May 29, 2004

Wretchard Starts to 'Get It'

I've written frequently in the past about post-westphalianism, the breakdown in the consensus that war shall only be conducted between states and that statecraft shall largely respect the strictures of national sovereignty. Possibly the biggest disconnect (and it still amazes me) is that both sides in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) have renounced Westphalian geopolitics and nobody really has examined what that means and will mean as westphalianism continues to break down in the years and decades ahead.

Wretchard is starting to examine a part of the consequences. He's discovered that there is no more front line and that politics and war have lost almost all distinctiveness from each other. The total war that was rejected in horror at the end of the Thirty Years War will come back with a vengeance, something that few understand even today. The jihadists have opened pandora's box and we must follow suit into the madness they have unleashed or condemn ourselves to eventual defeat as we sell our birthright of freedom away to stop the terror that cannot be stopped within the strictures of westphalian geopolitics.

The US has several handicaps in this brave new world of post-westphalian war (PWW). PWW is total war using all forms of warfare and all arms of society. The US is constrained by current law not to organize and take part in religion and the press while at the same time, neutrality acts prevent private US organizations from organizing these areas of society to conduct the fight. The first amendment must be eviscerated, letters of marquee and reprisal must be updated to the modern world, or we must abandon the concept of the private sector being restrained from conducting its own war and foreign policy. These are the only three ways out that I see for the US. The first solution is abhorrent to american principles, the third would lead to a great deal more chaos and violence than we are likely prepared to tolerate in the US and the 2nd? The 2nd is intriguing but needs so much work that we're nowhere near ready to take that step.

These are all very profound changes for the US, so profound that we may not survive them. But the alternative, as will become clear in the coming years, is to have terror creep into this country, both by immigration and local conversion and recruitment and wear us down into submission.

Posted by TMLutas at May 29, 2004 11:50 AM