Flash back to 1942. What if the USA had put together a surgical strike team and countered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with an invasion of Tokyo. Instead of taking four years and working our way up the Pacific island chain, we had the technology and techniques to capture the headquarters of the enemy. We might have had the A Bomb and dropped it. We may have followed with subs, aircraft, and ground troops before the Japanese knew what hit them. Within hours of entering the city, we captured the Emperor and incarcerated him, awaiting a public trial and eventual execution. The entire Japanese Military High Command was killed or scattered and the Empire was in disarray. What would have been the outcome? I can almost predict that we would still be fighting insurgents in the streets of Tokyo. The Japanese Bushito, the Code of the Warrior, would have insured an endless number of kamikaze attackers who would have killed our occupying troops on every occasion. Sounds like Iraq?
In my recent visit to Japan, a Virginia born and American educated History Professor presented a lecture on the Reengineering of Japan after WWII. He mentioned that he was called to present his advice to the US State Department on the occupation of Iraq. He warned the State Department that the situation was not even close to the one in Japan. An occupation of Iraq would almost certainly fail.
In my opinion, if you are going to defeat a nation in war and occupy it, certain conditions must be met:
1. There must be a formal surrender by the leaders of that nation. You just canít go in, shoot the place up and declare victory and hope the rest of the people will rejoice. It ainít gonna happen, Jose!
2. The Occupying Force must be strong and understand the culture. General Douglas MacArthur was El Supremo. He was a rock. With decades of experience in dealing with the Asian mind, he tolerated no bull. The Emperor had to come to him. It is said he took the divine authority from the Emperor and gave it to himself. He rewrote the Japanese Constitution, not the Japanese. If you broke one of his rules you were shot, whether Japanese or American. If a reporter wrote a negative piece on the occupation that person would be on the next plane back to the states with a pencil shoved up his rear. Where was this guy in Baghdad?
3. The religion, or ethos, which had driven the aggression, must be altered. Shinto was no longer a state religion by decree. Its worshipers went back to revering trees, rocks and rivers rather that believing in the divine supremacy of the nation. The same had to be done to the hubris of Islam. To let the Imams continue to preach hatred and revenge was unconscionable.
4. Any programmed youth, male and female, must be reprogrammed, given a full frontal lobotomy or killed. Itís like letting a robot trained to kill you on sight walk around your town. Are you nuts!!! Most Japanese kamikazes were dead when WWII ended. The Iraqi insurgents were plentiful, ready and willing to die for el-Qaida, or whatever the hell else turned them.
If you are not willing to the above then stick to ďhit and runĒ operations that inflicts pain and damage but are quickly over with. This is exactly the tactic the terrorist use, so why canít we learn from them? Anyone who thought Iraq is a Japan or a Germany skipped a couple or chapters in the history book.