Obama, ‘how wars end in the 21st century,’ and dangerous civilizational complacency

Peace in our time.

21st cent 3 (640x376)New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Obama, ‘how wars end in the 21st century,’ and dangerous civilizational complacency”

  1. Agreed.

    Very good piece, J.E. I can not quarrel with anything you said. I just think your may be crediting the CINC with too much subtlety when it comes to the finer points of his speech. Your thinking runs much deeper than that of his writers.

    I have to say, I did not listen to the President’s West Point speech, nor his Rose Garden announcement. I have heard bits of them repeated here and there: enough to form an impression: nice words. A bit abstract. No political bombshells. Really nice oratory, actually. This is the sort of thing for which he is known, of course.

    The problem for me is that to judge from his recent performance, all there would seem to be to the job of being president is making speeches. In the past six months or so, there have been a lot. Frankly, I have grown bored by them. As if finding the right words to describe a problem facing our nation is all that is needed to put it behind us.

    English majors can be especially succeptible to that. Which makes me think. I have just completed an eight page letter to Dr. Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations concerning Syria which I plan to send out tomorrow with copies to several past and present NSC directors. Would you be interested in receiving a copy ? It is painfully relevant.

    By the way, in my library I have an old book, actually a two-volume set. It is the original edition of the memoirs of P.E. Sheridan, General of the Army. It is signed by the author, and in it is a picture of him in his later years, in the uniform of that period which took after the Prussian uniform, with a small, short-brimmed cap. It is interesting. You see, he served as a U.S. military observer during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War: I think entirely on the German side.

    The old leather covers are gone. But it is very readable and interesting. And again, painfully relevant. You are welcome to it, if you would like.


  2. TPH — thanks for the kind words. I would indeed be interested in receiving your letter to Dr. Haass. Since you’ve emailed me before to good effect, please feel free to forward it.

    I will be on the road for the next three days, and won’t be responsive via electronic means until Wednesday. The Sheridan book sounds very interesting; please let me know more. Incidentally, I was telling Mom before I wrote this piece that U.S. Grant’s memoirs of the Civil War were by far the most widely-read American-written books of that time (by foreign audiences). They were followed closely by Alfred T. Mahan’s The Influence of Seapower upon History, especially Vol. 1. Americans seldom make the connection (although frankly, Europeans seldom do either) that our various wars were intensively studied by each others’ military thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic.

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