The True Legacy of the Cold War

The True Legacy of the Cold War

A lot of people see the Cold War as distant history.  There was even one political scientist/economist who wrote a book in 1992 claiming that the end of the Cold War was “The End of History.” Obviously, that thesis didn’t age well. But even leaving aside the nonsense that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new age of democracy and peace had dawned, a lot of us still see a rupture between the Cold War and the present strategic situation.  There is no such rupture, though.  History doesn’t work in “eras” except in high school textbooks. Yes, this is in reference to my last post.  An expansion, if you will.  If you want to understand why we seem to be trapped in “endless war,” then you need to understand what happened since World War II, and how that has contributed to where we are now. The Cold War has been described as the multi-decade tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, marked by espionage, massive conventional forces staring at each other across the Iron Curtain, and the Mutually Assured Destruction of thousands of nuclear weapons pointed in both directions.  And those were part of it.  But the Cold

Human Terrain: Tribes

by Breach-Bang-Clear Contributor at Large and Valued Minion Peter Nealan, author of Task Force Desperate. This one talks about human terrain and negotiating it for tactical and strategic advantage, if not operational survival outside the wire. Tribes While it may seem, on the surface, that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Wars?  Try battles in the same war) are winding down, anyone who has been paying attention knows that the GWOT is just moving to a new phase.  It didn’t start on 9/11, and it’s not ending in 2014.             That means we’re going to still be fighting Salafist and Shia jihadists for a very long time.  The following falls under the heading of “Know Thine Enemy.”             Most parts of the world where Islam holds sway is very tribal.  These tribes often go back thousands of years; part of our fumble in dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan over the last ten years was not understanding at best, or flat-out ignoring at worst, the nature and power of these tribes.  Steven Pressfield [author of the brilliant books The Warrior Ethos, The Afghan Campaign and The Profession and many others] published a series of videos a number of years ago, entitled