A Walk Through Strategy

Winning effectively can only be defined in conflict as satisfying your needs and your well being.  Anything less would lead to your potential extinction as a people or a society.  Anything more will be viewed with hostility by the rest of human society and deemed unreasonable and worth opposing.

The goal of conflict is to ultimately figure out the needs of the other, so that you can end the conflict effectively on lasting terms.  Otherwise, the idea is to show them to the world as being the unreasonable and unacceptable ones, which would then justify your use of physical force to subdue them or, if you’re the weaker power, to make them as uncomfortable (putting it nicely) as is possible.  The goal of warfare is primarily economic and not necessarily in the financial sense of it (ie, the pursuit of resources).  If the conflict is going to be waged successfully, the ultimate goal is survival, not excess.  Wars are expensive, and occupation is even more so.  Better to focus on your society’s well being and quality of life, being greedy about that non-monetary well being and health, rather than on the excesses of monetary gain and the captivation of resources you do not actually need or cannot/will not use.

All other reasons to justify wars are just the methods to convince the rest of the species to go along with it and/or to accept and support it.

Wars have two sides.  The first is the physical and the practical.  This is where the actual conflict is fought on the battlefield, and it’s where people are killed and physical resources are spent.  The other side, that gets a lot less attention, is the narrative side.  This is what gets people to fight, die and lay down their lives.  This is the aspect of the war that we neglect for the most part, at least, in the American military and strategic thinking; the political, the diplomatic, the relationship between the belligerent factions.  There is usually an aggressor and there usually is a defender, on the empirical level of being; a yin (who receives the combat) and a yang (who brings the combat to the land).  Aggression may be simply provocative behavior on the part of the other side.  But, when looking at combat, it is my own opinion that it is the person who actually fires the first shot who qualifies as the aggressor.  If one sides intends to provoke the other to fire first, it is better to prepare oneself in several ways and to respond accordingly to the situation before launching the first assault (thus, denying your opponent their goal of provoking a fight).  When fighting in a war, one must be highly cognizant of how they fit into this relationship, as either the aggressor or as the defende.  You must be the hero through your actions that can be sold to other people within your society and amongst socieites.  It will not do to simply sell yourself as a hero for the sake of propaganda, as it would open you up to being called out as a liar and, thus, increase your emnity with your opponent and the rest of society that is around you. 

In most human societies, morality and ethics goes on the side of the defender and, in the long term, it is the defender who has the strategic advantage in spite of the power and might of the aggressor force.  A people who do not wish to submit will not submit.  Only through genocide will a people be completely removed and, thus, for all intents and purposes, made submissive to the will of the aggressor force.  However, it is very unlikely that such a thing could practically be carried out without the aggressor feeling some kind of reluctance and or guilt along the way before the genocide is finalized.  Genocide requires a great deal of sustained resolve, focus and malevolent intent, with nothing and no one else coming to the defense of the defenders, if it is going to be done successfully.  Failure to be the only society left standing will only leave your reputation damaged in the eyes of the rest of human society, perhaps permanently, and you will find survival and well being all that more difficult to achieve. 

Therefore, in spite of the possible benefits of removing peoples through force, it is both very difficult to accomplish with high risks associated with it.  In spite of the supposed benefits that may be achieved through this course of action, unless it is a question of GENUINE and ACTUAL society-wide survival (not well being) as a result of MALEVOLENT or small selfish intent (ie, they’re deliberately witholding RESOURCES to let you die off) of the defender COULD such an action be justifiable as human beings (although, it is DEFINITELY NOT a guarantee that this would be the case).  It could be argued that it is ethically better to simply die off rather than commit genocide.  However, humans being living organisms that are commanded by biology to live would, I think, take the course of genocide over death, unless there is a powerful enough ethos within the population to simply allow themselves to die off without fighting for the necessities for survival.  In other words, it doesn’t pay to be a society who commits genocide, and it doesn’t pay to be a society of jerks either.

What I would practically propose for the United States, would be to divide the services into new missions, primarily centered around the mission of defending the homeland from invaders or attack.  The Army’s purpose would be shifted to waging defensive warfare in the homeland, as opposed to being prepared to fight overseas.  To quote Sun Tzu: “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack”.  Next, the Navy (with the Marines) would work to maintain air and naval superiority throughout the world, thus, enabling the US to project power if needed at a moment’s notice, but, more importantly, to defend the homeland from attack via the oceans or the Arctic.  The Air Force would merge back with the Army, thus saving the tax payers money.  They would focus, again, on defense from all angles around the country.

In order to challenge possible hegemons that could rise up from amongst the societies of humans, the United States should work on repairing its diplomatic relations with the societies themselves (which isn’t the same as repairing the diplomatic relations with the specific governments, all of the time).  This would involve changing our thinking with regard to how we relate to other governments (especially if they’re legitimate governments in the eyes of their host society), how we define our economic, social, political and environmental interests and how we gather and interpret information from them.  On this last front, it would involve our spy agencies acting like teams of investigative journalists who get the social “pulse” as to how they feel and think about certain things that are of significance to the world and to the United States.  This is a question of actively listening to how to people are feeling and thinking, and then basing our stances and our actions around how they are interpreting/seeing/working with the world around them with our ultimate interest being survival and health. 

It should be emphasized here, that this world is not a world for “S” type personalities from the Meyers Briggs Personality profile.  Such people only know how to figure out how to win a game in the short run, but do not themselves understand the game itself, thus, failing to understand how to succeed in it in the long term.  Since the long term becomes the short term inevitably, it is better to prioritize the long term benefits of having people who take an eagle eye view to the world, rather than the people who nit pick and go after the details that enable them to push people who have intuition and “N” personalities out of the loop.  Only those who can see the board should have a final say in the chess game that is life, the universe and everything.  Those who are simply reading the details of the pieces will not be able to successfully carry out the requirements of this job of international relations or high policy making adequately, in my own humble opinion at present. 

Therefore, the United States needs first, to change the composition of its advisory bodies, and to pull the plug on those who are not basing themselves in reality.  The second concern is to reprioritize ourselves for defense and project sociability rather than power.  In the end, it is this sociability that will regain our influence in the world, not our military might.  The traditional ways about thinking and theorizing about power dynamics are not proving themselves to be effective at getting things done on the tangible level or proving themselves to be accurate when put up against reality.  Love, care and effective action for the sake of the other has more influence and staying power than any amount of force or underhanded guile.  Deception offends and force engenders resistance.  Therefore, it is better to be a genuinely loving and caring superpower in ACTION and DEED, rather than in WORD or PHRASE.  Your actions show everything and words are only effective in the short term (which then influences and effects the long term, which then becomes the new short term).  This is more than a mantra that can be repeated without understanding.  This is the essence of well being and survival in the larger human society that is around us and, potentially, survival with the larger body of sentient beings that live in the universe.  My personal goal is to ensure that survival and well being, mainly because if society collapses, I’ll go with it.

It is that simple.

Think about it.

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