Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning by Andrei Martyanov

Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning by Andrei Martyanov

Author:Andrei Martyanov [Martyanov, Andrei]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Clarity Press, Inc.
Published: 2018-07-25T14:00:00+00:00


However commendable the actions of Admiral Fallon were, it remains the case that the whole system in the US since 2008 has not improved in terms of its ability to exercise common sense and a highly necessary military restraint, which is often a function of military competence. Instead, it increasingly reminds one of a runaway engine in doctrinal, strategic and operational terms. This is inevitable in a nation which has a very vague, if any, idea about war and which has been fed a steady diet of exceptionalism, greatly based on a falsification of history, for decades. It is also inevitable in a nation whose military-strategic school’s ideas, far from being unique, with a few notable exceptions, are beginning to sound more and more like ideologically polished proclamations from the podiums of the party congresses in North Korea or Mao’s China. This world view is not only risky for the nation which becomes captive to such ideological “wisdoms”, but in the case of the US in the modern world, it carries a real danger for the whole of human civilization. Exercising this ideological dogma via the modern armed forces may lead to disastrous outcomes.

The United States is not unique in the history of common military sense-bending when dealing with defense, or rather, in the American case, offense issues. Before addressing this further, let us examine a classic example of an ideology and wishful thinking’s triumph over common sense and realistic operational requirements which is applicable to the situation of the contemporary US. The French military’s Jeune Ecole (Young School) school of naval thought in the late 19th century greatly impeded the development of the French Navy’s required combat capabilities for decades. Remarkably, this entire movement in the thinking of the French Navy, which found itself in the wake of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War lacking financing,10 was led, together with French Admiral Teofilo Aube, by a man utterly unqualified for the development of serious military doctrine: a journalist and a supposed “scholar” of foreign relations, Gabriel Charmez.

The reasons for the Jeune Ecole springing to life were ideological, financial and technological. The new technology of naval cannon shells and torpedoes, as opposed to cannon-balls, seemed to be a good means for an anti-British, anti-commerce strategy in which, so Aube’s thinking went, a coordinated attack of swarms of small torpedo and cannon boats, aided by commercial raiders, would be able to disrupt British shipping lanes. Young French naval officers, hence the Young School, were enthusiastic about those ideas which were opening chances for their faster career advancement during the transformation of all navies from sailing ships to smaller steam and screw-driven naval forces. Some even called torpedo boats “democratic,” increasing their acceptability along the lines of French press democratic rhetoric of the time. As Eric Dahl points out: “Charmez knew little of naval matters, but he and Aube became close friends and colleagues… Charmez was the primary advocate of the Jeune Ecole in the press, frequently stressing the political nature of its reforms,



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