If you think war has become complex, peace is messier still – and always has been.
Nobody ever knows what the peace will look like. Let’s use our examples from earlier. Even as late as Appomattox, who could have predicted the KKK, Jim Crow, or Radical Reconstruction? No statesmen in 1914 knew that the war they were about to unleash would result in 20 million deaths, Russian Communism, or Nazi Germany. World War II? 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.
NOTE: That’s what gets me about all the complaints that President Bush “didn’t have a plan” to “win the peace” in Iraq. Oh, blow me. Nobody ever has a plan for the peace. Or if they do, it will prove useless. “No peace plan survives the last battle” is the VodkaPundit corollary to Clausewitz’s dictum that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.
. . . What we are is why they want to kill us – so even if the US were to become my libertarian wet-daydream fantasyland, it wouldn’t help us win the war.
With all that in mind, I’ve identified three keys to winning this war:
1. Take the initiative.
2. Fight when we have to, even if we can’t win.
3. Remain what we are.
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