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《外交学者》的编辑批评美国决策者不明白军事冲突的本质

马德里时间:2018-4-8 03:22| lcw7612| 评论: 0|来自: 华侨快报

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Diario de chinos华侨快报4月7日报道(陈格)英文政治刊物“外交学者”杂志(The Diplomat)资深编辑弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(Franz-Stefan Gady)于4月6日,正值中美贸易战开战之后,两国将在南中国海实施各自的航母战斗群 ...

Diario de chinos华侨快报4月7日报道(陈格)英文政治刊物“外交学者”杂志(The Diplomat)资深编辑弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(Franz-Stefan Gady)于4月6日,正值中美贸易战开战之后,两国将在南中国海实施各自的航母战斗群大规模军事演习之际,发表了对美国决策者批判性的文章

弗朗茨 - 斯特凡曾在华盛顿国防大学国家战略研究学院担任助理研究助理,专注于区域安全问题。他还是国家安全改革项目的分析师,这是一个由国会资助的非营利组织,旨在改革美国的国家安全结构。他拥有约翰霍普金斯大学高级国际研究学院战略研究/国际经济学硕士学位。

弗朗茨 - 斯特凡(图片来源外交学者杂志)


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.为什么美国决策者继续不了解军事冲突的真正本质?

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.

以下为谷歌自动翻译:

美国是否遭遇“战争鸿沟”?
(为什么在美国决策者还是不明白军事冲突的真正本质)

2014年8月,我接受了来自伊拉克最大的基督城伊斯兰城市卡拉科什镇的一群贝壳震惊的基督教难民的访问,他们在埃尔比勒的一个临时难民营中逃离了恐怖组织伊斯兰国(ISIS)。伊斯兰国战斗人员几天前刚刚占领了卡拉科什,并立即着手系统地摧毁该市任何基督教的证据。当我采访难民的时候,最令我感到震惊的是他们的无能为力。他们想打但没有必要的武器。当他们的祖屋和教堂被夷为平地在埃尔比勒以西80公里处时,他们无能为力。

在阿富汗战争报道了两年之后,我第一次看到了战场失败的直接结果:亚述和库尔德民兵未能击退伊斯兰国,结果卡拉科什被采取了。这是简单明了的。没有必要通过抽象来将这些基督教难民的军事力量驱回家中; 不需要引用诸如“多米诺骨牌理论”或“1938年慕尼黑比喻”这样的复杂概念来为战斗辩护。他们的军事弱点的线性结果是显而易见的,其后果是绝对的。

那天晚上,我记得想知道美国人在战斗中最后一次击败的时间是什么时候,整个城市被夷为平地,他们的妇女和儿童受到了侵犯,而他们的长辈们还在射击?人们必须回到美国内战或美国革命,才能发现美国公民及其社区因军事行动而遭受的类似蹂躏。显然,美国和伊拉克战争的经历在最近的记忆中显着不同。

诚然,小布什的口头禅“我们会在那里与他们抗争,所以我们不必在这里与他们作战”,美国军队在朝鲜的远山,南越的稻田,波斯尼亚的连绵起伏的山上,Hindukush的白雪皑皑的山顶以及巴格达的城市丛林,远离大多数美国人。在那段时间内,没有一场美国战场失利,而且有几场战斗导致美国平民被俘或美国城镇被夷为平地。

这种独特的美国战争经历首先是地理距离相结合的结果 - 美国不受任何两大洋土地侵袭的威胁 - 以及美国军事势力的优势 - 美国一直是,现在仍然是世界的最强大的军事实力。人们可以称之为美国战争的最显着的特征不仅是卓越的技术或大规模火力,还有地理距离。过去一百年来,美国的战争与美国的土壤相距数千英里,几乎没有将美国领土置于危险之中(除了日益迫近的核威胁之外),并且掩盖了美国人战胜战争的许多可怕后果。

过去一百年美国经验的四个方面值得强调。

首先,地理距离阻止了美国平民免遭军事冲突的恐怖。(有一些例外,比如日本在珍珠港的袭击和二战期间日本对菲律宾的占领)自2001年以来,在阿富汗有3万多平民遇害。根据伊拉克机构网站的数据,有18万到20.2万平民自2003年3月入侵伊拉克以来已死亡。根据叙利亚人权网收集的资料,仅2017年就有1 000多名叙利亚平民丧生。尽管自2001年以来,已有近7,000名美国在职男女遇害,但在行动中丧生的职业士兵与军事行动导致的手无寸铁的平民的意外或蓄意死亡之间形成了鲜明的差异。(据艾略特科恩统计,

其次,尽管自2001年以来一直处于战争状态,但在美国领土上的美国文职和军事基础设施在近二十年的战争中并未受到攻击,损坏或摧毁。对于此期间几乎任何战争的国家来说,这都是无与伦比的。(在拿破仑战争期间,英国将是一个明显的例外。)相比之下,伊拉克在过去15年中因战争而看到大规模的民用基础设施遭到破坏; 摩苏尔受到特别严重的打击。根据世界银行的估计,叙利亚战前住房存量的三分之一已经与该国一半的教育和医疗设施一起被摧毁。据报道,自2014年7月战争爆发以来,据报道,在乌克兰东部地区,超过17,000幢建筑物遭到破坏或摧毁。

第三,近几十年来美国和其他许多西方国家进行的远征战争(包括部队进入战区的轮换部署相对较短),导致了对冲突的快速理解,男性和女性暴露于短时间的战争和旋转进出作战区域,而不会理解正在发生的冲突的具体性质。最重要的是,短期部署根本不利于了解现实情况并理解敌人。鉴于对战争的这种粗略理解,美国公众和决策者将特种作战部队神话化为迅速而果断的远征战争的体现并继续相信快速的军事胜利就不足为奇了。

第四,流行的“技术解决主义”时代精神主义者认为,先进的新武器系统可以使打赢的战争更容易和更人性化,从而促进对战争的选择性理解。遥控和半自主武器系统使战争失去人性,并将其变成类似电子游戏的经历,其中诸如“手术罢工”或“附带损害”等术语掩盖了空中袭击的实际残暴和后果。它还可以强化“Wunderwaffe”的战术应用可以纠正任何战略性军事失误的信念。此外,按照克劳塞维茨的说法,作为这种思维的结果,美国决策者经常强调战争性质的变化(战争是如何发生的)战胜战争的“恒定”性质(混乱的,不可控制的人类控制,血腥的,和灾难性)。

由于上述四个区别,美国决策者和军事领导人尽管持续发动战争,但矛盾的是,他们对战争有更“温和”和“更清洁”的理解,导致我称之为“战争差距”。 ,现在美国人的战争代表了一个只有美国军队和外国战斗人员和平民遇难的遥远国家的冲突。美国的房屋没有遭到洗劫或轰炸,也没有任何外国职业体系(如果只是暂时的)被强加。美国公民仍然身体不受伤害和死亡。这与欧洲,非洲,亚洲和中东的战争经历在同样的背景下形成鲜明对比。

这种特殊的美国战争方式,表面上建立在对战争和战争更加科学和开明的理解之上,显然没有考虑到冲突的全部性质。除此之外,它忽略了克劳塞维茨将战争视为原始暴力,仇恨和仇恨的盲目战争力量,这些力量只有在他们打到家时才能体验到,因此才能被理解。(正如奥地利战地记者弗里茨奥尔特所说,他的妻子意外死亡时,他才意识到战争真正的恐怖。)这对美国的军事行动产生了深远的影响。

从对朝鲜战争中的中国意图的误读,到越南战争期间对越南战士士气的误解,以至低估伊拉克的教派暴力,美国的高级文职和军事领导人一再表明对文化,社会和宗教的无知外国人。美国与战争前线的距离以及无法准确辨别敌对势力的物理和人文地理,导致了对孙子的格言“知道你的敌人”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.

美国决策者最好记住美国的战争经历是独一无二的。在过去的一百年中,美国幸免于难,因为幸免于战争的残酷总体。美国人最后估计了我在埃尔比勒的难民中看到的美国自己的史诗般的内部不和谐所造成的人员损失和震撼,并且悲剧地忘记了谢尔曼对“全部地狱”的直接证词。


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