united kingdom

Will 21st Century USA have a surprise boom, as did the 19th Century UK?

Summary:  Today we have an essay by Andrew Odlyzko, one of the top polymaths and futurists writing today. He reminds us of the difficulty in accurately predicting the future, and the peril of relying on past successes to solve our problems. The industrial revolution relieved the UK’s crushing debt in the 19th century. As the post-WW2 …

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On counterinsurgency: Conclusions. Let’s hope we learn soon.

Summary:  In this last chapter of “On Counterinsurgency” Martin van Creveld sums up the results of the post-WWII history of counterinsurgency. this was first published in 2005; hopefully we’ll learn these lessons soon. As the first phase (Iraq, Af-Pak) of our mad foreign wars winds down — and the second phase expands — we can …

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On Counterinsurgency: On Power and Compromises, the difference between victory & defeat

Summary:  In this third chapter of “On Counterinsurgency” Martin van Creveld describes the operational differences between winning and losing methods of counterinsurgency.  Victory comes to those who take difficult paths. Most nations take the easier path, and lose. As the first phase (Iraq, Af-Pak) of our mad foreign wars winds down — and the second …

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On Counterinsurgency: The Two Methods that Win

Summary:  In this second chapter of “On Counterinsurgency” Martin van Creveld describes the two methods of crushing insurgencies.  We have tried neither; we might lack the capacity to use either method.  Note that both successes were, like almost all defeats of insurgencies, done by governments fighting domestic insurgencies. As the first phase (Iraq, Af-Pak) of …

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The unseen but perhaps decisive grand alignment of the nations!

Summary:  Yesterday’s post The end of the post-WWII world is not the end of the world discussed the large-scale processes at work now.  Today we discuss the most astonishing — and seldom seen — aspect of these things. The problems of the many individual nations in crisis have received ample attention from experts.  The two global …

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