After Vietnam I went to college and set my mind on the study of conflict (war)…..after experiencing it first hand I felt I need to take a look at it from all sides.
There are far too many people that view war from a distorted prism…there is nothing romantic or heroic about war…..war is barbaric, chaotic and ugly…..
I fear that policy-makers do not talk enough about the inherent ugliness of war. War is state sanctioned brutality, the outcome of which is death, destruction and suffering in order to achieve a political objective unobtainable through diplomatic means. It is a contest of wills settled through extreme violence where devastation is the rule, not the exception. War is also based on a crude and cruel calculus where success usually relies upon the ability to both inflict and sustain greater casualties than the opposition. Its enduring features are friction, chaos, and chance; all of which lead to uncertainty, and none of which are natural allies of the delivery of precise violence or predictable outcomes, which seem increasingly to be what society, and in turn, policy-makers expect.
We are sending more of our troops into a meat grinder and few seem to mind or even care…..has it become so common place that we brush off conflict with a flick to the channel changer?