1) The stability of troop morale depends on the conviction of the rank-and-file masses as to the just nature of the war in which they sacrifice their lives. If they recognize the cause for which they struggle to be just, they fight with enthusiasm. (‘The Philosophical Heritage of V. I. Lenin and Problems of Contemporary War’ (
, 1972), p. 207; translated under the auspices of the US Air Force). Lenin:
“[C]onviction as to the justness of war and recognitions of the need to
sacrifice one’s life for the good of one’s brothers elevates the spirit of
soldiers and forces them to endure unheard of burdens.” (Phil. Her., p. 207). Moscow
In contrast. The bourgeoisie attempts to pass off its own mercenary interests as the interest of all the people. The problem is to reveal to the soldiers and the entire populace of a given country the criminal goals of the bourgeois government and incite the masses to refuse to be accomplices of the crime. (Phil. Her., p. 207).
[COMMENT] In the fight against
armed forces probably suffer from a lack of ideological conviction as to the
justness or importance of the fight. ISIS and derivatives thereof, US ISIS on the other hand is a poster child for the above
statement. Politically, it recruits from
disaffected Muslims and foreign fighters who do not share the West’s value systems or its aspirations.
2) Lenin—Revolutionary deeds are performed by millions of individuals at a moment of special upsurge and exertion of all human capabilities, when all their consciousness, will, enthusiasm and fantasy are mobilized… their extensive _____ possesses proletarian instinct, proletarian comprehension and awareness of duty.” (Phil. Her., p. 188). [COMMENT:
religion] “The spiritual capability of
revolutionary masses to stand and win in a savage clash with the class enemy is
based on the profoundly just character of the struggle being wages by the
proletariat and its army. We can wage
war because the masses know what they are fighting for …” Imperialist armies lack this source. (Phil. Her., p. 188).
[COMMENT] The above observation is the bottom line of why ISIS / derivatives are winning —they are in their own neighborhoods and the US armed forces are far from home and without real focus, e.g., ‘Why we fight’ series in Word War Two. Slogans like ‘fighting for democracy’ are just as bland and useless as were Soviet calls for proletarian sentiment. But the theory and observations stated above correctly assess the issue. In 2015,
bases its appeal on religion and Muslim victimization.
3) It’s not so much that
ISIS achieves military
objectives – it achieves political objectives. Under a chapter titled ‘Tactical
Victory, Strategic Defeat’ Col. Harry Summers recalls a conversation in 1975, ““You know you never defeated us on the
battlefield” said the American Colonel.
The North Vietnamese colonel pondered this remark for a moment. “That
may be so,” he replied, “but it is also irrelevant.” (On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (Presidio Press, 1982), p. 1.). US does
not have a resonant message to which local population can relate or rally
to. Add to this the view of US as
supporter and patron of Hanoi
– anything or anyone we support is suspect. Israel
4) Even a strong will which is not enlightened by elevated communist ideals [or religious, ideological fervor, etc.] may become a counterfeit jewel, for will without principles or ideals is blind. (Phil. Her., p. 189). [US armed forces in 2015 with respect to fight against
Why is the
involved in conflicts
in which it does not understand and / or fully appreciate the internal dynamics
and motivators of the different players?
The fact is that not everyone in the world thinks like Americans, nor
share the same views as to what is in their best interests nor share the same
aspirations in a specific sense. Even if
they do to an extent, the means to achieve these objectives may be completely
at odds with the American views. United States
Moral forces in war provide legitimacy to the struggle.