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Military History Reader Poll - May 2010

Originally published on Published Online: March 04, 2010 
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Would the Boer War British strategy of containment, using strongpoints and concentration camps, work in 21st century trouble spots?

3 Responses to “Military History Reader Poll - May 2010”

  1. 1
    Arran says:

    Yes i beleive it would work ,It would prevent (for the sake of arguements )the Taliban access to the poppy fields ,food ,muintions and recruits the question is would or could we justify morally now

  2. 2
    Mike says:

    No it would not. Due to modern technology and the ease of command and control, you could not possibly contain the insurgents. You can destroy them but the problem is – if you take out innocents and exceed acceptable collateral damage, you will feed the insurgency with popular support. Today's modern insurgencies, not that they are any different from the past, must be won by popular support. Unfortunately, if you put a timeline on that – then you are doomed to failure. Thanks Obama!

  3. 3
    Johnny says:

    Unfortunately it would not work. I am specifically referring to the idea of forcibly placing portions of the population into camps. To me, there’s really no question about it. I am serving my second tour in Afghanistan and have seen close up what most Americans only hear a filtered version of on the TVs. The first time I was here this was an economy of force mission because Iraq was at its tipping point, which fortunately tipped the right way for the coalition. Now we’re pouring the kind of forces in here that were really needed some time ago. I can imagine what would happen if the US military set up concentration camps resulting in the death of thousands. We’d be perceived just like the Soviets were during their decade here. And isn’t it interesting that they were horrible occupiers when they suffered a similar fate under the control of Nazi Germany? We must stick to our altruistic ideals even if it takes longer and is the harder thing to do. Even then, someone slips every now and again. The debacle of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is an example of that. This is the modern world and conducting the war the way the British military did in South Africa would bring terrorism to America’s doorstep. What we’re after here isn’t control of a natural resource like gold but rather our own security and nation building. Nation building that I wish we had actively participated in back I the 1990s after the exodus of the Soviet military. We might not need to be here now or at least not in the same role we’re in now.

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