What is war?
What is the American view of war?
War is an abberation caused when a small cabal of evil men takes charge of a foreign nation and only as a "last resort". War is always directed against this handful of leaders and those evil men who support them. War is a moral crusade of good against evil, and when a war is concluded, it is to be concluded by the imposition of a permenant peace based on the installation of leaders who are "democratic" and "peaceful".
Because Americans believe that war is an abberant state of affairs, Americans refuse to believe in the reality and inevitablity of war. Americans will avoid preparing for war, thinking of war, or planning for war. Due to the inability of Americans to accept the consequences of their behaviors, when the war comes the inevitable shortcomings will be blamed on the politicians in office at the start of the war, regardless of circumstances.
Because Americans believe that all people are inherent peaceful unless misled by evil leaders, they do not recognize that conflicts of interest between societies exist which cannot be resolved by negotiation.
Americans confuse the terms "democratic" or "peaceful" with "good". Conversely, "belligerant" or "undemocratic" is always identified with "evil". The confusion this creates is obvious.
Because Americans believe that war is an abberation caused by evil and met with a great crusade like that of the Allied Powers against Germany, they do not recognize nor understand other forms of warfare.
Corrollary to the last statement: Because Americans do not understand guerilla, asymetric, or terrorist method of warfare, they mythologize them in a variety of ways. Hence the various arguments that terrorism is a purely law enforcement matter, or that asymetric warfare is inherently unanswerable.
Because Americans concieve of warfare as a crusade directed against a cabal of "madmen" in charge of a territory, they are often confused when defeating an army, occupying a territory, and arresting the popularly identified "madmen" does not end a conflict. Conversely, they are confused when a campaign does not end in the arrest and trial of the designated "madmen" because they hide in a cave in Pakistan.
Because warfare is identified as a clash of moral opposites, stupidities associated with the phrase "if they are not for us, they are against us" and its opposite abound. Pakistan is an ally of convenience which permitted the United States to use its territory under threat. Saudi Arabia is a morass of conflicting interests of different elements of the incredibly corrupt and undemocratic Royal family, a significant portion of which is actually part of "the enemy" and other parts of which merely pander to the enemy.
Further thoughts along these lines to follow.