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Thread: Why They Hate Us: On Military Occupation

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    Why They Hate Us: On Military Occupation

    Stephen M. Walt

    ... The bottom line is that you don't need to be a sociologist, political scientist, or a student of colonialism or foreign cultures to understand why military occupation is such a poisonous activity and why it usually fails. If you're an American, you just need to read a bit about Reconstruction and reflect on how its effects -- along with the effects of slavery itself -- have persisted across generations. If that's not enough, visit a society that is currently experiencing occupation, and take the time to go through a checkpoint or two. Then you might understand why the local population doesn't view the occupying forces as benevolent and isn't as grateful as occupiers often think they ought to be.
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/...ary_occupation

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    Well, no, occupation will never endear yourself to the people you are occupying. Occupations never work, best to get the war over with, teach the lesson that needs to be taught, accomplish the military objectives, and leave. This nation-building crap is just that.

    However, they don't hate us because of the occupation. See, I might buy that if it weren't for the fact that:
    1.) Their religion demands that you convert everyone to that religion or kill them.
    2.) They attacked us (thus demonstrating their hate for us) first.

    I do not subscribe to "Western guilt", nor to "white man's guilt".

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    Military Occupation is never popular with the country that is being occupied.And sometimes it is not popular with the citizens of the country whos military is doing the occupying.But I dont think it is wise to just defeat a country remove your military forces and leave the defeated country to the wolves.Most of the time a considerable amount of reconstruction is needed because one of the objectives of war is to disable the power grid,water supply,bridges,communications and all of the other sources that enable a country or city to exsist.Not only that the citizens of a defeated country are usually on the brink of starvation due to the above mentioned effects of war and it is very easy for a country to descend into anarchy.
    If your country was destroyed by another nation would you want them to just pick up and go home or would you want them to stay and help get your country back in working condition.Study the history of war torn Berlin after WW2 and you decide what is best.

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    Having been to Iraq (quite recently in fact), amongst other countries in conflict over a few decades, as a so-called "invader" and/or "occupier", I think this is a double edged sword (excuse the analogy) or double binding problem and one of sheer physics. First, unless one completely and utterly destroys the enemy and it's associated people/lands beyond a capability to regenerate, it is irresponsible to pursue a campaign without a plan to remain behind to reconstruct or rebuild it's capacity; otherwise, you either get a regeneration of what you set out to destroy in the first place or you leave a void which will be filled with whatever takes the opportunity (Afghanistan or Somalia). Second, and as a result, war is not a "happy" business and occupiers are not popular, but can prove fair (depends on the discipline of the Warrior on the ground) - just the way it is - if one demonstrates a willingness to learn the language and show fairness, then (over time) a local community can come to develop a respected relationship with the force (there will always be hatred - nature of war and the associated business). Victors decide the outcome and the writing of the predominant history - it is a physics reality. I can tell you having fought in Iraq for over 3 years of time, the country is much more secured for the population now than 2004 (my first time in Iraq) - don't believe the media hype; your average Iraqi doesn't want to wage Jihad and wants to simply work and take care of his family. BTW, most don't want to leave Iraq or the associated region - it is their kind, their cuture, and ultimately their home. The ones who desire to leave these countries usually have significant reasons for departing - like they're being pursued, or they are not of the accepted culture/religion, or they are seeking some room until they can return, or they are out pursuing education, or they betrayed someone (or some group) who is out for them and their family.
    Capacity building is what the victor must achieve after an invasion, and occupation is the only method for creating the space between a subversive force and the new government to set conditions to build the desired capacity. The capacity that I speak of should be consistent with the goals of the victor's invasion - in the case of the USA, capacity for democratic governance and capacity to tend to the needs of the population; otherwise, the venture (read war) was a waste of manpower and resources because you did not finish it through to the end. It is just plain stupid and makes no sense to wage war on a country or opposing regime, only to allow it to self-determine the course of it's future without some influence over that process; especially when one knows that it will regenerate into something worse than before. Clausewitz states in Book 1, Chapter 1 of "On War" that war is a test of wills and that the goal of any war is to win... and decisively. There are many examples where the lack of occupation which had no capacity building plan in affect led to a greater beast unleashed later by a regenerated foe (i.e. 1st Gulf War with Iraq, the lack of productive capacity building on the part of the Soviets in Afghanistan and the lack of US capacity building in Afghanistan post-Soviet occupation, Germany after World War I which completely and ingeniously rebuilt the Vermacht on the cheap with the innovation of some of the world's greatest military thinkers - Rommel/Jodl/Guderian, Carthage after the first 2 x Punic Wars with Rome, etc...) If the decision is made to wage war, then it must be planned and executed such that it is seen through to the end... not a half assed measure. The total destruction of a society is not necessary and Germany is a great example of a vibrant society which was occupied and rebuilt after World War II. Just some simple and unemotional thoughts from a couple of decades of experiences... great topic. BTW, my great/great/great grandfather was from Denmark and fought as a Confederate guerrilla; captured and imprisoned in El Mira NY until his parole in 1865. Although the South endured both occupation and great hatreds, it is a great place to live and work in today's United States. Must remain unemotional and objective about the need to occupy and the purpose associated... and what can happen if you don't occupy - more depth of planning and forethought versus the shallow here and now aspects.

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    ... The bottom line is that you don't need to be a sociologist, political scientist, or a student of colonialism or foreign cultures to understand why military occupation is such a poisonous activity and why it usually fails. If you're an American, you just need to read a bit about Reconstruction and reflect on how its effects -- along with the effects of slavery itself -- have persisted across generations.
    Most Americans cannot come to terms with what happened in the Reconstruction-era South. Might makes right, end of story.

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    You never explain why they want to do us harm!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zd9zAjHK1o
    Last edited by Resurgam; Saturday, January 9th, 2010 at 11:27 PM. Reason: why is it so hard to embed youtube links?

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    I am mad that my land went there, my land never wanted to be involved with anything, but now the left and the right wants my land to be involved with everything.

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