Friday, May 11, 2007

Ralph Peters has a worthwhile column that caught my eye this week entitled BAGHDAD BLUES , in which he talks about the difficulties of US troops fighting a `civilized' ( translation: handcuffed) war against a totally uncivilized and brutal enemy, and he wonders out loud whether todays' politically sensitive military leadership will have to relearn the art of war and victory:
"....The Army hasn't fielded a four-star with the breadth of vision to wage war at the strategic level and the killer instinct to win on the battlefield since Gen. Barry McCaffrey retired a dozen years ago. As the generals who led infantry platoons and companies in Vietnam fade from the ranks, we face an incongruous situation in which our lieutenants, captains and majors are combat veterans, while the generals above them never fought in a direct-fire engagement or led daily patrols through Indian country. {....}

For two generations, we've trained military leaders to be statesmen in uniform, downplaying pugnacity and guts. We sent promising officers for Ivy League doctorates (thereby cutting off at least one of their . . . um . . . eggs), stressed political assignments, and inducted them into the Washington-insider cult of Salvation Through Negotiations.

Now we have bobble-head generals who nod along with the diplomats who want to hold their Versailles Conference before winning the war. {....}

The bitter truth is that, in the type of conflicts we now face, we must be willing to fight as ruthlessly and savagely as our opponents. We have to play by their moral rules. Stay-at-homes who never served will howl in indignation, but the alternative is defeat."

Just today, coincidentally, we had General Petraeus addressing our troops in Iraq ( obviously under pressure from the Bush Administration) and telling them to `fight fair' occupy the `high moral ground' and be sure to rat out their buddies for any alleged violation of the Iraqi's tender sensibilities...

Enough said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a long time I ahve lamented the fact that we do not have enough troops in Iraq to do the job. I stil think we need more troops, however, the fact that we are trying to fight a civilized war may be an even bigger problem than not having enough troops.

Oh well the good news is this enemy is not capable of destroying the US or conquering the country, yet!! Our two most dangerous enemies of Russia and China are both capable of destroying and/or destroying the US. If we cannot find the will to defeat this enemy, I'm forced to wonder how we are going to find the will to defeat either Russia or China.

Just something to think about here. I'm not suggesting that the Shia are angels or even decent people. While it is true that Iraq's Shia are probably not good people, the Sunnis are trying to exterminate them. The US has abjectly failed to provide security for them. If the US could provide security for the Shia, we might be able to pull them away from Iran. In order to do this, we are going to have to allow our troops to fight to win.

I want to support this effort, however, it is hard, if not down right impossible, to support an action where we are not fighting to win. I pray that with new leadership that we will be able to get the American people behind this effort in Iraq and elsewhere in the broader Global War on Terror.