Iraq as Neo-Spanish Civil War
The insurgents in Iraq have perfected a new way of war. America is still the world's greatest superpower, and the U.S. military's capacity to take out a moving vehicle using a drone piloted from half the world away should still provoke a little shock and awe. But the IED—cheap, easy to make and adapt, and deadly—has in its own way proved equally powerful. The bombs have bled the U.S. military in Iraq. And thanks to the ubiquitous videos of IED attacks shot by insurgents and put up on YouTube, they will be credited with driving us out of the country whenever we do leave. Guerrillas, even armies, elsewhere are watching: most of the world's conventional militaries would be vulnerable to similar tactics. Already, locally made devices have begun appearing on battlefields from Somalia to Thailand to Pakistan.