Sunday, July 20, 2003

Why don't they love us?

The War Nerd writes a good piece on the (almost) iron law of occupations:

Occupations always go bad, because armies aren’t nice things. They were never meant to be. Armies are scary. Armies are where you dump all the guys you hated in high-school PE, the ones who thought it was so funny when you were too fat to do the rope climb. Or they’re the guys who got an option from the judge, “Either you go to the pen or you join the Army.” Now you’ve got 100,000 guys like that marching down Saddam Street. Foreign thugs with guns who don’t speak a word of the local language. You really think you’d be cheering?


There aren’t any good solutions when you occupy a foreign population. There are some techniques that help, but they’re cold-blooded stuff that won’t make the home folks happpy. For example, you can play tribe against tribe, say Iraqi Shiites or Kurds vs. Sunni. But that takes years, guarantees lots of blood, and doesn’t make the “liberators” look too good on the nightly news. Or you can do what Stalin would’ve done: kill’em all. But we’re not Stalin, so we won’t do that.


Post a Comment

Blog Archive