Iraq: A Failure Without Borders

How are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan going? Perhaps the best way to answer that question is to look at what is happening in Saudi Arabia. Until about a year ago, Saudi Arabia was one of the safest countries on earth. Crime was rare, and everyone, including Americans, was secure almost anywhere in the … Continue reading “Iraq: A Failure Without Borders”

The Canon, Continued

This column, the third in a series, concludes a discussion of the canon, the seven books which, read in the order given, will take the reader from the First Generation of modern war through the Fourth. As one Marine Corps captain, an instructor at The Basic School, said, “Unless the guy’s a rock, he can’t … Continue reading “The Canon, Continued”

The Canon and the Four Generations

In my last column, I referenced “the canon,” the seven books which, if read in the correct order, take the reader from the First Generation of modern war through the Second and Third Generations and into the Fourth. A number of people responded with requests for a description both of the canon and of the … Continue reading “The Canon and the Four Generations”

Psyops In Fourth Generation War

I recently received an invitation to speak at a conference at Ft. Bragg on psychological operations, or psyops. Regrettably, a schedule conflict prevented me from accepting, but the invitation got me thinking: what are psyops in Fourth Generation war (4GW)? It is clear what they are not: leaflets saying, “No on can hope to fight … Continue reading “Psyops In Fourth Generation War”

The Power of Weakness

Can anything more be said about the debacle of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, beyond the fact that it demonstrates the immense moral leveling power of war? There are two observations I have not seen elsewhere. First, the apparent breakdown in discipline among the MPs at Abu Ghraib may relate to the presence of women, … Continue reading “The Power of Weakness”

Work For the Grossgeneralstab

In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom history has underrated, told his Chief of the General Staff, von Moltke the Less, that he wanted to remain on the defensive in the West and take the offensive in the East, against Russia. Such a reversal of the Schlieffen Plan would probably have won the war for Germany. … Continue reading “Work For the Grossgeneralstab