WAR’S NEW FACE
Daniel Pipes argues rather persuasively that most of what we know about war has been turned upside down, at least when Western states fight non-Western ones: The enemy is now a regime rather than a people; military victory is virtually certain; we try to keep casualties down on the other side as well as our own; and instead of plundering the treasures of the vanquished, we rebuild them.
It’s a well-written piece, with which I have only two quibbles: First, what Pipes generalizes to the West I would particularize to the United States. No other country in the world has anywhere close to he ability to dominate a conflict in the manner we do. While modern states will almost certainly beat primitive ones in total war, only the US has the C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaisance) capabilities and sufficient quantities of brilliant weapons to win so overwhelmingly yet surgically. Second, Pipes draws parallels to Israel’s handling of the Palestinians. I would argue it’s not even comparable to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Sharon regime been rather cavalier about civilian deaths and lacks the political will and military capability to operate in the pinprick fashion the US has displayed of late.
(Hat tip: RealClear Politics)