I think the volunteer corps is a good idea

October 14, 2014

This is a very interesting idea – only because in these last few years, the whole notion of waging war has gone thru a historical redefinition that has very little to do with war making as we have always understood it in the classical sense.

Often technology is cited as the game changer. Granted! It has certainly changed the entire way war is waged. With these trends in play, it’s certainly even true warfare is undergoing a momentous shift that may well parallel what once transpired when gun powder abruptly made it’s debut in the age of the crossbow.

Today. Sci fi wonder weapons from nifty goggles that can even render camouflage obsolete to drones that can be controlled thousands of miles away via satellite has certainly changed the face of the battlefield irrevocably.

But let us not get too carried away by the marvels of tech warfare. As despite their sheen and promise to confer a competitive advantage to its possessor. Technology alone has has done so very little to solve the perennial problems associated with waging war. You could even say certain timeless set pieces such as how to beacon out the fog of war….how to allay fears, anxieties and put an end to sectarian friction that usually follows in the wake of a military campaign….how to win the battle of the hearts and minds….and above all how to leave the place that was once conquered better and hopeful still confounds even the best strategist. We are still none the wiser despite all the toys at our disposal…..as I suspect something’s concerning will never change.

Rather in the age of technoccentric war. Militaries have been hypnotized and mesmerized into a false sense of confidence – creating a sort of complacency where instead of investing and upgrading the most important link in the war machine…the human being and his thoughtware. So much blind faith continues to be placed on technological prowess alone. Result: over reliance and misplaced faith in technology continues to generate more harbingers than military strategist can ever hatch solutions….the real solution can only come from new people who bring with them new attitudes to fight in new sort of battlefield.

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‘To me any idea that can minimize the body count of the NS man should this poor bugger have to go to war is a five chili good idea. War can be bleak. Bleaker still for those who expect their maids to shoulder their backpacks. Show me where to sign on the dotted line lah!

Which part of this do you all not understand. After all I spoke in simple and uncluttered English. It is very simple….nothing complicated about it….unfortunately, the same cannot be said about waging war in this century. It’s has become a very complicated business with infinite twist and turns and much more….and that is always problematic.

In fact these days I am not so sure it’s only about waging war that really matters. As that part seems to read more like a prologue when compared to what happens after the war. I reckon the second part requires much more skill and mental fire power as it has more to do with managing oneself and others effectively to win!

What I mean by this is when we look at warfare in the twenty first century context, it really goes beyond the application of hardware to interdict a clear and present threat.

Sure you can take out a group of ‘insurgents’ who are busy making IED’s in their mama’s kitchen with surgical precision with a Predator drone at 50,000 feet. May even be able to do that with a warhead that can glide into the chimney…stop at mid-air…..make a right angle turn and take out them all out in without shattering the family heirloom pots and pans even.

But what is the nett result? What have you really accomplished? I am not asking you whether you met your mission objectives! That is not the question! I am asking you a very fundamental question that goes into the crux of war making and interdicting and mitigating threats efficiently and effectively.

And that if you didn’t know has been what the Americans and their proxies have been doing thru their clandestine services since the 1980’s under Reagan.

They funded and trained the Mujahiddeens and that sowed the seeds of radicalism and discontentment that led to many of the problems the world faces today. Same goes for the Isil. It’s a creature created by the very same people who now find themselves having to wage a protracted, expensive and debilitating war against them….all because they have a very poor grasp of what they’re getting themselves into. It’s like a kid playing with a boomerang! That’s the American mindset for you lah!

Is it true that all Iraqis love freedom and democracy like what Bush once proclaimed on TV. Yes, but it is in the nuanced understanding of the word ‘freedom,’ that suggest their variant of democracy is closer to a self styled Iranian theoracy than the Western conception that makes all the difference.

Do you see how the devil resides in the details.

My point is these divides cannot be bridged by robots, gizmos or bullets that can make right angle turns in mid air – these are perennial problems associated with the human condition that must first be thoroughly understood from the inside out. Worst of all these are considerations that field commanders these days pay scant regard too. Because they much prefer to be gung-ho – to take that hill….light up that machine gun post etc etc like John Wayne. They think war is like a movie.

But to me that is not a very intelligent nor efficient way to wage war these days. Especially when the enemy is amorphous.

All they’re doing with their gizmos is sowing the seeds of enmity and hatred that will fuel the second coming. If the pathos of the intifada teaches the modern warrior anything at all, it is simply this – the challenge in this age is to be able to get people who understand things for what they are and to empower them to get the job done professionally.

What does it matter if they are foreigners. Black cat or white, who the bloody hell care providing it can catch mice! If your logic holds true that foreigners cannot be entrusted, then the French Foreign legion would just be a name of rock band that tours the world. Truth is values like people can migrate. Beliefs can shift and allegiances can tack. It happens more often than you think!

What I do know is this much. It’s a travesty of reason to send a red neck from Nebraska who thinks the Quran is a name of a hip brand of shirts to do a man’s job in Iraq – get a sheep to do a foxes job and nine out of ten….people will die! And they died and they’re still dying today. Those are the realities when you scale it all wrong and dabble with things that you don’t understand – war is cruel!

So coming back to the case study of those goons who are making bombs in the kitchen. In my view it makes far more sense to send someone who knows their history, culture and motivations intimately to go and ask of them over a cup of tea and biscuits.

‘What the fuck are you people doing making bombs man? Where is this all going to end up man?’ How are you people going to get your own place instead of staying with your parents if you spend your time like this! Hey have you people thought about coming to work for me?’

To get into their minds. To see things the world thru their eyes and to even understand why they think and do the things they do – after all is it so complicated. If 13 year old Abdul once saw his father being gunned down in a checkpoint by evil GI’s just because he didn’t stop because he couldn’t understand the traffic signs or the brake pads were just worn….and Abdul decides he wants to grow up to avenge his father’s murder. Would you or I not consider the same…so which part of this do you not seem to understand?

My point is all this shouldn’t happen in the first place and if it does, it shouldn’t occur at the rate and frequency that we have come to expect and even regard as normal.

If the Americans and their western allies did just that….if they had even had the foresight to spent one millionth of a one percentile on what they usually budget for weapons development and procurement on getting the right people and empowering them to do the job. All the problems we see today will just disappear like lemon drops….when one sees it in this scale and perspective, then it becomes very clear why war making should be left to only professionals.

Remember this! Never get a sheep to do a foxes job. Never!’

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