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New York Times: The Pipe Dream of Easy War

Author: H.R. McMaster
July 22, 2013

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"Be skeptical of concepts that divorce war from its political nature, particularly those that promise fast, cheap victory through technology."

"A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep," the novelist Saul Bellow once wrote. We should keep that in mind when we consider the lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — lessons of supreme importance as we plan the military of the future.

Our record of learning from previous experience is poor; one reason is that we apply history simplistically, or ignore it altogether, as a result of wishful thinking that makes the future appear easier and fundamentally different from the past.

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