The great Chinese strategist Fred Tzu once said, “Never use a broadsword to fight a swarm of pissed-off hornets.” Exactly. You have to understand the enemy. Otherwise you are in trouble and can´t understand why. If you are a behind-the-times sort of dinosaur, the rats are going to eat your eggs. If you are an American infantry battalion, sneaky little guys behind rocks are gonna blow hell out of your up-armored Humvee with the revolving IR heads. Trust me.
You have to understand the enemy. Another classic military mind, the Prussian genius Carl von Fredwitz, said, “Let the other dumb sumbitch spend hisself into the dirt, and then tear his throat out, or just buy him.” It´s what China is doing. Americans make war, and the Chinese make money. We spend wildly on an outdated military that couldn´t beat a tin drum if it was smoking Gunter´s best grass.
I often like Fred’s stuff, but of course he has his head up his ass on the question of the U.S. military.
It is perfectly capable of defeating any enemy, even those buzzing little swarms of “hornets hiding behind rocks.”
If it is allowed to do so.
And that is what Fred misses entirely, and what makes his arguments here so ludicrous, so – dare I say it – drunkenly ignorant.
Our exercise of effective force is often ineffective because we choose to restrain the full and effective use of that force.
Want to clear out those rocky hornets ? Everything from Hellfire-armed drones to platform gunships will do an excellent job of it – as long as they don’t have to be concerned with either an “excess” of casualties or the “death of innocents.”
The biggest change in U.S. military thinking over the past century is a departure fromt the understanding that war is hell, and should either be avoided or waged to an outcome of victory over, and the death of, the enemy.
Up through World War II we understood this. Since then, we’ve tried to sanitize and humanize war, and make it more healthy for women, children, and other living beings. Which may seem facially a decent notion, but the upshot is that we now wage “sanitary war” on an almost daily basis, both at home and abroad.
Fred apparently doesn’t understand this. He thinks this emasculated version of American warfare has something to do with our real capabilities.