The Gaza Situation

By Mike Haran
Nov. 22, 2012

With the ongoing clashes in the middle east which never get fully resolved it makes you wonder why in an age when weapon technology has reached its ultimate, (approaching the supernatural) anyone outside of the major powers can survive battle for more than a week.

It seems that since the end of World War II there have been dozens if not scores of wars all going on at the same time and no decisive results. From the earlier colonial wars of France and Holland to Vietnam, and Sri Lanka modern armies have been fought to a standstill by primitive armies more akin to bandits than soldiers. It is interesting that where there were decisive results the rule of law was not vehemently adhered to. Sri Lanka finally bought the Tamil Tigers under control as too did the Peruvian Premier Fujimori the Shining Path guerrilla groups. Both of these countries were at the time hardly shining beacons of democracy, President Fujimori suspending democratic safeguards in his fight against the Shining Path guerrillas, the Sri Lankan President Premadasa allowing massive civilian casualties during the final assault on the northern Tamil Tiger enclaves.

This seems to answer the question as to why the major western military powers have been unable to bring to a clear cut conclusion any of the innumerable wars they have been involved in.

Freedom enables unhindered research, discussion which leads to development in the scientific, technological and military areas. There has been a qualitative leap in battle field weaponry; first with fast firing rifles, and then machine guns, then the introduction of tanks and aircraft and the ancillary communication devices. Why then are the western powers so helpless when faced by armed tribesmen, bandits and criminal gangs?

The answer would seem to be that democracies while having the advantage of weapons of a superior nature and armies trained to very high standards do not do as well as those with older weapons and not having the advantages of the higher standard of training. The fault must be put down to democracy as the more undemocratic a power is the more likely it will be to prevail.

The soviet union had no trouble with Chechnya during its era. Neither did China worry about informal wars in days of the Han, Tang and the Ming, Funnily enough her main problem outside outright invasion by the Mongols and the Manchu, were the bandits on her north eastern frontier. One emperor going so far as to say that the whole country was being terrorized by a force no bigger than a prefecture.

The west has come to its age old turning point; the one where the road from democracy leads to anarchy which then leads to aristocracy which in turn leads to tyranny and then to oligarchy to eventual transform itself into democracy. Democracy (which has occurred mainly in western Europe and then it's off shoot US and its off shoot Japan) has ushered in an age of even more horrendous wars. Battles were once resolved in a matter of hours, in rare cases in days. World War One ushered in an age where battles would go on for months as thousands of men were poured into the contested areas. The fault was in the power of the defence and the nineteenth century military philosophy in place at the time. Clausewitz in his work ‘On War’ had emphasized the need for a concentration of force in a single point. This was all well and good in the age of muskets and horses but in an age of fast firing rifles and machine guns deadly on those making an assault. The problem was over come in World War Two with the development of the tank allied with the dive bomber and fast moving armoured divisions.

How these resources can be applied to modern war is a mood point. Can you imagine the headlines if Israel went into Gaza in the same way?

The west is in the position where it is hamstrung by its democracy. More and more are we going to see armed gangs dominating the most military sophisticated societies the world has ever know? The outcome is obvious. The west either becomes less democratic or it perishes. The forces it is up against has never given a thought to civilian casualties, in fact it is of the opinion that anything that helps the military effort is OK. You can bet that those in charge on the Gaza side are well versed in western sensibilities and will play upon them to the full. I personally think that they will weigh their options and elect to discontinue the war, not on humanitarian grounds but on the grounds that they will lose the propaganda war, it being hard to disguise the way these informal armies deliberately site their weapons amount the civilian populations so as to create the maximum propaganda benefit when the battle is over.


About the author Mike Haran: Here is the link to my new web site devoid of any connection with the above which I use as a device to publish my war games,link.



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