Insurgency is an old concept. If you were to travel back to Iraq between 2334 and 2279 BC, you would find a man called Sargan. Sargan ruled a vast empire spanning from Southern Iraq to Southern Turkey, enforced by overwhelming military power. His Akkadian hordes, armed with high-tech composite bows and sophisticated logistics, laid waste to all before them. Their strategy was a simple one; ‘mass slaughter, enslavement, the deportation of defeated enemies, and the total destruction of their cities.’ For years their technological edge and brutal strategy allowed the Akkadians to dominate. When they inevitably fell, however, they did not fall to a superior empire. They were victim to a new phenomenon: a tireless, guerrilla-style attack from the unsophisticated barbarian hordes all around them. In 2190 BC the city of Akkad, near modern Baghdad, finally fell.
Assumptions form the bedrock of any strategy. The choice of ways and means to achieve a particular outcome or objective is based on the assumption that those choices will lead to an expected result. Assumption is just one of many reasons flexibility is the key to good strategy - assumptions must be continuously analyzed for their efficacy. One major assumption at the root of the United States’ strategy in the Middle East has stood the test of time: the US needs Arab oil, or the continued flow of oil out of the Middle East, therefore it must remain on good terms with its oil-exporting Arab allies. It would follow that Arab disdain for Israel suggests the US should put distance between itself and Israel in favor of better relations with its Arab allies. Dennis Ross, in Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, is rethinking this assumption and Middle East analysts, policy makers, and strategists should listen.
The West needs a new plan for curbing violence and increasing stability and prosperity in the Middle East. We have decades of experience from which we can learn in order to map out more effective future strategies. This article details a new 5-point plan for promoting peace, prosperity, and stability in the Middle East.The West needs a new plan for curbing violence and increasing stability and prosperity in the Middle East. We have decades of experience from which we can learn in order to map out more effective future strategies. This article details a new 5-point plan for promoting peace, prosperity, and stability in the Middle East.
In the Kantian framework, different kinds of agents pursue democracy at three levels: the individuals within a nation, the states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens, and humankind. In this post we shall look at how individuals within a nation should behave if they want to truly abide by democratic principles. Should they rebel and when? Should they support war, and which type of war if any?
It is useful—and necessary—to stop, think and reflect on the idea of democracy and its relationship to violence and ultimately war. What is a democracy? What does it mean to behave and act according to its principles? What does it mean for a citizen and what does it mean for a state? Are democracies more peaceful than other regimes? How should democracies act and react in the international world?