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2013-11-19 Government
Five modern military myths
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Posted by Pappy 2013-11-19 08:38|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [804 views ]  Top

#1 File under "Things never change" -

The present confusion in the civilian mind and the true military mind respecting the purposes of armies and limits of warfare is attributable to many circumstances. Among them, no doubt, is the character of military history as it has commonly been written. Ordinary citizens are lacking in the raw experience of combat, or deficient in technical knowledge, and inclined to leave the compilation of military records to “experts” in such affairs. Writers on general history have tended to neglect the broader aspects of military issues; confining themselves to accounts of campaigns and battles, handled often in a cursory fashion, they have usually written on the wars of their respective countries in order to glorify their prowess, with little or no reference to the question whether these wars were conducted in the military way of high efficiency or in the militaristic way, which wastes blood and treasure.

Even more often, in recent times, general historians have neglected military affairs and restricted their reflections to what they are pleased to call “the causes and consequences of wars”; or they have even omitted them altogether. This neglect may be ascribed to many sources. The first is, perhaps, a recognition of the brutal fact that the old descriptions of campaigns are actually of so little value civilian and military alike. Another has been the growing emphasis on economic and social fields deemed “normal” and the distaste of economic and social historians for war, which appears so disturbing to the normal course of events. Although Adam Smith included a chapter on the subject of military defense in his Wealth of Nations as a regular part of the subject, modern economists concentrate on capital, wages, interest, rent, and other features of peaceful pursuits, largely forgetting war as a phase of all economy, ancient or modern. When the mention the subject of armies and military defense, these are commonly referred to as institutions and actions which interrupt the regular balance of economic life. And the third source of indifference is the effort of pacifists and peace advocates to exclude wars and military affairs from general histories, with the view to uprooting any military or militaristic tendencies from the public mind, on the curious assumption that by ignoring realties the realties themselves will disappear.

This lack of a general fund of widely disseminated military information is perilous to the maintenance of civilian power in government. The civilian mind, presumably concerned with the maintenance of peace and the shaping of policies by the limits of efficient military defense, can derive no instruction from acrimonious disputes between militarists, limitless in their demands, and pacifists, lost in utopian visions. Where the civilians fail to comprehend and guide military policy, the true military men, distinguished from the militarists, are also imperiled. For these the executioners of civilian will, dedicated to the preparation of defense and war with the utmost regard for efficiency, are dependent upon the former.

Again, and again, the military men have seen themselves hurled into war by ambitions, passions, and blunders of civilian governments, almost wholly uninformed as to the limits of their military potentials and almost recklessly indifferent to the military requirements of the wars they let loose. Aware that they may again be thrown by civilians into an unforeseen conflict, perhaps with a foe they have not envisaged, these realistic military men find themselves unable to do anything save demand all the men, guns, and supplies they can possibly wring from the civilians, in the hope that they may be prepared or half prepared for whatever may befall them. In so doing they inevitably find themselves associated with militaristic military men who demand all they can get merely for the sake of having it without reference to ends.

Vagts, Alfred, History of Militarism, rev. 1959, Free Press, NY, pp 33-34.

Posted by Procopius2k 2013-11-19 09:08||   2013-11-19 09:08|| Front Page Top

#2 Hagel has similarly termed cyber as "probably the most insidious, dangerous threat to this country," which "will require that we continue to place the highest priority on cyber defense and cyber capabilities."

And yet we buy all of our computers from the enemy.
Posted by Ebbang Uluque6305 2013-11-19 11:58||   2013-11-19 11:58|| Front Page Top

#3 The military should have 3 missions:

1) Win wars.
2) Win battles. It is possible to win a war while losing battles, but it cost a lot of blood and material.
3) Win battles with as few casualties as possible.

Everything else is superfluous.

Future fights will be cyber, drone and special operations-centric.

Future fights will be whatever the enemy thinks gives the best chance of victory.

I remember pilots stopped training for dogfights in the 1950's. Then came Vietnam. We need to make sure we don't lose the skills we developed to win wars.
Posted by Frozen Al 2013-11-19 12:11||   2013-11-19 12:11|| Front Page Top

#4 * "Partners and Allies will pick up the slack" > that's what the US thought before WW1 + WW2 + Cold War.

Just sayin.

* "The Military is largely done wid Land Wars" > thusly, CHINA-VS-JAPAN,PHIL/ASEAN SEA WAR(S).

China + short war.




China + long war.

In case thingys don't go smoothly initially for China + PLA agz the US-Allies over in NE Asia/ECS + SCS.

DIALECTICAL", + is why the US is wrong to presume that no more major or protractive wars will ever be fought again.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2013-11-19 21:24||   2013-11-19 21:24|| Front Page Top

#5 We are always well prepared for the last war. Its the next one that comes out of the blue and kicks us in the ass.
Posted by Elmusort Hupusolet3774 2013-11-19 22:59||   2013-11-19 22:59|| Front Page Top

#6 Frozen Al- To fight and win America's wars. That is the only critical mission.... Everything else is fluff from my perspective.
Posted by 49 Pan 2013-11-19 23:22||   2013-11-19 23:22|| Front Page Top

23:45 49 Pan
23:22 49 Pan
22:59 Elmusort Hupusolet3774
22:43 Steven
22:05 junkiron
21:54 Jerkface Killa
21:35 Pappy
21:24 JosephMendiola
21:06 JosephMendiola
20:56 Ulomonter Prince of the Brontosaurs2094
20:53 Unlucky Otto Driver
20:38 Zenobia Floger6220
20:32 JosephMendiola
20:12 Redneck Jim
20:09 Rambler in Virginia
19:36 49 Pan
19:06 JFM
19:05 Airandee
19:03 Airandee
18:51 Ebbang Uluque6305
18:34 lord garth
17:57 Zenobia Floger6220
17:47 Rambler in Virginia
17:37 Procopius2k

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