. Look for the expanded sidebar READING LIST in the interview.
Interview key lines:
war is still an extension of politics and policy. I think we saw that both in Iraq and Afghanistan; we initially failed to think through a sustainable political outcome that would be consistent with our vital interests, and it complicated both of those wars.
Second, war is an inherently human endeavor. In the 1990s, everyone was quoting Moore’s law and thought it would revolutionize war. We saw this in some of the language associated with the “revolution in military affairs” and “defense transformation.” We assumed that advances in information, surveillance technology, technical-intelligence collection, automated decision-making tools, and so on were going to make war fast, cheap, efficient, and relatively risk free—that technology would lift the fog of war and make warfare essentially a targeting exercise, in which we gain visibility on enemy organizations and strike those organizations from a safe distance. But that’s not true, of course.
Sounds a LOT like someone else:
Thoughts on the reading list:
Thucydides = the DISADVANTAGE of democracies fighting long wars, NOT the article’s author’s comment
Note that Athens vs Sparta appears MORE THAN ONCE. Kagan’s book is almost as good as A War Like No Other (VD Hanson)
, but no one on the planet has Hanson’s background in contemporary Greek politics and culture. Both Kagan and Hanson (IMO) make very obvious the weaknesses democracies have in fighting long wars. (So if you have ISIS bottled up in Raqqa – remove Raqqa? And don’t do what’s happening in Mosul? Or in the war since 2001 in general.)
I hope Xi is paying attention over the South China Sea (where they have built REPLICAS of US bases in Okinawa, and Guam, and then launched missiles
at their internal replicas from the appropriate distances …pre-emptive attack?), and Khameini’s people take notice. I have confidence the Russians and Chinese love their grandchildren and wish to avoid civilizational level errors (such as ‘if we remove the Pacific Fleet and their offensive power the Americans are bound to show common sense and negotiate a peace’). I have no such confidence about Khameinei who might TRULY have faith hi grandchildren will be better off in paradise.
Other notables in the list:
Army at Dawn = how to be UNPREPARED
Hal Moore’s book = how to behave in combat when you know nothing and walked into a buzz saw
3 of the 4 Contemporary threat books, make him someone to be happy we have in that position
This guy IMO sounds pretty fit for the position.