Just a thought on Clausewitz, the Taliban and insurgents in Iraq. Clausewitz in section 25 of chapter one speaks about intense and weak motives for war. Weak motives will lead to a divergence of political and military aims and a situation where the political nature of the war dominates. Intense motives will lead to a close association of political and military aims, where the military aims dominate. To what extent might it be fair to say that, in the current conflict between U.S. forces and various elements of the insurgency in Iraq (a lumping together of both religious- and politically-motivated individuals) is the U.S. waging a war based on weak motives while the insurgency is waging a war of intense motives?
The public reasoning for U.S. forces engaging in combat in Iraq has included a number of justifications, including WMD's, preventing the harboring of terrorists, democratization, countering Iran, securing energy interests, etc... Might the fact that it's hard to ask any 10 people why the U.S. is really in Iraq and get fewer than 20 answers indicate what Clausewitz would qualify as "weak motives"?
On the other hand, the insurgency in Iraq seems to be a combination of those who just want the U.S. out, those fighting for religious extremist reasons, those who want to fight the U.S. wherever they can, et al. Can these contrarywise be considered "intense motives"?
If this is so, what does this say about the military engagements in Iraq? Do they make up one war, or are there multiple wars going on? Does this have any significance whatsoever?