Wars Of Choice, Wars Of Necessity

Total war has been declared on us, but we have forgot how to fight it

There are wars of choice, and there are wars of necessity. Wars of choice--Vietnam, Kosovo, even the Gulf War--are fought for reasons of principle, ideology, geopolitics or sometimes pure humanitarianism. Passivity might cost us in the long run. But we do not have to go to war.

A war of necessity is a life-or-death struggle in which the safety and security of the homeland are at stake. The war on terrorism is such a war. So was World War II. Fifty years is a long interval, and it shows. The habits of waging such a war have atrophied. The language we...

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