Friday, August 19, 2011

Pro vs. Am.

This is coolbert:

"there are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and two, prostitution." - - Maj. General Dwight David Eisenhower.

Ike, in amiable conversation with an old acquaintance and friend, responding in this particular case jocular or otherwise?  A quotation without question attributed to Ike and verified as 100 % correct.

"jocular - - adj 1. characterized by joking and good humour 2. meant lightly or humorously; facetious"

This question I pose to all devoted readers to the blog, one and all, and those also visiting casually or for the first time.

This pronouncement of Ike is merely idle banter - -  for amusement, or is Ike serious?

I can understand - - the military professional a career officer of many years of service, stodgy and set in his ways, having trained his whole adult life to fight the LAST WAR! The professional soldier finding that those methods, techniques, tactics or the operational art as having been taught and learned at general staff and command school no longer applicable, inhibiting a more dynamic and thoughtful approach to a changed situation. Stodginess indicative of a lack of imagination even being an inherent risk for old-time long-time career individual soldiers!

"stodg·y - - adjective, 1. heavy, dull, or uninteresting; tediously commonplace; boring"

As for the prostitute - - the physical aspect of the "act" for the professional is is more or less the same as it would be for the amateur, the "amateur" however not having to feign an emotional and psychological response lacking in the "professional"?

Devoted readers to the blog and those others - - YOUR comments and response?


1 comment:

Steiner said...

That Ike, what a kidder! Well, Bill Buckley thought so, he had Eisenhower crack wise to his cabinet more than once in the Blackford Oakes series of novels.

My guess is that the former SACEUR let loose with this one by way of response to yet another criticism that he could have backed the Soviets out of Eastern Europe right after WW2 by pointing at Moscow with the big nuclear stick.

As to the merits of the statement itself, military strategy is the great lost art in today's Western discourse, especially after Vietnam. Just ask Prof. V. D. Hanson. Therefore, I call false on the statement. History is full of the wreckage left behind by amateur strategists, most notably by one former Austrian corporal who remains very much a part of said discourse.