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Category: Strategy

On “Getting out of the Way” of the Military

On “Getting out of the Way” of the Military

I gave a talk on Strategic Leadership yesterday, and closed it with the following quote from Eliot A Cohen’s ‘Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime‘ (2002:4-5): We can call this consensus the “normal” theory of civil-military relations, which runs something like this. Officers are professionals, much like highly trained surgeons: the statesman is in the position of a patient requiring urgent care. He may freely decide whether or not to have an operation, he may choose one doctor…

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RSI Global Does Mind the Gap!

RSI Global Does Mind the Gap!

Significant changes are underway in world affairs. Nationalism is on the rise, while global freedom is declining. Authoritarian leaders are consolidating power, some while holding onto the visual and verbal trappings of democracy. As is so often the case, the ramping up of nationalist sentiment is constructed upon a deeply internalized foundation of militarism – particularly in the most powerful states. Several flashpoints create ripe conditions for an onset of the first major war that the world has seen since…

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Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

I posted the following statement on Facebook yesterday, as it seemed highly likely to me that a U.S. airstrike would be forthcoming quickly. When the question of whether or not to bomb the Syrian regime came before the Obama administration in 2013, I believed that such a strike would be a mistake. He had already made the error of placing the credibility of the United States on the line in hopes of deterring Assad’s use of chemical weapons. American credibility…

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What’s the Big Deal about a Phone Conversation?

What’s the Big Deal about a Phone Conversation?

Why is a phone call between Donald Trump and the President of Taiwan a big deal? I have no doubt that for supporters of the President-elect, this seems like a non-issue and another ridiculous thing to make a big deal about. It was just a call, right? A ‘private call’ between Donald Trump and a foreign leader who wanted to congratulate him. As Trump has pointed out on Twitter, the reality is that the U.S. and Taiwan do have a…

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