The Art of War: Part 2

27 May 2008

When your forces are dulled, your edge is blunted, your strength is exhausted, and your supplies are gone, then others will take advantage of your debility and rise up. Then even if you have wise advisers you cannot make things turn out well in the end.

Therefore I have heard of military operations that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen one that was skillful and lasted a long time. It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation continue for a long time.

-Sun Tzu



flickr: soldier’s media center

For us time is a relative term. We live in a world of thirty second commercial bites and hour long mini dramas. Our national attention span rarely exceed the next presidential election. How could we haver possible consider our place in the world objectively? Isn’t easier to assume that if the nightly news doesn’t cover it, that it’s not happening? To the overwhelming majority that now seek resolution if not consummation, have they too been deemed the people who will always object to everything?

My neighborhood was established around the turn of the century. Is this a long time ago when you consider the four to hundred year old buildings on our New England coast? Does even our oldest settlements measure up to the castile walls, provincial parks, and villages in Europe measure in centuries over years? Will we sustain the next five years of these modern wars? We’re still established in places ravaged by a war over a half century old. Can a long time have any meaning in a fickle society such as ours?


The Art of War: part 1

27 May 2008


“When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge; if you besiege a citadel, your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time, your supplies will be insufficient.”
-Sun Tzu


flickr: soldier’s media center

It is apparent that the US death toll in the Global War on Terrorism and the subsequent occupation of iraq has increased exponentially since our self declared victory. There is no way to win an occupation. The wars have dragged on for over five years. I’ve heard the elderly lament that their country is engaged in yet another war, usually five by their count in a lifetime not including the countless operations we have perpetually been engaged in.

Through our endless campaigns abroad and domestic protests we may never truly comprehend the type of warfare that once ravaged our species. Wars that have spanned generations rather than years. Sadly warfare is the one attribute that mankind excels at. We are the product of our own demise. It’s going to happen no matter what you do, no matter how much you think you know.

“War is like a fire – if you do not put it out, it will burn itself out.” -Li Quan