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Thread: The Clausewitz Collection (merged thread)

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    "These three tendencies are like three different codes of law, deep-rotted in their subject and yet variable in their relationship to one another. A theory that ignores any one of them or seeks to fix an arbitrary relationship between would conflict with reality to such an extent that for reason alone it would be totally useless."

    This is the main part of his definition that they, the post-trinitarians, all seem to miss. I am still having trouble working out why they think that there has to be a arbitrary or static relationship between government, military, and people. CvC never claimed there was one and specifically said that if theorists tried to contrive one then they would "conflict with reality". I think it was Gray who first called it the 'secondary trinity' in his rebuttal of van Creveld et al. Gray response is interesting. I agree with a lot he has written, but I think he is wrong to say that as a 'secondary part of the trinity' it is not as important as the first. You can not dismiss it that easily.
    Last edited by Taiko; 07-20-2009 at 11:13 AM.

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    Default No need to apologize ....

    from Taiko
    My apologies Jim99 I did mean your post on page three. There is little to debate. If you used that passage to support any argument, you will be criticised for taking it out of context.
    Your last sentence makes your mentality quite clear to me.

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    Once again my apologies. I did not mean to come across as derogatory or condescending. I will try to justify my remarks in regards to your post.

    The direct quote you have used from CvC is his attempt to abstract all the material variables that goes towards making war what it is. What CvC is trying to do here is establish whether war can be considered as a isolated phenomena with an inherent nature of its own. The last sentence in the quote you have used is the most telling, "that aim takes the place of the object, discarding it as something not actually part of war itself".

    Using a logical line of inquiry, war as an abstraction or isolated phenomena CvC concludes, is subject to the laws of necessity which would result in a never ending escalatory cycle of violence reaching an absolute level. In reality this is not the case. In the past, many theorists and military professionals have taken this quote out of context in order to justify the position that politics has no place in war and its conduct. This is far from what CvC had in mind when he wrote this phase, as he totally rejects it when he applies a material line of inquiry.

    Having said that, I agree with most of the points you are making with the rest of your post on page three, it is just a little puzzling that you would use that specific phrase from CvC to make your points, considering its origins, and what CvC was specifically trying to prove with it. In many respects it was a knee jerk reaction on my part and I did not intend to come across as flippant, nor to undermine, or dismiss out of hand, your contribution to the thread.
    Last edited by Taiko; 07-20-2009 at 11:16 PM.

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    Default Don't apologize, Mister ....

    it's a sign of weakness (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon).

    As to the three substantive paragraphs, your paras 1 & 2 do not disturb me. We could discuss all of that, as well as CvCs historical summaries, and his auto-Socratic methodology of self-discourse. But, none of that was what my post sought to address - and also get some answers from more learned folks.

    Now to this one...

    ... it is just a little puzzling that you would use that specific phrase from CvC to make your points, considering its origins, and what CvC was specifically trying to prove with it.
    The answer is pretty mundane. This paragragh is one of the few (if not the only one) where CvC mentions international law (Völkerrecht). Since that was the focus of my post I took what I could get.

    Now, CvC had no reason to go extensively into I Law or the Laws of War (LOAC) because in his experience they were not an important consideration. It was not until his fellow Prussian Lieber (as an expat to the US) took off with 1863 General Orders No. 100 that we see a decent codification. Thus, my first question in post #44:

    [1] "Self-imposed restrictions, almost imperceptible and hardly worth mentioning, termed usages of International Law, accompany it without essentially impairing its power." One wonders what CvC would think of the GCs, other conventions and modern ROEs - which are quite perceptible in our Laws of War.
    I suspect he might say something along the lines that those constraints would affect the appearence (form as we see it), and impose limitations on its theoretical "growth pattern", but not affect its basic substance - e.g., his survey of European warfare post-Westphalia and pre-Napoleon. He probably would have used different words (I've used a neo-Platonist formula; as I understand it, he was more of a German Romanticist; but I'm no CvC SME).

    Next question is also factually-based. In CvC's time, Transnational Violent Non-State Actors were not much of an issue (the transnational anarchists came later). So, that breed of cat was also not within his experience. Hence:

    [2] "... for there is no moral force without the conception of states and law ..." One wonders what CvC would have thought about non-State actors such as AQ, who have their own Rule of Law, Principles of War and Laws of War.
    I suspect he would have extrapolated from the history known to him. Perhaps looking at the Roman Empire (which he found unique). This seems to be a more important question than the first.

    The third reference to CvC is this:

    [3] The term "wehrlos" translates generally as "unprotected", "defenseless" or "helpless" (more figurative), which have a broader meaning than "disarmed".
    My suggestion being that CvC (in normal German usage) is not limited to putting a round between the other guy's eyes, or him physically dropping his musket. There are other ways to accomplish the same result as kill or capture.

    Anyway, those were my questions re: CvC - as yet unanswered.

    Thanks for the PMs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    "Self-imposed restrictions, almost imperceptible and hardly worth mentioning, termed usages of International Law, accompany it without essentially impairing its power." One wonders what CvC would think of the GCs, other conventions and modern ROEs - which are quite perceptible in our Laws of War. I suspect he might say something along the lines that those constraints would affect the appearence (form as we see it), and impose limitations on its theoretical "growth pattern", but not affect its basic substance - e.g., his survey of European warfare post-Westphalia and pre-Napoleon. He probably would have used different words (I've used a neo-Platonist formula; as I understand it, he was more of a German Romanticist; but I'm no CvC SME).
    Not to sure about IL and GC. In terms of the morality of war, CvC was happy to leave it to the philosophers. I suspect as a realists he would of argued that IL and GC are little more than sandcastles that are all to easily washed away by the tides of war (my words not his). So I think you are right in assuming it would not effect its basic substance. However, when you take into account the importance of the population in small wars there is a place for upholding domestic law and GC, if for anything else then to maintain the moral high ground in the propaganda war. I think the US found out the hard way with a certain prison in Iraq that there is strategic capital in the GC. Although as an aside, the reports on A'Q war crimes and atrocities are all but missing from western media. But from all accounts A'Q paid a heavy price for its atrocities in Iraq especially in turning the population against it. So GC and more importantly domestic laws/custom would have to be an important toolkit for COIN. So CvC is limited in this respect. Mao certainly understand the power of the GC and upholding domestic law more so than CvC, in terms of fighting an effective revolutionary war.

    In regards to ROE, he would most probably cite Prussia's first experience with Napoleon and warn that when rolling the iron dice we should make sure to understand the war being fought, not mistaking it for what we want it to be, unless we take up a dress rapier against a broadsword and vice versa. This observation is very apt for current circumstances in my opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Next question is also factually-based. In CvC's time, Transnational Violent Non-State Actors were not much of an issue (the transnational anarchists came later). So, that breed of cat was also not within his experience. Hence: I suspect he would have extrapolated from the history known to him. Perhaps looking at the Roman Empire (which he found unique). This seems to be a more important question than the first.
    Close, he actually used the example of Tartar tribes as transnatinal non-sate actors.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    suggestion being that CvC (in normal German usage) is not limited to putting a round between the other guy's eyes, or him physically dropping his musket. There are other ways to accomplish the same result as kill or capture
    Book 1 Chapter 2: Purpose and Means covers a lot of ground in terms of the various aims and effort require to achieve various political effects. But, in many parts of his work he emphasis the importance of combat. "Combat in war is like cash payment in commerce", being the most well known and quoted. In essence CvC produced a combat-centric theory.
    Last edited by Taiko; 07-21-2009 at 12:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
    Close, he actually used the example of Tartar tribes as transnatinal non-sate actors
    CvC was very aware of the Catholic and Protestant "insurgencies" and Wars within Europe, including the Hussites. These are all basically "trans-national" or "non-state".
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    What appears to be emerging from this thread is a reemergence of the concept that war is essentially war, as the ends are similar in populace-based conflict and state-based, and CvC can be applied to both without obvious breakdown of his theory; therefore similar ways and means applied to either will produce similar effects.

    I can track along with CvC's theory not being rendered invalid by populace-based conflict; but I believe the leap of logic to concluding also that ways and means that are effective in defeating another state are also effective in resolving a conflict with one's own populace is both too broad, and unsubstantiated by historical fact.

    So keep CvC in your rucksack as a good source, but continue to seek other sources to fleshout how something that can appear and act so similar in so many ways can also be so different and require very different approaches; both in general, and certainly by case.

    I guess we could say that war is like women. War is war and women are women -- but while the similarities are obvious, it is a foolish man indeed who disregards or disrespects their differences... Either way, us guys are quite likely to make a mess of it.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 07-21-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I can track along with CvC's theory not being rendered invalid by populace-based conflict; but I believe the leap of logic to concluding also that ways and means that are effective in defeating another state are also effective in resolving a conflict with one's own populace is both too broad, and unsubstantiated by historical fact.
    What is a "populace based conflict?"

    I only ask as all Wars are about political outcomes. It's the authority to which the people defer and obey, which is the issue, not they themselves. That is the same for all human conflict.

    In those terms, fighting the Taliban is no different from fighting the Waffen SS. The prize was not the German people, no more than the prize is the "Afghan" people. The prize is someone exercising a useful degree of authority over them.

    The nature of the fighting however, may have to be different, for POLITICAL reasons, as Clausewitz explains.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Tartars and Hussites

    Just a couple of little points.

    from Takio
    Close, he actually used the example of Tartar tribes as transnatinal non-sate actors.
    Depends on how you translate the Tartar passage from Bk 8.3B:

    Die Tatarenschwärme suchen neue Wohnsitze. Sie ziehen mit dem ganzen Volke aus, mit Weib und Kind, sie sind also zahlreich wie verhältnismäßig kein anderes Heer, und ihr Ziel ist Unterwerfung oder Vertreibung des Gegners. Sie würden mit diesen Mitteln bald alles vor sich niederwerfen, ließe sich damit ein hoher Kulturzustand vereinigen.
    I'd translate "dem ganzen Volke" as "their entire Nation"; and "Die Tatarenschwärme" as the "The Tartarhordes" (literally, it's "The Tartarswarms"; but the later Tartar political entities usually are called "Hordes" - e.g., the "Golden Horde").

    I may be influenced by reading Gabriel's bio of Subotai. The historical facts are that when the Tartars "ziehened aus", they were very much a nation-state (with geographic bounds as they chose to define them; and a clear governance structure). They also a very organized military structure (part and parcel of their government). So, legally, I'd class them as a nation-state (albeit living in tents); and their soldiers as regular combatants (brutal, but regular).

    The Germanic tribes who crossed into the Roman Empire seem more akin to Transnational Violent Non-State Actors - not nation-states; and their troops more akin to irregular combatants. Which period of German history you pick makes a difference. The Germanic groups named by Tacitus (ca. 100ce) had defined boundaries, a governance structure, etc. By 400ce, that had been disrupted by pressure from the East, resulting in the Rhine Crossing, etc.

    I think Wilf is more factually on point with this:

    from Wilf
    CvC was very aware of the Catholic and Protestant "insurgencies" and Wars within Europe, including the Hussites. These are all basically "trans-national" or "non-state".
    Agreed factually - and good examples of pre-Westphalian non-state actors in armed conflicts. However, did CvC discuss them ? I did a search through the On War I downloaded (Graham trans.); and had no hits for Catholic, Protestant, Hussite or religious. Anyway, if someone could supply a CvC reference to those armed conflicts, if it exists ?

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    In regards to Jim99 point about CG I was not happy with my original conclusions. So I went back to Mao and my trinitarian definition and would like see if my new conclusions makes sense especially in regards to Bob's World points.

    In Mao's 'Selected Military Writings' he goes into great detail about how PoW and the general population should be treated. I would argue that in many respects this can be pivotal in winning a revolutionary war. If CvC's trinity cannot account for it then the theory loses its validity in explaining the nature of war in all its variations.

    So after some tossing and turning last night I think I have found how the trinity can be used to explain it. Focusing on the first half of the trinity Clausewitz argues that the level and intensity of violence is determined by three intervening variables:

    (Violence) purpose, hostile feelings/intentions, chance and probability

    I would contend that how you treat PoWs (GC) and the populace (domestic law/custom) can specifically be accounted for in shaping the hostile feelings/intensions that go towards determining the level and intensity of violence. Metz, for example, explains how after 'shock and awe' the proto-insurgencies focused on exacerbating the anger of the population, against the US, by targeting basic infrastructure. They were attempting to shape the level and intensity of the violence via controlling/manipulating the hostile feelings of the Iraqi people.

    Another example from the US is the change in how they treated PoW and combatants. As in the case of Mao, this was a major psychological operation that was specifically aimed at the moral of the opponents fighting force and a way to shape the hostile feelings/intentions of it. When the Red army captured enemy soldiers, they "re-educated" them and let them go. In Iraq the same process was implemented in the prisons by the US to "de-radicalize" combatants through the introduction of moderate clerics. In terms of the general population the key to shaping and controlling the hostile feelings/intentions lead to a shift in search and seizure operations to take account of local customs/law. Just as paying compensation was used to pay for damages or the death of a family member using the tribal customs.

    Obviously this is just a basic summary. However, I think I have a handle on the first part of the trinity. The second part of the trinity, in relation to how this effects the intervening variables that determine political power I'm still working on. In terms of my explanation for the first part I would appreciate any thoughts from SWC members.

    Good point about the Tartar's Jimm99 and the Hussites Wilf. Looks like its back to the drawing board in looking at transnational non-state actors. Although I think the second part of the trinity (politics) government, people, military, will be able to account for it. Its just a matter of finding the write words.

    So keep CvC in your rucksack as a good source, but continue to seek other sources to fleshout how something that can appear and act so similar in so many ways can also be so different and require very different approaches; both in general, and certainly by case.
    I guess we could say that war is like women. War is war and women are women -- but while the similarities are obvious, it is a foolish man indeed who disregards or disrespects their differences... Either way, us guys are quite likely to make a mess of it.
    Well put, the last part made me laugh Although I have been working on a diagram that might have some utility and would mean you need not hump CvC's book around.
    Last edited by Taiko; 07-21-2009 at 11:54 PM.

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    Default China 1948-1949 Factoid

    This Wiki, Chinese Civil War, has an interesting set of stats:

    KMT Strength

    4,300,000 (July 1945)
    3,650,000 (June 1948)
    1,490,000 (June 1949)

    CPC Strength

    1,200,000 (July 1945)
    2,800,000 (June 1948)
    4,000,000 (June 1949)
    Just as the radio broacasts of the Truman-Dewey results were my first introduction to politics (where I had an idea of what was going on), the 1948-1949 news broadcasts were the first war results I could intelligently follow.

    My recollection includes entire KMT armies switching sides. So, when I saw the Wiki stats, I thought Mao made a lot of converts in a hurry. Was my recollection correct ? Yup, in Google Books, The Chinese Third Revolutionary Civil War, 1945-49, by Christopher Lew, which takes you to p.133. You can scroll up to p.132, where four KMT Armies (5th, 15th, 16th & 20th) defected within a month.

    So, looking at the CPC "conversion" program is as or more important than looking at its kill or capture programs - at least for that phase of that armed conflict.

    And, the book confirmed my distant recollections. Now, if someone can tell me where I left my vehicle (which one is it ?), I can try to find my way home.

    -------------------
    PS: Even if CvC did not discuss Hussites in particular (Wilf has yet to chime in on that), that would not invaldate application of On War's basic substance to situations involving non-state actors employing irregular combatants. CvC did not claim to write a Bible (or a cookbook), did not claim to have covered all historical examples (see Bk 2.6 On Examples, last two paragraphs), and did not claim a crystal ball to predict the future. To paraphrase Darrow (aka Henry Drummond): On War is a good book, but it is not the only book.

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    There is currently an academic proposal outlining a proposal to develop a 'De-sacralising Information Strategy'. As the name suggests the aim is to "articulate, accelerate and intensify doubts and tensions amongst those considering or already associated with Extremists groups". The method being to target 'schismatic asabiyya' by "injecting, and then continuously reinjecting, the most vivid available insiders' awareness of the ugly, decidedly non-sacred realities of groups devoted to religiously inspired violence, into the internal and external conversations of: potential extremists, their extended families, and friends".

    If interested please PM me for a copy.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-07-2009 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Edited at request of author

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Agreed factually - and good examples of pre-Westphalian non-state actors in armed conflicts. However, did CvC discuss them ? I did a search through the On War I downloaded (Graham trans.); and had no hits for Catholic, Protestant, Hussite or religious. Anyway, if someone could supply a CvC reference to those armed conflicts, if it exists ?
    I think CvC just didn't bother. He must have been aware of it, and I think it falls within the construct he uses. Point being, CvC was concerned with War as the use of Armed Force. Rebellions of that time and previously, had to raise and field Armies. That was the Warfare. His observations on War, all still stand.

    Modern Insurgencies still do the same thing, in order to become a military threat. If an irregular force cannot be a military threat, it cannot win, unless there are some other powerful circumstances in play (Spain and the Madrid bombing). "Terrorism" has been remarkably indecisive as an instrument of gaining political goal.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default internal vs external may be another way to look at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    What is a "populace based conflict?"

    I only ask as all Wars are about political outcomes. It's the authority to which the people defer and obey, which is the issue, not they themselves. That is the same for all human conflict.

    In those terms, fighting the Taliban is no different from fighting the Waffen SS. The prize was not the German people, no more than the prize is the "Afghan" people. The prize is someone exercising a useful degree of authority over them.

    The nature of the fighting however, may have to be different, for POLITICAL reasons, as Clausewitz explains.
    This is a phrase I use to differentiate between a state seeking a political objective from another state through war (state-based conflict) and a populace seeking a political objective from its own government through warfare (populace-based conflict)

    My position being that how I resolve my differences with my own populace MUST be very different to how I resolve my differences with the government of some other state. I may well want and need to crush the will of the populace of that competitor state in order to defeat their government; but if a government needs to crush the will of its own populace in order to sustain itself in power, that is probably a governemnt that is so failed it needs to be replaced.

    Some would quibble that a good COIN effort is only out to crush the will of some narrow segment of the populace...this is a slippery slope. Far better to ensure the dissident populace has a voice and to work to effect changes where appropriate and to keep the COIN as much in the lanes of law enforcement as possible in dealing with the criminal elements of the movement; while bringing the majority of the group back into the fold of good citizenry.

    King George could have crushed the American Revolution with few simple reforms and an apology. Instead he sent the most powerful Army and Navy in the world and initiated the demise of his Kingdom. There are lessons to be learned from the mistakes of others.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    My position being that how I resolve my differences with my own populace MUST be very different to how I resolve my differences with the government of some other state. I may well want and need to crush the will of the populace of that competitor state in order to defeat their government; but if a government needs to crush the will of its own populace in order to sustain itself in power, that is probably a governemnt that is so failed it needs to be replaced.
    ...but that's the point. You do not need to crush the will of the people of the opposing state. You merely need to crush the will of their leadership, and/or destroy their military means. The same objective should be central to defeating insurgents, and was to every successful UK COIN campaign.
    The COIN failures, (Ireland and Israel/Palestine) left in place a military capability and a functioning leadership - which both went on to create states!

    ...same with the Americans!

    King George could have crushed the American Revolution with few simple reforms and an apology. Instead he sent the most powerful Army and Navy in the world and initiated the demise of his Kingdom. There are lessons to be learned from the mistakes of others.
    Not once it became a military problem, and Kings do not apologise! (Passion, reason, chance etc) If they do, they have no political authority! - thinking 1770's, not 2010's.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    I have a question for any students of CvC. CvC lists 6 or 7? ways (6 offensive and 1 defensive) that a military can use to defeat an enemy. One he called "operations against the political object"......what exactly did he mean by that? I don't think he ever brings it up again after listing it.

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    I guess this gets to what has been labeled "The American Way of War" (inaccurately, in my opinion).

    When Grant assumed command of the Union Army, while he understood that it was very important to defeat Lee's Army and also valuable to capture the Confederate Capital, he also instinctively understood that he needed to crush the will of the Confederate populace, so that the entire Confederate nation would know it was defeated once the war was over. To that end, he positioned himself with Meade to ensure that Meade did not lose his focus on Lee and Richmond; but launched coordinated efforts under his most trusted Lieutenants to crush the will of the South. Sherman in the South, and Sheridan in Virginia. It worked, and coupled with a generous peace the war was over when it was over.

    In WWI no such effort against the Axis populace was waged, and the peace was onerous, resulting in no resolution at the end of that conflict as dictated by France and England.

    In WWII the war was taken to the people of Japan and Germany. Once their militaries were defeated and capitals captured, their populaces were also fully cognizant of their defeat. Again, coupled with a generous peace, those wars were truly over once over.

    For any nation to defeat the United States, if all they do is occupy DC and defeat our military, they are probably about 20% of the way to their ultimate objective. They must crush the will of the American populace to resist to truly win. On the other hand, we have been able to stabilize the growing dissent born of the racial inequities from the slave heritage of our Black populace by "merely" recognizing that the government was wrong and passing and enforcing laws to bring this disaffected segment of the populace into the fold of good governance. It is an ongoing business, this good governance, one clear metric of that being the response of the Black populace to the election of President Obama. Most white Americans didn't think it was a big deal to elect a black man; but for the Black populace it was this huge indicator of validation and citizenship.

    Now, we could have dealt with the Civil Rights movement by targeting senior leadership, locating and breaking up networks, and placing increased security on those individuals and facilities targeted by the "rebels." Usually if a segment of your populace is so dissatisfied as to take up arms, or apply more peaceful tactics as those encouraged by Gandhi and King, they have some valid points, and those points must be addressed.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 07-22-2009 at 06:16 PM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  18. #218
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Well, yeah. Maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    ...coupled with a generous peace, those wars were truly over once over.
    It's still too early to state that categorically. All nations do not have the short memory and attention spans of the US...

  19. #219
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default True...but in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    It's still too early to state that categorically. All nations do not have the short memory and attention spans of the US...
    I think Bob'sWorld has a point, although I wouldn't put it in such sweeping terms. One could also argue that Grant's focus on Southern popular will wasn't intuitive...in fact it appears that he came to the conclusion over time, based in no small part on his experiences during the Vicksburg campaign. Most of these things do evolve over time.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  20. #220
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Default

    I do not think Germany and Japan were offered "generous" peace terms. Not only were they thoroughly destroyed, they were completely dispossessed of their political systems, much of their economic capacity, and of any territorial or colonial ambitions and claims (some of which are still outstanding). They were then made dependent on the victors for their security and stripped of any autonomous means of waging war. Nor do I think the Civil War ended with the surrender of the rebel armies, but it continued through Reconstruction until finally the Federal Government no longer had the political will to address it, giving birth to the 'Solid South' and systematic segregation. Both Clausewitz and Machiavelli advised against a "generous" peace insofar that the intent of war is to strip the enemy of his will or capacity to fight, and that an enemy wounded, but not killed, will strike you again when the time is right for them to do so ("never do a slight injury to an enemy"). So the intent isn't to find "generous" peace terms, IMO, but terms aligned with the political objectives sought in the first place so that the future behavior of the defeated actor is no longer a threat. Sometimes be 'generous', sometimes be harsh.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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