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Michael Bane: Civilians on the Battlefield

Our friend Michael Bane posted this commentary earlier on his blog and via social media. We felt it worth sharing — the lead image comes courtesy of NBC News. It shows the aftermath of the most recent terror attack in France.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson has emerged as one of the most articulate analysts on America's decline.

I have a few points that I mentioned over the weekend, but that need to be reiterated:

1) We are in a war. The nature of war is that there is ALWAYS a next battle. Right now, our enemies are planning the next atrocity.

2) No combatant has the luxury of declaring themselves a “noncombatant.” I'm sure after the first 90 days in the trenches of Europe in WW1, the Brits would have loved to have said, “Ummmmm, upon further reflection…” Only the enemy gets to define your status.

3) It is disingenuous to say, “This could happen here,” since it is already under way here, most recently in Garland, San Bernardino, Orlando and Dallas.

Civilians on the battlefield in Orlando

4) We are the only country in the world who can defend against this 4th Generation style of warfare. For those of you who slept in, 4GW war is a war where the lines between politics and war, civilians and soldier become blurred. From William S. Lind, one of the military strategist who first defined the concept, “In broad terms, fourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point.”

Civilians on the battlefield in San Bernardino

5) The reason the United States is the only country positioned to fight on this new and confusing battle field is because we are the only country with ARMED CITIZENS. Diffuse attacks require diffuse responses (I stole that line from someone, but the reference slips my mind). In the absence of civilian arms, the only response left with people caught in these mass casualty incidents is, “Run and hide!” In the entire history of people on the planet, that strategy hasn't worked very well.

6) While the media and the chattering class (of which I usppose I am a member) will continue endlessly harping on the Mobius Strip time-waster of “why why why?????,” I submit that for we civilians out on the battlefield, “why” is a completely worthless word. Whether the attacker was “inspired by ISIS,” “a copycat attack” or the North Vietnamese Army regulars, our tactical responses need to be the same.

7) Need I say it again? YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!

Editor's note: this is the article that prompted Bane's commentary.

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