From the Washington Post:
An Army board headed by Gen. David H. Petraeus has selected several combat-tested counterinsurgency experts for promotion to the rank of brigadier general, sifting through more than 1,000 colonels to identify a handful of innovative leaders who will shape the future Army, according to current and former senior Army officers…
“Counterinsurgency” is one of those slippery military terms, like collateral damage and friendly fire, that conceal more than they reveal. At first glance, you’d think anybody in his right mind would want to counter a bunch of pesky insurgents.
Not me, though. When I was 14 my dream was to be an insurgent myself, moving like a ghost by night as I launched murderous attacks from ambush on the godless Commies who had overrun my beloved homeland.
But Petraeus and his “handful of innovative leaders who will shape the future army” have seen the future and decided that it calls for bigger and better counterinsurgencies, and they are just the bright lads to do it.
When our generals speak of combating insurgents who wage asymmetrical warfare, they reveal the real mission. We will never attack if we judge there is any chance of real resistance, in the ordinary military sense. We will never, that is, go to war with Russia or China or even North Korea. We will instead go after the littlest, weakest kids: Libya, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Iraq.
And if we are stupid enough to stay around after we have “won,” as we have in Iraq and Afghanistan, then we must find ourselves, as all occupying powers do, faced with an “insurgency” which we must “counter.” (The insurgents, by definition, live in the occupied country. If they come from the outside, like us, they are more properly called “invaders.”)
So Petraeus and all his new little one-stars do not expect to be in the business of defense or even of warfare, asymmetrical or otherwise. They expect to be in the business of colonial occupation, which can neither be won nor lost. It can only be continued or, at the entire discretion of the occupying power, ended.
Undaunted though, we will struggle onward with our Middle East mission until we “win” this occupation. And we will keep on “winning” as we did in Vietnam, press briefing after press briefing, until at last we lose. Whatever that means. When a man holds his breath for two minutes and then starts breathing again, has he "lost?"
Nevertheless our brief return to reality will not be followed by remorse and repentance and determination never to pull such a damn fool stunt again. Instead we will spend twenty years or so blaming the disaster on everybody but ourselves and then off we will charge once more like a dog after a car.
What’s that fool dog going to do with that car when he catches it, you say? Well may you ask. The plan is to make it hold free elections.