As the product of a girls’ boarding school, I can only take my chapeau off to Army Major Sharon Tosi Moore, who has a brilliant piece in the American Thinker comparing the way girls fight to the mores of boys. But did she ever get our number!

While boys fight short, violent wars, often ending in a handshake, girls dig in for a more lethal form of warfare:

“Girls, on the other hand, fight more subversive battles. Instead of confronting one another directly, they will wage a covert war by spreading rumors and ostracizing the object of their current anger.  Very often, one party has no idea what caused the rift and may not even know that there is a war until she is blindsided by an unexpected attack, usually coming from another girl claiming to be her friend. Girls also tend to hold grudges and feuds can last for an interminable length of time. The attacks are often personal and aimed at emotional vulnerabilities as opposed to physical ones.  Any parent of a middle-school age daughter can tell you that the focus of girls in grades 5-8 is to make each other miserable, and they are very good at it.”

Western warfare has always been conducted along the rubrics of male fighting: “Confront them directly, hit them hard, and then give them the helping hand to rebuild and become an ally.  Warfare has a set of rules, both written and unwritten, and there is the unspoken understanding that both sides will fight ‘like gentlemen.’   An enemy who refuses to fight that way is often viewed as weak and too scared to ‘come out and fight like men.’   In other words, they fight around the edges like girls.”

Ironically, according to Moore, terrorists may be so effective because they fight like girls:

“The Global War on Terrorism is just such a war. The vast majority of Westerners, including our governments, had no idea that we have been in this war for decades.  What we mistook as harmless rhetoric was really brainwashing of entire generations who were fed lies and propaganda.  Despite previous smaller attacks, on 9-11 most Americans were genuinely bewildered that anyone could hate us so much and that anyone would hit us in such a ‘sneaky’ way.  Like a girl suddenly shunned by her friends, we weren’t even sure what we had done to raise such ire.    Most experts agree that winning this war will require a paradigm shift in how we approach such an enemy.  While there is no doubt that we can win the battles while engaged in open warfare, the military is struggling to understand this new enemy’s methods and how to tackle their shadow fighting. It is hard for soldiers brought up in the Western way of war to understand an enemy who refuses to confront them directly. But perhaps the key has been before us all the time. We need only look to the schoolyard and watch girls fight. It is somewhat ironic that a radical Islamic culture, which has so little respect for women, emulates their fighting style.”