Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hello World

As a loyal historian I chose a topic to discuss in this blog that is both relevant to historiography and to the understanding of present international conditions. Military strategy, as Sun Tzu remarks, is "of ritual importance to the state" and must be studied to understand the dimensions of international relations, economic development, and political motivations. The literature of warfare and its strategies is poverty-stricken. Of all the men who have written on the subject of warfare, I think that only seven have contributed significantly to the understanding of it and have by force of idea, influenced the course of it. Chronologically, the ones I have in mind are Sun-Tzu, Machiavelli, Clausewitz, Mahan, Corbett, Douhet, and Liddell Hart. I intend in this discussion to examine some of the patterns of thought that the military mind does use, and to speculate on some that perhaps it might use. A better understanding of the military mind and decision making of why a general thinks like a soldier and an admiral like a sailor have not yet been clearly posed, much less been clearly answered.

The discussion will be centered on obtaining the answer to these questions, "What can military strategy and the decision making processes of commanders teach us about history?" "What is the relationship between history theory and history practice?" By understanding these central tenets of historical knowledge the discussion will allow for further inquiries and awareness of military strategy and its influence on historical development.

In order to address these questions one must first establish the commonly accepted basic principles that underlie military strategy. The establishment of these principles of military strategy is essential in the development of understanding military decision making as well as the comprehension of later comparative historical views in order to further the awareness of the complexities of military practice. From the understanding and application of the principles, I will focus on the development of understanding military decision making.

I look forward to an exploratory understanding with you, posing questions and seeking answers along the way. It goes without saying, that the opinions or assertions in this discussion are mine and are not full proof. However, like all intellectual discourse, I know that my speculations, whether valid or not, provide an introduction for others to propose something different and better. If this occurs my discussion will have served its purpose.

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