Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Profile of the Blogosphere: The Eagle Standard

In my attempts to profile the mire that is the Blogosphere I came across an interesting article posted by Americus Maximus of the Eagle Standard in late October of last year. I am particularly interested in the conclusions that Americus has come to regarding the military efforts in Afghanistan, asserting that it is in the best interest of the United States armed forces to utilize the bulk of its army to
"engage an entrenched enemy in a vast and complexed mountainous region where no large military force has ever truly been successful in conquering (Soviets -1980's)."
Furthermore, Americus disagrees with the contention that eliminating Osama Bin Ladin will result in a collapse
"the threat of terrorism from around the free world will immediately come to an end"
Americus' audience is surely geared towards historians, military professionals, and worldly individuals. I say this because the mention of Sun Tzu and the assessment of five military tactics attributed to him are quite incomprehensible without some knowledge of previous historical military action. Furthermore, to understand the current situation in Afghanistan somewhat requires the understanding of the Soviet mire in the 1980s and the historical notion of the "grave of nations" that have faltered in Afghanistan including the Macedonians and the British Empire. Because his audience is geared towards these individuals it is certainly a blog centered on an scholarly purpose.

Additionally, Americus' posting is quite important to the greater arena of military strategy in that the literature and analysis of military strategy is quite limited concerning the amount of importance military strategy has on historical analysis and on the understanding of current issues. In my exploration of the Blogosphere I could find very few examples of scholarly, updated blogs concerning military strategy. I have a few theories behind why this exploration yielded very few results in such an important topic. One, it seems that in the field of history today there is a revitalization of cultural and social history aimed at movements such as nationalism and concepts such as class and identity. The 'traditional' sense of history, including political, military, and economic dimensions, seems to be somewhat lost in the excitement of the recent developments in cultural and social history. Second, the assessment of military strategy requires a solid foundation in a variety of fields including history, political science, economics, and leadership development. Unlike other blogs that often reference to current political or economic news, which are often easily commented on by the public at large because of the ease of comprehension, military strategy requires a niche and a moderate understanding of historical and political contexts.

However, my blog will be different than any other in that it will include a variety of historical analysis of military strategy coalesced with predictions and assessments of modern political and military conditions concerning the military mind.

I must agree with Americus that the military struggle in Afghanistan will not be won by the elimination of Osama Bin Ladin; however, it is imperative to eliminate him as it would do a great justice to the American people and those that have lost their lives in the War on Terrorism.

"Many Gentlemen did not content themselves with the most immediate task of attacking the enemy where he happens to be and where he happens to be found...through such considerations they came to one of the worst errors that can be committed in operations: awaiting the effect of the envelopment before advancing against the front."
The German military strategist Alfred von Schlieffen remarked that in strategy and tactics the rule applies that when the enemy has been located it is imperative that current operations reflect the need to strike immediately, instead of waiting for the enemy to make any movement. The point of an attacking force is to enable it to be effective; without immediacy in decision making strategy becomes immobilized.

While new theories of strategy and tactics evolve during every confrontation, continental theory of organized warfare is still the best policy. To conclude a word by Clausewitz:
"Destruction of an enemy's force...only by means of the engagement...only great and general engagements will produce great results...results will be greatest...in one great battle."

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