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Counter Insurgency and the Constitution


Just as it used to be fashionable to talk about the “Revolution in Military Affairs,” defense experts and analysts are now talking about “Counter Insurgency” as the new way of waging war.

Please read Steven Givler’s thoughts here.

The problem is that “counter insurgency” is not war.  (It’s a retail strategy, but (cough) that’s for another day.)  “Counter insurgency” is the term used for the combination of simultaneous military operations and social bribes (“nation building“) aimed at “winning hearts and minds.”  The British used it as a limited supplemental tactic of war in India during the heyday of Empire; It was not used as a strategy to replace war.

Steven illustrates too the Constitutional issues with modern kinetic military action and Military Operations Other Than War.  The point of a formal declaration of war is primarily psychological.  (One wonders whether the modern failure to declare war is less a bug and rather more a feature of the emasculated, squishy progressive mindset.)

If our presidents returned to the constitutional practice of calling upon Congress to declare war, we could have a national debate before we committed our military to “kinetic actions.”

It’s an interesting question from the viewpoint of anti-war types. Are those opposed to war absolute pacifists? Are they opposed to poorly defined war goals and even more sloppily executed war strategies? And why are they so oddly silent about America’s actions in Libya – a “kinetic action” without even a fig-leaf of justification.

. . .

Thoughts here from a warrior Queen, Maggie.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011/08/01 18:30

    Thanks Ran, just linked. As to your last paragraph, I don’t think the Left and Progressives believe we are threatened, and if they do believe it, we are only threatened because of our prior behavior, and we deserve what we get.

    Silent on Libya only because Barack Obama is their guy. These people protect their own, right or wrong to the detriment of everything else.

  2. Libertarian Advocate permalink
    2011/08/01 21:06

    Ran thanks for leading me to Steve’s piece on counter-insurgency. I always enjoy reading a well reasoned essay, even if I’m not persuaded by the whole of the argument.

  3. 2011/08/01 21:15

    Maggie, LA, thanks!


  1. Military’s Violent Un-War: Not Constitutional – Not Your Daddy’s War | Maggie's Notebook

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