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89 DARWINIAN SELECTION IN ASYMMETRIC WARFARE: THE NATURAL ADVANTAGE OF INSURGENTS AND TERRORISTS

By Dominic Johnson

Abstract

I've killed them by the tens of thousands, scoured their countryside at will, pried their allies away, and humiliated them day after day. I have burned their crops and looted their wealth. I've sent a whole generation of their generals into the afterworld... Have I changed nothing? They are stronger now than before. They are more than before. They fight more sensibly than before. They win when they used to lose. —Hannibal in David Anthony Durham’s “Pride of Carthage” Never engage the same enemy for too long, or he will adapt to your tactics. —Clausewitz Models of human conflict tend to focus on military power, predicting that—all else equal—the stronger side will prevail. This overlooks a key insight from the evolutionary dynamics of competing populations: the process of adaptation by natural selection. Darwinian selection weeds out poor performers and propagates good performers, thus leading to a cumulative increase in effectiv

Year: 2010
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