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April 24, 2008

More on Petraeus
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Spencer has the definitive wrap up on the Petraeus promotion. 


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Asymmetric warfare is basically the combination of politics and destruction, and nobody has done this better than General Petraeus, starting with his entry into the 1994 presidential campaign. So we now have the military-industrial-political complex, with politicians of all stripes fawning over the "successful" general with colorful ribbons extending up to his shoulders (and probably continuing on down his back if we were to have a rear view).

I will again make the point that the US effort in Iraq and Afghanistan is not a counterinsurgency. An insurgency is an armed uprising against a government, and no functioning government is present in these places. These are resistances against US military occupations, and in Iraq especially inter-sect violences. It is semantically impossible for Afghanis and Iraqis to "insurge" against a foreign military occupation. The special groups are freedom fighters, just doing what you or I would do if, say, the Chinese army occupied our land.

Regarding the Department of the Army, they want to get away from messy occupational duties and get back to their favorite activity, preparing for combat with conventional forces on large battlefields, with artillery and tank guns blazing, against,say, China.

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