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《外交學者》的編輯批評美國決策者不明白軍事沖突的本質

馬德里時間:2018-4-8 02:22| lcw7612| 評論: 0|來自: 華僑快報

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Diario de chinos華僑快報4月7日報道(陳格)英文政治刊物“外交學者”雜志(The Diplomat)資深編輯弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(Franz-Stefan Gady)于4月6日,正值中美貿易戰開戰之后,兩國將在南中國海實施各自的航母戰斗群 ...

Diario de chinos華僑快報4月7日報道(陳格)英文政治刊物“外交學者”雜志(The Diplomat)資深編輯弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(Franz-Stefan Gady)于4月6日,正值中美貿易戰開戰之后,兩國將在南中國海實施各自的航母戰斗群大規模軍事演習之際,發表了對美國決策者批判性的文章

弗朗茨 - 斯特凡曾在華盛頓國防大學國家戰略研究學院擔任助理研究助理,專注于區域安全問題。他還是國家安全改革項目的分析師,這是一個由國會資助的非營利組織,旨在改革美國的國家安全結構。他擁有約翰霍普金斯大學高級國際研究學院戰略研究/國際經濟學碩士學位。

弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(圖片來源外交學者雜志)


原文如下:

Is the US Suffering a ‘War Gap’?
Why American decision-makers continue to fail to understand the true nature of military conflict.為什么美國決策者繼續不了解軍事沖突的真正本質?

By Franz-Stefan Gady
April 06, 2018

In August 2014, I interviewed a group of shell-shocked Christian refugees from the town of Qarakosh — then, the largest Christian city of Iraq — in a makeshift refugee camp in Erbil following their harrowing escape from the terror group Islamic State (ISIS). ISIS fighters had just occupied Qarakosh a few days prior and immediately set out to systematically destroy any evidence of Christianity in the city. What struck me the most when I was interviewing the refugees was their sense of impotence. They wanted to fight but did not have the necessary arms. As their ancestral homes and churches were razed to the ground 80 kilometers west of Erbil, there was nothing they could do.

After covering the war in Afghanistan for two years, for the first time I could see the direct results of a battlefield defeat: Assyrian and Kurdish militias failed to fight off ISIS and as a result Qarakosh was taken. It was plain and simple. There was no need for abstractions to drive home the point of military power to those Christian refugees; no need to invoke complex concepts such as the “Domino Theory” or the “1938 Munich analogy” to justify a fight. The linear results of their military weakness were plainly obvious and the consequences absolute.

That night I remember wondering when was the last time Americans defeated in battle had entire cities razed, their women and children violated, and their elders shot? One would have to go back to the U.S. Civil War or the American Revolution to find comparable ravages of American citizens and their communities as a result of military action. Clearly, the American and Iraqi experiences of war were markedly different in recent memory.

True to George W. Bush’s mantra “We’ll fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here,” U.S. troops have fought in the faraway mountains of North Korea, the rice paddies of South Vietnam, the rolling hills of Bosnia, the snowy tops of the Hindukush, and the urban jungle of Baghdad, places foreign and far away to most Americans. During that time period, not a single American battlefield defeat, and there were a few, resulted in American civilians taken prisoner or American towns razed.

This unique American experience of war is first and foremost the result of a combination of geographical distance — the United States is protected from any threats of land invasion by two oceans — and the preponderance of American military might — the United States was and remains the world’s strongest military power. The most salient feature of what one may call the American Way of War is not only superior technology or massive firepower but geographic distance. America’s wars for the past hundred years have been fought thousands of miles away from American soil, scarcely exposing American territory to danger (with the exception of the ever-looming nuclear threat) and shielding Americans from many of the terrible consequences of war.

Four aspects of the American experience of over the past hundred years are worth highlighting.

First, geographic distance has shielded American civilians from the horrors of military conflict. (There were some exceptions, such as Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.) Over 30,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. According to the Iraq Body Count website, between 180,000 to 202,000 civilians have died since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Based on information collected by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, more than 10,000 Syrian civilians were killed in 2017 alone. While almost 7,000 American service men and women have been killed since 2001, there is a stark difference between professional soldiers killed in action and the accidental or deliberate death of unarmed civilians as a result of military action. (According to statistics compiled by Eliot Cohen, the last 100 years cost the U.S. military 626,000 dead and 1.18 million wounded, the lowest death toll among all great powers during that time period.)

Second, despite being continuously at war since 2001, American civilian and military infrastructure on U.S. territory has not been attacked, damaged, or destroyed during almost two decades of warfare. This is unparalleled for almost any nation at war for this duration. (A notable exception would be Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.) In contrast, Iraq has seen the massive destruction of civilian infrastructure over the last 15 years as a result of the war; Mosul has been especially hard hit. According to a World Bank estimate, a third of Syrian prewar housing stock has been destroyed along with half of the country’s education and medical facilities. As of July 2017, over 17,000 buildings have reportedly been damaged or destroyed in eastern Ukraine since the war began in July 2014. Often forgotten is the fact that destroying civilian infrastructure not only directly leads to civilian casualties but, even more damaging in the long run, accelerates the destruction of the social fabric and can threaten a society’s legal and cultural underpinnings.

Third, the expeditionary warfare the United States and many other Western countries have conducted for the past decades (including the relatively short rotational deployments of troops into a war zone), has led to a snapshot understanding of conflict, where men and women are exposed to war for short time periods and rotate in and out of a combat zone without developing an understanding of the specific nature of the unfolding conflict. Most importantly, short-term deployments are simply not conducive to learning about on the ground realities and empathizing with one’s enemy. Given this cursory understanding of war, it is not surprising that the American public and policy makers mythologize Special Operations Forces as the embodiment of swift and decisive expeditionary warfare and continue to believe in quick military victories.

Fourth, the prevailing Zeitgeist of “technological solutionism,” the idea that advanced new weapons systems can make winning wars easier and more humane, fosters a selective understanding of warfare. Remotely controlled and semi-autonomous weapons systems dehumanize war and turn it into a video game-like experience, in which terms such as “surgical strikes” or “collateral damage” camouflage the actual brutality and consequences of aerial attacks. It can also strengthen the belief that the tactical application of a “Wunderwaffe” can rectify any strategic military blunder. Additionally, to put it in Clausewitzean terms, U.S. policymakers, as a consequence of this thinking, often emphasize the changing character of warfare (how wars are fought) over the “constant” nature of war (chaotic, unamenable to human control, bloody, and catastrophic).

As a result of the four distinctions outlined above, American policymakers and military leaders, despite continuously waging war, paradoxically have a more “benign” and “cleaner” understanding of war, contributing to what I call the “War Gap.” Almost by definition, war for Americans now denotes conflict in a faraway country where only American troops and foreign combatants and civilians are killed. No American homes are ransacked or bombed and no foreign occupational regime (if only temporarily) is imposed. American citizens remain physically removed from mayhem and death. This is in stark contrast to the European, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern experience of war in the same context.

This particular American Way of War, ostensibly built upon a more scientific and enlightened understanding of war and warfare, pointedly fails to take into account the full nature of conflict. Among other things, it neglects the blind forces of war, defined by Clausewitz as primordial violence, hatred, and enmity, which can only be experienced and, consequently, understood, when they hit home. (As the Austrian war correspondent Fritz Orter said, he only realized the true horrors of war when his wife unexpectedly was killed.) This has had a profound impact on U.S. military actions.

From the misreading of Chinese intentions during the Korean War, to the misunderstanding of North Vietnamese fighting morale during the Vietnam War, to underestimating the sectarian violence in Iraq, senior U.S. civilian and military leaders have repeatedly shown a cultural, social, and religious ignorance of foreign peoples. America’s distance from the frontlines of its wars and its inability to accurately discern the physical and human geography of its antagonists have led to a fatal violation of Sun Tzu’s dictum, “Know your enemy.”

A pernicious effect is that war, without an adequate understanding of its closely lived complexity and horror, appears more manageable to U.S. policymakers. As a result, American decision-makers are more prone to advancing military solutions over other options than leaders in other advanced democracies. Additionally, a more technological prosecution of war offers the illusion that policymakers have more choices during a military conflict than they actually obtain. Lost is the insight that the only real freedom to devise policy pertaining to a military conflict is before the outbreak of any hostilities.

American decision-makers would do well to remember that the American experience of war is unique. The United States has been fortunate — some even believe blessed — over the past hundred years for being spared the brutal totality of war. Americans last reckoned the human loss and the shock that I saw in the refugees in Erbil in the United States’ own epic civil discord and have tragically forgotten Sherman’s blunt testimony of the “all hell” of war.

以下為谷歌自動翻譯:

美國是否遭遇“戰爭鴻溝”?
(為什么在美國決策者還是不明白軍事沖突的真正本質)

2014年8月,我接受了來自伊拉克最大的基督城伊斯蘭城市卡拉科什鎮的一群貝殼震驚的基督教難民的訪問,他們在埃爾比勒的一個臨時難民營中逃離了恐怖組織伊斯蘭國(ISIS)。伊斯蘭國戰斗人員幾天前剛剛占領了卡拉科什,并立即著手系統地摧毀該市任何基督教的證據。當我采訪難民的時候,最令我感到震驚的是他們的無能為力。他們想打但沒有必要的武器。當他們的祖屋和教堂被夷為平地在埃爾比勒以西80公里處時,他們無能為力。

在阿富汗戰爭報道了兩年之后,我第一次看到了戰場失敗的直接結果:亞述和庫爾德民兵未能擊退伊斯蘭國,結果卡拉科什被采取了。這是簡單明了的。沒有必要通過抽象來將這些基督教難民的軍事力量驅回家中; 不需要引用諸如“多米諾骨牌理論”或“1938年慕尼黑比喻”這樣的復雜概念來為戰斗辯護。他們的軍事弱點的線性結果是顯而易見的,其后果是絕對的。

那天晚上,我記得想知道美國人在戰斗中最后一次擊敗的時間是什么時候,整個城市被夷為平地,他們的婦女和兒童受到了侵犯,而他們的長輩們還在射擊?人們必須回到美國內戰或美國革命,才能發現美國公民及其社區因軍事行動而遭受的類似蹂躪。顯然,美國和伊拉克戰爭的經歷在最近的記憶中顯著不同。

誠然,小布什的口頭禪“我們會在那里與他們抗爭,所以我們不必在這里與他們作戰”,美國軍隊在朝鮮的遠山,南越的稻田,波斯尼亞的連綿起伏的山上,Hindukush的白雪皚皚的山頂以及巴格達的城市叢林,遠離大多數美國人。在那段時間內,沒有一場美國戰場失利,而且有幾場戰斗導致美國平民被俘或美國城鎮被夷為平地。

這種獨特的美國戰爭經歷首先是地理距離相結合的結果 - 美國不受任何兩大洋土地侵襲的威脅 - 以及美國軍事勢力的優勢 - 美國一直是,現在仍然是世界的最強大的軍事實力。人們可以稱之為美國戰爭的最顯著的特征不僅是卓越的技術或大規模火力,還有地理距離。過去一百年來,美國的戰爭與美國的土壤相距數千英里,幾乎沒有將美國領土置于危險之中(除了日益迫近的核威脅之外),并且掩蓋了美國人戰勝戰爭的許多可怕后果。

過去一百年美國經驗的四個方面值得強調。

首先,地理距離阻止了美國平民免遭軍事沖突的恐怖。(有一些例外,比如日本在珍珠港的襲擊和二戰期間日本對菲律賓的占領)自2001年以來,在阿富汗有3萬多平民遇害。根據伊拉克機構網站的數據,有18萬到20.2萬平民自2003年3月入侵伊拉克以來已死亡。根據敘利亞人權網收集的資料,僅2017年就有1 000多名敘利亞平民喪生。盡管自2001年以來,已有近7,000名美國在職男女遇害,但在行動中喪生的職業士兵與軍事行動導致的手無寸鐵的平民的意外或蓄意死亡之間形成了鮮明的差異。(據艾略特科恩統計,

其次,盡管自2001年以來一直處于戰爭狀態,但在美國領土上的美國文職和軍事基礎設施在近二十年的戰爭中并未受到攻擊,損壞或摧毀。對于此期間幾乎任何戰爭的國家來說,這都是無與倫比的。(在拿破侖戰爭期間,英國將是一個明顯的例外。)相比之下,伊拉克在過去15年中因戰爭而看到大規模的民用基礎設施遭到破壞; 摩蘇爾受到特別嚴重的打擊。根據世界銀行的估計,敘利亞戰前住房存量的三分之一已經與該國一半的教育和醫療設施一起被摧毀。據報道,自2014年7月戰爭爆發以來,據報道,在烏克蘭東部地區,超過17,000幢建筑物遭到破壞或摧毀。

第三,近幾十年來美國和其他許多西方國家進行的遠征戰爭(包括部隊進入戰區的輪換部署相對較短),導致了對沖突的快速理解,男性和女性暴露于短時間的戰爭和旋轉進出作戰區域,而不會理解正在發生的沖突的具體性質。最重要的是,短期部署根本不利于了解現實情況并理解敵人。鑒于對戰爭的這種粗略理解,美國公眾和決策者將特種作戰部隊神話化為迅速而果斷的遠征戰爭的體現并繼續相信快速的軍事勝利就不足為奇了。

第四,流行的“技術解決主義”時代精神主義者認為,先進的新武器系統可以使打贏的戰爭更容易和更人性化,從而促進對戰爭的選擇性理解。遙控和半自主武器系統使戰爭失去人性,并將其變成類似電子游戲的經歷,其中諸如“手術罷工”或“附帶損害”等術語掩蓋了空中襲擊的實際殘暴和后果。它還可以強化“Wunderwaffe”的戰術應用可以糾正任何戰略性軍事失誤的信念。此外,按照克勞塞維茨的說法,作為這種思維的結果,美國決策者經常強調戰爭性質的變化(戰爭是如何發生的)戰勝戰爭的“恒定”性質(混亂的,不可控制的人類控制,血腥的,和災難性)。

由于上述四個區別,美國決策者和軍事領導人盡管持續發動戰爭,但矛盾的是,他們對戰爭有更“溫和”和“更清潔”的理解,導致我稱之為“戰爭差距”。 ,現在美國人的戰爭代表了一個只有美國軍隊和外國戰斗人員和平民遇難的遙遠國家的沖突。美國的房屋沒有遭到洗劫或轟炸,也沒有任何外國職業體系(如果只是暫時的)被強加。美國公民仍然身體不受傷害和死亡。這與歐洲,非洲,亞洲和中東的戰爭經歷在同樣的背景下形成鮮明對比。

這種特殊的美國戰爭方式,表面上建立在對戰爭和戰爭更加科學和開明的理解之上,顯然沒有考慮到沖突的全部性質。除此之外,它忽略了克勞塞維茨將戰爭視為原始暴力,仇恨和仇恨的盲目戰爭力量,這些力量只有在他們打到家時才能體驗到,因此才能被理解。(正如奧地利戰地記者弗里茨奧爾特所說,他的妻子意外死亡時,他才意識到戰爭真正的恐怖。)這對美國的軍事行動產生了深遠的影響。

從對朝鮮戰爭中的中國意圖的誤讀,到越南戰爭期間對越南戰士士氣的誤解,以至低估伊拉克的教派暴力,美國的高級文職和軍事領導人一再表明對文化,社會和宗教的無知外國人。美國與戰爭前線的距離以及無法準確辨別敵對勢力的物理和人文地理,導致了對孫子的格言“知道你的敵人”的致命的侵犯。

A pernicious effect is that war, without an adequate understanding of its closely lived complexity and horror, appears more manageable to U.S. policymakers. As a result, American decision-makers are more prone to advancing military solutions over other options than leaders in other advanced democracies. Additionally, a more technological prosecution of war offers the illusion that policymakers have more choices during a military conflict than they actually obtain. Lost is the insight that the only real freedom to devise policy pertaining to a military conflict is before the outbreak of any hostilities.

美國決策者最好記住美國的戰爭經歷是獨一無二的。在過去的一百年中,美國幸免于難,因為幸免于戰爭的殘酷總體。美國人最后估計了我在埃爾比勒的難民中看到的美國自己的史詩般的內部不和諧所造成的人員損失和震撼,并且悲劇地忘記了謝爾曼對“全部地獄”的直接證詞。


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