Sunday, March 28, 2010


Post traumatic stress is a well known by product of mass massacres. A recent article describes the effect of Afghanistan on the warrior who brought down the Taliban - Andy Kubik.

In the olden wars, pre-WW1, the strategy creators and executors were substantially the same persons and experienced war in a visceral manner that shaped their thinking forever, eg Ashoka at Kalinga.

WW1 changed that. War was now an activity suitable for mass production. No longer was it necessary or practical for the thinkers and doers to be the same people. Napoleon was probably the last of the old warriors in the West.

The separation of the tactical fighting and killing from the strategic aspects of thinking and planning may be more efficient for the prosecution of the war but it short circuits the feedback loop from the battlefield to the command and control center.

The notable points are twofold:
  1. Modern rulers and elite learn precious little from the massacres they orchestrate, whether Mao, Stalin, Hitler or American Presidents.
  2. The fighters on the front go mad, bearing the burden of responsibility for events over which they have no real control.

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