Larry Provost

The killing of Major General Harold Greene in Afghanistan is a tragic reminder of the type of warfare we are dealing with; warfare that we have not fully grasped.

It is sad that it takes the killing of an American general to focus on our strategy in this worldwide conflict. Our soldiers were dying in Afghanistan and elsewhere before General Greene was killed and sadly will continue to die after our latest, and highest ranking, fallen hero.

We are in a guerilla war with an enemy fueled by religion; an ideology which makes the most fanatical of soldiers. Germany in World War II was not led by their God but rather by anti-Semitic paganism that was designed primarily to conquer the world in order to get rid of the Jews. The Church was to be “taken care of” after the war and had no long term place in the Thousand Year Reich. Japan was a different story; they fought for their Emperor god which explains the tenacity of their soldiers.

President Bush in his speech to the Congress shortly after the September 11 attacks said that we would be dealing with a new type of warfare; seemingly new for the United States that is. President Bush said,

“Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success….

It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass.”

This global war is a religious-guerilla war. Guerilla warfare has been a part of human history for a long time. Americans have seen their fair share of this warfare. We saw it in Vietnam and also in World War II when Germans went behind U.S. lines, wearing American uniforms, at the Battle of the Bulge. We also saw it in our Revolutionary War, when we practiced guerilla warfare against the British.


Larry Provost

Larry Provost currently works at The American Legion in the National Security and Foreign Relations Division.