Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The military and society

Jay Bookman, a liberal editorialist for the Atlanta paper (I almost don’t need the adjective), offers a relatively interesting piece on professional military reactions to the public distance (not exactly uninterest, but certainly not intimate involvement) from the Iraq War. He quotes from this article, which strikes me as worth reading. The passages Bookman cites about the importance of involving the populace more directly in any future commitments of military force are sertainly important (and Bookman doesn’t refer to the author’s argument that the inevitable future commitments will be even more complicatd than those in Iraq and Afghanistan).

But this one is also worth noting:

Perhaps the most decisive factor that will determine
who emerges victorious in current and future wars is which side can gain consistent advantage in the holistic information environment that plays out across the globe, near and far from the “front lines.” In short, the commander who prevails in the information war is almost certain to win the war itself. Perception has a nagging tendency of determining how our enemies, our allies, and our own societies view war, often regardless of what is actually happening on the ground. If we are unable to do a better job than our enemies of influencing the world’s perception, then even the most brilliantly conceived campaign plans will be unlikely to succeed.
I wrote about this issue some time ago, and am glad to see that people are still thinking about it.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Bookman (who must be a liberal or he wouldn't be employed by the AJC) is disingenuous making a to-do about the information war, considering his and other newspapers do their best to undermine the GWOT. The article he cites is interesting, though I have yet to see the ideas explored put into practice by the government or the military. But the quotes from McCaffrey are irksome. This was Clinton's Mr. Drug Czar. It's hard to take seriously anyone who feels it's worth wasting tax money and putting people in jail to try to stop the smoking of marijuana. All they have done is ruin some lives and raise the price per ounce. It's still easy to get. And how much closer can a general (even a retired one) get to making/being identified with policy than that?

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