Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Not Complicated, But It Isn't Pretty Either

FLG really likes Adam Elkus' blog, Rethinking Security. FLG is pretty impressed by the amount of dedication to the entire field of security that Adam has. Perhaps it's one of those labor of love things. Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life.

FLG finds the topic interesting as well, but he can't muster up the motivation to delve really deep into things like counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategy. Ultimately, it comes down to killing the bad guys. In counterterrorism you try to keep a low profile and kill some bad guys. Case studies, such as Sri Lanka and Chechnya, seem to show that effective counterinsurgency is pretty much the same thing, killing bad guys, but that you also end up killing innocents in the process.

As much as FLG admires those people trying to square the circle, it seems that the rules of war haven't really changed. Winning means killing the enemy. If you are unable or unwilling to kill the enemy for whatever reason, including concerns about innocent life in the process of prosecuting the war, then you simply can't win and probably shouldn't fight in the first place. No amount of social science and technical prowess will ever change that.

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