Budget size distinguishes war and terrorism?

War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget

War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget

Found here. Discuss.

UPDATE: I guess this statement would probably mean that the difference between soldiers and terrorists is the amount of money spent on their equipment. Discuss that, too.


  1. Terrorist target civilians intentionally. To strike terror. That is why they are called terrorists. Terrorists have never won a war. They would not know how.

    Military targets combatants. Avoids targeting of civilians by law. And wins the wars.

  2. “Terrorists have never won a war.”

    Without getting into what defines a “war”, is that statement really true? I’m not arguing, I’m just curious if there are examples of victory be a force who’s PRIMARY tactic was targetting of civilians. (i.e. not WWII bombing)


  3. War is a spectrum, terrorism is one end of it.

    Look at it this way. If you think you can defeat your enemy in conventional war, you do it. Roll the tanks into his capitol city and run up your flag. Quick, decisive results.

    If you don’t think you can win a conventional war, but won’t stop fighting, next stop is guerrilla war. Guerrilla war allows you to continue despite being much weaker than your conventional opponent. On the bad side it’s almost impossible to get decisive results. The objective, then, is to eventually upgrade to a successful conventional war. (Note that the Vietnam War ended with a conventional multi-division, cross-border invasion complete with, yes, tanks.)

    If you can’t even fight a guerrilla war but still won’t stop fighting, next stop is terrorism. Terrorism allows you to continue while being even weaker. Again the objective is to upgrade to guerrilla war, typically by provoking the enemy to disproportionate responses, which drive the population into your arms, allowing you to become a Mao-style guerrilla.

    So terrorism is the steerage class of war. If “War” in the quote can be taken as meaning “conventional war,” then it is the opposite end of the continuum (nuclear war is in a different class). With a larger budget, yes, but with many other differences.

  4. Assume that they are right. That means that every time someone wants to cut defense spending, we are that much closer to being terrorists ourselves.

  5. Just look at that image. Steel pot and M16. Rice paddy and distant jungle line. What is up with the anal fixation the left has with Vietnam. Don’t they understand that THEY are the ones responsible for the mass murders, the true terrorism that occurred after THEY cut off financial support to South Vietnam?

    When I hear them yelling about “No more Vietnams!” I say YEAH! Never again should a Democrat controlled Congress or White House be allowed to destroy the hard-won victories of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines just for political payback.

  6. I’d say terrorism is a tactic of war. Since it deliberately targets the innocent it is a tactic used by barbarians. No one can fight a war using terrorism and be morally right; even if your cause happens to be just. Guerilla warfare is different in that using it as a tactic doesn’t make you right or wrong; it depends on what you are fighting for. For example in our war for independence we used largely guerilla tactics not terrorism and we definitely had the smaller ’budget’. Then look at the Japanese in WW2. They used terrorism as a tactic often though they had a massive ’conventional’ force. And their ’budget’ especially compared to say, China, was large. Also US Special Forces use the tactics of guerilla warfare quite a lot.

  7. “Military targets combatants. Avoids targeting of civilians by law.”

    The US deliberately targeted the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People will often come up with arguments, saying the ends justify the means(because the women and children were responsible for the war?). But this doesn’t change the fact that the act of bombing civilians in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Berlin, Dresden, and Hamburg, to name a few, was an act of terrorism.

    Arabs use IEDs and suicide bombers because they don’t have B-52s.
    Morally there is no difference between us and them anymore. There may have been a time when we were the good guys, but now we just have a bigger budget.

  8. Larry is quite correct about the atomic bombing in Japan. It would have been morally superior to invade the home island, expend the lives of about a million allied soldiers while killing somewhere over 20 million Japanese. In all these cases, there were legitimate military target in declared combatants. This is a difference between this and say, exploding a bomb in a crowded marketplace to kill your own people so the Americans will somehow leave. No offense, Larry, but the biggest killers of innocent Muslims is other Muslims.

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