An invading army, particularly one with superior weapons, has the psychological advantage of masked mortality. On an intellectual level, those being invaded understand that the aggressors are also mortal; but at the emotional level, where wars are won and lost, there is the fear that somehow the enemy is superhuman, and impossible to defeat. It is not unlike the mystique that surrounds an undefeated sports team. The sense they generate in their opponents that they cannot be beaten gives them an advantage before the game ever begins.
The success military forces experience in such operations as the aptly named "Shock and Awe" campaign; the infamous "Blitzkriegs" of Nazi Germany; the Israeli Seven Day War; all show how effective this psychology can be. Like the Roman Empire, the more difficult task is the occupation that follows. The protracted occupation invariably demonstrates one thing, the enemy is human.
The recent incidents in Afghanistan; the burning of Korans, the staff sergeant who went berserk; if done in the midst of an invasion, though equally barbarous, would be seen as part of the invaders strength and brutality, not their weakness. In an occupation, particularly if it is a humane occupation, these incidents only serve to demonstrate that our military makes mistakes, we get sick, go mad, get tired... we bleed and die. A great advantage is lost once our forces are no longer viewed as dreadfully powerful. There are many places in the world where aggression is viewed with less disdain than weakness.
Given this dynamic, given the expense of lengthy occupations, and given the general failure of those occupations; wouldn't it make more sense to have a "get in quick, get out quicker" strategy for our military? If "occupation" is necessary, wouldn't it generally be more productive to do it with things besides our military, whose job, let's face it, is to break things and kill enemies? I realize there are military strategies involved in any operation which are far beyond me, but as a general concept, these extended occupations by our military only make them targets, and destroys the mystique we should possess as the most overwhelming military in the world.
Occupation is seldom an effective tool for promoting one's worldview. You are viewed as an oppressor or a trespasser, neither of which serves well as a position from which to have a reasonable negotiation. The threat of force or violence is temporarily effective, but the longer the occupation, the more your weakness is revealed, the more you are reviled, ridiculed, and dismissed as not a threat. With the return of warmer weather comes the resurgence of the movement named after this failure prone military tactic; The Occupy Movement. Unlike the civil rights marches of the 60's, the anti-Viet Nam war sit-ins, and even the more recent Tea Party rallies; the Occupy people have chosen a strategy that is likely to be as effective here as it has been in Afghanistan, and for the same reasons.
When the movement started, aside from persistent confusion as to what its objectives were, there was some widespread support across the country, with the people, the media, and even some politicians; not the least of which, the one living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! People were impressed with the numbers and intensity of the protests, and some of the political points they were trying to make made it into the public dialogue, with the cloying assistance of many press outlets desperately searching for an antidote to the Tea Party. But the strategy of bivouacking in public parks has robbed them of their mystique and turned them into targets, made that much easier by the revelation of their weaknesses. As people see the hygiene issues; the political affiliations with socialists, communists, and anarchists; the disrespect for public property, the criminal acts, drug use, and mental instability; the movement has lost its initial public and political support, and is increasingly viewed as a collection of fringe groups, criminals, nuisances and nuts. The "Occupation Strategy" has done little but reveal their unattractive underbelly. Like the annoying street corner evangelists who believe that being loud is the same as being effective; we begin to see the Occupiers as an annoyance; entitled to spout their opinions, but a movement with the dreaded diagnosis of being inconsequential.
IMHO: Occupation is an ineffective strategy for the military or protest movements. "Invasions" of countries or society should be followed up with political initiatives somehow insulated from the actual "invaders" to preserve their mystique, and gain a wider support base. If the Occupy Movement persists in this strategy of displaying the uglier side of their humanity, they will learn the lesson of Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They will learn the lesson that nearly every President learns who tries to "occupy" the White House. They will learn the lesson that most married couples learn, and from which some never recover. Take note Occupiers... the honeymoon is over.