Tuesday, February 06, 2007

War - Part 4: Know Thy Enemy

This has been a recurring concept throughout my dissertation on war. And again in recent exchanges with my friend.

To wage a successful battle, violently or not might I add, depends on means of course, but more importantly I think it depends on strategy. Your strategy is inextricably linked to the enemy you are fighting.

Seems obvious, but apparently, this is a concept that is totally misunderstood by millions of modern peaceniks worldwide.

Note, that I will be a little facetious here, because, well, because it’s fun.

I will use, in effigy, the nasty British Empire. They were trundling all over the world for a hundred years colonizing this and that and the other thing; big bad meanies that they were.

Along comes a genius by the name of Ghandi. This warmonger wants to liberate India from the British overlord. He gathers a following of millions and hunkers down to wage an almighty battle. Remember, he is a genius and he understands his British enemy.

He toes the line with his millions, the war machine is looming, all hell is going to break loose. And…

Nothing. He does nothing. Actually, he does more than nothing, he tells his army to stay quiet and peaceful. What the fuck?

The Brits are totally taken by surprise by this new-confounded attack strategy. It will be years before their confusion is sorted out that Ghandi has actually won.

You see the British Empire is essentially a moral one. Based on human-life principles and Ghandi knew this. So his strategy was simply to bring out that moral human and let England back down, from inducing death and mayhem, at its own pace.

Ghandi knew full well that his enemy was not prone to genocide. He knew that fighting was a normal course of action for the Brits but then so was diplomacy. Finally, Ghandi was well aware that the British Empire was there to colonize, not invade or overrun through arms but most importantly they weren’t there to annihilate anyone.

He knew his enemy better, maybe, than they knew themselves. Make no mistake, there were casualties, but a damned sight less than there could have been.

OK, so he figured out the Brits were fighters, diplomats, colonizers, and moral.  Not genocidal and not barbaric.

Now, if Ghandi had tried the same thing with, let’s say, Hitler there wouldn’t be anyone left to tell the tale.

Would there?


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