VDH does it againInspiring questions and commentary from the great Victor David Hanson yet again. Go here to read his latest posting on the ever changing Middle East.
It never ceases to amaze me how the great thinkers can frame the questions that we all struggle with so succinctly. I have, and continue to struggle with many of the questions pointed out in this article. This is a place where socialogists need to learn from the military. The old quote (probably mangled) I have in mind is "When facing war, small minds think tactics, great minds think logistics".
I would argue that 50 years from now people will not argue about whether the tactics of the military were right or wrong. Did we move too quickly or too slowly? Were armoured up HumVees good or bad? Should we have dismantled the military and started over? Only the military strategists will remember these questions and debate them.
Success or failure in the long run will hinge on logistics: Did we leave these people in a position to prosper on their own in their own form of a free society? Germany and Japan both did. They were different societies than each other and than Iraq and Afghanistan. The beginnings of those occupations were no less bloody than this one. It took many years to fully turn over the society to the locals in each. Just because we did it well enough before does not mean that we are doing this one right. But the questions are the same irrespective of the fact that the logistical answers may be different.
VDH points out at the end of his article that our tactics elsewhere may force us to defend these newly forged democracies longer than we should have. If that turns out the be the case it will be because the logistics were ignored.