|Col. Richard Kemp (via twitter)|
Terrorist groups do not follow the laws of armed conflict but have been using them to their advantage in war with countries such as the United States, according to a report from the High Level Military Group.
Members of the group, which was formed last year and is composed of retired military officials and civilian experts, released the report on Tuesday during an event at the Washington, D.C., office of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“This report illustrates a new threat our forces are faced with—a political warfare strategy of our adversaries, terrorists, and insurgents, who fight with utter disregard for the laws of war or human rights,” explained, retired British Col. Richard Kemp, one of the report’s authors.
“They not only ignore the laws of war, but they exploit our armed forces’ adherence to the law,” said Kemp, who commanded Britain’s troops in Afghanistan. “They not only exploit events when our forces kill innocent civilians, but they do all that they can to compel our forces to kill innocent civilians. Then they use the media and human rights organizations to create political pressure against our governments.”...
Well, yeah. That's how asymmetrical warfare has worked since about the dawn of time. When faced with a superior conventional force, one tends to fight unconventionally. Go figure.
About eight months ago, the head of the National War College was on Charlie Rose, where he said something that's stuck with me ever since. "There are two ways to fight the United States, asymmetrically and stupidly."
Guerrilla wars have always been much more political than military. If you can't secure and gain the support of the affected population, you can - as Ted Cruz stupidly and incorrectly puts it - "carpet bomb" until the end of time and you'll still lose.
Look at Vietnam. The scorecard there was 58,000 dead Americans to 2 million dead Vietnamese. More bombs were dropped in that "police action" than in all theaters of World War II combined. On paper, that should count as an easy win for the U.S but for the fact that wars aren't decided on paper.
Off of the top of my head, I'm not aware of a single insurgency that's ever been defeated by air power alone. Not one.
ISIS knows that, but we don't seem to. Therefore, we're probably going to lose AND suffer more domestic terrorist attacks for our trouble.
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