Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fundamentally Unserious.

In wars, the US is a division-leading 6-0-0, while in our sundry "police actions" we're a depressing 1-1-1, which isn't going to get us a bowl invite. This is a problem with our current Global Police Action On A Noun model: In a war, you find, fix, and destroy the enemy, while in police work you get penalized for a late hit.


Cossack in a Kilt said...

We're trapped between paradigms.

The old ways of war worked, but they were a little messy. Whether it was the Hundred Years' War, or Genghis Khan, a besieged town had two options: resist, or submit. Resistance meant almost total annihilation, submission meant that the killings and lootings and rapings would be held to an acceptable minimum.

Today we've incorporated a social worker/Marxist approach: we're invading and killing to help you, don't you see! You should be grateful, we're only trying to free you from the aristocracy/communists/taliban/whatevers that so oppress and torment you. Oddly enough, this therapeutic approach still involves lots of killing and death, but it's all wrapped up in a bundle of good intentions.

I think the tension between warfighting and the desire to help others is deeply problematic.

Old Doctor Weasel said...

Really, we have done this sort of war (counterinsurgency, peace enforcement, bandit hunting, etc.) throughout our history. Our record is better than 1-1-1. There's a great book about it, called "The Savage Wars of Peace" by Max Boot. The thing is, we used to do it better before we started practicing lawfare against ourselves.

Of course, the very predictable end of this road (the SEAL prosecution and other similar lawfare attacks) is that fewer prisoners are taken, because it suddenly became obvious that the wounded jihadi was still a threat and lethal force had to be used immediately prior to capture. Or something like that. Hard to argue with the folks who shoot an almost-captured guy if this is what we're going to get.

Tam said...


Thanks for the book recommendation. (Although I already have it.)

What I am referring to is the fact that the GWOT is on a completely different scale than chasing Villa or Aguinaldo. The "1-1-1" I referred to would be our three "Wars That Weren't"; officially undeclared, but involving carrier battle groups, army corps, strategic bombers... There's a vast difference in scale between the "GWOT", Korea, or Desert Dust and even something as big as Urgent Fury or Operation Just Because.

Earl said...

Having served in uniform I have believed that sometimes a good Court Martial is the only protection the accused has, this might be one of the cases. I hope it is, for if it isn't it could destroy the Seal and the unit and forget about any missions in the future.

Army of Dad said...

Um, I guess I shouldn't type what I am thinking right now, other than that is total BS.

Bob said...

It was Heinlein (in Starship Troopers, if memory serves) who observed that no "Department of Defense" has ever won a war, and your 6-0-0 numbers reflect that truth; the US had a Department of War through WWII and didn't switch to the DOD designation until Korea.

reflectoscope said...

I hope I'm around for the day the lunacy stops.