Facebook (6) | John Tammes Sermon today was on "loving ones enemies". Hard to do - I've been reflecting on the Battle of Basrah - when I was urging the Chief of Staff of the IA 14th Divison to take a very aggressive course of action - they did not and I became a bit upset... I keep thinking if I was urging something necessary or not. Following His commands can be really freakin' hard sometimes.
War is not just technical but, as the arm chair amateurs point out after reading 2 pages of Clausewitz, political. That is to say what Napoleon called "moral." The point is to make the enemy internalize the knowledge of defeat so that they stop resisting and we don't have to kill in the future. If letting a broken army escape because they present no tactical threat results in their respecting us and a basis for peace then it is good. If it results in them believing that further resistance will pay and a long bleeding insurgency then the thing to do is to cut off their escape and ensure that they either surrender or die.
In 1918 the German army was defeated but unfortunately to many Germans were allowed the fantasy that they hadn't really lost because the Allies settled humanely for an Armistice and then a very limited occupation. The result was round two and 20 million Europeans dead plus the American casualties. In 1991 we prudently stopped after destroying Saddam's army between Basrah and Kuwait and the result was almost 12 years of of OIL for Food corruption and an avoidable resonance of mutually reinforcing threats for which we still are paying.
We should make clear to the Iranians that while we do not seek war if they make war inevitable then we will not fight to restore the status quo ante. War will mean the end of the Iranian regime and in fact the end of the entire state supported religious establishment.