Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You
Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You
By gjohnsit / dailykos.com

You better sit down for this one because it will blow your mind. You are probably aware that we on a global quest to rid the world of Evil, one smart-bomb at a time. Yet, for some strange reason, every place that we bomb Evil into oblivion seems to become more messed up than before.   You would think that our humanitarian mass killing would make the world a better place, but for some reason it never seems to happen.

  Now there is a new report that examines this strange trend.

Our new article, forthcoming in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence,  examines the coalition’s use of violence to suppress insurgency during the Iraq War. We found that excess reliance on military force can produce counterintuitive results.

  Counterintuitive? You mean like, they throw bullets at us instead of flowers?

Using data from the Iraq War Logs, we analyzed the numbers to see whether killing insurgents had any influence on the incidence of insurgent attacks. We constructed a weekly data set across 103 districts in Iraq from 2004 to 2009. The data counted how many insurgents coalition forces killed each week in each district, through all types of military engagement (including direct and indirect fire incidents, bombings or any other form of engagement where a member of the coalition was present to record the incident). We then analyzed whether the number of insurgents killed in a given week had an impact on the number of insurgent attacks against coalition forces in future weeks. The answer is yes — but it turns out that rather than reducing the insugency’s  capabilities, killing fighters actually encouraged more attacks against the coalition.
   When coalition forces employed extreme violence — killing relatively large numbers of insurgents — they were able to moderate the rate of increase in insurgent attacks, but not reduce it. In other words, military force alone was not successful at decreasing violence in Iraq. Here are four reasons why.

Shocking! Killing lots of people does not create peace on Earth!   But every Hollywood movie based on a video game I've ever seen has an entirely different message (i.e. you kill all the bad guys to win the game). Could all those movies be wrong?   Almost every presidential candidate echoes the message of those Hollywood movies as well. Surely they can't all be wrong!

  So what reasons does this report give for such bizarre conclusions?

1) Military force often means collateral damage.

  It seems that classifying dead civilians as insurgents/terrorists may work with the American audience, but it doesn't work so well with the locals.   What's more, blowing up their homes and infrastructure doesn't makes them love you either.

2) Civilians are likely to blame outsiders for violence, not the Islamic State.

  Funny how the locals are more likely to blame people from the other side of the planet that drop bombs from 30,000 feet, rather than people they can actually see and talk to.

3) Attacking insurgents may actually strengthen their ranks.

Killing insurgent fighters is a sure way to encourage retaliation. If a group can signal strength through retaliatory attacks despite receiving heavy casualties, then local populations are more likely to view that group as strong. Some populations would see backing a strong group as the best way to protect their own interests.

There's also something else the report didn't note: insurgents are people to (believe it or not), and people tend to have families and friends who may resent you killing them.

4) A stronger insurgency is likely to result in more attacks on coalition forces.

  So if we can't bomb our way to peace, what can we do? So far the answer is to bomb even more. It's a message that sells with both Democrats and Republicans.

 Now assuming that more bombs aren't the answer (and that MUCH more bombs aren't the answer either), what could be the answer? Well, someone might have an idea.

We have a military plan to defeat the Islamic State – and, as initial gains in Fallujah last week demonstrated, it’s going well in many respects – but we have yet to articulate a political plan to ensure Iraq’s long-term stability.
   Sometimes it’s impossible to tell whether it’s 2007 or 2016. The battle plans I hear from our commanders in Iraq today are the same ones I heard at the beginning of the surge, down to the same cities and tribal alliances. My question is: How will this time be different? The silence is deafening.

Oh yeah. The politics. Diplomacy. Long-term thinking rather than short-term explosions.   All stuff that Americans had long ago sh*t-canned as signs of weakness. Maybe instead of just spending billions on contracting out our military, maybe we can spend a few bucks contracting out our diplomacy too? Because obviously no one in Washington is interested in talking anymore.

Carl von Clausewitz taught us nearly 200 years ago that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” We have to have a political endgame, or the sacrifices our troops continue to make will be in vain. It’s not the military’s job to develop that political plan – that’s where the administration comes in – but it’s painfully clear there isn’t one.Without a long-term political strategy, we can expect to send young Americans back to Iraq every time Iraqi politics fall apart, a new terrorist group sweeps in and we find ourselves required to clean up the mess.
   Fixing Iraqi politics is difficult, but I’d much prefer having a heavy, long-term diplomatic presence than losing more lives refighting battles we already won.

  The good news is that we are getting very good at invading the Middle East. It'll come in useful again very soon.

4.0 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 17,201 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 6,837 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 3,741 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 1,113 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 1,047 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 973 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 961 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 890 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 878 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 648 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 639 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 635 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 615 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 471 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 441 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 433 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 421 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 358 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 322 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 298 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Shocking New Report: Bombing People Causes People to Hate You