Friday, September 07, 2007

Review of Brave New War #4

Review of Brave New War by John Robb (Continued).

As the author points out, the War in Iraq is similar to the Spanish Civil War in being an incubator for new types of warfare. In Spain, the bombing of Guernica by three waves of German bombers is cited as an example of experimental warfare. In Iraq, the art of systems disruptions and the small bleeding dry the strong are both examples. However, unlike Spain where the strong learned at the expense of the weak, the opposite is true of Iraq. Technology has advanced both in terms of weapons availability and its ubiquitous presence within complex systems. A modern state may be fought successfully by turning off the lights. Even if the result is a smoking ruin, the weak cannot help prevail.

The weak can always build. In unstable situations, the masses are best kept busy by building infrastructure. Revolt and revolutionary impulses are blunted by employment. Any state forces forgetting this truism, like the US did in Iraq, will find their situation ultimately untenable.

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