Thursday, October 30, 2014


This is coolbert:

From a recent article by Colonel Austin Bay:

"On Point"

"To Defeat the Islamic State Obama Needs Clausewitz, Not Alinsky" by Austin Bay
. . . .

"Obama has mastered Saul Alinsky politics: a narrow, confined know-how mixing cynical pragmatism, polemical populism and elitist ego that in the U.S. can produce electoral and media success."

"Obama, however, does not know zilch about Carl von Clausewitz. The great German strategic theorist (and combat veteran) understood philosophically and viscerally the wicked, non-linear complexity of unbridled passions, mass violence and rational use of capabilities to pursue strategic goals that is the inescapable condition of international affairs in diplomacy and war."

. . . .

"War is simply the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means," Clausewitz wrote. The other means include force and violence and dead bodies. Clausewitz also called war a contest of wills. To successfully fight a war -- to win a war -- requires committed leadership. The Islamic State's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi demonstrates commitment; he cuts off journalists' heads and then shoots Iraqi and Syrian prisoners en masse. His forces have also overrun Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq."

That magnum opus of Clausewitz "On War" an unfinished work.

The master also elucidating on warfare of the Napoleonic Era, massed armies fighting massed armies in the conventional manner as understood.


NOTHING in "On War" gives a hint on how ISIL can and should be fought. The President does also not have to be a military expert. He does however have to be an expert on picking experts who he can rely on and can TELL him what is the correct course of action to follow. And the President must be wise in selecting that correct course of action within the constraints of what is politically feasible.


1 comment:

Steiner said...

Von Clausewitz would have understood ISIL perfectly. The Islamists seek to expose the political weakness of the West, by demonstrating that we don't have the will to confront an annihilationist foe, but only to trade time for territory with it. This has been the core strategy of Islam itself since inception, and it is worth noting that no Western leader has called for the restoration of non-Islamic settlement in the occupied territories of Iraq.