This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: ction were too long and allowed for chaos to take over.
In fact, Roxborough (2003a: 192) holds that the same problem
has beset all the other peace-keeping operations conducted by the Americans in the post-Cold War period: 5 Clausewitz emphasized that a war can only be declared when the civilian administration has determined and designed the strategy for the post-war period, when the military objectives are achieved, because it is the victorious army and state who are responsible for the normalization of post-war life. The concept of ‘war’ in the humanities 87 The cultural disposition towards RDO runs counter to the emotional and
cognitive requirements of what the British used to refer to as imperial policing. (…) The search for a quick fix, together with the technocratic denial that local politics matters, have meant that “peace” in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia and elsewhere has been fragile. This disregard for local politics has also been noticeable in the planning
of the Iraqi war. Having construed Saddam Hussein as Hitler, the American authorities expected that the US army would be welcomed by the
Iraqi people in the same way as it was welcomed when liberating France.
Therefore the resistance on the part of some Iraqis and distrust of the
others was quite unexpected. Under the circumstances, it is difficult not
to see that the analogy between the Second World War and the situation
in Iraq was pretty far-fetched. Roxborough (2003a: 198) concludes:
“[p]olicy makers tend to rely on analogic reasoning rather than the systematic evaluation of evidence. While this is unavoidable, it has its dangers”.6 This conclusion leads him to appeal to other sociologists to get
involved in the policy making process as their expertise seems relevant
to creating effective policy.
Roxborough also takes a close look at the American intervention
in Afghanistan, and identifies similar problems. The major one was the
need to realize that “Defeating Al Qaeda requires the repression of a social movement, not the elimination of an adversary state” (2003: 201). To
achieve this aim, it is necessary to reject the traditional warfare strategy,
where the purpose of a military action is not necessarily to physically
eliminate the enemy force, but rather to render it ineffective, which can be
accomplished by 15-20% casualties. In the case of terrorist forces, the aim
must be to kill or capture every force member. Otherwise they will reorganize and strike again. Armies trained to fight wars against nation-states
cannot meet this challenge.
6 On the role of analogy and metaphor in constructing social policy see Schön (1993).
He describes how viewing slums as a diseased part of the city, in fact diseased beyond
treatment, precludes any constructive action towards the improvement of life quality in
the poverty districts. Only a change in the conceptualisation can lead to a change in policy. The linguistic technology behind policy setting is then an exercise in naming and
framing, which are inevitably evaluative. This brings us back to the research by Lakoff
1987 and ICM (discussed in Section 3, Chapter One), Coulson 2001 and frame shifting,
View Full Document