First of all, I listened to Conor’s plea to us all to sit back and hear what he had to say, instead of judge/tar/feather in a moments notice. I beg this of you too!
Sun Tsu’s ancient Chinese book The Art Of War stands tried and true even today. It speaks nothing of cowardess, nothing of improper warfare. The core of the book is military victory, preferably without confrontation, and there are many ways to achieve victory. The mentality of modern warfare in the West is: Yah but Sun Tsu didn’t have tactical nukes. Currently, neither do terrorist forces we see on a regular basis in the news, but that hasn’t prevented them from hampering Western forces which outnumber them say at least 10:1. So what gives?
Terrorism works, which is exactly why the West has such stringent rules on not giving in to it no matter what demands are made. Guerilla tactics work. My FIBUA training from the weekend, which is the next article I’m posting, showed me first-hand the shear numbers of soldiers that are needed to clear small urbanized areas. The West has this idea they can’t get rid of, and it’s bundled into something like this:
First, armies should fight only other armies, and if you’re in an army, you should wear a uniform to distinguish yourself. Therefore, civilians should only need to duck and quickly run away a little bit when they’re in the way because that’s all they need to do. Actually, when you’re outnumbered 10:1 and the cutting edge of your technology is about 30 years old or more, and you can only injure the enemy when you can see them with your own eyes, your tactics are limited, you need to be even more scarce and that means wearing civies, mingling with them, waving to troops going by then shooting them in the back. Suicide bombings give a kill ratio of something like 10:1 on average and that’s not including the wounded casualties or blow to moral.
Second, because you should be fighting conventionally: you’re toast and should you give up. This is something the West just expects. West invades, there is great rejoicing from their troops as they go in to collect POWs because the POWs know better. Except it doesn’t work that way. You’reinvading their land (which Americans should relate to with all the legal tresspassing shootings in their own country), or, you are the embodiment of Evil by their religious or political views. You don’t give in to Evil like that. The West won’t, and they won’t, which means they’ll defend themselves aggressively, and how. Why attack the head of the spear when you can let the spear go by, and then chop at the wood in the middle that holds it, rendering it useless? Kinda makes sense ya know. Which just might be why 500 mile long US supply lines in Iraq were constantly ambushed by civilian dressed militants who’d hit and run outside a city that was already decleared safe and cleared.
Third, all soldiers should be trained for trench warfare a la WWII. That’s nice. Because the enemy loves to dig themselves in when they’re horribly outnumbered and outgunned, waiting for you to storm their trench so they can hurry up and die. Even if they did have the numbers, armies don’t meet each other out on the field any more. They haven’t for more than half a century, not since WWII. Besides, the latter of WWII was all city fighting. So what do you do instead? Pick terrain that gives you the greatest advantage: built up areas. That’s why 2 guys with guns can kill 8-10 guys because the guys on the outside just can’t get in before they’re shot dead. I’ll talk about that in my next article as I’ve said already.
What we see here are effective and efficient methods of engaging the enemy. So it’s not “right” by our, the West’s, current standards. They don’t care and history supports them. Adopt, Adapt and Overcome, only we’re not. 4-Star US General somebody-0or-other, months before the invasion of Iraq, said you’ll need minimum 400,000 troops to do what you wan: pacify the country, keep it safe while you make a new government, and destroy the enemy forces. Politicians *cough*RumsfeldBush*cough* said screw that, you’re idiots and we know better because we think it will only take 100,000. Yah, to kill the enemy forces but not to police a country you dumb fucks. LISTEN TO YOUR ADVISORS. Sun Tsu didn’t have this problem. He would say to the Emperor: let me do my job. And yes, Sun Tsu did political/military assassinations, espionage, etc. Terrorism is working and it always has. It is nothing new. Speaking of the Mongols, our conqueoring genius Gengis Khan would take prisoners, chop them up and make a bridge out of them to storm a moat, or light them on fire while they’re alive in front of the enemy to scare them into giving up. Definately unconventional, but highly effective and prevented further bloodshed. There was, in fact, a city, the only city conquered by him, that he entered. In it, he berated the elders of the city to not giving up and wanting to fight. He convinced them, through bravado, threats, and torture, to not fight him. Thus were the lives of some of Khan’s men saved by avoiding fighting through means of terrorism.
We don’t like it because it’s hard to stomach. War is hard to stomach if you’ve seen it for what it really is, not what frickin’ CNN shows you. War is horrible. Terrorism is horrible. We’ve got it stuck in our minds that one is acceptable and the other is not.
I’m not sure where I wanted to go with this, but it should give you some more to think about. I won’t say it’s Okay. I won’t say war is okay, despite the fact I’m in Infantry Platoon Commander in training. The world would be a much safer, nicer place if we didn’t have to worry about these horrible things, but since it isn’t that way, no matter how much we pretend it to be, I might as well make sure at least a platoon of soldiers don’t make it any worse than they already would be if they are ever used.