"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Words from the front, and America's COIN co-author

Not much time to play around on here these days, as devoting more time actually preparing for Iraq means less time writing about it. In an effort to stay current, here's an essay on the dangers of early withdrawal by an officer who co-wrote the Army and Marine Corps' new counterinsurgency manual. Also, Michael Yon, independent embedded reporter, has moved from Diyala to Anbar and started a new series on the struggles and successes of Marines in that province: part I, part II, and part III. Good stuff which you'd never hear otherwise.

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