War is a terrible thing. It is a time when men make every attempt to hurt and kill fellow men. We are in 2 wars at the moment. One in Iraq, which is hopefully in the 'end stage', and the other in Afghanistan. We have been fighting these wars for almost 9 years now, pretty much since the cowardly attack on us on 9/11/01 by Muslim terrorists. Just why is that? Why has it been going on for such a long time? Why is it taking so long for the most powerful nation in the history of the world to defeat a so much smaller, technologically inferior enemy?
We were only in World War II for 4 years (1941-1945), World War I for 2 years (1916-1918), the Spanish American War for 2 years, the Civil War for 4 years, Mexican War for 3 years, the Civil War for 4 years. Even the American Revolution was only 5 years!
These days, however, wars seem to last forever. The Korean War (Conflict) was only 4 years, but it never ended and has continued to flare up every few months for 60 years now! Vietnam dragged on for over 10 years! Why is that? What has changed? Why to modern wars with the modern weapons and modern technology, go on, and on, and on....?
What has changed is that we have become "Civilized". We now want to keep friendly relations with the civilian populations. After all -we are the 'good guys" and need to take the 'high road'. The enemy can kill indiscriminately, but we should not kill or cause more damage than is absolutely necessary.
I was reading a new Marine Corps directive the other day describing how to treat Taliban prisoners taken in the field in Afghanistan. The Marines are specifically instructed not to abuse the prisoners, even verbally. They can bind their hands - but only in front, not behind their backs. If they transport prisoners suspected of planting roadside bombs, they should be transported in armor protected vehicles so that any bombs will not harm them! Once taken into custody for questioning, prisoners can only be held for 96 hours and then must be turned over to local authorities or released --and if they are released, they are to be given money in compensation for their time. As I was reading it I could hear my father, a World War II veteran, laughing from his grave -or maybe he was crying... Can you imagine how a directive like that would have been received by the Marines on Iwo Jima in 1945?
This directive is a perfect example of why our wars have suddenly gotten so long. We no longer fight to win. We fight to make people like us. It is no longer enough to stop aggression, we need to rehabilitate the aggressor. We are now "civilized" and in a "civilized society" you just do not abuse the enemy. Our current leaders tell us that "no matter how bad our enemies are being, they are still human and must be treated with respect and we need to protect their rights".
This is why there are no longer any peace treaties. Have you noticed? Countries don't surrender, they just fight until both sides are worn out and broke, then they make a truce while they negotiate --forever. In the end, wars go on for years and years and the causalities go on for years and years. Our soldiers, sailors and marines go on fighting and getting injured and killed because we want to be 'civilized'.
We need to remember that war is something to be avoided at all costs. If you fight one, it must be won at all costs. Don't hold back. Hit the enemy, hit them hard, hit them often and keep hitting them until they quit. Don't worry about hurting their feelings, violating their rights or 'collateral' damage while you are attacking the enemy. When you have peace, there will be plenty of time to build friendships.
"Civilized War" is an oxymoron for losers. If you worry to much about causing hurt feelings or collateral damage, you will hesitate -and hesitation in a fight is one thing that will make you lose every time. As long as we allow our leaders to fight 'civilized wars' there will always be a war going on for us to have to fight.