On military strategy

A couple of good quotes from Uri Avnery:

‘And most of all: even the best army in the world cannot win a war that has no clear aims. Karl von Clausewitz, the guru of military science, pronounced that “war is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means”. Olmert and Peretz, two complete dilettantes, have turned this inside out: “War is nothing more than the continuation of the lack of policy by other means.”‘

and

‘Because it’s only with enemies that one makes peace.’


A couple of good quotes from Uri Avnery:

‘And most of all: even the best army in the world cannot win a war that has no clear aims. Karl von Clausewitz, the guru of military science, pronounced that “war is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means”. Olmert and Peretz, two complete dilettantes, have turned this inside out: “War is nothing more than the continuation of the lack of policy by other means.”‘

and

‘Because it’s only with enemies that one makes peace.’

As much as they blather about ‘fourth generation warfare’ and the use of their advanced weapons in cities, the US/Israel’s military machines are made for inflicting punishment on societies. Normally the idea would be to inflict punishment until you compel your enemy to surrender or meet your conditions or terms. The goal of the military action is to win some kind of concession or gain from the other side. But when you destroy the other side’s state (Iraq) or they have no state to begin with (Palestinians), well then there’s no one to surrender to you. Then when forces that are trying to get organized start to attack you, they don’t have the primacy over their own society that they would need in order to enforce some agreement favorable to you. They may have enough legitimacy to organize a resistance. When you then commit yourself to eliminating them, you ensure that no one will be able to surrender to you. Those who are willing to resort to torture for their ends should have to answer for it, severely, in this life. But how much worse is it for those who resort to torture and have no ends at all?

There’s no strategy here, just stupid, savage pounding and stupid, racist justifications after the fact.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.