Thursday, September 17, 2009

Learning From History

In the ongoing conversations about American involvement in wars across the globe reference is often made to what is arguably our most important war, World War II.

In a recent article in the Providence Journal the writer referred to Japan's attack of the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941. He drew a parallel to our current involvement in Afghanistan suggesting that we need to apply the same resolve now as we did then, when we fought the Japanese.

I would like to ask what might have been different if, as we fought and killed Japanese soldiers (and civilians, as happens in all war) there were created more and more Japanese soldiers? I know this is a silly question to ask about fighting Japan or Germany back then.

But it isn't so silly now. The number of terrorists and terrorist attacks appear to be increasing rather than decreasing according to every survey in an internet search. So one has to ask, should we change our strategy in the face of this evidence or continue to apply the World War II model to the present "war on terror"?

Maybe It's Just Me


Rich said...

Did you see this by George F Will?

Harvey said...

I infrequently agree with George Will and this is one of those times. But I was posing a somewhat different question than whether or not to stay.

My question is whether we know how to fight this war? Trying to kill the enemy when the enemy is as at least as much an idea, philosophy or religious belief as it is people, as it was in WWII, simply won't succeed.

Rich said...

I understand your question; I thought it interesting Will is advocating pulling out.