Defying Art of War

February 11, 2007 : Sunday

Defying Art of War

by Maria Irene Santos

     The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of the most read book on ancient warfare, it has become a must read among those who aspire to become leaders in business, military and politics.  One author concludes that if sun Tzu has been studied carefully by American political and military leaders Bay of Pigs invasion could not have occured, Iran hostage fiasco would not have come to pass and World War I and II would have been avoided.  These are his generalizations that these catastrophic events in human history would not have happened if Sun Tzu had been applied in the conduct of human political and military affairs. 


     But one might consider that Bush’s unilateral foreign policy has been in defiance of the principles of the Art of War when he  unilaterally wage  his war on terror against Iraq on the pretext of alleged Weapons of Mass destruction. First he had defied the principle that the true object of war is peace.  But it seems impossible how these two rather contradicting ends could be meet.  Well for starters the U.S could have multilaterally deal with the 9/11 attacks cooperating with United Nation.  Is Iraqi nation  the terrorists?  Why destroy a whole nation -state of Iraq when you are dealing with just groups who have no absolute link with the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein?

                                                   On Waging War

          “When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, the men’s weapns will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened.  If you lay siege to a tow, you will exhaust your strength, and if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the state will not be equal to the strain..”In all history, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare..”  


A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.  Of the total 655,000 estimated “excess deaths,” 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then — a finding likely to be equally controversial.(Washington Post, D. Brown).

     Based on these findings the effect of Bush’s policy has resonated a heavy toll on the lives of the Iraqi.  What seems to be a heavy expense on the US plan of implanting democracy in the Middle East is just a decoy- defy art of war for a major global control of world’s major oil regions the only exception is that US was acquainted with the evils of war therefore was able to profit in carrying it further.   

     In the final analysis, again in peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace.  Contextualizing this rule in our scenario an US option for an exit strategy on Iraq (preparing for peace) will make the power vacuum in Iraq  more volatile as it is already compouded with divisive strife among the Sunni, Shiite and Kurds.  But it can also be a political facade with real material intervention- for American companies such as Halliburton which is the world’s largest energy and geophysical services company in exploiting and exploring major oil fields in Iraq. Furthermore, a withdrawal of forces in Iraq would revise the whole US plan for a Greater Middle East making it a launching pad for another geopolitical game with Russia and China.

     You see there is more to war on terrorism and US sponsored protracted chaos and war. The very circumstances that should have not been neglected as Sun Tzu  warned in waging war.  The attack had been aggressive, swift and calculated- American military might-but  not a swift and brief surrender of the captives rather a protracted agony and death  of innocent Iraqi civilians.  American foreign policy though defying the true object of war which is peace was able to defy it in its own advantage. I wonder for future speculation the significance of the Art of War in pursuing and securing our (Philippines)  interests in the world’s  geopolitical map.           


1 Comment »

  1. katigbak,karla elaine Said:

    nice article irene…

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