War is about the correlation of forces

Half Sigma adopts the Jacksonian line that war is about destroying enemy states, and that other definitions are dangerously “liberal”

Half Sigma: We are not “losing” a “war” in Iraq
I’m sick and tired of hearing people say that we are “losing” the “war” in Iraq.

If fifty years ago, you told someone that our troops went into a country, took the place over in a few weeks, and now run the place, they would have responded, “wow, you guys won a really big victory!”

But someone has managed to redefine the term “win” so it means that you have to transform a nation into a peaceful Democracy while taking zero casualties and not being allowed to attack and kill enemy guerillas unless you have a clear shot at them without any women, children, or Mosques in the way.

Obviously the political left is responsible for this redefinition, and the political left is so powerful that they managed to sucker a lot of people in the Bush administration into believing this nonsense.

Yes, the Bush administration is thought of as hardcore conservative, but actually Bush has been brainwashed into believing in liberal left-wing hate-America nonsense. He has bought into the idea that you can’t just win a war by taking over a country; he has bought into the nonsense that America is inherently evil and that the only way to cleanse the evilness of a military victory is by subsequently taking a lot of casualties and showing that we are the good guys by bringing peaceful Democracy while, all the time, respecting the most absurd and evil religion on the planet.

As I wrote as a comment:

War is about the correlation of forces — those forces that support your efforts, minus those forces that oppose your efforts. Taking out Saddam’s Iraq succeeded in removing a dangerous enemy from the Middle East, but if Iraq would have degenerated into a state controlled by al Qaeda or a hostile Iran, we would not have improved our correlation of forces in the region.

It was foolish to expect Iraq to develop into a modern liberal democracy without undergoing deeper and harder reforms first. However, the importance of managing Iraq’s government and security for some time was a wise one. We appear to be heading to a type of victory that is familiar to us in these small wars: spoiling our enemies while setting up a government that can keep the peace, cooperative with us militarily, and push the question of liberalization off to the future.

The blogger at half sigma likes his rhetorical flourishes, but he is influential, and I have seen him change his position as new facts come in previously. So: join the discussion at halfsigma.com!