Special NightWatch Comment: Mirror imaging is a serious analytical flaw. If things are not done their way, analysts are prone to consider them inferior or wrong. It manifests a dangerous, potentially lethal cultural bias.
This week US officers were quoted in international press, yet again, as accusing the Taliban of cowardice because they use improvised explosive devices and don’t come out and fight like men. An odd taunt.
In the past nine years of fighting, the Taliban — who go to war wearing robes, sandals and turbans and fight mainly with assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades and IEDS — never accuse US soldiers of cowardice for wearing ceramic armor; riding in tanks and armored fighting vehicles; fighting from forts; using the most advanced artillery invented, helicopter gunships and fighter aircraft; relying on advanced communications, satellites, armed drones; and rotating out after a tour in the field.
The officers might drop the name calling and try to understand what motivates pre-modern men so ill equipped to continue to fight the most advanced military forces in the history of the world for nearly a decade.
Phi Beta Iota: It is an honor and a privilege to read NIGHTWATCH. NIGHTWATCH commentaries, along with those by Chuck Spinney, Ralph Peters, and Robert Young Pelton, are among a handful of analytic commentaries that are consistently intelligent and honest. Few others can make this claim. “Strategic Decrepitude” has been joined by “Intellectual Decrepitude” among the ranks of those officers who would rather fight than think. Sun Tzu would call them assured losers….losers who are enablers of the ideological idiots who lie to the public and betray the public trust. In combination, the lack of integrity by both parties robs the Republic of blood, treasure, and spirit.