Category Archives: 2 Geopolitics

Self-inflicted terror in America

While we have come around to the notion that peace is an appropriate minimum standard of behaviour for developed countries it has never been an easy argument to make in our world today. The difficulty of fighting minds with armaments

George Friedman, eminent strategic analyst, offers a sobering perspective on the fall-out from the American “war on terror”, without having to reveal the awkwardness of embarking upon a virtual objective: to achieve a military victory in a psychological war. The challenge was made more difficult by the complexity and scale of the military objective: to conquer a nation in an unfamiliar part of the world and dictate a completely different social infrastructure and culture. The consequence has been a failure of the military objective, compounded by the terrorising of America by continually bombarding people through media with belligerent language and images of fear, as well as an extraordinary regression of civil liberties.

See Friedman’s piece War, Psychology and Time here. He notes as he sums up:

The effect on the United States is much more profound. The war, both in Iraq and against al Qaeda, has worn the United States down over time. The psychology of fear has been replaced by a psychology of cynicism. The psychology of confidence in war has been replaced by a psychology of helplessness. Exhaustion pervades all.

The data on performance in Iraq is not good

As various reports on progress in Iraq are discussed by the US administration The Economist offered a briefing on Strategy in Iraq.  You may browse Waiting for the general (and a miracle) America agonises over the pitfalls of staying in Iraq – and of leaving.  This table sums up the dire situation, and, yet again, underlines the need for a more enlightened approach.