[lit-ideas] Oh, Clausewitz!

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Anthro-L <ANTHRO-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 13:42:53 +0900

"If ours is the age of the "strategic corporal" (Krulak), ncos and
junior officers will need a different kind of "situational awareness"
than in the past — and that, in itself, will call for a radical
transformation of professional military education (pme). Of all the
social sciences, anthropology is the one that can offer the most
useful insights (psychology, by contrast, can only lead to a "babble
for hearts and minds.") That said, the "strategic corporal" will have
to keep in mind that, just as a military officer can be brilliant at
the tactical or operational level and less than stellar at the
strategic level (or vice versa), area studies specialists can offer
invaluable expertise at the tribal and regional levels, yet display a
total lack of judgment at the global level. At the interagency working
level, and for the foreseeable future, "know thyself, know thy enemy"
will continue to be more important than "know thy Clausewitz." So will
"know thy Trotsky" (institutional infiltration), "know thy Gramsci"
(cultural hegemony), and "know thy Schmitt" (intra and international
lawfare) — for this is the remarkable trinity on which the
"operational code" of the Fifth Column is based today."

A nearly concluding remark from a long, rambling, complex but
immensely productive essay found at

Put aside the instant prejudice aroused by "Hoover Institution" and
take a look. Lots of immensely debatable but also challenging material

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
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