Friday, March 15, 2013

The Main Driver of GDP Growth: A Strong Rule of Law | The Big Picture

The Main Driver of GDP Growth: A Strong Rule of Law | The Big Picture

With scarcity after the GFC the Biv economies are becoming more Roy, this is like a forest collapsing and becoming grassland because of a lack of Gb resources, an R contagion, attacks from Roy animals, etc. This leads to Oy-R interactions where right wing secreti police as Oy predators secretively and deceptively hunt for secretive and deceptive R terrorists, guerillas, and also victims of predatory Y-Oy capitalism.

How Did We Slip So Fast?

Of course, the repeal of the basic laws which enforced the rule of law among financial players is a part of the problem. Virtually everyone – other than those currently working for the big banks or on their payroll – is calling for reinstatement of the separation between banking and speculative gambling.
Free market libertarians – like everyone else – are demanding prosecution of criminal fraud using basic fraud laws.  Yet the government has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud.
People have lost trust in the system, because government corruption is as widespread as Wall Street corruption … and many of those in power in D.C. have the same sociopathic traits as those they supposedly regulate on Wall Street.
And as Professor Ferguson notes, draconian national security laws are one of the main things undermining the rule of law:
We must pose the familiar question about how far our civil liberties have been eroded by the national security state – a process that in fact dates back almost a hundred years to the outbreak of the First World War and the passage of the 1914 Defence of the Realm Act. Recent debates about the protracted detention of terrorist suspects are in no way new. Somehow it’s always a choice between habeas corpus and hundreds of corpses.
Of course, many of this decades’ national security measures have not been taken to keep us safe in the “post-9/11 world” … indeed, many of them started before 9/11.
And America has been in a continuous declared state of national emergency since 9/11, and we are in a literally never-ending state of perpetual war. See thisthisthis and this.
In fact, government has blown terrorism fears way out of proportion for political purposes, and  “national security” powers have been used in many ways to exempt big Wall Street players from the rule of law rather than to do anything to protect us.
Is it any wonder that we’re still in an economic crisis?

If We Learn Our History, We’re NOT Doomed to Repeat It | The Big Picture

If We Learn Our History, We’re NOT Doomed to Repeat It | The Big Picture

In Roy countries war can be carried on as Oy-R deception, this includes faking attacks to give excuses to Y or Ro governments for reprisals.

Governments from Around the World ADMIT that they Carry Out False Flag Terror


But don’t take our word for it.
Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:
  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)

"When Spain hands us over to Morocco, this is what they do to us" | In English | EL PAÍS

"When Spain hands us over to Morocco, this is what they do to us" | In English | EL PAÍS

When the sub-Saharan migrants reach Morocco through Algeria, their first stop is either La Fac or the mountains near Oujda; here they remain until they can put together enough money (chiefly via begging) to travel the 150 kilometers that separate them from Nador, a Moroccan city on the border with Melilla. Once they are there, if they are unable to reach Spanish territory over the fence or via the sea route, and end up getting arrested, Moroccan authorities take them straight back to the border with Algeria. This border crossing is closed, but Moroccan police officers get the migrants off the buses and instruct them to keep walking until they reach the neighboring country.

Allez, allez! [Come on, come on!]," they scream at us, explains a Senegalese man at La Fac.
"Sometimes they shove us along. As soon as they leave, we turn around and walk right back to Oujda. It takes several hours and we have to keep hiding from the police, but if they leave us at the border at night, by daybreak we are back in Oujda again."
This is the deportation procedure that Gadem association describes as illegal.
This newspaper tried unsuccessfully to reach Morocco's Interior Ministry for its side of the story. On Friday a ministry spokesman agreed to speak on the phone, and was sent a list of questions via email regarding the origin of the migrants' wounds, the medical assistance they have access to and whether they have the right to any kind of legal counsel. There was no reply, and the spokesman would not take any further phone calls, despite repeated attempts.
The immigrants' version of events is that they are being beaten for trying to reach Spain; the Moroccan police are allegedly trying to prevent them from jumping the fence into Melilla and close a route whose final destination is not Morocco. They also say they are being treated in a way that illegal immigrants would never be treated in Spain.

Morocco can be acting as an Iv-Oy agent of Biv Europe, the migrants are like R prey and this Oy-R deportation is usually conducted deceptively and secretively.
Man seems to be a natural killer
----- To John Adams, 1822
To turn to the news of the day, it seems that the Cannibals of Europe are going to eating one another again. A war between Russia and Turkey is like the battle of the kite and snake.

At the time Russia was a Y monarchy using Oy soldiers as agents in a predatory war, however Turkey from its Y Islamist history was probably predatory as well if it had the opportunity. Some former Y-Oy empires can become Ro-R defensive empires in nature, this happened with the Roman Empire under Christianity.

Whichever destroys the other, leaves a destroyer the less for the world. This pugnacious humor of mankind seems to be the law of his nature, one of the obstacles to too great multiplication provided in the mechanism of the Universe. The cocks of the henyard kill one another up. Bears, do the same. And the horse, in his wild state, kills all the young males, until worn down with age and war, some vigorous youth kills him, and takes to himself the Harem of females. I hope we shall prove how much happier for man the Quaker policy is, and that the life of the feeder, is better than that of the fighter; and it is some consolation that the desolation, by these maniacs of one part of the earth is the means of improving it in other parts. Let the latter be our office, and let us milk the cow, while the Russian holds her by the horns, and the Turk by the tail.

This is a Bi-B philosophy in a wealthy country, to defend the country if need be but concentrate on maximizing profits in a positive sum game. The US often profited by selling goods to these warring parties.

The rule of violence in international affairs
----- To - (?), 1813: N. Y. Pub. Lib., MS, IV, 191-192
Our lot happens to have been cast in an age when two of the most powerful nations of the world, abusing their force and to whom circumstances have given a temporary superiority over others, the one by land, the other by sea, throwing off all the bonds [and] restraints of morality and all regard to pride of national character, forgetting the mutability of fortune and the inevitable doom which the laws of nature pronounce against departures from justice, individual or national - have dared to treat her reclamations with derision and to substitute force instead of reason as the umpire of nations, degrading themselves thus from the character of lawful societies into lawless bands of robbers and pirates., they are ravaging [and] abusing their brief ascendancy by desolating the world with blood and rapine. Against such banditti, war had become preferable [and] less ruinous than peace, for their peace was a war on one side only.

When the I-O umpiring colors are weakened the world can descend into Y-Ro and Oy-R wars, Y-Ro are wars of attrition such as WW1 while Oy-R are wars of deception such as the cold war. They are like a weak middle of the food chain causing instability and animals eating each other in wasteful ways causing later starvation.

Thomas Jefferson


10.4.1803: “Tremendous times in Europe! How mighty this battle of lions and tigers! With what sensations should the common herd of cattle look on it? With no partialities, certainly. If they can so far worry one another as to destroy their power for tyrannizing, the one over the earth, the other the waters, the world may perhaps enjoy peace, till they recruit again.

This is a Ro-R attitude where the usual prey of tyranny stand aside watching the predatory nations destroy each other, this is like Y prides of lions fighting over territory and injuring each other allowing the prey to increase in numbers. 

Thomas Jefferson's Letters

Thomas Jefferson's Letters

Man is a warlike animal
----- To J. Madison, 1797
In THE whole animal kingdom I recollect no family but man, steadily and systematically employed in the destruction of itself. Nor does what is called civilization produce any other effect than to teach him to pursue the principle of the bellum omnium in omnia on a greater scale, and instead of the little contest between tribe and tribe, to comprehend all the quarters of the earth in the same work of destruction. If to this we add, that as to other animals, the lions and tigers are mere lambs compared with man as a destroyer, we must conclude that nature has been able to find in man alone a sufficient barrier against the too great multiplication of other animals and of man himself an equilibrating power against the fecundity of generation.

Many evolved in many ways as an Oy and Y predator in living off Ro herds and R individual prey. Like other predators his actions kept some Ro-R animals from becoming too numerous and overeating the Biv vegetation available. However people as well as animals tend to becomes all colors, people as evolved as Ro-R because it offered a niche and chance to survive in ways that being a Y-Oy predator lacked. So they emulated the ways of the prey they fed on, this caused the Y-Oy predatory people to hunt them for their possessions as well. In this way many evolved to be the 5 colors of the Roy system like in the animal kingdom, he also evolved to be the 5 colors of the Biv systems emulating parts of plants in the more resource rich Gb areas. G and Gb also became role models for his evolution, people can be G like greenies and make a living without being politically Ro-R or Y-Oy. They can also be Gb without emulating a Biv color, for example politicians and lobbyists that are pro development without being on the left or right of politics.

The Scorpion and the Frog

The Epicurean Dealmaker

The Scorpion and the Frog

Once upon a time, there was a frog which lived happily on the bank of a broad river. It was a good riverbank, with plenty of flies to eat and lots of nice, cool water in which to swim and dive. Life was good for the frog.

Then, one day, another frog which had heard of the nice river came and made his home just down the riverbank from the first frog. At first, the two frogs were cordial and polite. While they were not really friends, and they were natural competitors for the bugs and other food on the bank, there seemed to be plenty to go around, so they lived in peace with one another.

After a while, though, the riverbank began to change. The river itself became wilder, colder, and more dangerous. At the same time, the flies, which had been so plentiful, began to disappear. Soon, the two frogs began to fight over the few bugs and pockets of calm water that remained on the riverbank, and they became implacable enemies. They would fight and squabble every day, until they were gaunt and exhausted from stress and lack of food. There came a day when they could not even rouse themselves to fight over a stray dragonfly that was blown onto the riverbank by a passing storm.

The story starts off as a Biv environment with plenty of food, the frogs are Iv and compete but don't waste much energy on this when there is plenty of food. As the environment turns to Roy food becomes scarce, the Iv frogs turn to Oy and compete more as life and death in a negative sum game. The survivors tend to be those that don't waste resources rather than those that find the most food as this is unlikely to happen.

The Great Chess Game | ZeroHedge

The Great Chess Game | ZeroHedge

In Aperiomics this global economy runs itself in the same way that the Roy animal and Biv plant kingdom do. We are part of this system which is why we find it hard to change things and fix problems, we are in effect like an animal in an ecosystem that has evolved to look after rather than destroy it. The global economy is the way it is because of the actions of people in V-Bi teams and as Iv-B loners, it has an Iv-B momentum that is hard to change and the V-Bi random parts are independent and so cannot be all moved in one direction.

The truth is that this struggle for dominance and control is like a giant chess game, with USA and its allies/friends on one side of the board and Russia/China and their allies/friends on the other. They represent the kings and queens of this game and ultimately decide the strategy and the actions of their ‘pieces’. Countries like Britain, France, Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, India etc. represent the middle ranking pieces – they are important players in the game, they are not instantly expendable but they are coerced or seduced into following the game plan.
The pawns of the game are all the other minor and relatively powerless countries that make up the world. These are all seen as expendable, but at times they may be given an inflated sense of their own worth by either or both sides in order to achieve a goal. Of course, like a real pawn, once their purpose has been fulfilled or they are no-longer useful they are thrown to the wolves or just ignored.
Two perfect examples of a pawn are Afghanistan and Iraq – neither were particularly unique strategically, in terms of resources or influential politically or militarily. For a time Iraq seemed important but it was just a piece being played as a part in a much larger game. Afghanistan seemed important for a while both to the Americans and the Soviets but (in terms of the game) again it is just a fairly resource-rich non-entity that needed to be exploited as part of a far greater plan.
What many people in the world do not understand is that this great chess game is about control of resources and their flow around this planet. He who controls the oil, gas, rare-earth metals, uranium, water, and food has control of everybody else. The instability in the Middle East may appear to be related to terrorism, the struggle for democracy or religious preferences but this is all just a smoke screen. If we look below the surface we can easily see that this is about transit routes of resources – in particular for oil and gas

How civil wars evolve - MIT News Office

How civil wars evolve - MIT News Office

How civil wars evolve

MIT political scientist’s book shows how even the bloodiest
conflicts feature pragmatic alliances — not just ancient
sectarian divisions.

When the Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan, in late 1996, they soon launched a sustained military offensive to the north, an area they did not control. The following May, however, Abdul Malik Pahlawan, an Uzbek leader of the so-called Northern Alliance, which had been defending the region, struck a power-sharing agreement with the Taliban — who marched right into Mazar-i-Sharif, a key northern city.

All of two days later, Malik changed his mind, recognizing that his group would not have as much power as he had hoped. Quickly joining forces with two other ethnic groups in the area, Malik and his Uzbek followers repelled the Taliban in a bloody battle, eventually regaining control of the northern provinces.

This episode contains a larger lesson: Contrary to the common perception, political alliances during civil wars are not formed along immutable religious, ethnic or linguistic lines, according to the research of MIT political scientist Fotini Christia. As she explains in a new book, “Alliance Formation in Civil Wars,” published this month by Cambridge University Press, such alliances are often created for balance-of-power reasons, and stretch across religious or ethnic boundaries. Moreover, factions can develop within homogenous groups — leading seemingly solid allies, representing the same identity groups, to oppose each other.

“We see a civil war as black-and-white, a two-sided conflict between a government and rebels,” Christia says. “But usually it is a more dynamic situation.” In these more fluid circumstances, she adds, “Two groups can be friends one day and bitter enemies the next.”

The practical upshot of Christia’s findings is that many civil wars, though often described as manifestations of ancient sectarian conflicts, are often fought between factions whose leaders are more pragmatic — possibly suggesting that these wars can be resolved if the right incentives are in place.

In Roy countries wars often involve wars of attrition between Y and Ro teams, the people in each
cooperate with each other and so can ignore differences in religion, race, etc. Often as these teams
continue to exist people can diffuse their genes through the teams like Ro herds of buffalo mix their genes, this can create over time more homogenous citizens of a country. Often however the strategy of team based warfare fails under too strong an attack so people scatter into individual based Oy-R wars of secrecy and deception. This can increase the fracturing of society by chaotic cracks, even slightly different races or religions might compete with each other for power. To stabilize the situation a strong centrist authority is needed to moderate the desires of the two extremes, however often one side is more powerful which makes a balanced center nearly impossible. 

Outraged in Congo : The New Yorker

Outraged in Congo : The New Yorker


“You,” a small gaunt man said, as he positioned himself in my path, a few hours after I arrived in Goma,
 in eastern Congo, yesterday. A week earlier, a rebel force—called the M23 Movement—had seized
 control of the city. The man appeared to be very excited. We stood under a sheet-metal roof eave,
 loud with rain. “Listen to me,” he said. We stood very close, face to face, and his features were defined
by the most sunken pair of cheeks a man could have without whittling away the underlying bones of his
skull. “I have to ask you—you the international community—why do you keep coming here and just
installing idiots to run Congo?”
I turned on my voice recorder, and he leaned toward it eagerly. “You must go. Go tell your leaders,
who are responsible for the misery of the Congolese people, we have got no hope—ninety per cent of us.
That’s because we are intelligent. We have learned how to use our intelligence. We have the spiritual and
intellectual capacity to develop this country economically. But your leaders there, in the West there—
they use these idiots to rule us, to impoverish us, to makes bums of us.” He spoke French: “pour 
nous clochardizer,” he said. He made an expression of intense disgust. “That’s why even now we
Congolese have no roads; we have no electricity. What kind of a country is this? It’s scandalous. And
you see this poor population. We don’t deserve this misery. Frankly.”
“Oh Congo, what a wreck,” I wrote after my last trip here. “It hurts to look and listen, and hurts to turn
away.” At that time, twelve years ago, the country was cut in half by war. The feeble army of President
Laurent-Désiré Kabila, propped up by Angolan and Zimbabwean forces and the fugitive army of Rwanda’s
former genocidal regime, controlled the west. And the east was under the occupation of the Rwandan and
Ugandan armies, fronted by a fractious alliance of fierce Congolese politico-military factions.

Poor countries are usually Roy and so form Y-Oy predator and Ro-R prey relationships, in the 
past Ro-R was usually Marxist defending against Y-Oy imperialism and often its overtones of 
V-Iv capitalism. In the absence of O police such as UN peacekeeping the country can become 
openly predator and prey, it is unstable like in the Roy animal kingdom where the center of the
O food chain collapse. There needs to be a stronger centrist force which keeps the extreme Ro-R
 and Y-Oy apart, it pays them off to some degree to moderate their disputes and keeps the peace
like O police do in societies. Often this is difficult because of asymmetric forces, Y-Oy might be 
stronger because of the support of Y empires or V capitalist companies which makes Ro resistance
more prolonged without any hope of winning or achieving a balance. They might also break up
into R guerillas which will wear down the Y-Oy forces, however if the resources gained are rich
enough then this attrition can be sustained. If Ro-R are stronger then the country might be leftist
or Marxist, there might be Y-Oy warlords who continue to make trouble so the country never finds 
peace. Many societies are like this and are then hard to police, for example in the US the 
whites have more money and power so the I-O police tend to serve their interests more. Minorities
however still resist this, they might try to keep the O police out ro Ro neighborhoods that police
themselves because they see the O police as Oy agents of the Y-V majority race.   

The Guerrilla Myth -

The Guerrilla Myth -

The Guerrilla Myth

Unconventional wars are our most pressing national security concern. They're also the most ancient form of war in the world. Max Boot on the lessons of insurgency we seem unable to learn.

Author Max Boot discusses his new book, "Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present," with WSJ weekend Review editor Gary Rosen.

For a student of military history, the most astonishing fact about the current international scene is that there isn't a single conflict in which two uniformed militaries are pitted against each other. The last one was a brief clash in 2008 between Russia and Georgia. In our day, the specter of conventional conflict, which has dominated the imagination of the West since the days of the Greek hoplites, has almost been lifted.

But the world is hardly at peace. Algeria fights hostage-takers at a gas plant. France fights Islamist extremists in Mali. Israel fights Hamas. The U.S. and its allies fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Syria's Bashar al-Assad fights rebels seeking to overthrow him. Colombia fights and negotiates with the FARC. Mexico fights drug gangs. And various African countries fight the Lord's Resistance Army.

These are wars without front lines, without neatly defined starting and end points. They are messy, bloody affairs, in which attackers, typically without uniforms, engage in hit-and-run raids and often target civilians. They are, in short, guerrilla wars, and they are deadly. In Syria alone, more than 60,000 people have died since 2011, according to the United Nations. In Mexico, nearly 50,000 have died in drug violence since 2006. Hundreds of thousands more have perished in Africa's civil wars. The past decade has also seen unprecedented terrorist attacks, ranging from 9/11 to suicide bombings in Iraq. To understand today's world, you have to understand guerrillas and the terrorist movements that are their close cousins.
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Fidel Castro gave firing instructions to guerrilla fighters in the Sierra Maestra, a mountainous region in the heart of Cuba. After a long guerrilla war begun in 1953, Fidel Castro overthrew the dictator Batistsa in 1958 and set up a socialist regime in Cuba.

Unfortunately, our ignorance of guerrilla war runs deep, even as we find ourselves increasingly entangled in such conflicts. Contrary to popular lore, guerrilla warfare wasn't invented by Che Guevara or Mao Zedong, and terrorism long predates the 1972 Munich Olympics. Nor is insurgency, as some have suggested, a distinctively "Oriental" form of warfare, difficult for Westerners to grasp.

Examining guerrilla warfare's long history not only brings to light many compelling, half-forgotten characters; it lays to rest numerous myths and allows us to come to grips with the most pressing national security issue of our time. What follows are lessons that we need to learn—but haven't—from the history of guerrilla war.

1. Guerrilla warfare is not new. Tribal war, pitting one guerrilla force against another, is as old as humankind. A new form of warfare, pitting guerrillas against "conventional" forces, is of only slightly more recent vintage—it arose in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. Calling guerrilla warfare "irregular" or "unconventional" has it backward: It is the norm of armed conflict.

Many of the world's current boundaries and forms of government were determined by battles between standing armies and insurgencies. Think of the United Kingdom, which was "united" by the success of the English in defeating centuries-old Scottish and Irish guerrilla movements. The retreat of the British Empire was partly the result of successful armed resistance, by groups ranging from the Irish Republican Army in the 1920s to the Zionists in the 1940s. Earlier still, the war waged by American colonists, some of them fighting as guerrillas, created the U.S., which reached its present borders, in turn, by waging centuries of unremitting warfare against Native American insurgents.

It is hard to think of any country in the world that has avoided the ravages of guerrilla warfare—just as it hard to think of any organized military force that hasn't spent a considerable portion of its energy fighting guerrillas.

2. Guerrilla warfare is the form of conflict universally favored by the weak, not an "Eastern" way of war. Thanks largely to the success of Chinese and Vietnamese Communists in seizing power in the 20th century, there has been a tendency to portray guerrilla tactics as the outgrowth of Sun Tzu and other Chinese philosophers who were supposedly at odds with the conventional tactics espoused by Western sages such as Carl von Clausewitz.

In reality, ancient Chinese and Indian armies were as massive and conventional in their orientation as the Roman legions. It wasn't the Chinese who had a cultural proclivity toward guerrilla warfare but rather their nomadic enemies in Inner Asia. For these tribesmen, as for others ranging from the Sioux to the Pashtuns, irregular warfare was a way of life.

But even tribal peoples such as the Turks, Arabs and Mongols, who employed guerrilla tactics in their rise to power, turned to conventional armies to safeguard their hard-won empires. Their experience suggests that few people have ever chosen guerrilla warfare voluntarily; it is the tactic of last resort for those too weak to create regular armies. Likewise, terrorism is the tactic of last resort for those too weak to create guerrilla forces.

3. Guerrilla warfare has been both underestimated and overestimated. Before 1945, the value of guerrilla campaigns was generally underestimated, leading overconfident officers such as George Armstrong Custer to disaster. Because irregulars refuse to engage in face-to-face battle, they have not gotten the respect they deserve—notwithstanding their consistent ability, ever since the barbarian assaults on Rome, to humble the world's greatest empires.

Since 1945, opinion has swung too far toward considering guerrilla movements invincible. This is largely because of the success enjoyed by a handful of rebels such as Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro. But focusing on their exploits distracts from the ignominious end suffered by most insurgents, including Castro's celebrated protégé, Che Guevara, who was killed by Bolivian Rangers in 1967.

In reality, though guerrillas have often been able to fight for years and inflict great losses on their enemies, they have seldom achieved their objectives. Terrorists have been even less successful.

4. Insurgencies have been getting more successful since 1945, but they still lose most of the time. According to a database that I have compiled, out of 443 insurgencies since 1775, insurgents succeeded in 25.2% of the concluded wars while incumbents prevailed in 63.8%. The rest were draws.

This lack of historical success flies in the face of the widespread deification of guerrillas such as Guevara. Since 1945, the win rate for insurgents has indeed gone up, to 39.6%. But counter-insurgency campaigns still won 51.1% of post-1945 wars. And those figures overstate insurgents' odds of success because many rebel groups that are still in the field, such as the Kachin separatists in Myanmar, have scant chance of success. If ongoing uprisings are judged as failures, the win rate for insurgents would go down to 23.2% in the post-1945 period, while the counter-insurgents' winning percentage would rise to 66.1%.

Like most business startups, most insurgent organizations go bust. Yet some groups such as the Provisional IRA and Palestine Liberation Organization, which fail to achieve their ultimate objectives, can still win concessions from the other side.

5. The most important recent development in guerrilla warfare has been the rise of public opinion. What accounts for the fact that guerrillas have been getting more successful since 1945? Much of the explanation can be found in the growing power of public opinion, brought about by the spread of democracy, education, communications technology, mass media and international organizations—all of which have sapped the will of states to engage in protracted counter-insurgencies, especially outside their own territory, and heightened the ability of insurgents to survive even after suffering setbacks.

The term "public opinion" first appeared in print in 1776, which is fitting, since it played a major role in persuading the British to negotiate an end to their conflict with the American colonies. Greek rebels in the 1820s benefited from public opinion in the West, where sympathizers such as Lord Byron rallied their governments to oppose Ottoman abuses. A similar strategy of relying on international support was pursued by Cubans against Spain in the 1890s and Algerians against France in the 1950s; it remains a key Palestinian strategy against Israel.

A spectacular vindication of this approach occurred during the Vietnam War, when the U.S. was defeated not because it had lost on the battlefield but because public opinion had turned against the war. The same thing almost happened in Iraq in 2007, and it may yet happen in Afghanistan.

6. Few counter-insurgency campaigns have ever succeeded by inflicting mass terror—at least in foreign lands. When faced with elusive foes, armies often have resorted to torturing suspects for information, as the U.S. did after 9/11, and inflicting bloody reprisals on civilians, as Mr. Assad's forces are now doing in Syria. Such strategies have worked on occasion (usually when rebels were cut off from outside support), but just as often they have failed.

The armies of the French Revolution provide an example of successful brutality at home: They killed indiscriminately to suppress the revolt in the Vendée region in the 1790s. As one republican general wrote, "I have not a single prisoner to reproach myself with. I exterminated them all." But the French could not match this feat in Haiti, where they used equally brutal measures but could not put down a slave revolt led by the "Black Spartacus," Toussaint L'Ouverture.

Even in the ancient world, when there were no human-rights activists or cable news channels, empires found that pacifying restive populations usually involved carrots as well as sticks. There were considerable benefits to participating in the Pax Romana, which won over subject populations by offering "bread and circuses," roads, aqueducts and (most important) security from roving guerrillas and bandits.

7. "Winning hearts and minds" is often successful as an anti-guerrilla strategy, but it isn't as touchy-feely as commonly supposed. The fact that the U.S. and other liberal democratic states cannot be as brutal as dictatorial regimes—or, more precisely, choose not to be—doesn't mean they cannot succeed in putting down insurgencies. They simply have to do it in a more humane style. In Iraq in 2007-08, Gen. David Petraeus showed how successful a "population-centric" strategy could be, at least in narrow security terms, by sending troops to live in urban areas and by wooing Sunni tribes.

The best-known term for this strategy is "winning hearts and minds"—a phrase popularized by the British Gen. Gerald Templer, who saved Malaya from a communist insurgency in the 1950s. But the term is misleading, since it suggests that a counter-insurgency campaign is trying to win a popularity contest. In reality, the populace will embrace the government only if it is less dangerous to do so than to support the insurgency. That is why successful population-centric policies aim to control the people with a 24/7 deployment of security forces, not to win their love and gratitude by handing out soccer balls, medical supplies and other goodies.

8. Most insurgencies are long-lasting; attempts to win a quick victory backfire.The average insurgency since 1775 has lasted seven years. The figure is even longer for post-1945 insurgencies—nearly 10 years. The length of low-intensity conflicts can be a source of frustration for both sides, but attempts to short-circuit the process usually backfire. The U.S. tried to do just that in the early years of the Vietnam and Iraq wars by using its conventional might to hunt down insurgents in a push for what John Paul Vann, a legendary adviser in Vietnam, decried as "fast, superficial results." It was only when the U.S. gave up hopes of a quick victory that it started to get results.

A particularly seductive version of the "quick win" strategy is to try to eliminate the insurgency's leadership, as the U.S. and Israel regularly try to do with airstrikes against groups such as al Qaeda and Hamas. Such strategies sometimes work. The Romans, for example, stamped out a revolt in Spain by inducing some of the rebels to kill their leader, Viriathus, in 139 B.C.

But there are just as many cases where leaders were eliminated but the movement went on stronger than ever—as Hezbollah did after the loss of its secretary-general in an Israeli airstrike in 1992. Targeting leadership is most effective when integrated into a broader counter-insurgency effort designed to separate the insurgents from the population. If conducted in isolation, such raids are about as effective as mowing the lawn; the organization can usually regenerate itself.

9. Technology has been relatively unimportant in guerrilla war—but that may be changing. All guerrilla and terrorist tactics, from airplane hijacking and suicide bombing to hostage-taking and roadside ambushes, are designed to negate the firepower advantage of conventional forces. In this type of war, technology counts for less than in conventional conflict. Even the possession of nuclear bombs hasn't prevented the Soviet Union and the U.S. from suffering ignominious defeat at guerrilla hands. To the extent that technology has mattered in low-intensity conflicts, it has often been the non-shooting kind. As T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") said, "The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armory of the modern commander." A rebel today might substitute "the Internet" for "the printing press," but the essential insight remains.

The role of destructive technology will grow in the future, however, if insurgents get their hands on chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. A terrorist cell the size of a platoon might then have more killing capacity than the entire army of a nonnuclear state like Brazil or Egypt. Cyberweapons also have the potential to wreak havoc.

That is a sobering thought on which to end. It suggests that in the future, guerrilla warfare and terrorism could pose even greater problems for the world's leading powers than they have in the past. And those problems have been substantial, varied and long-lasting.

How Do You Defeat an Invisible Army? - The Daily Beast

How Do You Defeat an Invisible Army? - The Daily Beast

How Do You Defeat an Invisible Army?

Guerrilla warfare, according to author and historian Max Boot, "is the universal war of the weak." Practiced by insurgents from Assyrian-era rebels to Jewish revolutionaries in the 1st century of the common era to contemporary groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, irregular warfare provides ragtag forces the capacity to humble the mightiest of conventional armies.

Guerillas act as R, using secrecy and deception to counter the open teamwork of Y armies. This interaction is highly unstable in nature as well as in war, R can often wear out the Y army like R prey wear out the Y predators like lions by hiding and running.
Consider, for instance, how Afghan militias were able to reduce the Soviet Union's vaunted Red Army to this in the 1980s:

[Soldiers] took refuge in alcohol and drugs to escape the "sweet-and-sour smell of blood," which, one soldier said, "turned my stomach inside out with nausea." Troops got drunk on vodka, moonshine, aftershave lotion. Or they got high on marijuana, heroin, hashish, sometimes provided free by Afghan suppliers who were happy to corrupt their enemies. Said one soldier, "It's best to go into an operation stoned - you turn into an animal.
(Invisible Armies, p. 495)

How did forces as powerful as the Red Army, which crushed Hitler's Wehrmacht in Eastern Europe and then kept the region under its boot for five decades, find themselves defeated by loosely organized militants? 


The flavor of one of these operations can be gleaned from a letter written home to England by Sir John Wingfield ...
"And, my lord," Wingfield wrote to the bishop of Winchester, on December 23, 1355, "you will be glad to know that my Lord has raided the county of Armagnac and taken several walled towns there, burning and destroying them, except for certain towns which he garrisoned. Then he went to the viscounty of Riviere, and took a good town called Plaisance, the chief town of the area, and burnt it and laid waste the surrounding countryside. Then he went into the county of Astarac..."
(p. 44)

This style of war ought to remind readers of the tribal raids seen in North America's native populations and the Asian steppe's nomadic tribes. That's because low intensity conflicts, comprised of a protracted series of semi-regular raids rather than massed battles, are generally the historical rule.
I've often wondered how relatively thinly populated states like 15th century France and England could fight a Hundred Years War. The answer, according to Boot, is that such wars rarely featured the pitched battles that incurred massive casualty counts - and with those tallies the resulting historical attention.
For example, while the many chevauchee style raids of the American Revolution did not exactly inspire the legendary status such as that of Yorktown, Virginia, Cornwallis' surrender only came after enduring years of frustration attempting to pacify a combination of irregular and conventional forces in South Carolina. Had the southern colonists not utilized irregular tactics, Cornwallis would have crushed their army far sooner, freeing all British troops to destroy George Washington's Continental Army in the north.

Y armies prefer to fight a Y-Ro war of attrition like Y teams of predators like lions attacking Ro teams of defenders like buffalo herds. If the Ro army break up into R guerillas then the Y army also needs to break up and become secretive and deceptive, this is like Y lions learning to hunt singly with secrecy and deception to catch R gazelles.