Sunday, April 22, 2007


Frank Hoffman gets really medieval on Edward Luttwak:

Luttwak's Lament (SWJ Blog): Dr. Luttwak’s specious article. Dr. Kilcullen is too much of a gentleman to suggest that someone has not taken their medication.... Dr. Luttwak may long for the gruesome effectiveness of “the Roman model,” but he has badly misdiagnosed the disease and his overemphasis on kinetic solutions reflects poorly on his grasp of history and a bad use of history out of context. The Romans were smart enough to minimize their footprint and maximized local leadership and control over government, taxes, and religion. The benefits or “carrots” of Roman rule were more obvious than its costs, but clearly the “stick” (more accurately the gladius and pilum) was available when necessary. >But to overlook the lessons of Algeria, Vietnam, and various Middle East conflicts is remarkably selective use of history. Now that’s malpractice in my book.... What [the Field Manual] does not do is justify the need to “out terrorize the terrorist” because we recognized that such an approach is utterly incongruous with modern environmental conditions, in particular, a global media presence and an enemy that is facile enough to exploit even the perception of excessive violence to its twisted ends.... >The introductory chapter mentions religious identity and “religious extremism” as a modern day complication. But the manual offers few indications that our Classical approach, the product of the anti-colonial Revolutionary War era remains just as valid without any change. The manual alters its emphasis on non-kinetic factors and its numerous admonitions about violence with the admission that “killing extremists will be necessary.” This does not satisfy the blood lust of Dr. Luttwak apparently...

No comments: