SELF-DEFEAT: Glenn Reynolds writes at Tech Central Station that :
Tyrannical dictatorships depend on lies for survival - in fact, near-universal lying about nearly everything by nearly everyone is one of their hallmarks. Meanwhile those things that aren't lies (and a great many that are) are secrets. Which raises an interesting point regarding the style of warfare demonstrated in Iraq.
One of the great worries of a country that pioneers a new military technique is that its rivals will imitate it. But that may not be a major worry where the new, high-intelligence style of warfare employed in Iraq is concerned, at least not if you assume that our military opponents are likely to be tyrannies of one sort or another.
This goes back to my earlier post in which I pointed out that totalitarian governments are inherently unstable. The very qualities that make them tyrannical (and thus likely to be our enemies) also make them weak, militarily and economically.
On a level that may seem ridiculous to some (ok, most) people, this is where computer strategy games get it all wrong. Typically, in empire-building games such as the Civilization series, the Master of Orion series, and others, the player can choose the form of government for his empire. Representative type governments tend to have high science bonuses, socialist governments tend to have high industry, and dictatorial governments tend to have high military power. This makes the game-worlds interesting by forcing the player to weigh the costs and benefits of each, but in the real world all forms of government were not created equal, and representative civilizations tend to outperfom their competitors in every area.