Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pentagon in blinders

This article from the Chicago Tribune suggests that the Pentagon has yet to internalize the lessons of "Fourth Generation Warfare," and

rather than adopting a new strategy, the generals and civilian leaders in the Defense Department have continued to support conventional, high-intensity conflict and the expensive weapons that go with it. That is happening, critics say, despite lethal insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"They don't understand this kind of warfare," said Greg Wilcox, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, Vietnam veteran and critic of Pentagon policies. "They want to return to war as they envision it. That's not going to happen."
The Tribune piece is full of quotes expressing astonishment that the Pentagon cannot learn from this situation, but the simple truth is that a defense establishment whose primary purpose is to maintain American hegemony will never be able to roll back this sort of threat environment.

Indeed, the growing comparative advantage of the US military only makes it more likely that adversaries will shrink from the open battlefield and instead choose the sort of drawn out insurgency that we see now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Until the DoD drops its dreams of "full spectrum dominance," this problem will not go away. It will only get worse.