< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Come on, you can do it

Monday, June 11, 2007

Come on, you can do it

It appears I've made a friend. Mountainrunner is moving away from "motivations" and towards "goals". Of course the dear lad doesn't even realize the difference, but his drollery is still entertaining to a degree. The scribe writes:

It is fascinating, and more a little disappointing, to continue to hear comments like this that accept enemy attempts to attack our will but cannot comprehend the reverse. How very ironic, especially when it comes from those who support "4GW" and supposedly understand the changing nature of warfare.

I'd like to start out by saying I admire the shear brain power this Mountainrunner writes with. She or he is no fool. BUT,

tisk tisk. I never said I supported "4GW" nor did I ever say I "understand the changing nature of warfare." For me, this discussion of fourth generation warfare and an eventual fifth generation warfare is baseless poppycock!

War is a condition of the human soul. We fight every bit as much as we live. The more of us there are, the more likely we are to turn those fights into battles, battles into wars. This is just the human condition. Why do guerrillas fight the way they do? Because that is what they do. Why do we fight the way we do, because we are not guerrillas.

Understanding the "motivation" for the schoolyard bully doesn't change that he'll bloody the nose of any child who stands in his way. It does no good to understand "motivations", other than to say what is blatantly obvious to even a small child: those with power seek to destroy, and those without seek to avenge.

So what of Robb? What of "tactics" and "strategy"? What of "grand strategy"? These are all quaint terms and quaint thoughts. They do more to obscure and confuse than enlighten and refine.

It matters not whether or not the enemy is having a bad day. What matters is how do we find the enemy unprepared to engage?

Mountainrunner is correct that "goals" matter, for goals tell us where the enemy is going to be. I wonder if Mountainrunner would be so kind as to concede that "goals" and motivations are entirely separate, distinct, and altogether different things?

In fact, motivations are but a lazy mind's substitute for dealing with the hard facts on the ground. One of those facts, most acute and painful to all of us residing in the West in this current fateful epoch, is the fiction that there is but one "enemy". That there is but one motivation. Some predefined goal in their DNA perhaps. We could eradicate them as a species. This is Hitler dreaming. "Those evils Jews." Or "those cowardly Arabs."

Motivations, wills, these are all difficult things to pin down. Trying to abstract some sort of global "jihadi movement" out of all these individual actors is playing into the guerrilla's trap.

If Mountainrunner could answer this, then I suppose I would concede his point:

Did the motivations of the Apache tell us anything valuable in the war for the American West, and would such knowledge help America vanquish them any sooner?

I doubt it. But I'm listening now.