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An On V Update to Old Ideas: Muslims Speaking Out, Iran, Iraq, and More Clausewitz Haters Edition - On Violence
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An On V Update to Old Ideas: Muslims Speaking Out, Iran, Iraq, and More Clausewitz Haters Edition


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If people find Clausewitz useful, great. But I don’t see why not thinking him so great is sometimes seen as blasphemy. He wrote lousy in German from what I’ve read which doesn’t make figuring out what he is saying in translation easy. Slim and Grant are easy to understand.

And mostly, he doesn’t say nary a damn thing about navies and oceans. How can he be so hot if doesn’t say anything about navies and oceans? We’re a sea power, we need to know about such things.


@ Carl – We agree one hundred percent. But you should see some of the hate that been heaped upon us and others for daring to question his supremacy.

Frankly, I don’t see how worshiping one figure at the expense of all others moves along the larger understanding of war.


I wonder. War is all about action in the face of uncertainty. Perhaps people use Mr. C in the way a corporate executive uses a consultant. There isn’t anything a consultant can tell him that his employees couldn’t but the consultant sells a sort of certainty. ‘The consultant says, so its gotta be. I feel better now.’

Mr. C is sort of a consultant. ‘Mr. C says, so its gotta be. I feel better now.’


“replaced him with a religious dictator”

I disagree with this characterization of Al-Maliki. He was sectarian and did not rule for the good of the whole country, but for personal power and had the Shia Arabs as base of power, but your description leads to someplace entirely different.


I work in the simulation industry for the Army and have raised this point in the past. Answer I received from our higer ups is modeling COIN is hard. Not a good answer by any stretch and IMHO a tremendus shortcoming. I wonder though, I think there is appeal to a “boring” game. Look at Minecraft.


I’m not sure if the problem is that modeling COIN is hard so much as it requires so many different, concurrent approaches. That was sort of achieved with the SimCity games that had different departments or bureaus under the control of the player, but at a regional level the span of control gets a bit game-unfriendly. Another challenge is time. Insurgencies are long processes, and unless a game really speeds up time (like Civilization), it’s going to get boring. And if it does speed up time then you lose the nuance of COIN. From a military planning perspective, most western armies have adopted doctrines that are variations of the OODA loop, where the idea is to control tempo which invariably gets translated into deciding and acting faster than the adversary (though our staff size and processes actually slow things down). But that’s completely irrelevant when up against an adversary that thinks in terms of generations. Which, in turn, is hard to reconcile in a computer game.





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