November 12, 2006

The Strategy for Iraq and Japan

Cross posting some comments from Neo's comment page. Not because I have a big head full of pride, but because I wish to preserve my thoughts for the future. Saves time for me when thinking about the future of Iraq and the strategy for victory.

Y: The problem is the same with Imperial Japan. How do you convince a bunch of freaking fanatics, that dieing for their belief system is not the way to go.

First point, the Japanese weren't killing and dying for a belief system. They saw themselves as dying for their nation, and for their emporer. The willingness to die for ideology and the willingness to die for one's nation are two different things, and they provide two different means of defeat.

Iran, Syria, Al Sadr, Sunni Baathists, Al Qaeda. ... When they decide what to do or whom to kill, they calculate their own chances of survival into it, if not personal survival, then the survival of their ideology. So even though individual Japanese really didn't care to surrender, the Japanese nation WOULD surrender. Because they weren't fighting so they could die, they were fighting so that Japan could survive ...

Actually, AFTER the atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about half the decision makers in Japan tried to force the nation to fight to extinction. That was very much within their ideology. They lost the argument, Japan surrendered, and most of that half committed suicide.

The key difference between the insurgents in Iraq and the WWII Japanese is that the Japanese fought for the state, and the emporer as the embodiment of the state. When the state itself, in the form of the emporer, surrendered, the Japanese accepted defeat and (upon orders from the emporer) wholeheartedly assisted the Allied occupiers. On the other hand, the insurgents are invested in a transnational ideology. There is no one who can surrender for them, no one who holds that kind of sway over the insurgents. Therefore, defeating them will take a different strategy than defeating the WWII Japanese and will more likely resemble the British fight with the IRA.


Gravatar Ymar, I can see another ME beneficiary of US success in Iraq: Independent Kurdistan. They have exactly the type of culture you adore, that is warrior culture. And they have struggled for survival for centures with very formidable enemies, as Osman Empire, Persian Empire, modern Turkey and Suddam's Iraq. There are 30 mln of them, and in key strategic region, with terrain ideally fit for guerilla warfare; that is why they escaped annihilation. I also agree that Iraq is different from Palestine or Iran, as election shown: death cultists is a minority here. I do not advocate using proxies, only "Iraqization" of battle, and I object to imposing EU-style "humanitarian" norms on Iraqi authorities. If they see appropriate to hang terrorists in public, let them do it.


Gravatar I'm for the Kurds as well, I didn't mention them because my position already favors them heavily.

I object to the EU as well, but I wouldn't try to come up with a compromise with people who don't like torture by saying other people can do it for us. I am not convinced it would work to convince people, that would otherwise be pro EU style, and I am also not convinced it would be done well by others. America does everything well, that is why depending upon UN peacekeepers are such a disaster.

First point, the Japanese weren't killing and dying for a belief system. They saw themselves as dying for their nation, and for their emporer.

One and the same. Their Emperor was their belief system, it was the fundamental premise of their Bushido code, loyalty to the feudal lord.

The willingness to die for ideology and the willingness to die for one's nation are two different things,

One's nation can be one's ideology, talk to most US Marines and hear them talk about how much they believe in America and their fellow brothers in arms. Are they not willing to die in defense of America? Are they not willing to kill for America?

There are some differences, but it doesn't affect the strategy for defeating the enemy that much. People willing to risk death and people willing to kill, are dealt with in the same fashion, regardless of who they are or what they are fighting for.

You seem to be saying Islamic Radicalism is so extreme and so vital that it is different from any other apathetic belief system held by the West. I disagree.

and they provide two different means of defeat.

Since that is the heart of your disagreement, I'll concentrate on that.

The key difference between the insurgents in Iraq and the WWII Japanese is that the Japanese fought for the state, and the emporer as the embodiment of the state.

That is a true difference, however it is not relevant to the strategy. You are still crafting and designing your attacks to demoralize and cripple the center of gravity, of the enemy. To defeat their will to fight.

When you say that you cannot use the same strategy with Japan, towards terroists. Why not? Why should I not try and demoralize the terroists as the Emperor was demoralized? Why should I not try and break the will to fight of the enemy as Japan's will to fight was broken? Why should I not use nuclear weapons to inflict psychological damage upon the enemy out of all proportion to that which can be accomplished via conventional methods?

The basic strategy is the same. If you are refering to the tactical differences. Meaning, we avoided bombing the Palace in Tokyo, should we avoid bombing mosques as well? No, in that frame of reference, the tactics should be different. But the strategy should remain the same. The goals, the things you are trying to accomplish, and the way you are going to do it, is strategy. Tactics is what happens when the plan actually starts meeting the frict


Gravatar friction of war.

You could adapt the tactics all you want, like Bush has done (although not so much concerning mosques), but without the correct strategy, you aren't even going to get anywhere. The same applies for logistics. If you have the right tactics and the right strategy, but without the right logistics, you are going to lose.

There is no one who can surrender for them, no one who holds that kind of sway over the insurgents.

Was the strategy to get Emperor Hirohito to surrender? Perhaps. Is the strategy in Iraq to get Sunni Baathists and insurgents to surrender? Most likely.

So what exactly are you talking about there being two strategies?

How would your tactics be changed if you know that an enemy does not have a controlling force that once demoralized, will surrender the force? Simply adjust the tactics in order to target the center of gravity of the terroists. If the center of gravity isn't in their leaders, then where is it? Everything has a center of gravity, just find it. That doesn't really mean there are two different strategies.


Gravatar As I see it, the Islamic Jihad believes in a heavenly power, called Allah, that is on their side. The leaders of the Islamic JIhad, both Iranian and Saudi Arabian branches, believe in this mythology, this core premise.

The Japanese people, also, believed in a Divine Power that was on their side, called the Emperor. All victory is accrued and credited to the Emperor, because the Emperor protects Japan from all enemies. Who protects the Middle East Muslims from the Great Satan? Allah does.

So. the objective is the same. Make them stop believing in their divine figure. How you actually go about it in war time, is a tactical concern, but all tactics are dictated by the overall strategy. There can be no other way to run a war.

We got Japan to stop believing in the infallibility of the Emperor, by getting the Emperor. And we will get Muslims to stop believing in the divinity of Allah and the great power of Allah, by demonstrating that Allah has no power, no mercy, and no compassion towards Americans nor Muslims. You do so via tactics. Find some way to get people to stop believing in Allah the great protector.

What's the thing that really demoralizes Christians? It is when they see their God, do nothing while all kinds of evil (like abortion to them) gets done and God does nothing.

Ah. So, if we can demonstrate that the Middle East is powerless to stop the Great Satan (evil) from doing whatever we want, we convert the Muslims to our cause. Disillusioned Muslims, Muslims who are still practicers of Islam, but they will not believe, and without that belief, they are harmless. Belief is what powers jihad and fanaticism, without that belief, without that will to fight in the absolute surety that God is on their side, well, let's just say that it is going to put a huge nail in their plans of world domination.

Most Muslims do not believe in Allah enough to blow themselves up for heaven in the jihad or whatever. However, when Muslims see how pathetically weak America the Great Satan acts, while America gets Israel to do the dirty work of whatever, what do you think Muslims would believe of America? That Allah is on America's side, the pathetic weak America, or Allah is on the side of the Palestinians and Arabs?

God is on the side with the most firepower, as I believe it has been said.

It is not necessary to convert Muslims to Christians, when I say make them stop believing in Allah. It is only necessary to make our enemies believe that Allah is on America's side, and favors America, not the cause of the jihadists. Once you accomplish that, all else becomes moot.

You see, the same strategy for Japan. Get the Emperor, that divine source of power and strength, on our side, and all else will come to fruition. It is a bit trickier with Islam because their God is not materially on this earth, but that never stopped American ingenuity. While Allah is not on this earth, his followers are, and therefore his followers can be influenced, ma


Gravatar While Allah is not on this earth, his followers are, and therefore his followers can be influenced, manipulated, and convinced to stop fighting.x

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