Chaos Manor View, Monday, May 25, 2015
We give our thanks and tribute to those who have defended us. May the survivors find peace and tranquility; may the dead rest in peace; and God bless those who remain on guard.
We are bringing out, in both electronic and print production, The Strategy of Technology, a 1970 book that was once a text in some of the Service Academies and still is in use at two of the War Colleges. This is not a new edition: it remains mostly the same as the hard to read copy available as an eBook on line or at exorbitant prices as used printed books. There are also Xerox copies kicking around.
The principles of the strategy of technology remain pretty constant, but all the examples in the book are of course Cold War or World War II, with a few “Small War” lessons and a bit on Korea.
It does not take account of Martin Van Crevold’s Transformation of War http://www.amazon.com/The-Transformation-War-Reinterpretation-Clausewitz/dp/0029331552 and it should acknowledge that important work; war has changed radically since 1970, and while Van Crevold mistakenly uses the politically motivated American retreat from Viet Nam as an example of the new era, subsequent events have made it clear that while Clausewitz remains important he is incomplete.
War remains, but its nature has changed. To Clausewitz war was the continuation of diplomacy by other means. As Van Crevold shows, there are new forms combat that Clausewitz would not recognize that can be as decisive as the old forms of war – ask the inhabitants of the Crimea, or eastern Ukraine. There are also combatants who are not nations: al Qaeda being a famous example. Yet States and Armies remain and can be decisive.
Anyway I am re-reading Van Crevold and preparing a “Postword” or final Chapter to show that the principles of the strategy of technology apply in this new kind of war – and that I am aware of the need for a book on the subject, and provide some thwarting materials for it. The subject is important. The subtitle of SOT was “Winning the Decisive War”, and that title is still relevant. At the same time, the age old principles of war as understood by both Sun Tzu and Machiavelli remain relevant.
It remains true that There Will Be War.
Alex is here and it is time for a walk. More later
On this day I am reminded of O’Hara’s “Bivouac of the Day” posted around Arlington National Cemetery
Theodore O’Hara’s poem, “Bivouac of the Dead,”<http://www.cem.va.gov/history/bivouac.asp>
The poem itself: <http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/history/BODpoem.asp>
And a Decoration Day postcard (at the first link): <http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/images/decday1.jpg>
Regards, Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
Subj: Rethink cozying up to the Kurds?
Sounds to me like Yet Another Instance of a well-known pattern, to wit:
whenever someone utters some generality about “the X”, for some X, one’s antennae should twitch about the implication that what is said applies
*uniformly* over all X, with no within-X variation worth mentioning.
Why yes, of course; they are not our friends except from necessity. It was Saladin the Kurd who defeated the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Horns of Hattin, and ended the Christian rule in the Holy Land. He also made a peace with Richard Couer de Leon that was beneficial to both sides. Then he went on to unite the Middle East.
The Kurds at the moment have ambitions that are not in conflict with our interests except at the margins; that is also true of Saudi Arabia, and Israel for that matter. Can we hope for more? I would rather Northern Iraq were in the hands of the Kurds than the Caliphate.
ISIS and idiotic US Hubris Subject : ISIS and idiotic US Hubris Message : Contact Message below
So the redacted classified DIA document obtained by Judicial watch via FOIA shows that the US viewed ISIS AS A STRATEGIC ASSET!!!!! And clearly understood that something like ISIS was a collateral risk. This is consistent with the conspiratorial assertions years ago that ISIS was (created? – encouraged? – supported?) for the specific purpose of overthrowing Asad to enable a GCC gas pipeline to Europe without passing through Israel or IRAQ.
Hubris, Greed, and Amorality resulting in death and destruction – who wudda thought?
“The reason it’s controversial is, it violates Newton’s Third Law.”
That’s always a problem. Seriously, we must pay attention to “impossible” data if it can be reproduced; but extraordinary claims always require extraordinary evidence. It is increasingly clear that this one doesn’t have that.
Everyone I have talked to on Wall Street seems to agree it’s a pretty godless place. Is this new or has it always been like this?
It’s been said many times, in many places, even well before the Great Recession: The culture on Wall Street is terrible. It encourages bad behavior. More recently, there are concerns that the Wall Street that caused the financial crisis is back.
A new report by The University of Notre Dame, commissioned by the law firm Labaton Sucharow, which represents whistleblowers, has some alarming numbers to add to this well-trodden narrative. The report surveyed more than 1,200 people in the financial-services industry—account executives, wealth advisors, financial analysts, investment bankers, operations managers, and portfolio managers—in both the U.S. and the U.K. to look at whether increased regulations, along with calls for a cultural change, have had any demonstrable effects.
Why I am shocked, shocked…
Financial Times Says it All
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such an apt and succinct observation:
The Fed is forecasting US growth of 2.5 per cent for the next two years, which is only marginally above the tepid rates achieved since the start of the recovery, which is now about to enter its seventh year. Should unemployment fall to 5 per cent by the end of 2015, wage growth may finally start to pick up, in which case the Fed will probably need to remove the punch bowl. The balance of risk is skewed the other way, however. After years of virtually no income growth, Main Street is unprepared for positive shocks. It is, for instance, striking that that the US consumer has opted to pocket the recent gains from lower [gas] prices rather than boost spending. The same applies to corporate investment, which remains disappointingly weak.
The US economy’s key growth drivers each seem to be waiting for the other to move first. Investors are reluctant to invest and consumers are hesitant to spend. What will it take to stoke their animal spirits?
What will it take for animus to drive the market? I see
witchdoctors, but these witchdoctors have a point.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
It takes someone who believes in American Exceptionalism rather than Social Justice
The speech deconstructed by Viscount Monckton
DNA hints at earlier dog evolution
Ha! You and I have been right all these years:
They push it back to 27,000 years. But the baby and wolf (proto-dog) footprints date back 35,000 years.
I have always believed that dogs were extremely important in human evolution, And there was a dramatic rise in intelligence about then…
“We’ve disconnected the consequences of war from the American public.”
“Stay together. Pay the soldiers. Take no heed of the rest.” Septimius Severus
Or see Machiavelli
Cultivating the Wind
I have been away a while, buried by work and family obligations. I should not have been catching up this morning, but sometimes the mind needs a constructive distraction…
While I was catching up, it struck me how much of your blog is concerned with the issue of “sow[ing] the wind.” You warn us all that U.S. culture and culture around the world is changing, but not for the better. Ominous trends are afoot in education, politics, economics, entertainment, and discourse. I see the same ominous changes, so I am inclined to agree with you. However, it troubles me that we sit quite comfortably in our electronic pub, rationally discussing these issues while the world continues to deteriorate apace.
About 250 years ago, the people of the American British colonies sat comfortably in their physical pubs, rationally discussing the issues of their day, when at least one of them realized that discussion was not enough. Pointing out the problems, leveling criticisms, worrying about the prospects for the future were not changing anything. These people, the educated and able of their day, decided to stop simply talking about the problems and decided to start fixing them.
It has struck me that we — you, your direct friends, the people you have reached through your blog — have to inherit the mantle those people of 250 years ago once wore. We are the educated and able of our day. This is our world that needs to be changed for the better. We have the ability to define and to bring about that change. We are at the turn of an exponential curve and simple discussion will not longer suffice.
Can we not use our knowledge and experience to formulate a strategy for cultivating the wind? Can we not find a way to effectively influence cultural change for the better? I am not advocating the armed conflict that was the first step toward positive change two hundred years ago; we have tools of communication at our disposal now that did not exist then.
Cultivate the wind. Let us gather here to define a better future and make the effort to bring that future.
Despair is a sin.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.