November 30, 2007

Counterinsurgency Quote of the Week

Non, décidément, on ne tue pas les mouches à coups de marteau (We definitely don't kill flies with hammers).

-- Marcel Bigeard; found in Stathis Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil Wars

Kalyvas pairs this quote with an old favorite of Abu Muqawama and Charlie:

This is a political war and it calls for discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing would be a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The worst is an airplane. The next worst is artillery. Barring a knife, the best is a rifle -- you know who you're killing.

-- John Paul Vann