Friday, September 22, 2006


A whole smorgasbord of chewy things in this Tony Corn article in Policy Review. Written like a blog entry, it's a slap-down of doctrinaire Clausewitz followers and an encouragement to 4GW proponents (while urging them to broaden their thinking).

Jarring insights and farflung couplings starburst out of it in every graph:

[T]his static conception of the global jihad in terms of finite “stock” ignores the dynamic created by media, i.e., the cyber-mobilization as the new Levee en Masse.

... Caught in a time warp, Gray looks jihad (al Qaeda) and dawa (Hizb-ut-Tahrir) in the eye, and see nothing more than — a bearded version of the IRA. Rather than bury their heads in the Clausewitzian sand, strategists would be better inspired to meditate the truly “remarkable trinity” engineered by Arab governments for more than thirty years: natalist policies, anti-Western mass indoctrination, and mass emigration to the West. Isn’t time at least to add a chapter to On War on “demographic warfare?”

... [W]hat the post-Gulf War American Army has come to resemble is the post-World War I French Army: In both cases, victory breeds complacency, and this in turn can lead to a solid but unimaginative army capable of holding its own against an equally solid but unimaginative opponent — but is not necessarily a match for an innovative military, be it in the form of the German “blitzkrieg” yesterday or Chinese “unrestricted warfare” tomorrow.

... Like Clausewitz, Carl Schmitt is a dangerous mind — only more so. Paradoxical as it may sound, the one-time jurist of the Third Reich is today an icon among the Western leftover left and its jihadist allies, who know that they will find in Schmitt, rather than Marx, the precision-guided weapons they need against liberalism. At his best, Schmitt remains to this day the most cogent critique of liberalism as a “political theology.” And while the leftover left may hold it against him that he provided the best philosophical basis for a distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarianism, they are forever grateful to Schmitt for having put forward a proto-theory of Lawfare.