Sunday, May 15, 2005

Baby Jane's in Acapulco, We're all flying down to Rio...

Colin Gray has a new paper up at the consistently fantastic US Army War College SSI website (PDF).

I have yet to have a chance to read the paper, having just discovered it, but let's face it, it's going to be "The Shit" (which is, I am assured, a Good Thing). Read and enjoy.

From the summary:

The analysis has a strong thesis and conclusion. Specifically, it argues that in
period after period, and with few exceptions in war after war, the kind
of strategic surprise to which the United States is most at risk, and which
is most damaging to U.S. national security, is the unexpected depth and
pervasiveness of the connection between war and politics. Americans
usually are superior in making war: they are far less superior in making
the peace that they want out of the war that they wage.
The monograph argues that the current military transformation, though
certainly welcome, cannot itself correct the long-standing U.S. weakness in
the proper use of force as an instrument of policy. The discussion claims
that, notwithstanding its probable virtues in the enhancement of military
prowess, the current military transformation bids fair to be irrelevant to
America’s really serious strategic problem or condition. What the global
superpower needs is a military establishment that it can use in ways
conducive to the standards of international order it seeks to uphold, and
with the political consequences that U.S. policy intends. Whether that
establishment is more, or less, network-centric, or has, more or less, on-call
precision firepower, truly is a matter of less than overwhelming importance.
Politics rules! More accurately phrased, perhaps, policy should rule! War is
political behavior that must serve policy. Since the conduct of war should
not be a self-regarding apolitical activity, preparation for it in peacetime,
as well as its exercise in anger, needs to be suffused with the sense of
purpose that is provided only by the realm of policy. To summarize: this
monograph has taken no issue with the grand design of the transforming
Army, rather the salient topics are the use made of the Army by American
policymakers, and the way that the Army chooses to behave, both in
combat and afterwards.

I dunno about you lot but I haven't been this turned on since Sisters.


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