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Friday, December 04, 2020

Correcting Clausewitz

Or rather, correcting the famous mistranslation of Clausewitz:

As Mark Twain reputedly quipped, it’s not so much what we know that gets us in trouble; it’s what we know that just ain’t so. How much of what we know about martial ventures is wrong? In the naval sphere, for instance, it’s common knowledge that Alfred Thayer Mahan instructs commanders never to divide the fleet. Except he doesn’t. Once upon a time, it turns out, historians took to quoting other historians quoting Mahan to that effect. Over time the quotation — in reality, someone’s bowdlerized version of his ideas about concentrating naval strength — took on an air of authenticity and authority. “Never divide the fleet” endured as a truism despite its flimsy provenance. And it drowned out Mahan’s real ideas through constant repetition.

This is about more than salvaging a long-dead maritime strategist’s reputation. Faulty or outdated ideas can carry real-world repercussions. Acting on them creates a garbage-in/garbage-out effect that bedevils strategic endeavors. Nor is the problem confined to one apocryphal maxim from Mahan. We all know, don’t we, that strategic grand master Carl von Clausewitz defines war as “the continuation of policy by other means” (italics in original). Except he doesn’t. Read in the original German (insert favorite Hitler joke here), Clausewitz’s masterwork On War proclaims — uniformly — that war is a mere continuation of policy “with other means” (mit anderen Mitteln), or sometimes “with the addition of other means” (mit Einmischung anderer Mitteln). Nowhere in On War or his prefatory notes does the Prussian write “by” other means.

Yet this false quotation refuses to die. “By,” “with,” who cares? Well, any student or practitioner of warfare should. Substituting a two-letter for a four-letter word makes a big difference in how Westerners conceive of war. And as Clausewitz teaches, grasping the nature of war in general — and of the particular war we’re contemplating — constitutes the first, most fundamental, most crucial act of statecraft. Get the basics wrong and grim consequences follow.

It's actually a rather serious mistake, and such an obvious one that it tends to suggest it was intentional. And given that I speak sufficient German to be clear on the difference between "bei" and "mit", I feel very mildly embarrassed to have occasionally resorted to the mistranslation, although my excuse of never actually having read Clausewitz in the original.

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60 Comments:

Blogger Teleros December 04, 2020 6:07 PM  

At least if you're getting Mahan wrong it's not the end of the world. Better to stick to J S Corbett's writings, particularly "Some Principles of Maritime Strategy".

Getting Clausewitz wrong however... oh dear.

Blogger Baron Metzengerstein December 04, 2020 6:10 PM  

Maybe a stupid question, but would it follow from this that Clausewitz would have been more of a supporter of limited warfare with specific goals over unlimited warfare with the goal of unconditional surrender of the enemy? This would be the difference between, say Wellington's approach to the Napoleonic Wars and Churchill and Lloyd George's approaches to World War I and World War II?

Blogger Barbarossa December 04, 2020 6:11 PM  

It's an enormous difference. Sad to relate, but in one of my strategy classes at the war college, one of my classmates actually said something to the effect of "Once the shooting starts, the politicians just need to get the hell out of our way." Granted, the quality of the political class in most of the world is such that it's a sentiment with wide appeal, but no senior officer should want to venture forth on the battlefield without the full panoply of political, economic and diplomatic forces arrayed behind him.

As an aside, it's also why most students get very little out of war college educations. Clausewitz, Thucydides, Mahan, they're talismans. "Look. I actually touched History of the Peloponnesian War. I already feel smarter." Regardless of the problematic translations involved with prepositions, anyone with sense should "feel" that "by other means" isn't an invitation to send the foreign service on a vacation.

Blogger Man of the Atom December 04, 2020 6:14 PM  

Google Translate of "Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" returns "by other means".

Just a data point.

Blogger 7916 December 04, 2020 6:33 PM  

So policy is war, both with weapons and with law.

That makes far more sense.

Blogger Ron Tomlinson December 04, 2020 6:35 PM  

It’s not so much what we *don't* know that gets us in trouble

Blogger Yukichi Sensei December 04, 2020 6:37 PM  

This is a problem in all disciplines. Willful mistranslations and summaries of great thinkers to make ideological points. In my field (Asia) this happens all the time with Confucius. He is no Christ, but what he taught in fact and what people report about him are vastly different.

Read the thinker fully. Read multiple translations and commentaries. Then read him in the original if you can.

This is what we all need to get back to.

Blogger Yukichi Sensei December 04, 2020 6:37 PM  

Same thing happens for ministers, priests, and theologians. They rush through St. Augustine in 2 weeks, pretend they read him. This goes for all the other church fathers. It is trying to appear smart without doing the work.

Blogger Cash December 04, 2020 6:40 PM  

I've read so many different translations of this quote.

It's like the old "those who don't learn history are (fill in the blank) it."

Oddly enough I was reading quotes by Steve Jobs a few days ago and the site suggested reading quotes by Clausewits. The quote in question must of had 10 different variations.

Blogger The Last Roman December 04, 2020 6:40 PM  

I found this Clausewitz page a few years ago while writing on 19th century strategy and tactics. It covers all of the most popular translations. Some of you guys might find it helpful.

http://clausewitz.com

Blogger CCubed December 04, 2020 6:41 PM  

My take on the difference between "by other means" and "with other means" is that the "by" version implies some exclusivity, but the "with" suggests that you continue to use the other tools in your kit.

That doesn't seem like a serious mistake to me though, since in normal speech most English speakers don't take the implied exclusivity of "by" seriously. Adding a new tool doesn't make throwing away the others a good idea.

But by the standards of this blog, I'm probably just a midwit; so would somebody explain why this is serious?

Blogger 1683Bear December 04, 2020 6:48 PM  

I was going to translate einmischung as to add in the mix. But after a duckduckgo search, it seems that it can loosely mean to get up in another countries ' "bidness". ;)

Blogger Lazarus December 04, 2020 6:48 PM  

"Private, get Martin Van Creveld on the blower. Now!"

"But sir, Mr. Van Creveld is busy destroying feminism on his blog!"

"Just do it private! I may have discovered why the US can't win wars anymore!"

Blogger Jack Amok December 04, 2020 6:49 PM  

Google Translate of "Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" returns "by other means".

But what is it in the original Hindi?

would it follow from this that Clausewitz would have been more of a supporter of limited warfare with specific goals over unlimited warfare with the goal of unconditional surrender

Setting aside the obvious conflict of interest with Germany, I think Clausewitz would agree the way the war was fought fit his description. The "unlimited" nature of WWII and specifically the demand for unconditional surrender, was driven more by the fact Europe was tired of having to go to war with the Huns every generation or two, as had been happening since the Prussians forcibly unified Germany in the 1860s.

We can debate who was at fault, and none of the major nations is anything close to blameless, and that doesn't even get into who - if anyone - was "right", but from the British, French or Russian point of view, by the 1940s it was pretty clear the Germans were going to be an ongoing threat if they weren't thoroughly smashed.

The specific goal of the first war might be to settle some matter of borders or economic control, but by the third war within 70 years, the goal is going to shift to "end the ability of these bastards to attack us."

Blogger nbfdmd December 04, 2020 6:50 PM  

Man of the Atom wrote:Google Translate of "Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" returns "by other means".

Just a data point.


Google Translate is wrong. The correct translation is:

War is simply a continuation of Politics with other means.

Blogger Beau December 04, 2020 6:51 PM  

Clausewitz has been acussed of "preaching a gospel of gore" by his elite-educated critics in the West, perhaps because they too were exposed and indoctrinated in this appalling mistranslation.

The salient point today is what drives the desire for the President to cross the Rubicon? Is it a desire fueled "by others means" or "with other means?" The difference between the two motivations will yield starkly different results.

Blogger Man of the Atom December 04, 2020 6:54 PM  

I think this is another reason not to trust Google Translate. This wasn't an exhaustive test, but by placing a noun or verb in front of 'mit anderen Mitteln', the phrase 'by other means' is returned. When 'mit anderen Mitteln' is entered by itself, the phrase 'with other agents' is returned.

Image link

Blogger Hammerli 280 December 04, 2020 6:55 PM  

@1 Teleros: "Better to stick to J S Corbett's writings, particularly "Some Principles of Maritime Strategy"."

Thunderous applause! You're right. Mahan started his studies with the Anglo-Dutch Wars, it biased him toward an assumption that a decisive fleet action was always necessary. Corbett went a lot deeper, realized that a fleet action might not be needed if you already HAD control of the seas.

I will add that a study of the First World War at sea repays the effort. The naval side of that conflict was fought at the very apogee of naval strategic thought. And has important lessons for a possible Sino-American conflict.

Blogger Man of the Atom December 04, 2020 7:03 PM  

nbfdmd wrote:Man of the Atom wrote:Google Translate of "Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" returns "by other means".

Just a data point.


Google Translate is wrong. The correct translation is:

War is simply a continuation of Politics with other means.


That was my point. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Blogger Cinqueports December 04, 2020 7:10 PM  

I lack German - entirely. I apologize in advance. I am marginally competent only in Spanish and Portuguese. Perhaps the distinction between the words is more obvious in German. But yes, the subtlety continues in English . However, I have studied Mahan and he never said any such thing. Victory by divided forces is always an option but has the disadvantage of requiring exquisite timing. Waterloo (won by Blucher, my favorite modern European General followed by Foch) is a famous example.

Blogger Ken Prescott December 04, 2020 7:22 PM  

So, the correct quip to use is, "Clausewitz is (mis)quoted far more often than he is read."

Blogger Revelation Means Hope December 04, 2020 7:26 PM  

I enjoyed the fictional continuation and updating of Clausewitz's writings in Gordon R. Dickson's Dorsai series. Specifically by Cletus Graheme in Tactics of Mistakes.

Trump must be a natural as he somehow continues to bait liberals into pouncing on what seems like a mistake or weakness but instead sets them up for decisive loss.

Blogger John Rockwell December 04, 2020 7:39 PM  

Baron Metzengerstein wrote:Maybe a stupid question, but would it follow from this that Clausewitz would have been more of a supporter of limited warfare with specific goals over unlimited warfare with the goal of unconditional surrender of the enemy? This would be the difference between, say Wellington's approach to the Napoleonic Wars and Churchill and Lloyd George's approaches to World War I and World War II?

I would say Yes. I think Clauswitz would be a fan of using War effectively in a limited sense because its another tool in the toolbox.

And when used in conjunction with other means result in a better Final Victory from the Synergy of Forces.

Than just using War which is a very blunt instrument of destruction by comparison.

Blogger nbfdmd December 04, 2020 7:40 PM  

Cinqueports wrote:I lack German - entirely. I apologize in advance. I am marginally competent only in Spanish and Portuguese. Perhaps the distinction between the words is more obvious in German. But yes, the subtlety continues in English . However, I have studied Mahan and he never said any such thing. Victory by divided forces is always an option but has the disadvantage of requiring exquisite timing. Waterloo (won by Blucher, my favorite modern European General followed by Foch) is a famous example.

Basically:

bei = physically nearby. For example, "Ich arbeite bei meiner Mutter" means "I work with (like, in the same room) my mother"

mit = with the addition of/ in participation with. For example "Ich arbeite mit meiner Mutter" means "I work with my mother", but not necessarily in the same room. Just in the same company or whatever.

durch = through/by means of. For example, "Ich arbeite durch meiner Mutter" means something like, your mother landed you the job.

Blogger John Rockwell December 04, 2020 7:45 PM  

Jack Amok wrote:Google Translate of "Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" returns "by other means".

But what is it in the original Hindi?

would it follow from this that Clausewitz would have been more of a supporter of limited warfare with specific goals over unlimited warfare with the goal of unconditional surrender

Setting aside the obvious conflict of interest with Germany, I think Clausewitz would agree the way the war was fought fit his description. The "unlimited" nature of WWII and specifically the demand for unconditional surrender, was driven more by the fact Europe was tired of having to go to war with the Huns every generation or two, as had been happening since the Prussians forcibly unified Germany in the 1860s.

We can debate who was at fault, and none of the major nations is anything close to blameless, and that doesn't even get into who - if anyone - was "right", but from the British, French or Russian point of view, by the 1940s it was pretty clear the Germans were going to be an ongoing threat if they weren't thoroughly smashed.

The specific goal of the first war might be to settle some matter of borders or economic control, but by the third war within 70 years, the goal is going to shift to "end the ability of these bastards to attack us."


I think the Allies forgot to forcibly de-industrialize Germany in this case.

Or at the very least yeet off as much fossil fuels from Germany as possible.

So they are left with no Coal to fuel the industry and hence War Machine.

It would have thoroughly cripped Germany Military Capacity in the same way lack of Oil crippled the Nazi Military and made it much easier to defeat them in WWII:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVo5I0xNRhg

Blogger Ransom Smith December 04, 2020 8:03 PM  

every generation or two, as had been happening since the Prussians forcibly unified Germany in the 1860s.
Who was actually at fault though?
The Franco Prussian war had way more to do with the Napoleonic wars than it did with Prussia flexing its might.
World War One was a giant cluster of a mess perpetrated by banisters and idiots.
And World War Two was the final crush of nationalism that's seen the western world abused for nearly a century.
To say German militarism is at fault is pretty narrow minded.

Blogger Stilicho December 04, 2020 8:17 PM  

In defense of Vox's occasional translation error, I will say that Vox's discussion of military matters tends to focus on strategy and that he incorporates the political objectives of war and a multipronged approah, including all available means of getting the enemy where you want him (kinetic, political, manuever, logistics, moral, and the moral level of war) whenever he gets into a discussion regardless of the terminology he employs. They are always intertwined with each area informing and influencing the others. That's part of the reason war is more art than science.

Blogger tublecane December 04, 2020 8:39 PM  

I've never read Mahan, but usually the admonition to "never divide forcew" means not to leave parts of your force vulnerable to a numerically superior force. History is full of armies and navies dividing themselves and nevertheless prevailing. Or sometimes prevailing *because* they were divided. (See for instance Second Manassas.)

It's easy to see how "by" and "with" might be muddled, but not so much how anyone could believe an armada or what-have-you must always and in all circumstances stick together. Except I suppose that people like to repeat silly rules.

Blogger Jack Amok December 04, 2020 8:44 PM  


To say German militarism is at fault is pretty narrow minded.

Ironic, isn't it, that you write that in a comment on a topic about misquoting an author.


To (accurately) quote myself: 'We can debate who was at fault, and none of the major nations is anything close to blameless, and that doesn't even get into who - if anyone - was "right"...'

No where did I state German militarism was at fault for the wars. What I stated was, from the POV of the other nations, the goal of the third major war with Germany in three generations would very likely be to destroy their military capacity.

Blogger Jack Amok December 04, 2020 8:47 PM  

I think the Allies forgot to forcibly de-industrialize Germany in this case.

The Allies turned on each other as soon as Germany was eliminated as a threat, and quickly decided it was more important to use the part of Germany they controlled as a resource against the other side.

I suspect that if the USSR somehow collapsed in '45, that Germany would have indeed been de-industrialized.

Blogger Nate December 04, 2020 9:15 PM  

Who cares if the quote is accurate or or not? What matters is... is the idea expressed correct?

Blogger Ransom Smith December 04, 2020 9:16 PM  

What I stated was, from the POV of the other nations, the goal of the third major war with Germany in three generations would very likely be to destroy their military capacity.
And you misunderstood my point in your rebuttal.
Since Europe did not rise up to crush a would be threat, but to kill off their best men and thus the risk of nationalism.
Germany has had 80 years with a female dominated society, as has England and France. And it really shows.

Blogger Lazarus December 04, 2020 9:19 PM  

Could this have been the reason the Japanese did not invade the West Coast?

Blogger rcocean December 04, 2020 9:30 PM  

An interesting point. All these "axioms" and "Principles" have an unspoken additive, namely "As a rule", "In general". The idea is your first inclination should be to "never divide the fleet" but do so when it makes sense.

The senseless, "Never divide the fleet" was adopted by Halsey at Leyte Gulf with disastrous results. As for Herr Von CW, Generals and Statesmen shouldn't need a correct translation, to understand that the object of war, is not to "Just win", but to achieve your policy objectives. This was forgotten in WW2, where FDR, Stimson and Marshall seemed to think the USA objective was to destroy Germany and Japan, unconditionally, and then that would be that. No further thinking needed.

Blogger xevious2030 December 04, 2020 9:39 PM  

Mit just flows better. No unnecessary break. Bit of a relief. Clean.

Blogger Hammerli 280 December 04, 2020 9:56 PM  

De-industrializing Germany was a non-starter. It was considered (the Morgenthau Plan), but ultimately discarded because the Germans can't feed themselves. After about 1900, they MUST have an industrial economy.

A more practical plan would have been a partition. Break up the German Empire into its smaller components.

Blogger Stilicho December 04, 2020 10:04 PM  

"By" could be ambiguous and misinterpreted to exclude political or other means of achieving victory. MPAI, so some will misinterpret it. On the other hand, those that misinterpret it would not be likely to apply the correct interpretation correctly anyway, so...

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( LeMoron James loves knife murder ) December 04, 2020 10:04 PM  

notice that two of the most famed military strategists of all time have been flagrantly misquoted, when their actual quotes are available for any who care to look.

then remember the disagreement i had with Kratman about whether or not John Boyd would have been conscious of the fact that stalling an aircraft or flying it into the ground would have invalidated his OODA Loop theory in certain situations ...

when Kratman was relying entirely upon a Boyd presentation which had NEVER BEEN RECORDED, only relayed anecdotally by some 3rd party dunce who obviously didn't even comprehend the system very well.

a careful reader will note that i'm not asserting that Mahan or Clausewitz or Boyd are infallibly correct or cannot be disputed or critiqued
...
but, if you intend to Appeal to an Authority, you should probably make certain you aren't misquoting the Authority in question and thus presenting an argument which he never made.

that would be the creation of a Strawman which you intend to exalt for your own purposes instead of a Strawman which you created to destroy others.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz December 04, 2020 10:13 PM  

Exactly. And Prussia is not Germany, in fact in Hanover one can see monument of the heroic defenders of 1863…
Also Sadova…
My point is MrC. got obliterated by John Keegan. The War was before the State therefore was before Politics as MrC understood it.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz December 04, 2020 10:26 PM  

"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" said Mao.
The other side knows this already.

Blogger Johnny December 04, 2020 11:11 PM  

During WWII, we committed ourselves to absolute surrender against Hitler. Well enough against Hitler, but we went on to take absolute surrender as a general premise. Italy offers an example of how stupid it is. They overthrew Mussolini in a rebellion without any input from us. Because that wasn't absolute surrender, we remained at war with Italy, effectively reducing the amount of support we got from Italy even as we were pushing the German army out. And we seem, to some extent, to still be locked into it. We needlessly take over countries that we could just push around a little so they would act a little better. That is how the British ran their empire most of the time.

Blogger Jack Amok December 04, 2020 11:39 PM  

Who cares if the quote is accurate or or not? What matters is... is the idea expressed correct?

That does raise the point that once you decide to go "mit" other means, the body count and emotions required can steadily force you further towards the "bei" end of the spectrum. After enough death and suffering, your own people might hang you for trying to end the war without what they consider a victory.

Blogger Jack Amok December 04, 2020 11:46 PM  

Since Europe did not rise up to crush a would be threat, but to kill off their best men and thus the risk of nationalism.
Germany has had 80 years with a female dominated society, as has England and France. And it really shows.


You're still missing the point that after enough death from one specific ethnicity, nobody is looking 80 years into some hypothetical future, they're looking for a stick big enough to not have to say nice doggie any more.

The problem with going to war is people get killed and emotions take over.

Blogger tublecane December 05, 2020 12:18 AM  

@Hammerli 280- If only they could’ve realized Germany was more use intact back in 1939.

Blogger tublecane December 05, 2020 12:23 AM  

@Johnny- “Well enough against Hitler”

In fact our policy specifically did not apply to Hitler. It went against Germany no matter who ran it.

Hitler, you may recall, closely escaped assassination on various occasions. Not only did we refuse to help the conspiracy against them, we offered zero assurance that we’d negotiate with whoever might replace him.

Blogger John Rockwell December 05, 2020 12:44 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 05, 2020 1:17 AM  

"War is simply a continuation of Politics with other means."

To be the a**hole in the room: "The War is a blasé reinforcement of the Political with other means."

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 05, 2020 1:26 AM  

The difference between "by" and "with" is that "by" implies that only the war goes forward once it is employed, whereas "with" does not allow for this false assumption, so war is a sometimes and simultaneously employed tool of politics.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 05, 2020 1:32 AM  

It becomes easier to understand when you realize that "fortsetzung" is likely from the Latin root "fortis", as in "fortification" or "fortitude". Translating fortsetzung as only "continuation" loses some of its impact, as it is referring to a strengthening and enhancing of preexisting structure, not a replacement.

Blogger PCA December 05, 2020 2:40 AM  

>>And given that I speak sufficient German to be clear on the difference between "bei" and "mit",

Huh? The "by" in "by other means" would never be a translation of the German "bei." That's elementary German. The "instrumental case" doesn't exist as such in German but is conveyed by the prepositions "mit" or "durch", sometimes "auf"...never "bei."

Blogger Akulkis December 05, 2020 3:19 AM  

"Trump must be a natural as he somehow continues to bait liberals into pouncing on what seems like a mistake or weakness but instead sets them up for decisive loss."

I
This is analogous to the "Hammer and Anvil" tactic in ground warfare.

Do a demonstration with a platoon (conduct lots of harassing fire) against an enemy company. Once the company and it's commander gets fixated on the platoon, attack him from his rear with a battion.

The bait is the anvil, the decisive blow comes from the hammer.

Blogger Francisca December 05, 2020 3:46 AM  

In French there is a similar translation problem, 90% of the time the "mit" is translated as "par" (by) instead of "avec" (with). The issue is one of implied "either / or" exclusivity; does Clausewitz see war and politics as two mutually exclusive categories? No, he most certainly does not.

We have to place his famous phrase in context: it is the title of section 24 of Chapter One. The full title is, "War is a mere continuation of policy by/with other means" But the first sentence of the section kills all ambiguity:

"We see, therefore, that war is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by/with other means."

In context there is no possible way to interpret and exclusivity between "war" and "politics" in Clausewitz's mind. So in context the by/with debate is less important although I agree "with" is a better translation.

Just a note, in my first sentence I used the preposition "as" to follow "translated" But initially I used "translated by" then "translated with" and finally ended up with "translated as." The point being that all three of these have essentially the same meaning.

Blogger Raker_T December 05, 2020 4:37 AM  

Well I'll be dog. I always thought the phrase had as much to do with the nature of politics as it did the subject of war. Like when a Libertarian says "The only thing government can produce is force".

Blogger BILLY DIRT December 05, 2020 5:14 AM  

Nice. The "Preview" button does nothing except shoot my comment into the void, with no indication of what happens after that. I've never commented here before and wanted to make sure I wasn't putting my real name here.

Well, that was useless.

Blogger Jamin990 December 05, 2020 7:04 AM  

I read this late last night and struggled to see a meaningful difference between ’with’ vs ’by’.

But after rereading it today and giving it a little thought, I see the difference.
If I were to say ‘I travelled from Point a to Point b by car’ that is stating that I exclusively used a car to travel from Point a to b.
Whereas if I said ‘I travelled from Point a to Point b with (a) car’ the exclusivity is lost. I may have also used other methods of transport too.

Hope that helps anyone else who was struggling to see a difference between the two.

Blogger Akulkis December 05, 2020 7:05 AM  

@Francisca

Translation of prepositions is very tricky compared to nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. I do a lot of work (on my own, not professionally) translating between Russian and English... Even many overloaded verbs and nouns translate cleanly (because, amazingly, so many of these words are overloaded identically in both languages), but Russian and English prepositions seem to have very little correlation in all of their overloaded aspects and connotations.

Blogger Mirko i Slavko December 05, 2020 7:21 AM  

With a mix of other means.
4GW is not new, we have just forgotten.

Blogger John Rockwell December 05, 2020 8:16 AM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:The difference between "by" and "with" is that "by" implies that only the war goes forward once it is employed, whereas "with" does not allow for this false assumption, so war is a sometimes and simultaneously employed tool of politics.

Indeed. "With" prevents one from self-sabotage through narrowing the potential moves and exploitation of opportunities that comes with the complex nature of reality compared with the translation "War is the continuation of Politics by other means".

Blogger John Rockwell December 05, 2020 8:20 AM  

Akulkis wrote:"Trump must be a natural as he somehow continues to bait liberals into pouncing on what seems like a mistake or weakness but instead sets them up for decisive loss."

I

This is analogous to the "Hammer and Anvil" tactic in ground warfare.

Do a demonstration with a platoon (conduct lots of harassing fire) against an enemy company. Once the company and it's commander gets fixated on the platoon, attack him from his rear with a battion.

The bait is the anvil, the decisive blow comes from the hammer.


This same principle of deliberate openings is also demonstrated by when Mongols left a gap in their hunting circle that would encourage a rout rather than a fight to the death. Works with non-human animals as much as with the Humans themselves.

So that the routing armies can be killed in small groups with minimal risk as they flee rather than risking more Mongol lives that come with a fight to the death when the enemy has their backs against the wall.

Blogger meanstoreveal December 07, 2020 4:56 AM  

What does Jesus Christ say about war and fighting?
When is the appropriate time to do so?

At what point does a war of sorts need to take place?
"vengenence is mine saith the lord" and "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" but also "I came not to send peace, but a sword"

It feels wrong to me to just *only* build a farmstead and move away constantly every 10-15 years until the wicked come to infest the community you build.

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