snoqueen wrote:Let's start with the easy ones. First, can anyone tell me why we are (still) in Afghanistan?
The Taliban was to impatient to wait till Obama pulled troops out?
snoqueen wrote:Today whoever has the most money and most sophisticated technology gets to use it against whomever they please. I think in the future that will be considered contrary to morality, to international law, to human rights, or whatever convention of authority is appealed to when that day arrives.
I have a hard time imagining a future where China the US or other leading powers would be signatories to a treaty that neuters their military advantage. Absent that support, I don't see such a treating taking hold.
What's more, I think it's actually a good thing such disparity exists. WWI and WWII were fought by armies that were fairly close in technological means, as was the American Civil War. None of those wars were particularly low on the death toll, or kind to civilians. It be nice to imagine we've evolved at all from that stage, but looking back at just the last 20 years of conflicts in this world puts lie to that myth.
snoqueen wrote:Does the willingness of the supposed enemy to use suicide bombers change the equation? On the terms I've described, suicide bombers are to be met by other suicide bombers. As an alternative the target country uses defensive methods, which are probably more effective anyhow.
Interesting question. I don't think the willingness to use suicide bombers changes the question so much as the willingness to target civilians. Simple morality bars responding to such attacks in kind (either in method or target). Ultimately I'd say the first step in addressing that question is once again treating terrorists and terrorist organizations as criminals rather than combatants.
Snoqueen wrote:If our forces are "not playing checkers" (which we can agree on), is their primary intent then to defend themselves effectively and get home safely? If so, why were they sent into danger in the first place?
The purpose of warfare is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's probably fair to say our continued presence has proven to do the exact opposite. Safe, happy people with hope for their future, generally don't volunteer to strap a explosive vest on and blow themselves up. Maybe we need to give up the delusion that we can wipe out government and build up a new one to replace it.