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Old 01-01-2014   #81
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Default Aware of thread?

In part:
Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
and simultaneously reading (aka listening in the car) "Lawrence in Arabia".
There is a long running, fruitful thread on TE Lawrence at:
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Old 01-02-2014   #82
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One final thought about the strategic implications of the relative political, economic and military situations. It is rather difficult to find the right words and paint the right picture while keeping it short. Possibly the simpliest way is to visualize it as a game of cards, taking a page out of good old CvC book.

We see therefore how from the commencement, the absolute, the mathematical as it is called, no where finds any sure basis in the calculations in the art of war; and that from the outset there is a play of possibilities, probabilities, good and bad luck, which spreads about with all the coarse and fine threads of its web, and makes war of all branches of human activity the most like a game of cards.
After getting the set, partly open, partly hidden you can have, by luck and effort a clearly stronger one then your adversary and rightly guess so but there still is this 'play of possibilities, probabilities, good and bad luck, which spreads about with all the coarse and fine threads of its web'. Even if you have a clear advantage (which you may not know) winning is all but trivial. To win, in the surest and 'best' way you still need to play with as much skill and effort as you can and hope for as much luck as possible.

Personally I think this mind picture is quite fitting. The leader of the weaker side, once he stepped into the wrong 'war framework' , played 'va banque' in many occasions like the Manstein plan for the invasion of France as the more conventional options of playing the game were very likely dealt with by superior strenght and much longer economic legs. The increasing craze for gadgets or 'Wunderwaffen', miracles indeed, later in the war matches the disperation and the hope to get somehow a good enough lucky punch.

On the other side the other side tended to play it out quite conservatively apart from some higher risk, higher reward plans like Market Garden. Why risk a temporary but embarrasing and painful setback if you could play it slow but safe. With far more ressources to spare the (Western) allies/USA could also cover the risk from the gadget front to a great degree and for example invest massively into a scientific adventure like the Manhattan project. I wanted to wade into prospect and game theory and its partly fitting implications but topic, time and shortness force me to leave it there.
... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935
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Old 01-02-2014   #83
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
In part:

Are you aware of Eeben Barlow's blogsite:

He is a SWC member too, so may notice your post.
I've recently found Mr Barlow's blog, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading from the first post up until the most recent. I'll cross my fingers that he might one day publish his book on Kindle or Kobo, but as I know first hand, it's not always as easy as simply formatting, uploading and publishing.
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afghanistan, counter-insurgency, counterinsurgency, iraq, special forces, us army

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