What are the potential strengths and weaknesses of the three basic approaches?
Surrender will usually mean survival of more of the members of a society, but at a more miserable, less free, and impoverished level.
Nonviolence will usually mean a more egalitarian outcome without economic advantage over anyone else. It may be used in a needs-based struggle but not in a greed-based search for hegemony.
Violence can win it all, lose it all, and often institute a structural violence that results in perduring inequities, with one dominant party living large and many living the impoverished lives once they surrender.
The sooner a party who is faced with overwhelming violence surrenders, the less damage they usually suffer.
Nonviolence means sacrificing time, some resources, and the ability to exact revenge or seize other people's lands or resources.
Violence requires first a huge commitment to an arsenal, recruiting popular support for the undertaking, suspension or cancellation of environmental laws with regard to military operations, and the acceptance that people will need to give their lives in the quest for victory and dominance.
Of course, most of the military costs are ignored in a country like the US, since the alternatives are not considered. This sets up a bizarre public discourse that sets aside economic and environmental costs and ennobles all the human costs, valorizing the warriors incessantly and labeling those who question the costs as agents or dupes of the enemy, or as cowards who advocate surrender, or as simpleminded windkissing naif-brains, unable to understand the real, the tough, and the requisite stomach for sacrifice and bloodshed for (in our case) 'the American way.' I've been labeled all those things over the decades.
The CBA is coming to roost, however, and the ideas of what is reality are shifting, even though there is still zero grasp of the strategic nonviolent struggle as a viable alternative--viable for defense, not to preserve the American way of ruling the world.
So, for instance, we see the economy, all hollowed out by the decades of massive military spending, finally changing the idea of reality. Little sad cracks open up, such as Senator James Webb (D-VA) opposing increases in medical support for veterans of the war he fought in--the Vietnam War--as they have long sought coverage for the illnesses induced by exposure to Dow Chemical's various defoliants, lumped in the one Agent Orange category. He votes for war at every turn, all weapons systems, every supplemental to drive more occupation and more military involvement in other people's lands, spending literally a $trillion every year, but he suddenly develops a fiscally prudential analysis when it comes to covering health conditions that are caused by exposure during war to the chemical warfare agents we used illegally against Vietnam. He says these conditions might be caused by other factors later in life so no help for the vets who contract leukemia, Parkinsons or ischemic heart disease. The new realpolitik.
Rick Weidman, director of government relations for Vietnam Veterans of America, defended the potentially high costs, saying the payments should be considered in the same context as the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We would make the point that many, many times the number of troops originally estimated have [traumatic brain injury] coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan," Weidman said. "Should we not then award it because it's too many people? It's the same argument -- an environmental wound is the same as a blast wound."