Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is No Way to Win a War by Thomas Snodgrass

This is No Way to Win a War by Thomas Snodgrass:

But the best brake on man's inclinations to resolve differences by war is to insist that when war is the only alternative, it must be fought ruthlessly and with a single minded focus to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war of any kind.
Sure, but the author probably wouldn't agree with me that the best way to eliminate war might be to let everyone have the bomb.

The quote above is, in turn, a quote Mr. Snodgrass takes from an article in the May 2007 Armed Forces Journal entitled A Failure of Generalship, by LTC Paul Yingling. I'll have to go read that.


jj mollo said...

I certainly agree with the Snodgrass quote. I think, however, that letting everyone have the bomb is sheer lunacy. A multipolar world, like pre-WWI Europe, is very unstable with alliances shifting suddenly, chaotically and even catastrophically. Negative outcomes, such as the total destruction of some small nations, is a conceivable outcome. A lot depends on the motivations of the players. If you are talking about liberal democracies, then I believe you are right. If you are including countries ruled by small non-representative groups, small enough to be subjected to destructive meme-drift, then irrational, even deliberately suicidal, actions are possible.

Steve said...

Yes, I think there'd be a good chance of that sort of thing happening. A time or two. Maybe the rest of the world would learn something in the process.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating anything. ;>) Maybe, though, there could be a larger scale version of an armed society being a polite society (assuming anything like that was ever really true).

jj mollo said...

No one cares if the French or the British have the Bomb. We can even live with the Russians and the Chinese, because they are rational and predictable. But what if the Thugs, adherents to the ancient and monstrous religion of India known as Thugee, had access to nuclear weapons. How would we feel about that? Perhaps we should be more upset about Pakistan, but in between Pakistan and Thugee there is a line that one can draw, where everything beyond that line is not tolerable.

I'm not so comfortable with the idea of everyone being armed either. The sherrif used to collect all the guns before the cowboys could go into the saloon. I don't think that's an unreasonable restraint of liberty.