Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Escaping the 2G warfare trap

'As the U.S. sends thousands more American soldiers to Afghanistan, it risks speeding its own defeat in that graveyard of empires. Why? Because the Second Generation practice of the U.S. military reduces tactics to little more than bumping into the enemy and calling for fire. The fire, most often delivered by aircraft that can see and understand little of what is happening on the ground, often kills civilians. Even when it does not, the disproportion of pitting jet fighter-bombers and attack helicopters against guys in bathrobes armed with rusty rifles turns us into Goliath, a monster. Both effects bring about our defeat on the moral level. In effect, the Second Generation leaves us in a trap of our own making: to win the engagements we have to lose the war.'

So writes Bill Lind on Defense in the National Interest, one of the half-dozen blogs I check on a regular basis. (2G war is the sort of industrial conflict we mastered in the 1940s. 3G war is the 'run and gun' onslaught we displayed to perfection in April 2003. 4G is what's confounding us now.) Worth a read. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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