Monday, November 16, 2009

The Grand Strategy of Byzantium

Edward Luttwak on the lessons of Byzantine strategy as they apply to the US. A lot of this seems to be inflected with modern theories of strategy (e.g., maneuver warfare) that may not have been present in the original texts. There are, however, a number of stereotypically Byzantine pieces of advice:

VII. When diplomacy and subversion are not enough and fighting is unavoidable, use methods and tactics that exploit enemy weaknesses, avoid consuming combat forces, and patiently whittle down the enemy's strength. This might require much time. But there is no urgency because as soon as one enemy is no more, another will surely take his place. All is constantly changing as rulers and nations rise and fall. Only the empire is eternal -- if, that is, it does not exhaust itself.

(via kottke)

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