Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The casualty-aversion myth

Given that the casualty-aversion myth is once again front page news--the Fellujah incident reminding Dan Rather and the others that something similar happened in Mogadishu in 1993 (and Beirut earlier) and that we pulled out as a result--this long piece by

Lt. Col. Richard A. Lacquement, Jr. for the Naval War College Review is worth reading. He understands that our enemies tend to think that once we have casualties in a conflict we will turn-tail and run. He considers this historically and finds it not to be true. He also asks whether casualty sensitivity affects our national security objectives. He thinks this latter question is more difficult to answer. Our will and resolve is being tested. It is common knowledge that our enemies--bin Laden included--think that Mogadishu exemplifies our character. Lacquement argues that we have always had the stomach for such things and, I add, most certainly since 9/11. Let our enemies not understand this. That’s fine.

Discussions - 7 Comments

The more soldiers killed the more our resolve is being tested. When the last soldier dies will we have passed the test? At 600 dead soldiers and counting when will the number of sacrificed be enough to admit the wrongfulness of this endeavor. Killing off our service people one by one is stupidity in command. Being in Iraq is a mistake, Bush is a mistake, and this whole dishonest conservative government is a mistake. Barry Goldwater would be ashamed of what the idiots in charge are doing to our country and to our armed forces.

So the rightfulness or wrongfulness of an endeavor is determined by the number of casualties? Good thing U.S. Grant didn’t feel that way. Or Dwight Eisenhower, for that matter.

In the interest of protecting our troops in Iraq in the future, and in other countries, as the war on terror drags on, the U.S. should respond forcefully, and even brutally, against the cretins in Fallujah who committed the atrocities, and who are now bragging that Fallujah is to be the death of Americans.

Send an armored column into the city, backed up by A-10 warthogs. When the column comes under fire, obliterate the position from whence the fire originated. Continue as necessary, until the cretins get the message.

I believe Mr. Butts is missing the point of taking casualties to enforce our ’national will’. If the Clinton Administration had responded in Somalia with strength and determination our enemies would be less likely to believe America is casualty adverse. This Administration is forced to pay the price of blood to remind the World that America will bear any price to protect it’s people and our Allies. The history of the 20th Century is replete with examples of American Liberals’ failure in Foreign Affairs. Liberal Politicians like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry have never been on the right side of history in relation to Foreign Policy. Appeasing Dictators leads only to wider and more destructive war.

I agree with Ralph. I have no idea why they won’t just go ahead do that today. How long are we going to tolerate innocent soldiers, contractors being treated like this and we just sitting back and saying "the perpetrators will be dealt with"

>Lacquement argues that we have always had the stomach for such things and, I add, most certainly since 9/11. Let our enemies not understand this. That’s fine.

Actually, it is very bad that our enemies do not understand this. I would far prefer them to believe that any harm they do to us would be instantly met with force.

Perception counts for a great deal.

If we had not pulled out of Beirut, Somalia, and other places so precipitously, I do not think that OBL would have thought (as he apparently did), that 9/11 would cause us to fold.

As our nation gets older; are we more squeamish? True, the loss of 9 Americans in Iraq yesterday was sad. Those on the left are touting "Out out! Leave Iraq!" Etc, etc.

Yet 142 years ago in Sept. 1862 at Antietam, MD;23,700 Americans were casualties. Just thought I’d toss out that figure.

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