- By Daniel W. Drezner
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.
NEWS FLASH: SONTAG’S WRONG!! Sullivan, Chatterbox, InstaPundit, and Tapped have all commented on Susan Sontag’s op-ed, but none of them have pointed out an obvious flaw in Sontag’s reasoning: her statement that: “Real wars are not metaphors. And real wars have a beginning and an end.”
Actually, real wars usually aren’t this tidy. Even between nation-states, wars don’t necessarily have a natural end, and it takes a very long time for some of them to fade away. India and Pakistan have had three conventional wars in the past 50 years, the last war occurred after both of them acknowledged the possession of nuclear weapons. Legally, I believe we’re still at war with North Korea. Historically, enduring rivals (France and Germany a century ago; France and England two centuries ago; Sparta and Athens 2500 years ago) have fought conflicts that make the War on Drugs seem as long as a Lewis-Tyson fight. And the vast majority of wars are fought between enduring rivals. Even Sontag acknowledges that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be unending. More conflicts resemble the intractable ones Sontag laments than her “real wars.” Is this cause for depression? Not necessarily. These type of intractable wars can have happy endings — look at the Cold War. And, even though that conflict caused a dramatic expansion of government power, Aaron Friedberg and Walter Russell Mead have pointed out that the national character of the United States places unique constraints on such expansion. I’m glad there are people like InstaPundit who worry about this, but that worry should not lead to Sontag’s doom and gloom. UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan makes the same point in his Salon essay — a day later. Advantage: Drezner! [Yes, but people read Sullivan –ed. Advantage: Sullivan! He takes on the entire essay, too.]
John Arquilla earned his degrees in international relations from Rosary College (BA 1975) and Stanford University (MA 1989, PhD 1991). He has been teaching in the special operations program at the United States Naval Postgraduate School since 1993. He also serves as chairman of the Defense Analysis department.
Dr. Arquilla’s teaching interests revolve around the history of irregular warfare, terrorism, and the implications of the information age for society and security.
His books include: Dubious Battles: Aggression, Defeat and the International System (1992); From Troy to Entebbe: Special Operations in Ancient & Modern Times (1996), which was a featured alternate of the Military Book Club; In Athena’s Camp (1997); Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime and Militancy (2001), named a notable book of the year by the American Library Association; The Reagan Imprint: Ideas in American Foreign Policy from the Collapse of Communism to the War on Terror (2006); Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military (2008), which is about defense reform; Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World (2011); and Afghan Endgames: Strategy and Policy Choices for America’s Longest War (2012).
Dr. Arquilla is also the author of more than one hundred articles dealing with a wide range of topics in military and security affairs. His work has appeared in the leading academic journals and in general publications like The New York Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Wired and The New Republic. He is best known for his concept of “netwar” (i.e., the distinct manner in which those organized into networks fight). His vision of “swarm tactics” was selected by The New York Times as one of the “big ideas” of 2001; and in recent years Foreign Policy Magazine has listed him among the world’s “top 100 thinkers.”
In terms of policy experience, Dr. Arquilla worked as a consultant to General Norman Schwarzkopf during Operation Desert Storm, as part of a group of RAND analysts assigned to him. During the Kosovo War, he assisted deputy secretary of defense John Hamre on a range of issues in international information strategy. Since the onset of the war on terror, Dr. Arquilla has focused on assisting special operations forces and other units on practical “field problems.” Most recently, he worked for the White House as a member of a small, nonpartisan team of outsiders asked to articulate new directions for American defense policy.| Rational Security |