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Military and security hope-mongering


Credibility Crunch engendered by Hope-mongering: "Credit crunch" focus as symptom of a dangerous mindset (Part #8)


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This may be partially seen as a form of technological hope-mongering. The most striking historical example is provided by the ongoing military intervention, and related security activities, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Much has been made of the incredible sophistication of the military technology deployed in those arenas and the vital and unquestionable importance of further development of such technology to ensure control of future insurgencies of any kind. Security and surveillance systems have been implemented worldwide as a consequence -- incidentally undermining radically those individual freedoms that were the basis for the claims that such deployment has been in defence of those very freedoms.

It is indeed the case that the initial intervention in Iraq, through use of such technology, achieved its immediate objective. It is however also the case that those promoting the use of such technology have proven to be challenged beyond all expectations in "building the peace" thereafter. Much has indeed been made of the fact that the mightiest military power in human history has been prevented from achieving its wider objectives by a bunch of under equipped primitives in one of the most impoverished regions of the world. Despite the allocation of unprecedented financial resources to the task, the initiative has been unable to win the "battle of hearts and minds".

The different phases of this process have been witness to every form of hope-mongering -- ranging from early claims for immediate success, to cautious claims for a continuing degree of success, to promotion of the notion that the only hope lies in a permanent foreign military presence. As noted by military historians, the early arrogant "gung ho" claims with respect to Afghanistan offer a magnificent example of failure to learn the lessons of history.

The question is whether this form of hope-mongering offers lessons for arrogant technological hope-mongering in other arenas -- or will these too turn out to be "Afghanistans"?