Winning The Battle But Losing The War

Posted: March 19, 2008 in Technology and Business
Anyone that studies military history knows that everyone fights the last war.
That is, countries use the lessons from the last war in setting strategy and tactics for this war.  Can’t really blame people for this, it’s human nature to have a bias for things we know.
But, this has never worked.  (Maginot Line anyone?)
And, once again, it’s not working now.
So while the threat is real — and we should defend ourselves — our approach is broken.
Need proof?  Pro-war folks enthusiastically tout how much progress we’ve made in the last few years.  But ask those very same people how long the war is going to last and they’ll say, "25-30 years."
25-30 years.
25-30 years?!  That’s progress?!  Anyone remember signing up for a 25-30 year convention war?!
Given our approach — essentially alienating almost all of our potential allies — we can’t even make this a world effort as it should be.
Five years of war and what has that gotten us?  Maybe we’re safer or maybe we’ve inspired a new generation to hate us, you toss the coin.  Our name is mud all around the world.  The dollar is at an all-time low.  Oil is at an all-time high.  All while our homeland is under siege by, well, you read the papers:  Pretty much everything.
We may be winning the battle but we’re losing the war.
No, there is only one thing we can do to fix this:  Fight smarter, not harder.
Has anyone noticed there is no giant armies waging war on giant battle fields?  Why are we fighting as such?
This should be a covert war.  This should be a team (world) effort.  Instead of spending a trillion or two, we should be spending a faction in covert stuff coordinated by all the peoples of the world that want to stomp out terrorism.
Too simplistic?  Think of what an amazing job the terrorists have done on a shoe-string budget.
Makes me uncomfortable when I hear hawks complain that terrorists are cowards.  Reminds me of the kind of bitching the British Army did when they complained revolutionary patriots were cowards for "not playing fair and shooting British officers" or taking cover behind trees when faced with a wall of rifles.
Our patriots didn’t have a choice.  So they improvised.  Brilliantly.  And it worked because the Brits were using outdated tactics.
So on this 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, here’s what I say:  Grow up.  We should defend ourselves.  But we need to fight a modern war.  That means a smart war.  And a worldwide effort.
Unless, of course, we really want to be fighting this kind of war for another 25 years.
  1. Unknown says:

    That was a good read thanks for sharing:)