Moral Relativism and War

If you are of liberal political leanings you will probably not like this piece as I am going to proceed to attempt to demolish several sacred cows of contemporary liberal thought.  I unreservedly admit that I am politically conservative and further admit that I am not trying to be unbiased in his piece.  I am essentially venting my spleen at the half-truths and outright lies I so often find in books that purport to be histories but that are in reality only thinly disguised attacks on historical actors.  I find it typically liberal that such attacks are often made on those that cannot defend themselves, such as historical figures long … Read more…

Women in Combat-Part 5

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail Yet more evidence that women are not physically capable of performing the combat tasks required of ground combat soldiers.  There are jobs in the military that women can do and do well.  Combat is not one of them.  Why is women in combat being pushed so relentlessly?  I am left with only the conclusio that liberals and PC types would rather see more women come home in body than admit that there are in fact differences in capabilities between men and women. … Read more…

Machiavelli? Try Clausewitz!

Full disclosure: I consider the NYT to be a gang of flabby, post-modernist girlymen who stroke each other(‘s egos) all day long, and try to get an emotional response out of their dwindling readership. So today I saw a comment on one their articles that fully describes my opinion of what is wrong with America. Who do we want to emulate? A bunch of tribalist beach bums who sing “O Sole Mio” while thinking about how to poison their uncle in order to take over his restaurant, or the Iron Will of Prussian Steel??? Here is the comment from the unworthy-to-read article: Do we really need to be told that … Read more…

The Phonetic Revolution

You are on a hill, a commander. Your troops are aligned in a phalanx. Your commanding officer is guarding the bridge on the opposite side of your fortress. He sends his messenger to you: By ths rdr ttck t th wstrn flnk nd kp prssr n th nmy whn h s rtrtng It’s not Greek, its an abjad, meaning that there are only consonants in this alphabet. Although you want to focus on the enemy formation, you take a moment to decipher this message: By this murder attack to the western flank end keep pressure in the army when he is returning So, we must attack the western flank end … Read more…

Von Saucken – The Last Aristocrat

Today’s generation can be forgiven for seeing the Second World War’s common participants as engaging in a battle of ideologies. That being said, the Waffen SS were the ultimate outsiders who became the ultimate insiders. During the blitzkrieg into Poland the Wehrmacht saw them as little more than auxiliaries, along for the ride. It is therefore interesting to appreciate the fact that the majority of the Heer were not ideologues, and therefore why they were capable of constantly putting up amazing fronts against an opponent (Russia) that outnumbered them 13:1. The German military predated the rise of national socialism and shared few values with the Fuhrer and his henchmen. German … Read more…

Book Review: The Medieval Fortress by J.E. & H.W. Kaufmann

The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts, And Walled Cities Of The Middle Ages is a good study of the art and methods of fortifications and castles built in Eastern and Western Europe during the Middle Ages from the fall of Rome to the early modern period. The book is right around 300 pages long and includes many illustrations.  It also includes a glossary, which is very helpful to those that are not familiar with the technical terms for elements of castles and fortifications. It is separated into 5 chapters, the first deals with the elements of fortification, the next three are chronological about the development of castles and the final chapter covers … Read more…

How the Hussars Took Moscow

By the time the leopard-pelt donning Serbian mercenaries arrived in the commonwealth, the ferrous mines of Europe were in full bloom. No longer would the ancestral ingot change from plowshare to spearhead and back again under the same village smithy. The 17th century would see the rise and fall of heavy cavalry. The panoply of the mighty Polish Hussar would only come to rust when the musket was capable of penetrating plate mail, but this falls after our incursion into events past at this moment in time. Today citizens fear the idea of fighting two wars at the same time. In our peek into rustic Poland we shall find that … Read more…

The Christ of Nations, 1920

In Polish history, war usually comes down to two conflicting scripts. From the Polish side, pushing geographical boundaries out in all directions, as far as possible. From the opposing side: eliminating the irritating roadblock begrudgingly acknowledged as “Poland.” This theme is perennial. It has not only been steel and fire that has determined if the land of the White Eagle was to be a flesh and blood state, or merely a state of mind; it was also the petitioning of the fighting spirit through ideological appeal. Literature in Poland has served such a purpose. Polish literature is not meant to appeal to outsiders. It is generally so nationalistic that neighboring … Read more…

Book Review: Men, Women & War by Martin van Creveld

I picked up Men, Women & War: Do Women Belong in the Front Line? by Martin van Creveld at the library recently because it looked like a good book about a topic I have found interesting ever since I was a private back in the early 90’s when I first joined the military.  For this debate van Creveld’s book is about as topical as it gets.  He examines the historical examples of women in combat and makes a valiant attempt to separate the fact from the fiction.  The book is separated into three sections and includes extensive source notes and an index.  It was written in 2001 so does not … Read more…

Never say the USMC aint Full of Smart Officers

Marine Corps to open infantry training to enlisted women Who said Marines are stupid?  Letting female Marines attend Infantry training as it is right now, before it is feminized is one of the smartest moves they could make.  When females drop from the course lke flies it will make a strong argument to keep women out of front-line infantry jobs.  As the story points out, the Marines allowed females into the Infantry Officer Course last year and all that have tried it have washed out so far. Never doubt though that regardless of the evidence that comes out of any studies on the rle of women in combat, it will … Read more…

Book Review: The Great Degeneration by Niall Ferguson

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If there is one book in the realm of history or political science any informed person needs to read this year then Niall Ferguson’s The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die is it. In this short book Ferguson goes right to the heart of why the West seems to be in decline and analyzes in short, incisive prose why that is so and perhaps what can be done to reverse it. The book itself is only 147 pages of text divided into an introduction, four topical chapters and a conclusion. There are twenty pages of notes but no bibliography or index, which is unusual for one of Dr. … Read more…

Women in Combat-Part 4

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. According to “Women in combat no later than 2016, Pentagon says“, the latest timeline for women being introduced into combat positions is 2016.  Maybe the slip to the right means clear heads are having second thoughts and hoping that pushing the implementation into the next administration means that the next SecDef will see the idiocy of the idea and backtrack.  I doubt it though, the slip is probably the result of planners realizing they need more time to 1. figure out how to neuter standards, and 2. figure out how … Read more…

Book Review: Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman

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[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard Beeman is the tale of the First and Second Continental Congresses from the opening of the First until the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. It was serendipitous that I received this book from the publisher when I did because the events leading to and surrounding the Declaration of Independence have recently become an area of interest of mine. The book is 418 pages of text separated … Read more…

Women in Combat-Part 3

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. The DoD has now announced there is a plan in place to see most jobs in the military that are currently barred to women opened by 2015.  Military plans would put women in most combat jobs  There was a briefing held on 18 June about the implementation plan; the transcript is here and video is below. . It seems that the US is going to push ahead with this plan.  My only hope is that it is implemented smartly without lowering standards in order to achieve some kind of quota of … Read more…