#Strategy

…and, Ultimately, to Destroy (4): Difference

For the destruction of IS to occur without our aid and participation would be for us not just to have shirked a responsibility, but to have declined to assert our existence, to have absented ourselves from the course of events. The alternative for us to a world in which we helped to destroy IS would be for us an unjust and absurd world.

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , , , , ,

…and, Ultimately, to Destroy (3): Acceptance

Collectively as individually, we may also like to think that at the limits we will know the truly unacceptable loss of control when we see it, or are compelled to view it, but we may surprise ourselves with our ability to look away from or to grow used to what formerly we found unbearable, just the latest cadaverized child in a Twitpic.

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , , , , ,

…and, Ultimately, to Destroy (2): Control

One pseudo-state calls forth another, as the goal of “mere control” constructs its own eventual failure, both logically and, it seems, practically.

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The Strategist’s Concession

The sound strategy, in expressing and re-producing as well as in defending or advancing the order on behalf of which it is conceived, represents the world as though orderly – as though knowably causational and susceptible to agency, one might say for Elkus – with one’s own side properly and thoughtfully led by qualified and ethically sound commander-politicians, their stratagems effectuated by courageous, skilled, and virtuous warriors supported by a willing and sympathetic people, all together on the way to deserved victories, with God in His Heaven and, eventually, all right with the world or anyway as right as the world ever is. The opposite, put as starkly, is “sauve qui peut,” each doing right in his or her own eyes, or the state of nature, and, on the way to that dreaded condition, the commander perceiving and pursuing a treasonously merely private interest at the expense of the general good.

Posted in notes, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, War Tagged with: ,

13 Tweets Instead of a Syria Strategy

IN THE SHADOW OF INSTEAD RT @rmslim: By far this is one of z best, if not z best analysis, of unfolding devepts in the Arab region penned by Yezid Sayigh http://t.co/zMW7oGUsKZ 09:52:10, 2014-08-29 #prt among most interesting aspects the

Posted in International Relations, War Tagged with: ,

Two comments on a/strategic concepts at Zenpundit

The strategic vs a-strategic opposition derives from “The US Needs to Re-Discover the Concept of Strategy,” a post by “seydlitz89,” though the figure “a/strategy” does – obviously, possibly somewhat serendipitously, possibly according to some inner necessity – happen to fit

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, notes, War Tagged with:

Tales from the Geopolitical Crypt: Seven Deadly Scenarios by Andrew Krepinevich

Seven Deadly Scenarios can be read and enjoyed almost as a collection of near future science fiction stories, though unlike sci-fi writers, who typically unveil the imagined course of future events elliptically, piece by piece, thus to keep the reader

Posted in Books, Future History, War Tagged with: ,

A Unique Take on Obama's Dual Crisis

George Friedman of STRATFOR has offered a unique take on what he refers to as a “dual crisis” – Afghanistan and Iran – awaiting action from the President.  To cut to the chase, his prescription for the President is as

Posted in International Relations Tagged with: , , , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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