by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
It is now becoming trite to write of the American military “failure” in Iraq. But recently this purported setback has been lumped together with the Israeli problems in southern Lebanon to suggest an end to the long dominance of the Western Way of War — an approach to warfare that has usually allowed Western soldiers to do what they wish abroad, from Alexander at the Indus to the Europeans in the 20th century.
Supposedly the Islamists have not only evolved beyond the old, failed Arab paradigm of feebly copying Western conventional practice (remember the 1967 Six-Day War or Saddam’s disaster in 1991), but also have mastered a novel sort of jihad terrorism that, within the confines of urban fighting inside the Middle East, has nullified traditional Western advantage — and for good.
It is certainly wise to acknowledge the military and political success of jihadists, whether in the Hindu Kush, the Sunni Triangle, or southern Lebanon, in making life very difficult for relatively small numbers of soldiers in Western militaries. Recently in National Review, I reviewed reasons why we should indeed be worried about the terrorists’ new adaptations.
©2006 Victor Davis Hanson