Thursday, January 1, 2015

Discipline & Discord.

This is coolbert:

First from the web site and then also from the Scholar's Stage we have extracts with comment. The fighting styles of the Mongol and ISIL as in comparison. Thanks to Isegoria and T. Greer.

1. "Discipline and Flexibility"

"It may not be possible to isolate one, single variable that can account for the epochal success of the Mongol military machine, but T. Greer takes a stab at it"

"In contrast to both the kingdoms the Mongols destroyed and every other nomadic confederation that preceded or followed his empire, Chinggis Khan possessed the complete loyalty of his troops and his generals. The men under his command were absolutely, and to their enemies, terrifyingly, united. Chinggis Khan could wage simultaneous wars on opposite sides of the known world, erode the internal cohesion of every kingdom his envoys visited, and paralyze enemy defenses with a flood of independently commanded units only because of the fearsome unity and loyalty of his forces."

2. "ISIS, the Mongols, and 'The Return of Ancient Challenges'" by T. Greer

"There is both military art and science behind al-Baghdadi’s recent successes. His approach is different from western military leadership practices, but it is not unique in history. He seems to have borrowed some elements of the warfighting styles of the Prophet Mohammed and Genghis Khan as well as the some political-strategic approaches of Lenin and Hitler. Whether these were adopted from a study of history or the serendipitous outcome of pure talent is somewhat irrelevant. To date, al-Baghdadi has achieved significant results. We can’t fully understand his thought process but we can study his methods and the principles he employs. These are discussed below...."

Those key points being that Mongol success was due to in large measure:

* Extraordinary discipline and loyalty from top to bottom.

* An ability to exploit discord within the enemy camp while avoiding same in your own ranks.


* The Mongol at least during the time of Genghis were illiterate semi-nomadic sheepherders. YET they were able to formulate strategy, doctrine and fight with an unbeatable methodology and technique. What does that say about the military mind and thought?

* Where exactly did the Mongol get such big ideas? Conquer the entire known world and made a pretty good go of it too. Those inhabitants of the Gobi were NOT sophisticated and cultured people but much rather the opposite, again, illiterate semi-nomadic sheepherders.

* Genghis DID place a lot of trust in his most senior subordinates, Subotai and Chepe' for instance as has been noted in a prior blog entry. Broad discretionary powers were delegated without the Great Khan having to worry about intrigue and conspiracy within his own court.

And how did al-Baghdadi get so good and come out of nowhere? Well, how did Genghis for that matter?


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