MILITARY FUTURECAST

TACTICS AND STRATEGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

FUTURECASTS online magazine
www.futurecasts.com
Vol. 3, No. 10, 10/1/01

Page Contents

Military strategy

Grand strategy

Tactical considerations

International terrorism

Homepage

  (As initially published on June 1, 1999, with added comments on Kosovo and the current conflict.)

  Military strategy continues to be influenced by the same principles as those that influenced Hannibal over 2,200 years ago. The purpose of military force remains to smash things and kill people. There is little likelihood that these principles will change much in the 21st century.
  [
  Grand strategy has to respond to modern political, ideological and economic considerations, but can be expected to remain stable for extended periods of time.
  [
  Military tactics change rapidly with changes in both technology and the threats posed by potential opponents. The need for flexibility is the one constant theme. Planning to fight the last war over again is the classic example of military incompetence.
  [
  Thus, it is not possible to predict changes in military tactics over long periods of time. The most that can be done is to analyze the current situation and some of the developments likely to affect tactics in the immediate future.

Military Strategy - The Power of the Force
[

 Wars of attrition dictated by restrictive terms of engagement:

 

 Attrition warfare is, in essence, the total lack of strategy.
  Since WW II, the United States and its friends and allies have frequently been involved in frustrating, costly, and sometimes losing, wars of attrition.
  [
  This has never been the choice of the military. Since the WW I Battle of Verdun - which was a battle of attrition and, by common acknowledgement, the most stupidly fought battle of the most stupidly fought war in history - attrition warfare has been universally considered discredited by military strategists.
  [
  Nevertheless, Washington has repeatedly imposed political constraints on military strategy - frequently resulting in Washington dictating even the choice of individual bombing targets. The nation and friendly governments have repeatedly been enmeshed in conflicts under politically imposed terms of engagement that made victory impossible and even avoidance of defeat very difficult.
  [
  Attrition warfare is, in essence, the total lack of strategy.
  [

 North Vietnam won by attacking economic facilities and noncombatant civilians as well as military forces and facilities.
  During the Vietnam conflict, North Vietnam could send invading forces across political boundaries with impunity, attacking not only the military forces and installations of the Allies, but also all manner of economic facilities and noncombatant civilians. They aimed directly at the destruction of the political and economic systems of South Vietnam.
  [
  Vast segments of the North's economic system, however, were off limits to Allied attack, and the North was repeatedly assured that its political structure wouldn't be attacked. It was like playing a game of chess while restricting your pieces to your half of the board and denying any intention of attacking your adversary's king.
  [
  The United States thus restricted itself and its allies to a strategy of attrition against a war hardened nation with one of the highest birthrates in the world and a demonstrated callousness towards casualties. Fifty years after the Battle of Verdun, Defense Secretary McNamara and his whiz kids - with their supreme contempt for the lessons of history - led the United States into a war of attrition in Asia.
  [
  There were many good reasons to avoid that conflict, not the least of which was the tactical stupidity of choosing to fight on an Asian battlefield bordering a then antagonistic China that the United States did not want to confront militarily.
  [

 The United States sought to prevent its allies from launching counterattacks across political borders or against the economic facilities and civilian personnel supporting their adversaries.
   During the 1970s, the United States uniformly tried to limit the strategic options of all friendly governments that relied on the United States for support. There were widespread attacks or threatened attacks by Soviet clients - often across political borders - that targeted not only military facilities and personnel but economic facilities and civilian personnel as well. The usual response of the United States was to attempt to prohibit counterattacks across those same borders or against the economic facilities and civilian personnel supporting those adversaries.
  [
  The result was that South Vietnam and several other friendly governments were toppled. These governments certainly had many faults, but the alternative governments - whether or not Soviet clients - invariably proved much worse - not only for American interests but for the interests of the local peoples as well. All around the world, friendly governments began to suspect that it was fatal to be an ally of the United States.
  [

Today, the United States generally offers little more than muted objections to the way internal conflicts are managed. 
  This changed dramatically in the 1980s, as the U.S. turned a blind eye to the harsh measures adopted by friendly governments in dealing with internal conflicts and external threats from neighboring Soviet clients. Today, the U.S. offers nothing more than muted objections to the ways in which internal conflicts are managed in such nations as Egypt, Turkey and Algeria, and continues normal relations with the determinedly repressive regime in China.

  Russia's brutal suppression of Chechnya also draws little more than muted objections, and not the slightest disruption in normal relations.

 Indirect action:
  The avoidance of costly frontal attacks is the key to military tactics and strategy. Indeed, the ideal attack is one that completely avoids the adversary's forces. By posing multiple indirect threats - each varying in terms of space, time, and character - the potency of military forces can be multiplied. The potency of an adversary's forces can be diminished by being forced to fragment in response to multiple threats.
  [

 Strategists attempt to create uncertainty and surprise in their adversaries.

 

The ultimate strategic target is economic - the economic facilities that support an adversary's political leaders and military forces.

 

The women, children, and noncombatant men of an adversary's population are inevitably located in the most important strategic target areas.

 

Attack and defense are inherently intertwined.

 

War is inherently atrocious.

 

Avoidance of battle and resort to guerrilla war by the weaker force usually becomes untenable in the face of all out strategic threats.
  The only competent defense is one that includes the ability to pose a similar series of threats, thus forcing an adversary to fragment its forces and diminish the threats it can pose.
  [
  Military strategists call this concept "indirect action."
Laymen understand it simply as "surprise" - surprise as to the place, time, and character of an attack. This concept is applicable to all adversarial contests. It explains why the chess and checker player seeks dominance of the center of the board, why the poker player must occasionally bluff, and why the quarterback fakes one play before starting another.
  [
  However, if the strategic objective is to launch attacks that can't be opposed by an adversary's forces - or that can be opposed only with difficulty - what then is the ultimate target of military attack?
  [
  The answer is obvious - but so disturbing that it generally remains unspoken even in many military texts. The ultimate strategic target is economic - the economic facilities that support an adversary's political leaders and military forces. (Generally, the adversary political leaders themselves are too difficult to target directly.)
  [
  This means that the women, children, and noncombatant men of an adversary's population are inevitably located in the most important strategic target areas - that military strategy is primarily concerned with gaining the ability to destroy economic targets - and that the will to destroy those targets is essential to the competent conduct of military actions.
  [
  This is also frequently true at the tactical level, although desert and similar battlefields, where supply lines run exposed through long stretches of unpopulated terrain, can offer scope for maneuver that doesn't threaten significant civilian populations. Also, unpopular regimes can often be successfully attacked with less damage to economic targets than when attacking regimes that enjoy substantial popular support. However strong, the power of unpopular regimes is brittle.
  [
  Simplistic notions of attack and defense are rendered untenable by these realities. The two are inherently intertwined. There can be no competent defense without the ability and will to attack - as the French learned so convincingly at the beginning of WW II. Also, no attack is wise unless the economic supports of the attacking forces are adequately defended. As Hanoi knew so well, such defense need not be military. It can be attained by the ideological and political inhibition of an adversary's ability to counterattack.

  For terrorist organizations, friendly political borders, stealth, and the use of civilian entities as fronts, are among the techniques used to defend vital economic assets.

  Attempts to avoid most of the atrocious aspects of war are rendered futile by these realities. War is inherently atrocious. The only saving grace in this dismal picture is that - once an army has gained the ability and has the will to destroy an adversary's economy - surrender usually follows quickly - before such actions are necessary. Of course, unpopular regimes simply crumble when their military capacity to dominate their own peoples is destroyed.
  [
 Avoidance of battle and resort to guerrilla war by the weaker force usually becomes untenable in the face of all out strategic threats.
  [
  The only possible distinguishing characteristic - the difference between The Force of military strategy, and its Dark Side - is between the harsh measures that are a part of the effort to defeat an adversary, and gratuitous atrocities inflicted on adversaries that have already surrendered or on peoples that have already been subjugated.
  [

 The will to win:
  The will to act atrociously is clearly an essential ingredient in military strategy. It is "the will to win." It can be based on hate - or an overriding need to win - or an ideological belief that justifies callous disregard for the suffering caused by the destruction of economic facilities.
  [

 The will to act atrociously is the essence of the will to win. It can be based on hate, or an overriding need to win, or an ideological belief that justifies callous disregard for the suffering caused by the destruction of economic facilities.
  Nazi Germany couldn't contemplate a guerrilla war after the defeat of its regular forces. The prospect of Russian soldiers conducting anti guerrilla operations all across the nation was too awful. It was a mark of the madness of Hitler and his cohorts that they fought as long as they did.
  [
  Ludendorff had to insist on surrender in 1918. The thought of French soldiers attacking across German territory after the horrors suffered on the Western front was too awful to permit him to contemplate further resistance.
  [
  In both World Wars, Germany earned the hatred of its adversaries.
  [
  General Lee had to surrender after Richmond fell. With General Sherman ravaging Georgia and the Carolinas - and the Shenandoah Valley in ruins - guerrilla warfare was unthinkable. Although without malice, President Lincoln had an overriding need to win that war - as quickly as possible - no matter how much destruction that effort required. During WW II, firebomb and atomic attacks were authorized by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman for similar reasons.
  [
  Israel can win all its battles, but without the will to destroy its adversaries, it cannot win its war. An effort at a negotiated peace is essential. Its adversaries have a keen ideological justification for the complete destruction of Israel, and thus retain the strategic advantage no matter how many battles they lose. It remains to be seen whether they seek a real negotiated peace or view peace arrangements as just a tactical step towards total victory.
  [
  Having rejected Kosovar autonomy, the only way Serbia could defeat Kosovar guerrilla forces was to remove their economic support. The forced removal or expulsion of civilian populations is a standard tactic in anti guerrilla operations. But the mass slaughter of noncombatant men and the use of rape as a tactic are gratuitous atrocities deserving of universal condemnation.
  [
  In Chechnya, Russian military efforts constitute a ruthless recognition of these deplorable facts of military strategy.

  The terrorists currently targeting the U.S.  have adopted an ideological justification for the atrocious conduct of targeting noncombatant civilians and economic facilities. This gives them a huge strategic advantage, and will vastly complicate and increase the expense of dealing with them if they are engaged only at the tactical level  They can be neither deterred nor contained. They will neither compromise nor accept any reasonable accommodation. There is an absolute need to defeat them - justifying all means within the broad limits of the Geneva Convention.

 Grand Strategy - The Profound Weaknesses of the Dark Side
 [

 The will to rule:
  The Dark Side of military strategy is concerned not only with the will to win, but also with the will to rule. The difference between Lincoln, Roosevelt and Truman on the one hand, and Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, on the other hand, is that the former were magnanimous in victory, while the latter continued their atrocious conduct against their own and subjugated peoples as a matter of course - even after all resistance had ended.
  [

 The forces of evil must eventually lose whenever good men are able to make a credible stand somewhere on the field of battle.

 

The stability of evil empires is an illusion.
  Considering the power of the dark side, it becomes evident why the evil empires of the world are so attracted to atrocious conduct. They find it useful not only against military adversaries, but against domestic political threats as well. They have both "the will to win" their conflicts, and "the will to rule" their subjects. Despots like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot waged ceaseless warfare not only against their military adversaries, but against their own peoples as well.
  [
  The Dark Side enables Evil Emperors to crush political opposition
and maintain absolute political power.
  [
  Nevertheless, evil is invariably self destructive.
As Winston Churchill pointed out, the forces of evil must eventually lose whenever good men are able to make a credible stand somewhere on the field of battle. Moreover, even when evil empires like the Soviet Union succeed in eliminating all opposition within their vast borders, they must eventually succumb.
  [
  Those who invoke the Dark Side
invariably cause vast suffering and frequently achieve major successes - especially when good men stand aside. However, the Dark Side is subject to profound weaknesses. The stability of evil empires is an illusion.
  [
  There can be no stability on the Dark Side.
  
[

   Weaknesses of evil:

 

 

 

 

 

 

[

  Evil weakens itself in innumerable ways. Good men and good nations often find innumerable allies; evil men and evil nations usually must fight alone or with unreliable allies.
  [
  Good men and good nations gain strength and allies from their victories. The victories of evil always impose increasing burdens.
  [
  Evil knows no peaceful borders, and must always protect its exposed flanks, and guard its subjugated rear.
  [
  The absolute power of evil regimes routinely breeds vast corruption.
  [
  The continuous reliance on atrocious conduct and absolutist nonsense invariably repels the best people, limiting the talent available to evil regimes to the intellectually and morally dead - the stupefied and inhuman.
  [

  Unreliable allies:
  The Communists were invariably weakened by their victories during the Cold War. They were burdened by the need to dominate their conquered peoples and support their weak and unstable allies. The constant need to repress their own peoples undermined economic strength. Corruption reached staggering proportions. The only leaders who willingly sought alliance with the Soviet Union were those with aggressive designs of their own. The conflicts of Soviet clients imposed growing burdens on the Soviet Union.
  [

 Both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were weakened by their victories, because they had to dominate their conquered peoples and support their weak and unstable allies, and constantly repress their own peoples.
  The United States, on the other hand, was usually strengthened by its victories. In the early years of the Cold War, it gained strong allies by the magnanimous treatment of the defeated Axis powers and the successful defense of Western Europe and South Korea. By encouraging liberalized trade, political and economic freedom and individual liberty, the United States assured growing economic strength domestically and among its allies. By prudently extending the hand of friendship to all nations that were content to live in peace, the United States enjoyed cordial relationships and beneficial alliances with both democratic and non democratic nations, and both capitalist and socialist nations.
  [
  The vast majority of the free peoples in the free nations felt they had a stake in the success of their nations, were actively engaged in productive economic activities and supported their Cold War efforts.
  [
  Over time, the United States repeatedly strengthened its position by prizing away from the Soviet Union's orbit such regional powers as Egypt, Indonesia, and eventually even Communist China. As soon as the aggressive ambitions of these nations ceased, the Soviet Union was invariably seen as more of a threat than a friend.
  [
  Despite the great Communist victories of the 1970s, by 1982 the Soviet Union was essentially fighting all alone and was bleeding financially from dozens of running financial sores in Africa, Central America, Asia, and Europe. Almost all its victories turned into bleeding financial sores.
  [

 As soon as the thirst for aggressive adventure wanes, the attractiveness of ties to a Soviet Union or Nazi Germany wanes with it.
   World War II saw similar strategic phenomena.
  
[
  England not only ultimately obtained powerful alliances with the Soviet Union and the United States, it also obtained vital assistance from a handful of Polish code breakers and some excellent Polish pilots, some Yugoslav partisans, a valiant little Greek army, and partisan groups throughout Europe. Hitler's allies were uniformly inept and irresolute on the battlefield, and their failures were a constant source of trouble. The need to control subjugated peoples diverted vast German forces.
  [
  The Japanese always fought alone, while the United States fought against them with allies such as England, China, Australia, and New Zealand, and obtained vital assistance from Philippine partisans and Solomon Island natives.
  [
  In both theaters, until final victory, the Allies never had to divert substantial forces for occupation duties.
  [
  There is no natural cohesion in alliances with evil empires
like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Only fear of military retribution keeps subject peoples in line. Only a desire for arms and diplomatic support makes such alliances attractive to those few nations contemplating aggressive military or diplomatic initiatives against their neighbors. As soon as the thirst for aggressive adventure wanes, the attractiveness of ties to a Soviet Union or Nazi Germany wanes with it.
  [

 Magnanimity towards old adversaries and good will towards peaceful nations has proven to be the most powerful concept of grand strategy in the 20th century, and will remain such in the 21st century.
  The grand strategy of the United States since WW II has been outstanding even if its military strategy has often left much to be desired. No powerful nation in the history of the world has been more successful in developing and maintaining friends and allies, and in turning old adversaries into friends and allies.
  [
  Even where friendship has not been possible - and even among those who resent its success - its essentially non threatening posture has enabled it to maintain cordial commercial relationships. Only those nations that entertain aggressive ambitions need fear the United States.
  [
  Magnanimity towards old adversaries and good will towards peaceful nations has proven to be the most powerful concept of grand strategy in the 20th century, and will remain such in the 21st century.

 Victory in the great conflicts of the 20th century has been as much because of the virtues of the Allies and the evil of their opponents as because of Allied economic power and the skills and valor of their fighting men.
  The weaknesses within Western alliances and within Western relationships with Third World nations were and remain many and profound. However, the ties between them were and remain based on military, commercial, and /or ideological interests that were and are both mutual and fundamental - and thus were and remain capable of surmounting most difficulties.
  [
  Victory in the great conflicts of the 20th century has been as much because of the virtues of the Allies and the evil of their opponents as because of Allied economic power and the skills and valor of their fighting men. However imperfect those virtues inevitably were, there can be no doubt that the lines between good and evil were never more clearly drawn than in the 20th century. The rewards of virtue and the weaknesses of evil were never more clearly demonstrated.
  [
  The stupidity of moral relativism was never more obvious.
  [

  Absolute power corrupts absolutely:

Corruption and ineptness reached such astounding levels that nobody cared enough about the empire to try to save it.
  The corrupting influence of power is demonstrated repeatedly by history. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Repeatedly, when the overthrow or dissolution of the world's evil empires removes the cloak of censorship, astounding levels of corruption and ineptness are revealed.
  [
  In both ancient Rome and the modern Soviet Union, collapse was not due to, respectively, "the barbarians at the gates," or any action by the NATO alliance. Collapse came only when the corruption and ineptness reached such astounding levels that nobody of any ability cared enough about the empire to try to save it.
  [

  Economic power:
  Maintaining economic growth and technological progress requires economic freedom. No centralized system has the flexibility, capability, or shear energy needed to run a modern economic system. Private enterprise capitalism is not an option - it is a necessity.
  [

Communist China will not be able to satisfactorily resolve the conflicting requirements of political repression and economic freedom. 

 

The trade wars of the 1930s and the inflation of the 1970s were primarily responsible for Western military weakness and retreat during those times.

 

The demagogues who, for short term political gain, advocate protectionism or monetary inflation, are a far greater threat to the safety of the Western democracies than any external enemies.
  Oppressive regimes - with their arbitrary constraints and corrupt officials - obstruct economic development. Today, Communist China wrestles with the conflicting requirements of political repression and economic freedom. As long as they maintain political oppression, they will find no solution to this problem.

  The Moslem fundamentalist terrorists are in essence asking the peoples of the Moslem world to prefer the limitations of a 14th century lifestyle over the possibilities of a 21st century life style. Even granted the economic difficulties experienced in the Moslem world because of 19th century forms of governance that block economic advance, the vast majority of Moslem peoples will inevitably opt for the possibilities of modernity.

  The inherent lack of stability of the Dark Side can only be accentuated as the pace of technological and economic change accelerates in the 21st century.
  [
  However, economic and financial weakness has periodically afflicted the Western democracies as well, with disastrous consequences for their strategic position. Democratic governments are capable of immense economic stupidity, and are capable of bringing their rugged capitalist systems to their knees. This occurred during the Depression decade of the 1930s - leading to WW II - and the inflation decade of the 1970s - leading to a period of Western retreat and substantial expansion of Soviet influence.

  Whatever else was wrong with the NATO air bombardment of Serbia, the fact that the United States budget remained in surplus meant that the effort could be sustained indefinitely without going hat in hand to its allies for financial contributions, as it had to do in the war with Iraq just a decade before.

  The major economic lesson is thus that economic and financial strength is absolutely essential for the construction, maintenance, and commitment of conventional military forces. The inability to financially sustain military commitments must seriously undermine their credibility. This was a major factor in the perception of Western weakness during both the 1930s and 1970s.
  [
  Political demagogues and the intellectuals who provide respectability for their indefensible economic policies have periodically presided over the careless squandering of the financial health of the Western democracies. For narrow political gain, they caused the trade wars of the 1920s and 1930s and the Keynesian inflation of the 1970s. These disastrous economic policies played the primary role in undermining Western military strength and inviting international anarchy in the wake of the retreat of Western military influence during those times.
  [
  As has been the case throughout history, the demagogues within have done far more to threaten democracy than the enemies without.
  [

  Containment:

 

 

[

   The trade wars, great wars, and the breakup of the great European empires during the 20th century disrupted established political processes and permitted a rogues gallery of paranoid thugs to grab control over a wide variety of nations, new and old, powerful and weak. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Qadhafi, Khomeini, and other similar leaders took advantage of these disruptions to grab power. They plagued the world and, especially, those peoples unfortunate enough to fall under their control.
  [

It is always in the interest of those who succeed aggressive leaders to seek accommodation with the United States and the other democratic powers. 

 

Containment works only when, and only so long as, the containing powers retain clear military superiority and the will to use it.
  As the 21st century begins, all the empires are gone, the major European powers and Japan are at peace, and trade war is hopefully (but unfortunately not necessarily) a thing of the past.
  [
  Evil empires and rogue nations tend to change drastically with the passing of the Evil Emperor or the cadre of revolutionary leaders, whose ranks are almost always drastically thinned by the purges that take place during their power struggles. Existing leaders of all types - and especially the paranoid thugs themselves - want no putative Stalin or Saddam Hussein anywhere near the halls of power where they can pose a threat to the current leadership.
  [
   The Stalins and Maos of the world prefer nonthreatening energetic order-takers as chief lieutenants. These apparatchiks are the men who are left to rule after the passing of the paranoid thug or the revolutionary cadre - and it is always in their interest to seek accommodation with the United States and the other democratic powers.
  [
  Containment has thus been a spectacularly successful strategy
during the Cold War.
  [
  But containment is not a pacifist strategy. It works only when - and only so long as - the containing powers retain clear military superiority and the will to use it. It is important to demonstrate that will - at least at advantageous times. Since containment inherently involves constraints on military strategy, it can be successful only if military superiority is substantial.

  When facing an adversary that refuses to be either deterred or contained and attacks civilian targets as aggressively as possible, there is no alternative but to destroy or be destroyed. Only when host regimes fear for their own existence, will the West have even a possibility of dealing with the threat from suicidal terrorists.

 The mighty dollar:
  And then, there is the dollar.
  
[
  The turning point in the Cold War came in 1982. It was a dark time - a terrible night - for the United States and its allies - with evil portents abounding at every point of the compass.
  [

 In spite of all the troubles of 1982, the position of the United States was stronger by the end of that year than at any time since the start of the Vietnam War, and its ideological opponents were everywhere in evident retreat.

 

A stable dollar prevented oil embargoes, assured reliable flows of supplies from friends and foes alike, shielded the Western allies from the shockwaves of Third World conflicts, assured respect for the United States and its interests, and improved economic efficiency and stability.

  Two major wars in the Middle East - a potentially disruptive conflict between a primary European ally and a primary Latin American friend - the deepest worldwide depression since the 1930s - and the most serious policy split in the history of the vital NATO alliance - all howled and whistled in the winds that year - without laying a glove on the strategic position of the United States.
  [
  Indeed, despite those problems and many other dire events during the course of that year, the United States found itself with a far stronger position throughout the world at the end of 1982 than at any time since the beginning of the Vietnam War.
  [
  One would have expected that the troubles of 1982 would have aroused all manner of barking dogs. One would have expected them to be not just howling in the winds, but to be actively nipping at the heels of exposed worldwide commercial and strategic interests as well. This is what invariably happened during such moments in the 1970s.
  [
  Nevertheless, no dogs barked in the troubled night of 1982.
  
[
  OPEC made no move to cut off or restrict oil flows when Israel invaded Lebanon. The quarrel over the Falkland Islands was successfully contained. NATO differences were successfully resolved. The Soviet Union found herself hopelessly enmeshed in costly conflicts all around the world and in a state of serious economic decline.
  [
  Indeed, the ideological foes of the United States hadn't been so quiescent since the start of the Cold War. Socialist nations not only refrained from nationalizing western business interests, they began actively courting investments from the much-maligned multinational corporations.
  [
  This remarkable state of affairs was obviously neither good luck nor outstanding coincidence. There was a single overwhelming reason for this mysterious state of affairs - a reason we forget at our peril. That reason was simply the reestablishment of the stability of the dollar.

  • A stable dollar meant that suppliers needed dollars more than we needed their supplies.
  • A stable dollar meant positive interest rates -- the interest that could be earned and the debts that could be paid rendered income from sales far more valuable than supplies left in the ground or hoarded by suppliers.
  • A stable dollar protected the economies of the United States and its primary allies from the shockwaves of Third World conflicts.
  • A stable dollar assured respect for the United States even from those nations from which it would have been naive to expect friendship.
  • A stable and strengthening dollar meant favorable shifts in the nation's terms of trade. It took less of our coal to buy more of their oil - less of our grain to buy more of their bananas.
  • A stable and strengthening dollar meant - and itself was possible only because of - a steady reduction in the rate of inflation.

 The reestablishment of the stability of the dollar was one of the Reagan Administration's greatest Cold War and domestic victories.
  Whatever the failures of the Reagan administration - and there were many - Reagan succeeded in reestablishing the stability of the dollar. Unaffordable levels of defense expenditures, insufficient cuts in government domestic spending, and the frequent resort to self-defeating trade embargoes as Cold War weapons, were hardly minor matters. However, as long as real interest rates remained above normal, inflation rates would continue to decline and the dollar would remain stable.
  [
  The stability of the dollar easily made up for a host of other weaknesses and mistakes. The end of inflation and elimination of energy price controls ushered in 15 years of low energy prices that provided a substantial basis for renewed prosperity.
  [

 All political leaders, both friend and foe alike, had to eventually establish sufficient ties to the Western World to engage in commerce with the Western World.
  The dollar easily regained its status as the predominant strategic weapon of the Cold War and the most potent force behind American diplomacy. A strong military defense was obviously still required to deter overt aggression from the Soviet Union and its clients.
  [
  However, oil kept coming to the West from OPEC suppliers - even from such ideological adversaries as Libya, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, and Angola - not because of strategic missiles, but because of the dollar. East European satellites strained at the ties that bound them to the Soviet Union not because of the military might of NATO, but because of the irresistible attractions of the hard-currency commerce of the Western World. The attraction of the dollar, not fear of the United States Navy, kept supplies flowing from Latin American nations, and from Argentina as well, during the Falkland Islands conflict.
  [
  Even the Soviet Union remained the very model of a reliable supplier of such vital resources as titanium and oil, not because of any fear of the United States Army, but because of its hunger for the dollar.
  [
  Repeatedly, it was proven that failure of any particular Western diplomatic or military effort didn't necessarily translate into increased Soviet strength or a weakened Western World. Whether in regional powers like China, Indonesia, Egypt, or Iran - or in smaller states like Chile or Angola - if new leaders were to cap military and political success with economic success - whoever grabbed power had to eventually establish sufficient ties to the Western World to engage in commerce with the Western World.
  [

 Liberal economic policies ignited inflation, pushed interest rates up, and made all problems worse.
  Liberal Keynesian economic policy in the 1970s resulted in monetary expansion sufficient to artificially force interest rates down. This inevitably ignited inflation, resulted in higher interest rates, undermined the dollar, made all existing problems worse, and left the Western World's commerce naked in the face of the world's continuous flow of political and economic storms.
  [

  The major difference between the commercial and ideological vulnerability of the Western World during the 1970s and the seeming invulnerability and ultimate triumph of the 1980s, was the renewed stability and slow strengthening of the dollar.
  Those who doubt the overwhelming importance of a sound dollar should ponder all those barking dogs that so mysteriously remained silent during the long troubled night that covered the international wasteland during 1982. The major difference between the commercial and ideological vulnerability of the Western World during the 1970s and the seeming invulnerability and ultimate triumph of the 1980s, was the renewed stability and slow strengthening of the dollar.
  [
  The answer to the mystery is elementary, my dear Dr. Watson.
  [
  Today, there is justifiable fear that a troubled Russia or expansionist China might someday initiate a serious military confrontation with the United States. However, this is not inevitable or even as likely as many believe. As long as the dollar is something the United States has - and Russia and China want and desperately and increasingly need - there will remain powerful reasons for those nations - and all other nations - to get along with the United States.
  [

  War fever:
  It appears that each generation has to learn for itself just what the horrors of war actually are.
  [

  No government that can count on the support of an armed citizenry need fear the outbreak of revolution or guerrilla conflicts. All of the many internal conflicts of the Cold War world came about because governments could not arm their ordinary citizenry and count on their support.
  Major military conflagrations relieve the world's periodic war fevers, but apparently only for about the time needed for a new generation to reach its twenties. Within each generation, there will be those who view war as just a lot of adventure stories - an acceptable means of settling old scores and current frustrations - and even as an apparent means for escape from humdrum lives.
  [
  Such young people readily flock to the banners of those who promise action. Suddenly, petty, rabble rousing demagogues find themselves with the kind of youthful martial following that gives them real power. How easy it seems to push aside the more centrist political leaders and dominate any nation whose citizenry won't or aren't permitted to take up arms to defend political institutions.
  [
  No government that can count on the support of an armed citizenry need fear the outbreak of revolution or guerrilla conflicts. All of the many internal conflicts of the Cold War world came about because governments could not arm their ordinary citizenry and count on their support.
  [
  When demagogues succeed in taking control of nations, they frequently find themselves riding the whirlwind. Their rhetoric creates expectations of forceful action and dramatic achievement. Their following will inevitably include some young leaders who lie in wait to take advantage of any sign of weakness - any disappointment at the pace of events. It is an environment ripe for the success of the paranoid thugs who grab and sustain power by ruthlessly eliminating all current and potential opposition.

  The Taliban in Afghanistan have remarkably succeeded in earning the dislike or enmity of all of the many nations on its borders - and of China, Russia and the U.S. as well..

With the demise of the willingness to reach compromises and accommodations in international disputes, the war fever mounts.

  Truth and reason are invariably the first casualties of this phenomenon. Intellectuals and media elements that refuse to slavishly follow the party line are quickly targeted for silencing or elimination. Ultimately, the willingness to compromise and accommodate differing interests within and across national boundaries also falls by the wayside.
  [
  Compromise and accommodation
are the key elements in any effort to peacefully resolve differences among sovereign nations. Without a cop on the beat or a court with the authority to order compliance with its decisions, there is no disinterested force behind international law or diplomacy. With the demise of the willingness to reach compromises and accommodations in international disputes, the war fever mounts.
  [

 Western military might must be substantial enough, and the willingness to use it must be visible enough, to convince even the most rabid and heavily propagandized rabble that compromise and accommodation is the only prudent course for their leaders to follow.
  For a diminishing but still significant number of aggressive despotisms around the world, only Western military force provides an inducement towards compromise and accommodation and continued acceptance of established principles of international law. It is no accident that the vast majority of the world's conflicts rage in areas of Africa where Western interests are not involved, or in Central and South Asia where Western power cannot reach.
  [
  At least where Western interests are involved, this Western military might must be substantial enough - and the willingness to use it must be visible enough - to convince even the most rabid and heavily propagandized rabble that compromise and accommodation is the only prudent course for their leaders to follow.
  [
  The credibility of Western military capability and will to act is what, above all, became at risk once it was decided to intervene in the Balkans. (This vital credibility is once again at risk - this time in Central Asia.)
  [
  Where Western interests do not extend
or where Western protection cannot be relied upon, war fevers can be expected to grow. Each nation in such regions must find the means for shouldering an increasing responsibility for its own defense.
  [

 In the near future, the development of war fever may increasingly lead to, and take place in, a world afflicted by nuclear proliferation.
  Since the "nuclear umbrella" offered by the United States cannot be relied upon in such regions, this has forced the pace of nuclear proliferation. This is happening particularly with nations that may face military threats from Communist China. First India felt impelled to develop nuclear weapons, and then its rival Pakistan felt impelled to respond. If the United States fails to provide them with an effective nuclear shield, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the nations bordering the contested South China Sea may all be forced to consider nuclear arms. North Korea and Iran may open up new fronts in the nuclear proliferation struggle.
  [
  In the near future, the development of war fever
may increasingly lead to - and take place in - a world afflicted by nuclear proliferation. (The near future may well be now.)
  [

 Blood and bankruptcy:
  The continuation of war fever in many international hot spots - in Africa, Serbia, India and Pakistan - makes headlines. The diminution of war fever in several old hot spots goes unnoticed. Nevertheless, such reductions are real and important. There are good reasons to fear for future relations with Russia and China. However, today, except in India, war fever is nonexistent in the world's major nations. Even Iran cautiously seeks normal relations with the Western World.
  [

 Only when every other family has lost a son or father, and the streets of every town exhibit the crippled and disfigured of modern war, does war fever wane and nations become willing to consider diplomatic compromise and accommodation as an alternative to war.

The cost in blood and treasure has induced a commendable degree of caution even in continuing hot spots.
  This development has not been because of the force of reason or the effectiveness of diplomacy, the efforts of the United Nations or developments in international law. These remain pitifully ineffectual.
  [
  The world's war fever has declined in vital areas of the world because it has been quenched in blood and, sometimes, in bankruptcy.
  [
  In the 1980s, the peoples of Iran and Iraq learned the hard way of the horrors of modern war. The losses were awful, but there was no other way the lesson could be taught.
  [
  Both the leadership and the rabidly supportive populace of those nations were beyond the reach of mere human reason. The populace has since learned what some of their leaders still refuse to see.
  [
  Only when every other family has lost a son or father, and the streets of every town exhibit the crippled and disfigured of modern war, does war fever wane and previously aggressive nations become willing to consider diplomatic compromise and accommodation as an alternative to war. This was the only way these lessons could be taught to the European Great Powers -- now that Third World nations are free to manage their own foreign policy, it is not surprising that many of them have proven just as dense.
  [
  Blood and bankruptcy quenched the war fever in the European powers and the Soviet Union, and in lesser powers like Egypt and Vietnam. The cost in blood and treasure has induced a commendable degree of caution even in continuing hot spots like Iran, India and Pakistan, and perhaps even in the Yugoslav states. In Korea and Vietnam, even China has had cautionary experiences.

  As the war fever mounts in Central Asia, the region could be drowned in bloodshed and bankruptcy.
  [
  Has there yet been enough bloodshed and economic privation to quench the war fever between Israeli and Palestinian?

 

  Force and law:

 

 

 

 [

  Military force is still the bedrock of relations between sovereign nations. Despite all the wishful thinking about the United Nations, international law, and the rights and responsibilities of modern nations, it is the force of Western arms - and only the force of Western arms - that protects Western interests in the international arena - induces the world's would be aggressors both large and small to restrain themselves - and gives a multitude of peaceful states the opportunity and courage to resist various pressures of aggression. It is the force of Western arms - and only the force of Western arms - that maintains an international environment in which commerce can flourish and international law and diplomacy can maintain even the minimum degree of effectiveness currently attained.
  [

 You can have force without law, and law without justice, but you can't have justice without law, and you can't have law without force.
  The basic reality is that you can have force without law, and law without justice, but you can't have justice without law, and you can't have law without force.
  [
  "Rights" in the abstract - without the force and the will to maintain them - are illusory. That the necessary "policing" power has been abused on more than one occasion doesn't in any way detract from the need for it or change the adverse consequences whenever and wherever it proves inadequate.

  Since the 1970s, liberal critics in Congress have presided over the unilateral disarmament of the U.S. intelligence and security forces charged with protecting the nation from terrorist and other threats. Now, hopefully, it is evident even to the most dense that this is a still dangerous world,  and the consequences of weakness are indeed grave. Abuses of power are unfortunately inevitable and will have to be dealt with - but the power to act remains essential.

  The primary force that the world depends upon for international law and justice is that of the United States. However, the United States can't be - and shouldn't try to be - the world's policeman. The United States has its hands full merely protecting its own vital interests and those of its allies, and balancing out the force - and deterring the aggressive instincts that still exist in - China and Russia. The U.S. has made errors in the past, and will undoubtedly make errors in the future, for which brave men and women in its armed forces will pay with their lives. The United States must always remain aware of its profound limitations.

  Now, the burden of fighting world cross border terrorism and the states that support it has been thrust upon the U.S. This is a huge task, and success is by no means certain. The wisdom of refusing to become committed in any wider policing roles and creating even more adversaries should now be evident.

  Each nation, no matter how small, has an obligation to protect its own legal and geographic turf as best it can. Any government that is afraid to arm its own citizenry is vulnerable. History can be unkind to those that fail in this chore - that view the world in a pacifistic light or depend on others for their protection.

The perception of weakness:

  Nothing invites war like the perception of weakness. Every significant conflict that the United States has been involved in in the last 70 years has been initiated because despots coveted weak neighbors and sensed weakness among the great Western democracies. Pacifism invites war.
 
  • WW II started with attacks by the Axis powers on weak neighbors and the perception that the Western democracies were decadent and lacking in the moral, political and militarily capacity for effective action.
  • The Korean war started when the United States indicated that its vital interests did not include South Korea, and military demobilization had severely weakened its military capabilities.
  •  The Cuban missile crisis began when Khrushchev gained a mistaken perception of political weakness in the Kennedy administration.
  • The Vietnamese conflict began when Hanoi judged, correctly, that the United States did not have the will to apply the military force needed for victory.
  • Kuwait was invaded when Saddam Hussein perceived it to be an easy target and received indications from the United States that there would be no response.
  • Serbia launched four minor wars within the Yugoslav area based on the perception that there would be no effective outside intervention and the perception, erroneous in the first three cases, that Serb forces had a significant superiority over their targets.

  Now, a terrorist organization that believes it can operate with impunity from the mountains of Afghanistan and other host nations has struck a vastly damaging blow.  This most recent blow comes as a result - in part - of the failure of the Clinton administration to mount any effective response to previous attacks. It proves once again that time is always of the essence in military conflict - that even the weakest of opponents will devise means of hurting you if they are given enough time. These attacks will continue unless and until the U.S. and its allies prove that they have power that can effectively reach even into the mountains of Afghanistan.

Some Modern Tactical Considerations

  In the early 1980s, I wrote an article on some of the tactical considerations imposed by modern conditions. Considering that rapidly changing conditions generally require similarly rapid changes in tactical concepts, it is amazing to me that these considerations still remain good to this day. I do not know how long this will remain true, but having been tested by time to this point, they deserve repetition. Some reflections on Kosovo and the current conflict have been added at various points and at the end.

 Undeclared wars:
  Formal declarations of war remain dangerously outmoded in an age of entangling relationships. Even with the demise of the Cold War alliances, many wars must still be fought in an undeclared state.

  The Western democracies in general, and the United States in particular, have failed to evolve any practical legal framework for conducting undeclared wars.

  The Western democracies in general - and the United States in particular - have failed to evolve any practical legal framework for conducting undeclared wars. They have no workable arrangement for marshaling public support or dealing with actively dissident groups and individuals. They have no practical concept of the range of military actions - the "terms of engagement" - permissible without a formal declaration of war. This failure undermines the credibility of Western limited war capabilities. Nevertheless, there is little apparent effort to confront this major weakness.

  The conflicts in Yugoslavia highlighted this problem. They highlighted several other tactical problems as well.
  [
  Warfare by committee is, as it has always been, a prescription for disaster. Neither the United Nations nor even NATO is an adequate substitute for the purposeful leadership that only the United States is currently equipped to provide. Only the overwhelming strength of NATO permitted eventual success. Even though Serbia eventually pulled its forces out of Kosovo, the failure to deter or obstruct their military activities resulted in the humanitarian disaster the Western powers were trying to prevent.
  [
  At least, in the current conflict against terrorism, the problems of undeclared conflicts are no longer applicable. The United States has been infinitely strengthened by the attack on the World Trace Center and the freedom of action gained by Congressional actions that amount to a clear declaration of war.

 Sea power:
  The surface of the sea is still the primary route for projecting power and protecting interests away from a nation's immediate borders. Even the huge transport aircraft of the United States Air Force can't provide the carrying power to project and maintain substantial active military forces.
  [

 For the foreseeable future, the United States will be heavily dependent on its big carriers to project the kind of force needed to protect its worldwide commerce and diplomatic interests.
  The surface of the sea is a very dangerous place. Modern torpedoes and cruise missiles are deadly to any surface vessel smaller than a battleship or heavy carrier, and constitute serious threats to those ships too. Defense of surface ships keeps getting increasingly difficult and expensive.
  [
  The naval battles of modern conventional warfare will be decided by the aircraft that gain control above the ocean's surface and the submarines that gain control below. For a surface fleet, total control is essential in an ever-widening radius corresponding to the ever-increasing range of modern torpedoes and cruise missiles.
  [
  Large, expensive, vulnerable aircraft carriers remain essential for a modern navy. Not even the United States has the land bases needed to provide essential air cover for Western naval forces operating in distant seas. Facilities for land based aircraft are not immediately available near many of the world's current or potential hot spots. The threat of nuclear conflict has receded and is likely to remain low for at least the first decade of the 21st century. For the deterrence of petty despots around the world - or for dealing with the conflicts that they may start - the big carriers are essential. (And they obviously remain essential today.)
  [
  How many big carriers are needed is of course a subject for intelligent debate, but the need is as clear today as it was during WW II. For the foreseeable future, the United States will be heavily dependent on its big carriers to project the kind of force needed to protect its worldwide commerce and diplomatic interests.
  [

The grunt on the ground:

 

 


Against determined opposition, only in support of ground forces can the technological and size advantages of our naval and air forces become decisive.

 

 

It remains true even today that only the grunt on the ground can take objectives, hold ground, and achieve military victory on land.

 

 

 

 

[

  Currently and for the foreseeable future, only the United States has the economic strength to build, maintain, and operate big carriers. Other nations may copy, or steal, technology and build some sophisticated weaponry, but only the United States has the economic strength to put cohesive packages of sophisticated weaponry into the field in significant numbers. Only the United States has the economic strength to continuously improve its military technology and constantly upgrade its weapons in the field. Only the United States has the ability, over the seas, to project and maintain large fighting forces in areas significantly beyond its borders.
  [
  However, as we see in Iraq and Yugoslavia, all of this is of limited effectiveness against determined opposition except when it is applied in support of ground forces. Without ground forces, it is all just expensive occasional bombardment. Only in support of ground forces can the technological and size advantages of our naval and air forces become quickly decisive.
  [
  The ground forces need not be NATO or U.S. forces. In Bosnia, Croate and Bosnian forces ultimately became strong enough to do the job. The KLA tried to fill that same role in Kosovo. The failure to find forces on the ground that can be supported grossly limits the impact of the occasional aerial bombardment in Iraq.
  [
  It remains true even now that only the grunt on the ground can take objectives, hold ground, and achieve victory on land.

  In Kosovo, the delay in committing ground forces undoubtedly avoided significant NATO casualties. However, a significant price was paid for this considerable advantage. The delay permitted Serbia to achieve all its ethnic cleansing objectives. Only after the successful occupation of Kosovo by NATO ground forces was that reversed.
  [
  The commitment will have to be long term. The hatreds reinvigorated by this conflict will put off for perhaps 80 years the time when the peoples of this region accept the need to live in peace with each other. The Balkans remain a quagmire. Although success should be achievable, it is far from assured. The West will ultimately have to commit substantial ground forces to maintain the peace for decades to come.
  [
  Effective action in Afghanistan will undoubtedly depend on the ability to insert and maintain significant ground forces, both indigenous and Allied. Without that, even the most severe conventional bombardment will be futile.

 The end of gunboat diplomacy:

 

 

 

 

 

The day is long gone when a few gunboats and a handful of marines could handle any military eventuality outside the borders of Europe.

 

However, ultimately, brave men will have to go in on the ground if victory is to be secured.

  Whenever Western interests are threatened, it will require substantial military forces to protect them. Petty despots all around the world now have significant stockpiles of sophisticated weapons. Their ability to sustain modern military operations is drastically limited - but their capacity to initiate brief military efforts is substantial.

  Initial power but limited endurance has been a characteristic of all four conflicts initiated by Serbia since the breakup of Yugoslavia.

  The day is long gone when a few gunboats and a handful of marines could handle any military eventuality outside the borders of Europe.

  This is a lesson learned in Kuwait, where substantial force was applied, and even in Somalia, where a commendable effort failed for lack of adequate force. In Kosovo, the need for substantial military commitments for effective intervention in modern hot spots was once again highlighted. A substantial air armada had to be committed for an extended period - it had to attack strategic targets in Serbia as well as tactical targets in Kosovo - and, ultimately, substantial ground forces had to be committed to maintain the peace for decades to come.
  [
   Of course, there has been over a decade of advances in military technology since the Gulf War. The initial bombardment in this "first war of the 21st century" should be very interesting. There have also been massive advances in battlefield surveillance and weapons aiming technologies. However, ultimately, brave men will have to go in on the ground if victory is to be secured. There will be times when some or all of those men will have to come from the U.S.

International Terrorism

The conflict against international terrorism:

  No one strategy or tactical methodology will succeed in the conflict against international terrorism. However, there are some things that absolutely have to be accomplished for any chance of success, and there are other realities that must be faced.
  • Every regime inclined to favor or harbor terrorist organizations MUST be made to fear for its own existence. Political borders must not offer terrorist organizations any sanctuary, and financial or other support must be made extremely risky.

  • Neither containment nor deterrence are feasible strategies against the terrorists themselves. They will neither compromise nor accept any reasonable accommodation. They must be chased and harried without letup wherever found.

  • The conflict against terrorism MUST be won. There is no alternative. While gratuitous violence will as always be self defeating - and good judgment in choice of tactics remains essential - this "absolute need to win" does justify any tactics that may be appropriate and within the broad limits of the Geneva Convention. It may, indeed, at times become a dark and dirty conflict - and there may be times when substantial civilian casualties may be unavoidable. Nations may even have to shoot down their own hijacked airliners. However, these are the terms of engagement chosen by the terrorists, and the conflict will have to be fought out on that basis.

  • Evil groups like the Taliban and the terrorists inevitably make many enemies. We must strengthen and assist their enemies against them - even many of those that we might otherwise prefer not to have any dealings with. On occasion, that may be enough. However, inevitably, there will be times when the U.S. will have to commit forces - sometimes substantial forces - on the field of battle.

  • Only with the assistance of the vast majority of the Moslem peoples can this conflict be won. Fortunately, they are like everyone else - anxious to get on with their lives - with a clear preference for life in the 21st century rather than in the 14th century.

  • Getting rid of the Taliban would certainly not end the conflict. However, it would certainly be a first - and probably an essential - step. Afghanistan is still a tactically difficult area, with no direct access from the sea. However, the Taliban have their own weaknesses that may come into play if effective force can be applied.

  • Fear of adverse reaction from other Middle Eastern states must not be a deterrent to effective action. To accept such deterrence is to admit defeat. If such reactions are likely now, they are certain later - and it would be best to get rid of one problem before others have to be faced.

  • A convincing show of force on such an apparently out-of-reach battlefield may reap unexpected dividends. The Taliban have made enemies with most of the nations on its borders, and Iran and Pakistan are burdened with about 4 million troublesome Afghan refugees. A display of futility such as those typical of the Clinton administration would just invite contempt and encourage the terrorists.

  • The terrorists are, in fact, effectively attacking strategically significant targets - with substantial impacts on the economic strength of the United States and the rest of the developed world - and on the Third World and Arab nations, too. Like most of the 20th century adversaries faced by the U.S. and its allies, they admit to no moral limitations on their actions. Although they remain tactically pitifully weak, this gives them tremendous strategic advantages that must be recognized.

  • As a result of their recent success, the basic risk/reward ratio of Western economies has shifted adversely. The "risk premium" between Treasury Notes and other investments has widened. The capital markets will reflect this by fluctuating around lower price/earnings multiples than before. The sharply lower levels of stock market prices reflect this fact. This increases the cost of capital. The cost of insurance is also increased. With a long conflict, a substantial growth in government spending will inevitably squeeze the private sector. The productivity of the entire Western world has thus been adversely impacted. There are also, of course, the immediate costs of the attack and the significantly higher costs of heightened security to take into account, but the greatest damage is from the system wide impacts. 

  • Nevertheless, the ability of the terrorists to mount a sustained campaign has yet to be demonstrated. It took them a long time to launch the recent attack, and they may in the future have trouble coming close to their recent spectacular success. The world has been shrugging off lesser acts of terrorism for some time, and at least now is mounting an active defense.

  • If the terrorists fail to maintain a sustained campaign, the adverse economic impacts of the recent attack will slowly lessen - with sufficient time, to near the vanishing point.

  • Meanwhile, the nations hurt the most by this attack will be the commodity manufacturing and raw materials exporting nations (Asian Tiger and Third World nations), the Middle Eastern oil exporters, and Russia. The sums lost by OPEC will quickly mount into the tens of billions of dollars. In the absence of a sustained terrorist campaign, the lower raw materials and supplier prices will help the developed nations recover from the blow.

  • The economic prospects of the whole world have been adversely affected by the attack - something that will tend to support allied efforts to gain widespread cooperation and alliance against the terrorists.

  • The West has been made infinitely stronger by the attack. The normal hesitancy and divisiveness of peacetime are over. The U.S. is now actively engaged in marshaling worldwide opposition to the terrorists.

  • Globalization has received a boost as a result of the  conflict. Trade liberalization is being granted to Pakistan, Jordan and other Middle Eastern states as a reward for cooperation, and Pres. Bush may now be able to get "fast track" trade negotiating authority through Congress.

  • The period of unilateral disarmament of the intelligence and security forces charged with combating espionage and sabotage is now over. This disarmament policy was enacted by a liberal U.S. Congress during the Carter administration in the 1970s. Once again, weakness and a determined denial of reality has invited attack. Inevitably, there will in the future be abuses of the powers restored to the security agencies just as there were such abuses in the past, but these problems will have to be dealt with without unilateral disarmament of such forces. As FUTURECASTS has repeatedly pointed out, the world remains a dangerous place. An effective defense is essential.

  Conflict always sets all things in flux, and many of the impacts of even successful military efforts will be unpredictable. The dogs of war have indeed been loosed. However, conflict has been thrust upon the nations of the civilized world, and they must act with confidence in their ability to handle the problems that will arise. Inevitably, most of the burden must be borne by the U.S.
  [
  Above all, it would be a mistake to believe that the terrorists are ten feet tall. They have many weaknesses, and the West has many strengths. Most important, however, is the will to act - without which defeat is certain.

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Copyright 2001 Dan Blatt