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  • case for "humanitarian " war

    How effective is the strategy of humanitarian war ? kind of what we fought in iraq in 2003 and afghanistan since 2001

    Would it not be better to fight it the way old school ? which massive firepower, total disregard for civilians, exploitation of their civilians in forced labor and almost complete appropriation of local resources ?

    People always argue that it would have made the resistance much stronger and effective but what evidence for it ? infact our hesitancy to hit places of worship , civilian areas emboldened the insurgents even more.

    russians and british tried to pacify afghans through these half hearted measures they completely backfired , but sikhs turks mongols ruled afghans through a heavy hand and with relative success

    also comes to mind how russians totally pacified central asia and to the extent they changed the demogrpahics of those states and have a lot of russian and ethnic slavs living there as well.
    Or how we dealt with the "native" tribes in our own backyard and cleared them up all the way to the pacific coast, imagine if we had not employed those tactics we would be living in a US resembling a latin american country
    Last edited by nastle; 11 May 20, 10:03.

  • #2
    Originally posted by nastle View Post
    How effective is the strategy of humanitarian war ? kind of what we fought in iraq in 2003 and afghanistan since 2001
    I'm pretty sure that's not what humanitarian war means. What you're talking about is not committing war crimes.

    Would it not be better to fight it the way old school ? which massive firepower, total disregard for civilians, exploitation of their civilians in forced labor and almost complete appropriation of local resources ?
    Not if you want to remain a democracy, keep rule of law, remain in good terms with the rest of the western world, and other things you probably don't want to throw out with the bathwater.

    People always argue that it would have made the resistance much stronger and effective but what evidence for it ? infact our hesitancy to hit places of worship , civilian areas emboldened the insurgents even more.
    What are you suggesting exactly? The outright execution and massacre of civilians? What evidence do you have that killing civilians would somehow make the situation better?

    russians and british tried to pacify afghans through these half hearted measures they completely backfired
    ...not really though. Neither Russia nor the British used 21st century US ROE.

    but sikhs turks mongols ruled afghans through a heavy hand and with relative success
    Mongols devastated the country to such an extent that it still hasn't recovered. You're also completely overlooking the fact that Afghanistan tends to be a crossroad of empires, with much of the conflict not only arising from locals, but from the different sides trying to keep their interests intact.

    also comes to mind how russians totally pacified central asia and to the extent they changed the demogrpahics of those states and have a lot of russian and ethnic slavs living there as well.
    ...so you were in Afghanistan to colonize it? Not to mention that you are talking about centuries of colonization.

    Or how we dealt with the "native" tribes in our own backyard and cleared them up all the way to the pacific coast, imagine if we had not employed those tactics we would be living in a US resembling a latin american country
    Something you're proud of? Furthermore, it was really disease that wiped out the natives...and what do you mean living in a latin american country? And again, you are talking about centuries...


    What makes you think that the "big mistake" with Iraq and Afghanistan was sticking to Geneva convention?
    Wisdom is personal

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nastle View Post
      How effective is the strategy of humanitarian war ? kind of what we fought in iraq in 2003 and afghanistan since 2001

      [...]

      also comes to mind how russians totally pacified central asia and to the extent they changed the demogrpahics of those states and have a lot of russian and ethnic slavs living there as well.
      That's the point, you take the land in the old fashioned way, you go and live there the old way, the only way to perpetuate your gains.

      That's how 'we' did it in the Americas

      Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

      Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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      • #4
        By the opposite of "humanitarian" you actually mean a war of conquest, annexation, enslavement, exploitation, and, if necessary, extermination. Not doing all of that often depends on the will of the state waging that war - for instance, I guess most US citizens would not approve of your proposal, not even on the heels of 9/11.

        Also, it may well be counterproductive. For instance, the Italians did all of that in Libya, but at the time they did so, the oil fields had not been discovered, so the Italians "pacified" a sandbox. Was it worth it, even if you ignore the less practical aspects of worthiness? No.

        The Western Allies did not opt for a non-"humanitarian" victory in WWII. The result is that most of the losers are, albeit somewhat tepidly, reasonably friendly with the USA today. The Soviets opted for a non-"humanitarian" victory, and the losers still dislike the Russians mightily. So it also depends on what the end goal is. Preferably in the long term.

        I'll add that the Soviets did entirely try to achieve a non-"humanitarian" victory in Afghanistan, eventually. They failed anyway.
        Michele

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        • #5
          Was not Operation Barbarossa conducted in such a manner? Did Hitler not call it a "War of annihilation?

          Look at the results...….lots of Russians and also oppressed thnic minorities might well have co-operated with the German invaders a hell of a lot more had the Nazi occupation been anything but inhuman barbarism. The Nazis, with their racially motivated 'policy' in the East drove mmany potential enemies of the Stalin regime right back into the hands of the Russians for want of anything else to fight for.

          An example of an Empire that conquers and occupies in the 'right way' is ROME.

          The Romans held out many 'carrots', guaranteeing security and prosperity for their conquered territories, and they did it by making the Freedmen of their conquered peoples Roman citizens themselves, offering "Pax Romana" and economic and social prosperity to those that would tow the line.

          In fact, the Roman people of Italy came to rely on these very conquered 'new Roman citizens" for recruitment and service in the legions, so much so that the absence of such willingness to serve with the legions by those very same people is one of the principle reasons why the Empire was decisively overrun by German tribes from the the Danube region, for the province of /Germania was never really pacified as such, even when the Emperor Commodus managesd to shut the regional conflict down through treaties with the German tribes.

          A conquering army should have a strictly military set of objectives, do its job, and then hand the region back to the original inhabitants once their particular national emergency has been solved.
          The "American Century" has been characterized by military operations of just this nature in the majority. Tgheir have been exceptions, but the American Empire is not really an expansionist animal, and it seems that economic co-operation can make allies out of many former enemies, and magnanimity and money can turn former enemies into close friends, in the manner of the Germans and the Japanese.

          Christ only knows what will happen should Chinese economic warfare turn into a shooting match.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Karri View Post

            I'm pretty sure that's not what humanitarian war means. What you're talking about is not committing war crimes.



            Not if you want to remain a democracy, keep rule of law, remain in good terms with the rest of the western world, and other things you probably don't want to throw out with the bathwater.



            What are you suggesting exactly? The outright execution and massacre of civilians? What evidence do you have that killing civilians would somehow make the situation better?



            ...not really though. Neither Russia nor the British used 21st century US ROE.



            Mongols devastated the country to such an extent that it still hasn't recovered. You're also completely overlooking the fact that Afghanistan tends to be a crossroad of empires, with much of the conflict not only arising from locals, but from the different sides trying to keep their interests intact.



            ...so you were in Afghanistan to colonize it? Not to mention that you are talking about centuries of colonization.



            Something you're proud of? Furthermore, it was really disease that wiped out the natives...and what do you mean living in a latin american country? And again, you are talking about centuries...


            What makes you think that the "big mistake" with Iraq and Afghanistan was sticking to Geneva convention?
            wars in iraq and afghanistan were COIN and not conventional wars what you are talking about is totally irrelevant here

            The turks stayed longer in afghanistan than mongols did and latter who known to be far more destructive and what they did to afghans was in no way unique

            what I'm suggesting is a war like how we in US pacified the west, obviously iraq is too densely populated for that but here we should have used egyptian, saudi pakistani or israeli troops afterall what do we pay these countries for ? Why should we waste the lives of our own marines

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Michele View Post
              The Western Allies did not opt for a non-"humanitarian" victory in WWII. The result is that most of the losers are, albeit somewhat tepidly, reasonably friendly with the USA today. The Soviets opted for a non-"humanitarian" victory, and the losers still dislike the Russians mightily. So it also depends on what the end goal is. Preferably in the long term.

              I'll add that the Soviets did entirely try to achieve a non-"humanitarian" victory in Afghanistan, eventually. They failed anyway.
              fire bombing of german cities , ill treatment of german POWs [ "disarmed enemy combatants"] is a "humanitarian " victory ?

              if we did 10% of what we did to germans in iraq or afghnaistan the insurgency would have been snuffed out in a couple of years

              soviets acted with a LOT of restraint in afghanistan, but afghans relished in the fiendish torture of soviet POWs so ofcourse sometimes certain units got carried away.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                Was not Operation Barbarossa conducted in such a manner? Did Hitler not call it a "War of annihilation?

                Look at the results...….lots of Russians and also oppressed thnic minorities might well have co-operated with the German invaders a hell of a lot more had the Nazi occupation been anything but inhuman barbarism. The Nazis, with their racially motivated 'policy' in the East drove mmany potential enemies of the Stalin regime right back into the hands of the Russians for want of anything else to fight for.

                .
                but that is an extreme example , i mean nazis starved to death 2 million + soviet POWs in 1-2 yrs ? if i remember correctly

                there is a lot of grey area , e.g rather than going in taking fallujah in a urban infantry battle [ risking so many american lives], a flight of B-1s should have carpet bombed it after the iraqis killed and mutilated those US contractors.

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                • #9
                  The way you wage war effects how you live in peace.

                  Militarily it probably isn't a good idea to demoralize your troops by being overly brutal. Especially troops raised in a soft liberal democracy.

                  What happened in the Americas was that it was practically depopulated by European diseases long before many Europeans set eyes on most of it. It's not really a model for any other situation.

                  We hunt the hunters

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nastle View Post
                    soviets acted with a LOT of restraint in afghanistan,
                    OK, thank you for participating.

                    Michele

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                    • #11
                      I would suggest the OP familiarize themselves with the rules of the forum, particularly historical revisionism, calling for genocide and Nazi apologism before a line is crossed.
                      This thread is on very thin ice.
                      Thank you
                      ACG Staff

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                      • #12
                        "Humanitarian war" is one of the ultimate oxymorons.

                        the purpose of war is to bend the enemy to your will after all other efforts have failed. Do not train soldiers to apply violence to achieve those ends and then order them not to fight as they have been trained.

                        If you wish to fight a "humanitarian war", send your humanitarians to fight it, along with your liberals, eco-whackos, rainbow warriors, the rich and the politicians. And by all means send the Muslims, the Quakers and the Mormons, for they are "religions of peace" and therefore best suited to fight a "humanitarian war."

                        Either you want to win or you do not. There is no middle ground. But remember this: you may sacrifice your own children, but you do not have the right to needlessly sacrifice the children of others on the altar of your personal principles.

                        If you feel that strongly, then pick up a weapon and go yourself. Only cowards send others to die for them.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          "Humanitarian war" is one of the ultimate oxymorons.

                          the purpose of war is to bend the enemy to your will after all other efforts have failed. Do not train soldiers to apply violence to achieve those ends and then order them not to fight as they have been trained.

                          If you wish to fight a "humanitarian war", send your humanitarians to fight it, along with your liberals, eco-whackos, rainbow warriors, the rich and the politicians. And by all means send the Muslims, the Quakers and the Mormons, for they are "religions of peace" and therefore best suited to fight a "humanitarian war."

                          Either you want to win or you do not. There is no middle ground. But remember this: you may sacrifice your own children, but you do not have the right to needlessly sacrifice the children of others on the altar of your personal principles.

                          If you feel that strongly, then pick up a weapon and go yourself. Only cowards send others to die for them.
                          This is exactly what I was trying to say as well !

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post

                            OK, thank you for participating.
                            thanks for your input

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