Wednesday, August 5, 2009
In the comments on my last post, fellow Ink Spotter MK made the following comment: "I can't imagine that you're looking for a linear relationship between political objectives and military strategy in an unconventional conflict in the modern security environment." I'm certain that he is not the only person out there who thinks that this could be the case as I've heard it before from others.
But I just don't see how it could be any other way. I cannot think of any case in which the military strategy could be tangential at best and peripheral at worst and still work towards attaining the political objective. What has occurred in the modern era (presumably since the end of the Cold War) or is different about unconventional warfare that could cause this shift in relationship between the two objects that had previously existed since the formation of political entities?
In the case of Afghanistan, it appears to me that the military strategy is focused on the wrong population on the wrong land. To suggest that strategy might attain the stated political objective is to suggest that somehow defeat will come to the enemy through some sort of osmosis through the semipermeable Durand Line. Or an ink spot writ much larger. I don't think we have any historical evidence that suggests that might be possible or likely.
So I'll pose this to our readers and I hope that you respond (in keeping with Gulliver's guidance please). Is MK's assertion correct that the modern security environment has fundamentally changed so that there is no longer a linear relationship between political objectives and military strategy?