Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Long War Articles

This quarters release of Parameters is out and it has several articles about the "long war" on terrorism.

I found the article "Challenges in Fighting a Global Insurgency" to have some interesting perspective on the war on terror that people still seem to be missing. The idea that this conflict is in reality a global insurgency is rather apt.
The strategic nature of war has changed, and our military and government are striving to adapt to fight and win in this new environment. Today we are engaged in a global counterinsurgency, an unprecedented challenge which requires a level of original strategic thought and depth of understanding perhaps comparable only to that of the Cold War. Our ongoing political-military actions to achieve success in Iraq and Afghanistan are simply subordinate efforts of this larger, complex world war.

Our enemies today clearly understand the value of asymmetrical approaches when dealing with the overwhelming conventional combat power of the United States military. Unfortunately, our unmatched conventional capability has slowed the US response to the changing, asymmetrical nature of modern war. We as a military are at risk of failing to understand the nature of the war we are fighting - a war which has been characterized as, a war of intelligence and a war of perceptions. We must confront this dilemma and take our thinking to a new strategic level in this era to understand the tools and strategic approaches required to create victory in this very different 21st-century environment.

I've started reading through the articles, which is an interesting change from reading just history on strategy and war. It's a shame that the present administration hasn't been effective in making the public understand the nature of this conflict. I personally am convinced that the Islamic Insurgency that we are seeing isn't going to go away, and ignoring it will be at our own peril. The belief that this should now change to a police like response is a dangerous thought. Policing will likely be a major tool in anti-terrorist activities, but it can't be the only tool. Far too many countries support terrorists either openly or surreptitiously.

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