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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Thursday, March 20, 2003

 

Less shock, more awe
I've been leery of the shock-and-awe tactics for a while, not because I think they themselves are a bad idea (the premise, pointing out very loudly to your opponent that he is doomed, thus convincing him to surrender with minimal loss of life, is a very good one), but because people are badly misinterpreting it, and it's making them think all sorts of terrible things about the US war plans. And now the Washington Post has a story on that very phenomenon. It's a good article, and links to the original shock-and-awe treatise.

But you'll notice that there has been no massive bombing such as what was predicted, and I don't know if there ever will be, especially if we succeed in picking off the leadership. I hope we don't have to, because, whatever the real outcome of such maneuvers, they are invariably thrown back in the face of America years afterwards. I still find myself defending the 60-year-old actions of Harry Truman in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we can do this with no shock and all awe, that would be best, giving us the best support and preparing us best politically for the next campaign. The massive military might of the US army and its allies will hopefully be blatant even without the discharge of massive amounts of firepower, but with discussion of cold hard realities instead (in fact, I suspect that was the purpose of all the talk about 3,000 bombs in the first 24 hours of war). However, if such tactics truly are needed, our military can't be hamstrung by the wailings of those who misunderstand, whether willfully or otherwise.

UPDATE: Suman Palit has been having remarkably similar thoughts.
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