Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

The importance of the Home Front

I posted several times about my Protest Warrior activities in San DiegoThis particular article is an great reminder of why I consider it my duty to participate in the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior and why the only excuse for not being involved at all should be an actual combat deployment (yes, I really think that).

Carl von Clausewitz is the father of modern strategic thought. His experience was in the Napoleonic Wars, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, but he did not discuss technology. He assumed that armies would acquire whatever weapons were available in pursuit of the traditional objective of war, "to compel our enemy to do our will." When determining the power of an adversary, he notes two "inseparable factors, viz, the total means at his disposal and the strength of his will." With 300 million people and a $14 trillion economy, U.S. means are unrivaled by any combination of enemies in the Middle East. The weakness is in America’s will to mobilize adequate resources to sustain the kind of campaign needed to grind down a fanatical opponent. This is the weakness that the enemy has targeted with success. The high civilization of post-modern America seems unable to stand up to the ruthless exponents of Dark Age doctrines.

The eminent British military historian Jeremy Black reconfirms Clausewitz in his study War in the 21st Century, arguing that war "involves a constant– the willingness of organized groups to kill and, in particular, risk death." Material factors are "less important than its social, cultural and political context." In other words, the home front is the decisive theater of war (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit). American forces that are superior in the overseas theaters of combat may be defeated, not by any failure of those who are there  risking death, but by the betrayal of those who are consumed by domestic luxuries and cannot bring themselves to think about the brutal realities of a dangerous world.

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Today, the U.S. Congress is a quarrelsome place. Proposals to micro-manage the Iraq War show no consistent thought or grasp of strategy. Fight al-Qaeda, but no other foes. Support the troops, but don’t let them win before they are pulled out at some arbitrary date. The only unifying themes are partisanship and political ambition. This is the behavior that doomed democratic Athens, and which will render all the marvelous new military technology useless.

Please read it all.  And please participate in our counter-protests in the future.

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March 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments