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. Thats fine.