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Van Crevelds Latest: GWOT V The Troubles

#1
Bill Lind quotes the Israeli military theorist Martin Van Creveld's latest book:
Chapter Six, "The New World Disorder, 1991 to the Present" summarizes what a state needs to do to prevail over non-state forces. It does so most usefully in looking at the British Army's success in Northern Ireland, one of the few cases where the state's armed forces have won.
...
The most important insight of all, though, (came) over dinner in Geneva in 1995. My partner on that occasion was a British colonel, regiment of paratroopers, who had done several tours of duty in Northern Ireland. What he said can be summed up as follows…

the struggle in Northern Ireland had cost the United Kingdom three thousand casualties in dead alone. Of the three thousand, about seventeen hundred were civilians….of the remaining, a thousand were British soldiers. No more than three hundred were terrorists, a ratio of three to one. Speaking very softly, he said: And that is why we are still there.
I can't imagine a time when that type of cold blooded math will interest the Pentagon.

The British modestly called their other victorious little war The Malayan Emergency. The Global War On Terror always was a over blown piece of rhetoric for what should have been sold as series of police actions. Now there is wearying talk in the US of The Long War evidence of draining will rather than dogged determination of say PIRA who called The Troubles just that as they slowly filled up Milltown cemetary and touted each other out until the Long Peace arrived.

Some foolish Likudniks like Charles Krauthammer want to style current nastiness as WWIV. That eagerness to escalate has brought us within a couple of years of WWIII in the Persian Gulf.
 
#2
alib said:
Bill Lind quotes the Israeli military theorist Martin Van Creveld's latest book:
Chapter Six, "The New World Disorder, 1991 to the Present" summarizes what a state needs to do to prevail over non-state forces. It does so most usefully in looking at the British Army's success in Northern Ireland, one of the few cases where the state's armed forces have won.
...
The most important insight of all, though, (came) over dinner in Geneva in 1995. My partner on that occasion was a British colonel, regiment of paratroopers, who had done several tours of duty in Northern Ireland. What he said can be summed up as follows…

the struggle in Northern Ireland had cost the United Kingdom three thousand casualties in dead alone. Of the three thousand, about seventeen hundred were civilians….of the remaining, a thousand were British soldiers. No more than three hundred were terrorists, a ratio of three to one. Speaking very softly, he said: And that is why we are still there.
I can't imagine a time when that type of cold blooded math will interest the Pentagon.

The British modestly called their other victorious little war The Malayan Emergency. The Global War On Terror always was a over blown piece of rhetoric for what should have been sold as series of police actions. Now there is wearying talk in the US of The Long War evidence of draining will rather than dogged determination of say PIRA who called The Troubles just that as they slowly filled up Milltown cemetary and touted each other out until the Long Peace arrived.

Some foolish Likudniks like Charles Krauthammer want to style current nastiness as WWIV. That eagerness to escalate has brought us within a couple of years of WWIII in the Persian Gulf.
My bold - other makes it sound like the only one we had. We had lots of vicious little wars - http://www.britains-smallwars.com/
 
#3
We had military victory over the PIRA as early as 1972, if not before.

Yet still they came back, and gnawed at us; civilians and soldiers alike.

We did not, in the end "defeat" Republicanism. We (soldiers and police) managed its violence, until politicians - whether through inspiration and intelligence, or by blundering and good luck matters not - brought the various parties to a pont where "The Struggle" (seen in the light of an economically resurgent, secular Irish Republic, which had renounced claims on the 6 counties, where big investment ££ was beginning to arrive, while the Ecstasy generation - in its loved-up state of mind - spotted that paramilitaries selling drugs were just gangsters, and not romantic) simply ceased to be relevant.

In 1995, I wrote to the USA Parameters mag, a response to a piece they had published, praising the new improved manual for Operations Other Than War (US FM 100-11 IIRC, I prob'ly misremember the serial no).

The FM was based on the Powell doctrine of "Victory Through Overwhelming Force" - in every circumstance.

I asked them to imagine how that might have played out in Ulster. Wondered what "Victory" would look like in Ulster.

It was not published.

But, with or without Petraeus, a decade on, the US, its President and many of its Generals will insist on "Victory" in the "GWOT".

Fuckwits, all of them.
 

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