August 12, 2004

The Game Plan

We've launched a full-blown offensive against Moqtada al-Sadr's milita in Najaf. No doubt many will think we're doomed for no other reason than because this is happening, without regard to what it might look like when it's over.

Stephen Green (aka Vodkapundit) published his first Tech Central Station piece today and it goes rather nicely when the rest of today's headlines.

If you think war has become complicated, peace is messier still.

Nobody ever knows what the peace will look like. At Fort Sumter, who could have predicted the KKK, Jim Crow, or Radical Reconstruction? Who knew in August, 1914 that the European War would result in 20 million deaths, Russian Communism, or Nazi Germany? If you can find me the words of some prophet detailing, in 1940, the UN, the Cold War, or even the complete assimilation of western Germany into Western Europe. . . then I'll print this essay on some very heavy paper, and eat it. With aluminum foil as a garnish.

It simply isn't possible to plan for the peace. "No peace plan survives the last battle" is Green's Corollary to von Moltke's dictum that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

So then -- how do we win this Terror War, and what will the peace look like?

I don't agree with everything he says, but I think he's basically right and I suggest you read it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at August 12, 2004 9:54 AM
Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn