Thursday, October 3, 2013

Are We Winning Yet? Led Astray By Metrics

Are We Winning Yet? Led Astray By Metrics

Early discussions about a theoretical framework suggested a common way of assessing our historical case studies: identify the political goals that were to be obtained by the war, then identify the benchmarks that the military in question used to measure its progress toward that goal.  Then we were to look at the information that the military collected to determine if those benchmarks had been reached.  Finally, we were to consider the incentives that the desire to collect this information created for the military.  Often those incentives were perverse, as in the case of the body counts in Vietnam.


Interesting article, but all its special pleading about data collection and secrets vs mysteries and the forest vs trees stuff is overcomplicating and obscuring the reality of warfare. Warfare is an ancient human practice. Therefore, it is easy, not difficult, to assess whether we're winning or losing. It is easy, not difficult, to assess whether the people waging the war intend to "win" anything, or merely destroy the fruits of human labour continuously, forever, as described in George Orwell's 1984.

In the case of the USA and its current wars, it's fairly obvious that since each of them turns into a snark hunt for phantom islamic terrorists the point isn't to conquer territory, throw third world savages and their worthless leaders into the dirt that spawned them, or change countries to more closely resemble anglosphere civilisation. The point of the USA's current wars is merely to create a war economy, which can be used to justify any amount of spending, as well as directing some of the most useless of the ever expanding American underclass into a weeding out culling process through the agency of external violence. Those who survive return as Nazi style veterans, able to access law enforcement jobs where their military training- largely the conditioning to follow orders and ask no questions- is totally at odds with what a civilian police force should be about.

Machiavelli recommended that when the type of government changes, the new government staging the coup should keep the outer appearance of the old government. Keep the old names even when the rulers occupying the positions are nothing at all like what those names once described.

Likewise with warfare. All these "metrics" used in American warfare are smoke and mirrors. In a genuine war, the answers come easily: is the enemy still shooting back? has the target country surrendered inconditionally? is any surviving enemy too scared to fight back?

But then the current enemy, "al qaeda" is a total fiction anyway. Islam is the real enemy.
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