RECOMMENDED READING WITH A FEW OBSERVATIONSDan at tdaxp
bitch-slaps the eminent and usually wise, Victor Davis Hanson
about the room in his post on the implications of revoking tenure on Peer-to-Peer networks
. Hanson's recent essay on this topic
reads more bitter than smart. Or at least less smart than I associate with VDH. Come to think of it, he's had some other sloppy generalizations
of late. Sharpen your noodle Professor, you can and have done much better thinking in the past.
we find three posts to examine: CKR
has two in reaction to the Foreign Affairs article
by the formerly respected Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
. In the first CKR critiques McNamara's argument and goes on to explain the crucial the issue of stockpile degradation.
In the second post, CKR comments on the " Global Strike
" article by Wiliam Arkin
in the Washington Post and asked:"The big question is what the response of Iran or North Korea would be to such an attack. Presumably global strike planning includes taking out bases from which missiles could be launched against Israel, Seoul, Tokyo, or Anchorage. If the pre-emptive/preventive strike takes place as planned, and if the intelligence is correct, there should be no retaliation. How much retaliation is considered acceptable? This would indicate how good the intelligence needs to be, and how perfectly the munitions need to perform. "
Inspired by CKR, I emailed Mr. Arkin and asked him a technical question regarding the destructive parameters of a potential of a robust-earth penetrating nuke strike on a hardened target vs. a time-sequenced series of conventional armed superbombs like the MOAB.
Mr. Arkin wrote me back and confirmed that the destructive potential of the latter technique would be in the same ballpark in terms of effect, assuming it was done properly ( something that would require air supremacy or total surprise). Neither of us really could figure out why the nuclear option was therefore featured so prominently in the Global Strike policy. Perhaps it is a distractor or a nod toward deterrence of proliferation. I'm not against the nuke option per se, just curious as to why it was presented as the primary military option by the Bush administration when in fact, it isn't.
The third post at Whirledview was by PHK
who featured a Naval War College professor Todd Greentree
who is in the midst of writing a book on the implications of Small Wars for American foreign policy ( is there something in the water at the Naval War College that produces strategic thinkers ?). PHK is kind enough to link here to my Syracuse post as she makes some much needed points about hyperpower hubris
in formulating strategic policy, citing the wisdom of von Clauswitz.
In the spirit of Episode III, I am linking to Stuart Berman's commentary
on the subject. Stu sold me on this one with the following sentence alone:
"After considering the dust up in Cannes over comparisons between American policy and the Empire I find that the comparison requires a significant vacancy of thought."
That's it for now.