What use is the valor of brave men in the service of evil goals? Stryker’s War is the most gut-wrenching book in the Order of Centurion series so far because it takes a good hard look at the reality that not everything that can get a soldier killed is
John uses this 2007 report from the British Ministry of Defence to riff on some of his favorite themes. In particular, he seems to have well understood that communications technology could be used to surveil and manipulate just as much as it can be used to enrage mobs, and this
Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story by Matti Friedman Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (2016) $25.95 paperback; 243 pages ISBN 978-1616204587 I received this book for free from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program. This is a book in three parts. First, we have the account of an ordinary soldier who doesn't really
The rosy picture of human conflict John reported in this post from 2004, called Pinkerization after Steven Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, no longer looks so good. As late as 2008, the data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program looked much the same
At first blush, the argument in Schell's book seems plausible. After all, we all know that insurgencies are unbeatable, just look at Vietnam. Unfortunately, this is only plausible if you are well educated while at the same time not knowing much of anything. While it could perhaps be said that
This little bit on the psychological aspects of warfare is still pertinent twelve years later. One might think that the vast disparity in arms between the United States and everyone else would mean we are unstoppable. This is true, if someone is so foolish as to meet us on our
If you have ever wondered why the Chinese Communist Party was so harsh on Falun Gong, it was probably the memory of the Taiping Rebellion. That war is one of the deadliest in recorded history. Taking the low estimate, 20 million people were killed in China during the Taiping Rebellion.