When I wrote the previous post I still had Mr. Ledwidge's final chapter to read but I was so incensed that I couldn't wait. Even so, despite the red mist which had descended upon me, there was, I thought, one weakness in his passionate and intelligent argument in favour of getting our army to embrace entirely new ways of 'fighting' (probably not a word he would choose) a war amongst a civil population. If our entire army was retrained to undertake these types of operations there would be a very real danger that they would forget the techniques required to fight normal battles against regular opposition armies. No sooner did this occur to me than Mr. Ledgwidge, in his final chapter, raised it himself as a serious possibility:
There is a danger that this approach will be misunderstood - there may well come atime when we need the conventional capabilities that the armed forces possess in such depth. Over concentration on 'wars among the people' might easily result in these 'high end' skills atrophying or in entirely new skills not being developed.
He offers no solution to this potential problem, so I will! Let us have no more 'wars amongst the people'. If we have a truly serious gripe against a foreign government, and by 'serious' I mean that they intend to do us, not anyone else, not even their own people, just us, immeasurable harm, then we should deploy our forces, along with any allies, and use the very latest and sophisticated techniques of modern 'blitzkrieg' warfare to attack, not the people, but their government. Use cyber, drone and missile systems and even, if they represent a big enough danger, put boots on the ground and rout out and destroy the ministers, the civil servants, the generals and any others of prime importance plus their military infrastructure, and having done so - leave by the first available exit!
With all due deference to Mr. Ledwidge, it is not our duty as subjects of 'Her Maj' to send our servicemen and women out to foreign countries to 'do good'. For example, with all due respects to a very fine battalion, 3 Para couldn't 'do good' if you replaced all their officers with padres! But show them a military enemy and they will be very 'bad' indeed - as far as the enemy is concerned, that is. Orwell's words are frequently mis-quoted but this I think sums them up:
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit
violence on those who would do us harm.