The Object Of One’s Desire Is The Means Of One’s Capture

The Roman writer Aelian, in his treatise On the Nature of Animals (De Natura Animalium), collects many interesting facts related to the habits and behaviors of the creatures of the land, sea, and air. It is unfortunate that he felt compelled to write in Greek instead of Latin, but I suppose this is a decision forgivable for an educated Roman long steeped in Greece’s literary and rhetorical heritage.

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Vanguard Of The Plutocratic Insurgency: Apple Inc. Plies Its Trade

Previous articles here have described in detail a phenomenon called the “plutocratic insurgency.”  The term was coined by Robert J. Bunker and Pamela L. Bunker in a series of articles that have appeared in Small Wars Journal.  I have discussed the Bunkers’ conclusions in my own articles here:

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How To Solve The North Korea Problem (Podcast)

What is the motive behind North Korea’s belligerent behavior? Who is pulling the strings in the background? And what is the best way to resolve this situation? We discuss the power realities in East Asia and explore some options for the United States at home and abroad.

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Steven L. Myers’s “The New Tsar: The Rise And Reign Of Vladimir Putin” (Book Review)

For many years in the West there has been a lack of understanding of Vladimir Putin and his policies.  His personality, motivations, and objectives have been clouded in obscurity by the Western press, which almost always reverts to its simplistic “black and white” view of the world.  Not all of the fault for this lies with the West, of course.  The Russian president’s own media apparatus has little interest in encouraging critical analysis or speculation that falls outside the range of permissible opinion.  But leadership is as much about perception as anything else, and every leader in the modern age must take care to cultivate his image.  In this regard, Russia is no different from the United States, France, or England.  In the media age, it cannot be otherwise.

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Observations On Some Myths About War

The Army Times recently published a post discussing some comments by Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley on current popular myths about war.  I liked his comments very much, and I take them as my starting point in this article.  More than anything else, we should see his remarks as a warning.  The United States has not faced a military adversary worthy of the name since Vietnam, perhaps not even since China and North Korea in the early 1950s.

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Money Is Of Secondary Importance In War


Human nature being what it is, there will always be many different reasons why wars begin.  All of these reasons ultimately find their roots in human passions:  greed, the lust for power, or simply a desire to “put fortune to the test” (fortunam temptare) as the ancient Latin historians would say.

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The Theory Of Progress Of The Abbé de Saint-Pierre


I have lately been testing the durability of the idea of human “progress.”  It is a subject that has interested me now for some time.  We recently examined the idea of progress advocated by Fontenelle.  We will now turn to another important French thinker who played a significant role in the idea of progress, a man whose name is unfortunately almost forgotten today.  His name is Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, but this is usually shortened to Abbé de Saint-Pierre (1658-1743).

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General Vo Nguyen Giap: How I Won The Vietnam War


Vo Nguyen Giap (1911-2013) was the architect of the Vietnamese victory in the “Second Indo-China War” (called in the United States the “Vietnam War”), which took place from 1960 to 1975.  He must also be credited with winning the “First Indo-China War,” which was waged against the French from 1946 to 1954.  He proved to be a master of both conventional and guerrilla tactics, and displayed an incredible single-mindedness and foresight in pursuing his objectives to ultimate victory.

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The Need For A Fighting Ideology


There is a scene at the end of the film Apocalypse Now where Colonel Kurtz delivers a monologue on the ruthless tactics of the Viet Cong guerrillas.  He relates how the Viet Cong had come and “hacked off” the arms of child villagers that the Americans had inoculated as part of an effort to win their hearts and minds.

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