If you read anything this month, read this.

If you read one thing this day, this week, or even this month, read this article from War on the Rocks. This stark, sobering, and true assessment of U.S. strategic capability since Vietnam portrays the utter lack of strategy with which we have prosecuted every use of force event in the last half of the twentieth century and on to today. Most notably it breaks down the utter farcical nature of the Weinberger doctrine and the Powell corollary, which boils military force into something useless, and unattached from political realities. The article is also underpinned by the military’s near obsession with the concept of “conventional” war. This is something I challenge in my (someday soon to be released) short book, that an obsession with war “types” and conventional war has undermined our strategic capabilities and allows military commanders to remain mired in the operational level of war. Most importantly this piece reinforces the essential theories of Clausewitz, and his concept on the nature of warfare. We forget and misconstrue these lessons at our own peril. My favorite line, however, is “Carpet-bombing is not a strategy. Strategic bombing is a myth. The United States and Britain dropped tons of bombs on Germany during World War II, and it did not break Germany’s will. The United States dropped seven million tons of bombs during the Vietnam War, and it did not bring victory. Bombs alone cannot defeat an ideology.” How many times do we have to write this on the wall before we understand it? Enjoy. Oh, and yes, the guy in the image above, that is Curtis Lemay, I am sure you will get the connection.

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