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August 19, 2010


Joseph Fouche

My impression is that there was a lot of tacit certainty in the West about what constituted statecraft, diplomacy, strategy, and tactics prior to World War II. That certainty, along with Western certainty in a lot of other areas, began to disintegrate in the 1890s and accelerated through the 20th mid-century. Lacking that certainty now, we seek to replace it with formal schemas without catching the lightening in the original bottle.

I'm not sure who originated the term "grand strategy" but it may have been Liddell Hart. It's yet one more evil that he's inflicted upon defense studies. The Liddell Hartian multiplication of layers of analysis (grand politics, grand operations, grand tactics, etc) has only obscured what seemed more clear in more certain days. Housecleaning is needed before you can get back to basics.

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