Article: THE WARRIOR CLASS - Text Copy
To win at war we have to be Willing, Able and Ready. Since September 11, 2001, our ability to fight terrorism abroad and our readiness to face it at home has improved. From new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and revolutionary 4th Generation Warfare doctrines to biometric technology and secured cockpits, we have made progress. Yet, it seems that our willingness to fight is on the decline. Lead by the liberal media and political interests, a growing number of people have become critical of the war effort in Iraq. This could significantly impact the war on terror and ultimately our survival.
The dynamics of human conflict entails three fundamental instinctive responses:
Posture (attempt to intimidate or de-escalate the adversary), or Flight (distance self from confrontation) or Fight (engage the threat). These dynamics are both cognitive and physical by nature and apply on an individual as well as on a societal level.
Collective Flight Response
Most Americans would prefer to categorize the attacks on 9/11 as a one-time nightmare. The thought of terror striking us again and the knowledge that we are at war (killing and being killed) is too much of a mental burden for most people. To cope with the casualties and the growing cost of the war on terror more and more people (and their elected representative) subscribe to some kind of reality denial. It is much easier to escape reality by believing that life has gone back to “normal” than to worry about the seriousness of the terror threat and war. This practice is a manifestation of the individual Flight Response on a Societal Level. The fact is that attempting to mentally flee the threat and fear of harm by refusing to accept terror as a reality will not make it go away. Terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001, nor will it end with the transition to civilian authority in Iraq. Wahabbism and Jihad now have oil wealth of the house of Saud to support their “Great Caliphate” design and will continue to spread the education of hatred, extreme ideological and theological propaganda. Terrorism was and will remain a serious threat to the civilized world for years to come. Believing any different simply makes us more vulnerable since those that no longer believe themselves to be at risk and have gone back to predictable complacency always represent the softest target.
Collective Posturing Response
The perceived condition of safety provided by civilized living has made it easy for current generations to forget the bloodshed and sacrifices that provided our comfortable daily existence. As a result, the notion that war is never justified and can be avoided under all circumstances permeates modern Western thinking. They think that diplomacy combined with the threat of retaliation could achieve peace and refuse to understand that peace can only be obtained from a position of strength. This position is a manifestation of the individual Posturing Response on a Societal Level. The fact is that the notion of “threatening to retaliate” simply sends a signal of weakness to the enemy. To extremists that hope to die, someone that just talks about retaliation is simply afraid to fight. Men who think like warriors know that “a dog that barks is not ready to bite”. A barking dog is only posturing. Those with a warrior mentality also know that posturing is just one step before submission or fleeing. There is only one language they respect – applied force. Not just a temporary show of force, but a willingness to stay in the fight until victory is attained.
Collective Fight Response
Throughout history, societies had to cultivate the ability to wage warfare in order to survive. They had to develop a segment of their society dedicated to the making of war for communal purposes: a warrior class – i.e., a sub culture where individual valor is the ideal and individual sacrifice is the norm. This practice is a manifestation of the individual Fight Response on a Societal Level.
Individuals, families, clans and other collectives have identifying themselves as warrior, and thereby sought to distinguished themselves from others. In doing so, they cultivated the concepts of “death before dishonor”, as well as practice extreme cruelty toward the enemy, non willingness to surrender, and tenacity on the battlefield. To overcome the natural fear of dying and achieve a high level of commitment, some warrior cultures develop a psychological conditioning method that embraces death as a “positive” state. This has been achieved through the popularization of a belief system (often religion-based) that embraces the concept of an afterlife. This “world” is then just a “passage” to a better “world”. The Viking and Whallhala, the Kamikazi and the code of Bushido, the Hashasin in the 7th Century and the Afghani Mujehadins have all subscribed to this point of view. Understanding this characteristic of the enemy is crucial to winning the war on terror.
Warrior-like cultures cannot and have never been successfully deterred, negotiated with, or transformed into peaceful societies. They were simply defeated and eliminated, both physically and culturally. This concept is not harsh or barbaric it is an historical fact. As an example, we could look at the similarities between the war against the Comanche in Texas during the 1800 and the global war on terror in 2005. Although the weapons have changed, many tactics used by the Comanche resemble those used by certain terrorists groups today, who embrace death and abandon the notion of respect for life. Like the Comanche, radical fundamentalist terrorists used ritualized killing (like beheading) and infliction of pain (torture) as a calculated effort to defeat our resolve by attacking our civilized notion of a “dignified” death. Like the Comanche, radical fundamentalist terrorists used unconventional warfare to attack vulnerable civilians. They operated in small independent “war parties” (ie; cells) always attacking with surprise and from ambush. As opposed to many other American Indian tribes who did modify their approach and eventually abandoned the war path, the Comanche refused to do so and ended up being exterminated by the American Warrior Class of the time.
We must come to term with the true nature of our current enemy. An enemy that cannot be deterred, avoided, nor changed. A fanatic warrior class determined to see our demise or die trying. We need to accept the fact that peace without the strength of enforceable might is impossible and that a society without warriors is a society besieged by war. It is up to every American to resolve to fight this threat until it is no longer. Cultivating our individual courage is as relevant to our survival as always and the most important weapon in the war on terror.