The writer of this article, Victor David Hanson, states that since earlier times, this sort of disparity in power has been in evidence, and it is a fact that the others have been attempting to build up their innate strength and power by merely imitating the West. This is sometimes referred to as a type of 'military parasitism', wherein those who were weak would often try to steal or buy or clone those weapons of the West that they found to be powerful. One example of this phenomenon is that of Japan. This country had no munitions manufacturing unit, no organized naval fleet, yet she managed to defeat a Russian Armada during 1905. (Post-Modern War)
The main reason for this success was that Japan had been sending thousands of her students to foreign universities and to military academies to study, and this resulted in the gaining of certain knowledge in the military affairs and strategies that were being utilized by the West at the time. In addition, Japan had been steadily importing not only knowledge about the Western ideas of commanding an army or a navy or a people, but also knowledge about advanced optics and metallurgy. This helped Japan in her quest for power that would not only equal the West but also rival it. However, one truth that must be remembered is that it is not sufficient that such knowledge be imported from the West; what is more relevant is the fact that there must be free enterprise, free trade, a transparent government and also a facility for open enquiry. These are, then the real machines of power, and unless these were to be achieved, there would be an immense gap between the West and the rest of the world.
Americans and almost every Westerner is aware of the ways and means in which to achieve success in war, like for example, in the hills and vales of Afghanistan, and also on the factors that led to failure in war, like for example, in Vietnam and in Lebanon. The recent war that was carried out by the United States of America on Iraq is however seen as being highly irregular. Not only is the U.S.A. not constraining its immense military powers and prowess, but is also conducting such irregularities as a part of her right to conduct a 'war on terror', as retaliation against the terrorist attacks that was carried out by the extremist group, Al-Quaeda. Terrorists are now in the process of acquiring more and more knowledge about the ever-changing nature of war over the years, and this knowledge helps them in gaining a definite advantage in trying to evade the net of the western world to capture them. (Post-Modern War)
In addition, the combination of several factors like globalization, postmodern thoughts and actions, and so on, has only served to make them stronger in their pursuit of terrorist activities. This is because of the fact that the innate cycle of challenge and response has also been continuing over the years, and the present proliferation of e-mails and Internet and other communication media is only adding to this advantage. For example, when a young man is shot dead and this image happens to be captured live on a camera and is beamed to millions of homes, live, as it happens, with the help of a satellite, then the entire world would automatically sympathize with the young boy, even if was known that he was in fact an extremist or a trained terrorist well versed in the ways of the war and thus well-prepared for any eventuality. A camera on the spot of the war may capture the image but not explain what the boy had done and why he was being shot down in this manner. Therefore, it can be said that such coverage may more often be one sided and may earn more of a bad name for the superior power than warranted. Another issue in postmodern warfare is the fact that the present age in which we are living is one of great therapeutic culture, wherein modern medicine and technology have combined in their efforts to bring eternal youth and health to everyone concerned.
This inevitably means that, for instance, when one soldier feels homesick or depressed, he can use e-mail to communicate with his mother thousands of miles away, in an instant, and the worried mother can immediately contact the local media hoping that they would help to rescue her son from the danger that he may be facing at present. This transaction would inevitably be viewed by millions of people all over the world, and despite the fact that in previous days this sort of happening used to be referred to as a veritable 'mutiny', it is now known as perhaps a 'misunderstanding' or a very legitimate 'grievance'. When taken in the context of the war of the United States against Iraq, it is very obvious that in this postmodern war, the U.S.A. has been successful in killing and exterminating a large number of terrorists, and also in being able to promote freedom and material improvements to all her people. (Post-Modern War)
Michael A Peters of the University of Glasgow, UK, has written about the phenomenon of postmodern warfare in relation to the 'war on terrorism' being carried out by the United States of America after the vicious attacks by Islamic extremists on certain nerve centers of America, which left a large number of people dead and injured and maimed for life. The motives behind the attacks and also the counter-attacks carried out by the West are, however, yet to be discovered or uncovered, despite plenty of research being undertaken on the subject. Some researchers have tried to dig deep into the several causes behind the degeneration of the causes of Cold War from achieving a safe and secure world into the 'new world order'. Some others have tried to probe into the story behind Al-Quaeda, and some have attempted to club together the emerging trends in warfare with certain historical happenings in the past. (Postmodern Terror in a Globalized World)
For example, 'Jihad vs. McWorld' by Benjamin R. Barber, a book that was published in 1995, and re-published in 2003, explains the differences between the Western world and the Islamic world, and the writer questions the "seemingly ineluctable march" of the free and commercialized McWorld into "complacent post modernity." He also states that the modern clash between "civilizations" as it were can be avoided if the two involved parties were able to commit to a firm democracy and the formation of a free world and a better economy, instead of restricting it to a simple military clash between two enemies. Barber also makes a memorable statement in which he says "Children are our terrorists-to-be because they are so obviously not our citizens-to-come." John Gray in his book, "Al-Quaeda and What it is to be Modern," states that Al-Quaeda is indeed nothing but a by-product of the modern day globalization and their most important feature is the "projection of a privatized form of organized violence worldwide." (Postmodern Terror in a Globalized World)
The new form of terrorism that has emerged in the postmodern world of today are seen as being more committed to religious beliefs and ethnic complaints than at any other time in the history of the world. Therefore, new rules have been created, and these new rules must be learnt in order to survive. (Postmodern Terror in a Globalized World) As Dr. Kevin Clements put it, the September 11 attacks and the subsequent war on terrorism has brought about a veritable 'globalization of conflict', and a 'clash of civilizations', and this has made the world' economies go into a recession. (The War on Terrorism and its Aftermath) Yet another opinion about terrorism is that of Clark Staken of the IACSP, and this is what he says: terrorism will always be a largely transnational problem, and it will continue to thrive, driven as it is by "ethnic, religious, nationalist, separatist, economic, and political motivations." (Best of Counter terrorism and Security)
To summarize, the topic 'War against Terrorism in postmodern warfare' is seen to deal with the various aspects of war waged by a larger power against a smaller power, which can never hope to win a war against a super power like America primarily because of the vast difference in the very culture and the democratic nature of the country, as well as the superior economic conditions and the system of free markets and free trade. Therefore, many people see the war against terrorism as 'a perfect example of postmodern warfare', quite unfair and unjust to other countries which do not enjoy the many advantages that the U.S.A.…