Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Harder and Harder

Michael Bains over at Silly Humans has an interesting link to an article in the Washington Post on the increasing futility of heavily armed countries trying to win asymmetrical wars such as Iraq.
Two centuries ago, Napoleon Bonaparte sent his armies into Spain to overthrow a monarch who had once been a French ally. Napoleon, who believed he was touched by the hand of destiny, predicted his troops would be welcomed as liberators by ordinary Spaniards. He was wrong. The resulting Peninsular War from 1808 to 1814 seriously undermined French prestige, handed Napoleon a stinging defeat and produced a raft of unanticipated consequences that included the outbreak of deadly civil wars.
The article is by Shankar Vedantam and leverages off the research of several political scientists that have looked back over 250 asymmetrical conflicts of the last 200 years and clearly point out that as we move forward it is less and less likely that the big guys will be successful. Maybe Bush should have been paying closer attention in class.

No comments: