That Byzantine Strategy

There are many strategies for fighting wars….reason they begin and how they end…..and I try to use IST to help my readers understand war in all its incarnations.

Many of us have been scratching our heads and writing about the wars that the US is fighting and the endless skirmishes that we know very little about.  We have been looking for what is the strategy of the Pentagon in all these wars.

I found an interesting article written from the US War College… seems that the US is using a similar strategy that the old Byzantine Empire used in its hay day…..

To face its enemies effectively, the Byzantine Empire employed a strategy that used diplomacy as the primary instrument of power for engaging its enemies, while using intelligence and its strong, innovative, military element of power only when necessary. Luttwak, in his conclusion of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire, argues that the Byzantines’ strategy was based on the following principles:

  1. Avoid war by every possible means, in all possible circumstances, but always act as if it might start at any time.
  2. Gather intelligence on the enemy and his mentality, and monitor his movements continuously.
  3. Campaign vigorously, both offensively and defensively, but attack mostly with small units. Emphasize patrolling, raiding, and skirmishing rather than all-out attacks.
  4. Replace battles of attrition with evasive maneuver.
  5. Strive to end wars successfully by recruiting allies to change the overall balance of power.
  6. Use subversion as the best path to victory.
  7. Fight smart: when diplomacy and subversion fall short, employ ‘relational’ operational methods and tactics which circumvent enemies’ strengths, but exploit their weaknesses.

I do not see that the US is using any of the characteristics above….#3 is about the only one that the US is actively using….at least as far as us mere mortals can see.  #6 is how you win elections especially in 2016….but that is a domestic thing….and can be used internationally.

History can teach us a lot about war…..for war is no different than when the combatants used stones……the only thing that changed is the weapons of choice.  Peace is just a word to describe the period between all out combat.

Sounds like they may have indeed hit upon the strategy the US is employing…..who knew?

What is needed is a strategy to cease all these wars of adventurism….and use our military power more wisely….PERIOD!

Knee jerk policies formulated on Twitter are not the way to handle international relations.


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