As a model for the Referee – looking for even more ways to harass his players – I present the Afghan National Army as a model.
The soldiers gave statements to investigators after going into battle June 8-9 in the Gaza Valley of Zabul province, northeast of Kandahar. The Green Berets told of Afghan soldiers refusing to fight and hiding among trees and behind a rock.
The Afghans had no ability to fight at night, a hallmark of American forces. Green Berets had to take the lead in clearing villages controlled by Taliban militants, even though the steady withdrawal of U.S. forces is at the stage where Afghans are supposed to be “on point” — that is, the first to engage the enemy.
The Green Beret’s A-Team leader, a captain, made several unflattering statements. Investigators were probing the mission’s end point, when a B-1B bomber mistakenly dropped two bombs on a “friendly” position, killing five American soldiers and the Afghan sergeant commander.
“The ANA made impressive progress, and maintained its tactical overmatch over the insurgency,” the report said.
Yet, the 180,000-soldier army cannot perform complex operations, such as close air support.
Now, there are two – no, three – major differences between today’s Afghan situation and the Imperial situation in the partly-Arab Muslim Empty Quarter.
1) The traditional centre of jihadism in the Quarter – Hebrin – was crushed with great ferocity over century ago, costing the lives of billions of local believers. (And then, billions of off-worlders, mainly Vilani unbelievers, were brought in to permanently break up Arab cultural unity on Hebrin.) Since then, Islamic-grounded violence has lacked the needed support of their own population to restart anti-Imperial activities. The greatest threat on Hebrin are socialist, pro-cyborg activist/pirate groups, which lack a trace of interest in things religious.
2) The Imperium is here for the long term – and has chosen it’s battlefields well. By and large, what it controls is the space between the stars, and a starport. There is precious little interest in wading in to directly rule the population, bringing Enlightenment to the natives… and face surprise explosions on the way home (and massive drains on the budget). On the other hand, the locals have no real ability to challenge Imperial power in space, and are unable to breach the concentrated high-tech security measures protecting the starport.
3) At the end of the day, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe noted, “government power ultimately rests on opinion, not brute force.” Imperial opinion is strongly shaped by Vilani opinion, which has no qualms regarding either forced conformity, or the massacres, genocide, even personality replacements needed to protect that conformity. True: the Vilani viewpoint has been diluted by cultural drift (and a major Solomani infusion), so it isn’t as disciplined, united, or as hard-core as it was during the First Imperium. Still, the preferences and tendencies remain persuasive and influential.