Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On warfare (the future)

[Cc'ed J.]


A paper. I'm sure you're already stuffed to the gills with this stuff, but there's this interesting quote you may enjoy:

The concept of effects-based operations (EBO) is rooted in the notion that societies are "systems of systems," and that if we can understand the interrelationships among these systems, we may be able to focus our attention on attacking the nodes that offer the greatest possible payoffs in terms of collapsing the system. EBO is the Air Force's contribution to the RMA. At its core it is a modern version of the traditional airman's view that "strategic bombardment" can bring swift victory by directly attacking critical nodes of the enemy's war-making capabilities, albeit enabled by advances in technology.

In effect, we can "short circuit" the enemy's ability to make war, not so much for the purpose of destroying him but in pursuit of "the ultimate purpose of war—to compel a positive political outcome." In the past, the technologies available to us limited our ability to achieve this "short circuiting." To interfere in the enemy's ability to make war, we had to engage the enemy's force directly with equivalent force. Because a "political entity can be thought of as a system consisting of a number of subsystems . . . a system of systems," EBO is thus the use of special technologies that permit us "to achieve specific effects against portions of a system that render the entire system ineffective."

There's also a bunch of interesting stuff on Roman and European military history. I enjoyed the tale of the Roman navy.


P.S. A hilarious quote:

We even possess handbooks of stratagems and information operations from ancient times, as well as numberless incidents and examples from the history of war, politics, and diplomacy across the ages. Ramses, Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, and Hitler all engaged in propaganda and deception operations. Each understood how to use information as a weapon. Ramses II (1301-1234 B.C.) was so good at it that it was some thirty centuries before most of the world realized he hadn't won the Battle of Kadesh (1288 B.C.).

"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

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