Interesting from the Belmont Club

Whilst perusing Wretchard’s thoughts on the current state of Iraq

Philip Bobbitt argued in his book, the Shield of Achilles, that Napoleon’s strategic revolution consisted in fielding armies so large that any sovereign who opposed him would, in matching the size of his force, be compelled to wager the entire State, and not simply a wedge of territory in confronting him. Napoleon’s campaigns were designed to kill enemy armies — and thereby enemy states. What Napoleon failed to realize in his 1812 campaign against Russia was that the Tsarist state was so primitive that the destruction of its army simply did not mean the corresponding demise of its state. Like the proverbial dinosaur of pulp fiction, Russia had no central nervous system to destroy and lumbered on, like the bullet-riddled monster of horror stories, impervious to the Grand Armee. What Russia had on its side was chaos as epitomized by its savage winters.

Saddamite Iraq, like most terrorist-supporting states threatening the world today, are like the landscape of 1812 in that they were cauldrons of anarchy given a semblance of shape by fragile, yet brutal shroud-like states.

Most of what I’ve read actually suggests that Napoleon’s brilliance was in organization of his armies, not his actual command or tactics. In Russia, he was captured by not seeing a qualitative difference between Russia and the rest of Europe. Unlike the Nazi Germany, (who did see Russia accurately, but bungled the strategy) the problem was that he did not conceive of Russia properly.

Needed – software that helps in conception via clever use of 3D motion graphics.

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