can needlessly extend wars, causing even greater hardship and suffering on both sides).
  4. When we fight back, we only provoke our enemies. When dealing with bullies, either in the schoolyard or in a global war, the opposite is true: if you don't fight back, you encourage your enemy to behave more viciously...But if we're unwilling to fight the fraction of humanity that's evil, armed and determined to subjugate the rest, we'll face even grimmer conflicts. (Read: Czechoslovakia 1938)
  5. Our invasion of Iraq created our terrorist problems. This claim rearranges the order of events, as if the attacks of 9/11 happened after Baghdad fell. Our terrorist problems have been created by the catastrophic failure of Middle Eastern civilization to compete on any front and were exacerbated by the determination of successive U.S. administrations, Democrat and Republican, to pretend that Islamist terrorism was a brief aberration. Refusing to respond to attacks, from the bombings in Beirut to Khobar Towers, from the first attack on the Twin Towers to the near-sinking of the USS Cole, we allowed our enemies to believe that we were weak and cowardly.
Even more Myths at the link.