Darling, War 102

Our friend Paul Darling, author of Taliban Safari, is creating an educational series of audio podcasts on the warfare. He calls it War 102. Here are the links: War 102 (buzzsprout.com); https://open.spotify.com/show/5HFMjbVY0IDCnyMJAhmUmz

He has five episodes in the can and available for your enlightenment, titled as follows:

Episode Zero: Why War 102

Episode 1: What is War

Episode 2: The Levels of War

Episode 3: The Clausewitz Glossary

Episode 4: The Principles of War

Go listen.  They each run about fifteen minutes.  I’ll also put them up somewhere here on Liberty Bristles in a day or two. This is great. I hope they motivate Geoff Demarest to get on with his 3-minute strategery vids. I also suspect we’ll be hearing some direct, crass unnecessary discordance from Geoff after he listens in. That guy.

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1 Response to Darling, War 102

  1. Geoff Demarest says:

    Paul, I listened to “The Clausewitz Glossary.” I admit I owe Clausewitz creds for some of how I became the greatest living military strategy theorist. It’s possible Clausewitz’ thoughts long ago permeated all strategy writing and all writings about the nature of war. Maybe they just weren’t always cited or the influences acknowledged or even noticed by writers and marshals great and dull. On War may be like the Talmud and the Bible in that way. I can’t say. I doubt it. I think it’s more likely that any permeation began shortly after 1976, at least among Americans. That would still gather in most of my career years, so…forever I guess. As I remember, Sherman sent Emory Upton to Europe in the late 1870s and upon his return, it was Upton who provided the intellectual impetus for the US Army to move toward a German-style general staff and educational set-up. The von Moltke-led Germans had embarrassed the French in the War of 1970, and von Moltke was a fan of Clausewitz, so there’s that. Upton might have read Clausewitz, as the first English translation came out in the late 1870’s, but I doubt it. Anyhow, I don’t think Upton mentioned it. Granted the Germans probably passed along some Clausey thought verbally. Don’t know, but I doubt that there was more than a copy or two of On War at the Academy or the War College until the 1940s translation came out. As for the Brits, my understanding is that there was a fan base just as there was for everything German, but that the prevailing military curricula were oblivious. I’ve read claims that some Ruskies were proponents, but I’ve also heard from some well-informed scholars that no, he was not particularly present in Russian military preparations. So, if your 20th century started in 1976, well OK maybe, but if it started in 1900, Clausewitz didn’t own the 20th century. Nah, no way.
    For me, the most useful of Clausewitz’ musings and vocabulary have to do with distance and the ‘culminating point.’ I consider these far more useful that the center of gravity text. Overall, I think US military students are helped if exposed to some of the Clausewitzian verbiage. However, if a US military student somehow were never to read On War, never to read even the first chapter, or the rest, their chances of becoming a top-flight strategist or having a top-flight military understanding of war or the battlefield – would not have been diminished in the slightest. Chance plays a role in war? Fog? Friction? Yawn. C’mon. That’s all slap of the obvious noted since antiquity. They’re given to Clausewitz by a modern clique of Princetonians. I think we have to ask ourselves if American generals have done well in the 21st Century. If not, does the why not have an educational component? Might it be too much Clausewitz? Clausewitz was a proto-socialist. A proto-fascist. I see no problem mentioning him in the top twenty list of strategy notables, but he’s not worthy as a backbone theorist for American officers. Fight me.

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