killing machines

The impending defeat of the mighty juggernaut known as the US armed forces should be a cause of consternation for American military strategists and theorists. Since losing wars in Korea in the 50s, Vietnam in the 60s and 70s, the US military has pretty much confined its overseas adventures to small, defenseless nations with no chance of combatting history’s most vaunted killing machine on the ground (Grenada immediately comes to mind), or nations that have armies which are degraded to the point in which they are “armies” in name only (Iraq).

But like a stubborn mule, the US (and its Western allies) is obstinate in its refusal to recognize that the many smaller nations who can’t hope to compete with the US head-to-head are relying heavily on subterfuge, sabotage, guerilla strikes, IED’s and suicide missions to defeat their enemies; their tactics have proven effective in past wars (Vietnam, Korea) and in the current fiasco in Iraq. But it’s the widespread use of suicide missions specifically that pulverizes the very bedrock philosophy of Western-style warfare, and it is apparent Western minds are at a loss for answers to their dilemma.

The use of suicide attacks against enemies contradicts and circumnavigates the basic premise behind Western warfare: kill without being killed. Modern technology has made warfare very sanitary, so much so that one need not even see the victim on the other end of the devastation. Laser-guided munitions, air strikes from radar-proof fighter planes, intercontinental ballistic weaponry, etc., have all served to depersonalize warfare, making the violence and bloodshed less traumatic than it was back in the days of hand-to-hand, hack-and-slash battles. But what to do about an enemy intent on killing you and themselves in the process? Western strategists seem befuddled, confused, and on the brink of realizing the fatal limitations of superior military technology.

One of the first tastes of suicide attacks visited upon Westerners came by way of the Far East (Japan), as kamikaze fighters dove straight into US ships in the Pacific, sacrificing themselves in order to inflict maximal damage to the defenders. The Tamil Tigers took suicide attacks to a more personal level by strapping on and detonating bombs in order to kill their enemies. More recently, Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis have utilized this tactic to deadly effect in striking back at invading Western forces. The results of these suicide attacks are clear for the whole world to see, and the fact that they are almost impossible to stop makes the idea more appealing to the world’s poor and defenseless, as witnessed by its continual widespread use among those who have not the resources to muster large, technologically-advanced armies.

Western countries have been losing wars against what appear to be much weaker opponents for the past four decades because of tactics which go against the Western concept of warfare. While I do not wish for my country to be defeated, I do wish that the inefficacy of superior weapons and munitions will discourage the careless use of violence in the future world of peace we all hope to see.

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~ by free71 on December 13, 2006.

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