Campaign Reboot –Forever War: Losing Track of Strategy
….The Forever War is, unsurprisingly, a book about war. It charts the conflict between humanity and an alien species called Taurians. The Taurians are alien in the classic sense, unknown and for the majority of the book unknowable.
The core of the book is the war, but it is also a book about disconnection, since the protagonists suffer from the effects of time dilation every time they go on tour, with hundreds of years potentially passing each time they ship out and return home. The same is true of the Taurians, meaning that in every engagement is is impossible to know whether the Taurian enemy is operating with technology from the future, or the past (from the perspective of the protagonists).
Over time the characters become disconnected from their own species, as guided evolution turns humanity into a species in which they have no part. Despite being the cream of the crop when recruited (all recruits have an IQ of 150+, the effects of this brain drain are explored in the book) they are left behind by a humanity which has chosen to pursue a guided evolution.
Strategy is at it’s most effective when the environment over which a conflict is going to be fought is understood. Terrain is part of this, however the mindset and moral elements of the opponent must also be understood. The Forever War is a study in what happens when a conflict is unmoored from reality, indeed it never has a root in reality, since the Taurians are unknown and unknowable.
Dr. Tdaxp – The Humanities, the Sciences and Strategy
The Servants of Strategy
The humanities and the Sciences are siblings. Both serve Strategy. Graduates from the Sciences can usefully serve Strategy to the extent they understand the tools of prediction and control: improvement, and are not distracted by non-normal, revolutionary science. Graduates from the Humanities can usefully serve Strategy to the extend they understand the tools of understanding and explanation, and are not distracted by critical political agendas.
Opposed Systems Design – PRC, DC and the Myth of Scheming
….All of this reminded me of Luttwak’s recently released The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy. Luttwak argues that the purported strategic wisdom of Chinese history actually impedes China’s ability to successfully carry out policy in the international sphere. During the waring states period, massive intrigue and Game-of-Thrones-esque maneuvering was possible because of a common language, in addition to ethnic and cultural homogeneity. International politics, on the other hand, is marked by disparate languages, ethnic groups and cultural heritages. In this hodge-podge, deep stratagems aren’t feasible because people have a hard enough time understanding one another when they aren’t attempting to dissemble. In short, the fear of inscrutable Chinese strategists playing a brilliant long con on the world is simply not plausible because it would require a degree of cosmopolitan understanding of other nations and societies that no nation has successfully achieved.
Fabius Maximus – Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?
Many posts on the FM website have described similarities between the Left and Right in America. Some discuss their similar policy recommendations (eg, economic policy should benefit banks, foreign policy should be dominated by the military and advance our global hegemony). Some note how both Left and Right are OK with lies to start our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to support torture and shred our civil liberties. Some discuss their similar method of gaining public support: use exaggeration of threats to build fear that stampedes the public (DDT, ALAR, nuclear winter, climate change, government debt, creeping Sharia, al Qaeda).
This raises another question with which I’ve long grappled: magnitudes. Magnitudes matter. While similar, which party does this the most — and the most egregiously?
A speculative diagram by Crittenden Jarvis.
SWJ – Book Review: Saddam Hussein’s Ba’th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime
Shlok Vaidya –Review:Detroit an Autopsy and Distinguished Warfare Medal Citation:Ridgeway Aaron
Pacific Standard – We aren’t the World
Lexington Green – Walter Russell Mead: Channeling America 3.0???