Magazine

A Big Shift in How War Is Waged


"Outsourcing war" was excellent: well-informed and well-written, raising some serious questions without being overly dramatic (Cover Story, Sept. 15). Above all, it was informative about a major shift in the way that war and peace are now waged -- and where the U.S. leads, Britain runs behind.

I congratulate all of the writers and editors involved. More of this ilk please.

Sue Byrne

London

I am very uncomfortable with reading elsewhere that military members in the special forces operate commonly out of uniform. During the early days of the Afghanistan operation, that was routinely mentioned.

Now, private military companies (PMCs) perform largely, but not exclusively, in-theater support missions. Field support is a military function, as is training and security. Clearly, that makes private military companies a legitimate military target. Also, when the U.S. government foots the operational bill on behalf of certain coalition forces, does that make those coalition forces mercenaries in some eyes? I would think so.

Vic Karlson

White Pine, Mich. Moon ihlwan's description of the U.S.-South Korea relationship in "Washington and Seoul: Drifting further apart?" (Asian Business, Sept. 15) is largely correct. However, it missed an important point that represents the views of a vast majority of South Koreans today.

Although many South Korean youths at the 2003 Summer World University Games in Daegu cheered the North Korean teams alongside the North Korean "cheerleader" squad, there were also exhibits of eccentric and hardly comprehensible behavior by North Koreans during the game, such as throwing punches at anticommunist civil group members. The North Korean cheer women protested and were extremely upset -- some were in tears -- over the public banners displaying pictures of their Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il, which was meant by South Koreans as a welcoming gesture.

Those events made South Koreans recognize that there remains a huge gap in cultures, values, and politics between North and South. Many South Koreans also recognize that the Dear Leader is largely responsible for the miserable state of North Korea today and for inhumane treatment of his subjects.

Michael Hong

Seoul

I'm tired of Mr. Moon's extreme bias on the Korean political scene. Moon seems to be taking dictation from the propaganda by the opposition party by hinting that Korean President Roh represents anti-U.S. groups. The Korean people elected Mr. Roh in anticipation of a reshuffling of crooked Korean politics, not because he used anti-American sentiments during an election campaign, as the opposition party claims.

President Roh, after all, had shown consistent support of a strong U.S.-Korea alliance before and after the election. Anti-Americanism and communism are considered almost identical in Korea, and no sane politician would claim such a position when the majority of voters, young or not, shiver at the slightest idea of a communist society.

It is true that the younger generation tends to be President Roh's bigger supporters, and a small group of anti-U.S. demonstrators happens to be younger. But there seems to be a serious logical flaw in concluding that the President won the election by employing the anti-U.S. sentiment that can be seen in a minority of individuals in their teens and 20s.

I'm not a hardcore fan of President Roh, and I try to see matters objectively, especially when it comes to politics. As a college senior student looking for a job, I'm not very happy with the current economic situation or the government's macroeconomic policy. But I think President Roh is on the right track in fixing Korean politics.

Minjae Sheen

Seoul Your articles "Epidemic" and "Viruses and spam: Time to fight back" (Special Report and Editorials, Sept. 8), about computer viruses, were indeed timely. On the weekend of Sept. 6-7, I received some 20 virus e-mails. To me, there is a relatively simple way to reduce (if not eliminate) the problem. Companies have virus-scan firewalls installed to scan incoming e-mails and to block viruses. The spread of viruses would be greatly reduced if virus-scan systems were implemented by all Internet service providers as a normal practice. This degree of protection is something that we should expect (and demand) from our service providers. It is no longer acceptable that they blissfully relay onward messages containing viruses.

Mark Louis Uhrich

Paris


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