Monday, September 11, 2006

New Model Warfare

Our own esteemed Carol Herman has been relentless (what others refer to as "off her meds") on the new model of warfare that has been adopted to counter 4th Generation Warfare. I have been most interested latelty on the economic angle while Carol with her new copy of Lidell Hart's "Strategy" has been doing a lot of commenting on the military angle.

The old model of warfare - conquering and occupying territory - is not viable in the face of protracted guerilla warfare. The guerillas, if sufficiently dedicated, can wear out the occupying power. We have the examples of Israel in Lebanon, Israel in Gaza, and America in Iraq. That way of doing business costs too much money, too many lives, and loses too much public support.

The new model is to let the insurgents do what they do not do well. Control territory in the face of a counter insurgency. The major powers will act like guerillas by doing hit and run raids and other types of efforts that weaken the insurgents economically. Typically that is how guerillas are supposed to operate: hit and run operations against economic targets and small military units. The essence of guerilla warfare is mobility. Once the guerillas lose that, one of their major advantages is gone. With fixed installations they must hold territory. A good idea if you want to run a country. A bad idea if the main desire of the guerillas is warfare.

Lessons learned? Occupations are untenable - Lebanon/Gaza/Iraq. The new model is guerilla warfare. Hit and run. Economic blockade. Popular revolts.

Such warfare is not as exciting as the kind with lightening armored advances and big explosions. Given modern conditions it is probably more effective. Hidden warfare and the damage it causes are invisible (what country on the recieving end wants to declare weakness when their internal power depends on an appearance of strength?) to the press.

Thus I expect any official UN sanctions imposed on Iran will be mild if implimented at all. The real (banking) sanctions will be severe. In fact they are already biting if we look at the demonstrations in Iran over unpaid wages. In fact the Palestinians have gone on strike over the last few days over unpaid wages.

Military excursions if used at all will be to cause economic damage not defeat armies. Hit and run.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Thanks.

I think it pays to bear in mind that America has been successful in ALL its military endeavors. (And, I include Vietnam. Which angered the populace, because it took sons to the Far East, where we didn't give a rat's patootie.) And, it was on this that the media built its false facade. But, yes. The kids didn't want to go at all. (Though a few that did, came home with brides.)

Vietnam was the first big change.

If you look at WW2, in this department, we got THE MAN IN THE GREY FLANNEL SUIT. When it was made into a movie, Gregory Peck was the guy, who while he had been in Italy, during WW2, he knocked up Sophia Loren. He then had a secret correspondence with her, about their daughter. Sending money. Which was once very common in America. The sending money to all parts of the world where there were relatives.

HOWEVER, the idea that a man would have a kid with Sophia Loren, and THEN KEEP THIS SECRET, because he was afraid of telling his wife; is a story that came to a dead end. It hit a brick wall. Today, kids come and men tell you about the siblings and half siblings each new "wife" gets to have, as well.

And, yet? I remember thinking it odd that men were marrying women from Vietnam. Now? I don't know why I thought it was odd. It's not odd. But at the time I thought American women were prettier. (As if that has anything to do with the price of tea in china.) "Pass the meds."

However, as things change, the way we build on knowledge remains pretty intact.

When we had our Spanish Civil War, in the early 1800's, it was a "war on the cheap." Very easy victory. Very few casualty. Zachary Taylor rode this into the presidency.

But America got spoiled. And, we got the Civil War because in those days, especially on the UNION side, there was thinking in Washington (read this as Lincoln and a few of her disasterous generals), believed you could get "war on the cheap."

Grant saved the Union's neck. (And, yes, it took Lincoln about 3 years to understand his own mistakes. He wrote a letter to Grant apologizing.) And, all Grant kept on saying was THAT WE COULD WIN, BUT WAR IS NOT CHEAP. (And, the Confederacy was full of dedicated soldiers giving the fight everything they had, because they were fighting to WIN.)

Liddell-Hart writes that we got off cheap in WW2. And, fooled by the a-bomb. Which he said was militarily USELESS. But, we got suckered into believing that wins were "easy." Hence, the debacle in Korea (where India, Russia, and China, all ganged up through the UN, to put America into "stalemate," and to give the Soviets "coinage" as the other side to the sea-saw.) It was a stupid bargain. And, also "not cheap."

Ulysses Grant was right. YOU FIGHT TO WIN. (And, in the Civil War it was about territory. Where Lincoln was wrong, was to concentrate on the East. And, where Grant was right was to concentrating conquest on the WEST. Which is how Grant and Sherman drove the victory home.)

What we're seeing now is different that what we had before, because if you look at WW2, all American men were a happy to be in the victory parades, when the nazi's got sent packing. This ain't so in Iraq. Nobody in their right mind wants to be there. It's like being in africa. So many men think the women are just downright ugly. And, there are no cultural achievements, either, that holds much interest.

I wouldn't put Iraq, by the way, in the same category as Lebanon. Because Jews are always denied property rights. At least in Israel, since its Jewish, there's a need to limit excusions elsewhere.

But if you want to know how stupid the arabs are; once the Jews came, they had choices. They could join the business world, together. And, build a collosus. Or they could keep to themselves. Which is exactly what they do!

Since arabs have these categories. And, what fits in is family. And, tribe. NOT NATIONS. They're also not geared to the modern world. So they are at a lot of disadvantages. While they are also seduced. (Just like in Russia.) Eyes pop when they see American cars. American sneakers. American jeans. And, they hear American rock and roll.

So, in a sense, what we have now is better than Playboy. When Hugh Hefner placed a naked center fold in the middle of his magazine. And, men drooled. (Of course, they also gave the intellectual argument that they were "reading" the magazine for its articles.)

Our enemies happen to know a thing or two about hurting us economically. That's why the two planes entered into the World Trade Center. (The Saudis were bargaining, then, for more than they got.) They wanted the buildings to fall on the financial center. And, for Wall Street to go belly up. Or at least, under water.

It was such a beautiful, clear, day, too.

But the other thing to notice is all those counterfeit bills! As soon as the Shah fell, the American printing presses, in his hands, fell to the mullets. And, the reason you know have funny colored money instead of greenbacks? We had to stop the counterfeiting of bills that looked so good, the banks would take them.

Did Lebanon just have tens of millions in phoney money? I think so. That's why we're hitting Iranian and Lebanese banking interests HARD.

In other words, bankers also have rules. And, when they get crossed, they have a way of really turning the screws. Perhaps the koo-koo-nutter in iran didn't take that stuff seriously?

But iran's seriously eroded, now.

When the Shah fell it was fun to hate america. It's a bit more costly these days. As the women lost their rights to an education. And, their universities, now, SUCK.

So, too, China. And, Russia. You wouldn't want to buy the crap that comes out of their plants. They just don't have what we in America take for granted; which is quality control.

When our auto industry lost its quality control, we turned to Japanese models. And, sometimes, you can't revive the dead horse.

Or as someone once pointed out to me; where once Americans were so loyal to a particular brand of car, that if their father drove the car, the kids were apt to stick with that brand.

Today? We're not even loyal to brands of toilet paper.

Israel was forced out of the "territory business" by the dynamics of population size. The Jews are serious about wanting to own a slice of land that IS for the Jews. And, just by expanding, they were set to lose that. Not enough Jews.

While religion, too, seems to be getting placed in the back seat of things these days. So up ahead the survivors will be the most fundamental. While everything else is lax.

As to guerrillas, they're a localized, popular dilemma in areas that don't have democracy. Since there's no growth potention for the lot of people who are forced to support some despot. Who then curtails education.

And, the one thing no one seems to have a solution for, is the propensity of Bush to give the Saudi's a free ride.

Well? Truman gave the free ride to stalin.

Poland survived to throw off the soviet boot. (It wasn't free. Pope John Paul opened the Vatican treasury to fund Poland's battle against the soviets.) Won that won. But got nowhere in the Ukraine.

While the various entities on the map rarely stay put behind borders.

What you do know is that the koo-koo-nutter in iran dropped at least $10-billion funding nasarallah's "adventure."

That means if you're following this to connect the dots; that the Shi'a were on a roll. But they just crapped out. It's not refundable. Or replace-able.

As to Lebanon, in 1982, it was the Palestinians that were the terror element dislodged by Arik Sharon. (After their elected Gamlyel got exploded off his presidential win.) At the time, Sharon said it would be 50 years before lebanon got another opportunity. And, it was the kind of a state where a person could "sit on the throne," but he'd only be king of the palace. A very limited win, indeed. (And, the soviets went kaput in the Mideast.)

All that's left now, given that Britain is also kaput in the Mideast) is the USA. The ONLY player.

But when Bush asked Olmert to destroy assad, Olmert saw the bigger problem! Who wants to trade the minority Shi'a blackmarketeers, for sunnis! You've got to be out of your mind!

So, while Israel "doesn't OWN territory" in states nearby. It sure knows when NOT to dislodge one bum for something much, much worse. Why cure a cold, if the promise is you will get cancer?

Bush? Still hasn't figured it out. Oh, well. A president in his father's image. When he goes from office the two of them can salute each other. Most Americans won't care.

In long range planning you do look at that stuff.

Shahar said...

I think there's another layer to this. Israel's current conflicts can't be won, as you've noted. Victory is impossible, at least as a consequence of any single engagement. My personal view, which is not so well informed, is that with the exception of OSLO Israel has always managed the Palestinian question as a holding action, waiting for the world to change so that a political solution can become possible. generations of waiting.

I think this dovetails conceptually with the New Model. At least, the New Model is a tactically better sort of holding action, compared to occupation. But you still can't win until either an opportunity for a decisive engagement occurs (never happen) or until history somehow supercedes Jihad.

And THAT may finally be happening thanks to the internet. Maybe this is why jihadis globally are so anxious to act.

Shahar said...

well, I know I'm talking to myself now, but just to continue the thought. Maybe the US is also fighting an unwinnable war, but also buying time so history can obviate these schmucks.