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British experience.

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by Dixon (United Kingdom), Oct 25, 2008 at 22:45

Much is made pf "British experience" in Northern Ireland. I would rather cite the examples of the Boer uprising and, indeed, Malaya, aside from numerous other cases.

The British Empire was tested by a great many uprisings, insurrections and "insurgencies" of various kinds. Were there any in which The Empire did not triumph? This impressive record was not accomplished via the kind of subtleties mooted in this article. Rather by the ruthless application of absolute force. Certainly the separation of enemy combatants from their supporting population was practised by the British in the Boer war ( concentration camps ), Malaya and Kenya ( Mau Mau rebellion ). But the key factor was nonetheless the sheer ruthlessness of the British Imperial system.

It is the loss of this ruthlessness that has effectively neutred "Western" civilisation. Too many are too scared of actually inflicting harm on our enemies to pernit us to any longer actually prevail. Western societies have become neurotically self-critical to the point of abnegation.

There is also the question of what constitutes "winning". If we cannot "win" the "war on crime", does that mean we should give up the fight? By analogy, we should perhaps accept that in some parts of the world the suppression of the enemy is a sufficient goal. One we should be prepared to sustain indefinitely.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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