David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and CultureWar in theWest Antulio J. Echevarria II The Persistence of America’sWay of Battle James A. Russell Flexible Response and Integrated Deterrence at Sea in the 21st Century: Implications for the U.S. Navy Rosella Cappella Zielinski and Ryan Grauer Practice Makes Perfect for Battlefield Coalitions Benjamin E. Mainardi Towards Better Civilian Strategic Education: A Case for Tabletop Wargames Baptiste Alloui-Cros What is the Utility of the Principles of War? SUMMER 2022 Linking Ends and Means VOLUME 8, ISSUE 1
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Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 Publishing Co., The IJ Infinity Group, Ltd. Publisher Dr. A. E. Stahl aestahl@militarystrategymagazine. com Editor William F. Owen william@militarystrategymagazine. com Contributor Colin S. Gray Contributor Antulio J. Echevarria II Contributor Edward Luttwak Contributor Shay Shabtai Contributor Donald Stoker Contributor Peri Golan Contributor Hugh Smith, AM Contributor David Betz Contributor Kevin C.M. Benson Contributor Gur Laish Contributor Vanya E. Bellinger Contributor Lukas Milevski Contributor Nathan K. Finney Contributor Eitan Shamir Contributor Kobi Michael Contributor Ron Tira Subscribe For Free Military Strategy Magazine is distributed via www.militarystrategymagazine.com Contact If you’d like to contact an editor regarding submission of articles see militarystrategymagazine.com/ contact Advertising Equiries Interested in advertising in Military Strategy Magazine? adverts@militarystrategymagazine. com Military Strategy Magazine (MSM), previously Infinity Journal, is a privately funded strategy journal, founded in London and based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Military Strategy Magazine is solely distributed through its official website. It may not be shared through other websites, by email or by other means, as a whole or in any part. Please refrain from sharing this document directly and instead recommend that your friends and colleagues subscribe for free at MilitaryStrategyMagazine.com. This is integral to maintaining Military Strategy Magazine as a free publication. Additionally, if quoting from an article in Military Strategy Magazine, please ensure that the publication is properly sourced. Any publication included in Military Strategy Magazine and/or opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of Military Strategy Magazine or the The IJ Infinity Group, Ltd. Such publications and all information within the publications (e.g. titles, dates, statistics, conclusions, sources, opinions, etc) are solely the responsibility of the author of the article, not Military Strategy Magazine or the The IJ Infinity Group, Ltd.
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 2 It would be negligent in the extreme if this editorial was not to comment on the War in Ukraine which resulted from the Russian invasion on the 24th of February. The really interesting thing to comment on would be that by the 30th of February it was evident that the Russians were not going to capture Kyiv with ease, or indeed overrun of all Ukraine within the few days that many military experts had asserted. War has a way of not conforming to men's expectations in the same way that politics often reveals unexpected outcomes, such as a BREXIT or the election of Donald Trump and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Betting on horse racing is a more certain form of skill than betting on the outcome of major or even minor armed conflict. So what? Prediction is a fool’s game, yet predictions run wild in the swamp of international relations expertise currently extant where writers tell us what will happen and what we all should do to make it happen or to change it. Worse still was the failure of the same community to have an accurate understanding of Russian military capability in terms of being able to explain success and failure, which at the time of writing it still clearly has not. The failures are variously attributed to “cheap Chinese tires” which are presumably the same tires driving Chinese trucks all over China, to corruption, to “Putin’s inner circle” lying to him. Very little attention has been paid to the actual time and space problems inherent to the practical aspects of military strategy. In short, almost all extant commentaryhas lacked the lens and context that classical military strategic understanding contains, even including Jomini’s thoughts on how close a capital city is to the enemy's border. Russia’s conduct to date may well have sound reasons not obvious to anyone but themselves, but the failure to close the Ukrainian western land borders seems odd as does an overall effort not to isolate Kyiv prior to any attempted capture. If Russia really does view the operational level as providing the bridge between strategy and tactics, then the bridge fell very early in the process. Thus, the readers of Military Strategy Magazine live in interesting times, not because the War in Ukraine provides evidence of the realities of military strategy but because it demonstrates what little wisdom real leaders seem to apply to real decisions. Yes, if the war was only going to last three days as Russia kicked in the door and the whole rotten structure would come crashing to paraphrase Hitler’s 1941 prediction on the Soviet Union, then any plan, however, ill-conceived should have worked. Conversely, any bad and poorly executed plan can be stymied by any reasonably determined effort, skilled or not. The war now in progress has far from run its course but students of military strategy should hold back from attempting to be those standing on the shoulders of giants in order to see further when little is being done well, thus the giants may be entirely absent. William F. Owen Editor, Military Strategy Magazine May 2022 A Note From The Editor
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 3 The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West 4 David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith The Maoist conception of the political realm possesses an enduring, but little explored, influence upon the contemporary practice of politics in the West, especially in the manifestation of what is often termed the ‘culture war’. Mao’s thinking about how to perfect the revolutionary persona through the cultivation and purification of the mind presents several challenges to established Western ideas of the strategic realm. The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle 12 Antulio J. Echevarria II This article revisits an argument made almost two decades ago which called for the US Army to revise its way of thinking about war. Instead of seeing wars as battles writ large, the US Army—as the chief US proponent for land operations—needed to update its doctrine to emphasize not just winning battles, but how to convert battlefield outcomes into policy successes. Some modest progress has been achieved since the original argument was made, but more work remains. Flexible Response and Integrated Deterrence at Sea in the 21st Century: Implications for the U.S. Navy 20 James A. Russell This paper explores the relationship between Integrated Deterrence and Flexible Response from the perspective of the U.S. Navy. The paper argues that the Navy needs to reacquaint itself with Cold War-era strategic theory in order to properly address the demands of 21st century Integrated Deterrence. Practice Makes Perfect for Battlefield Coalitions 28 Rosella Cappella Zielinski and Ryan Grauer Belligerents in war often form battlefield coalitions, deploying their forces to fight side-by-side in battle, in the hope of increasing their chances of military victory and strategic success. Not all battlefield coalitions are created equal, however. Battlefield coalitions in which partner forces have not recently fought together in combat often struggle to cohere and perform effectively. Strategists should accordingly plan for significant inefficiencies when going to war alongside unfamiliar partners. Towards Better Civilian Strategic Education: A Case for TabletopWargames 36 Benjamin E. Mainardi While wargaming as a professional tool has experienced a much-needed resurgence in the past few decades, its value as an experiential learning tool remains underutilized. This is especially so in the case of civilian students aspiring to national security careers whose training at universities comes overwhelmingly from theoretical approaches. Wargames offer the opportunity to train the minds of would-be national security practitioners by simulating real-world military campaigns, international crises, and more, assisting the next generation of strategists. What is the Utility of the Principles of War? 42 Baptiste Alloui-Cros Strategic thought has been endowed with an abundant literature on principles of war. Their influence largely permeates the making of military doctrines and our perception of war, and yet, no consensus has ever been reached on what exactly constitutes them, or why they are useful. This article explores why we still produce principles of war, what they are for, and under which conditions they can actually be useful to the strategist. Contents
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 4 The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith About the author David Martin Jones is Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham, UK. M.L.R. Smith is Professor of Strategic Theory at King’s College, London, UK. They are authors of The Strategy of Maoism in the West: Rage and Radical Left (Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, USA: Edward Elgar, 2002). The political condition within Western societies has, in recent years, increasingly been cast in terms of a ‘culture war’ between radically opposed value systems: between those that want to preserve a pluralistic society where the right to freedom of expression is upheld against those who believe that society should be protected from offensive behaviours and ‘hatespeech’, which are embedded within systems of structural discrimination and oppression. What has this condition got to do with the ghost of the Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung? More than one might think. The legacy of Mao’s struggle for power in China, and his strategic formulations for winning power, casts a long – and little To cite this article: Martin Jones, David, and Smith, M.L.R., “The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West,” Military Strategy Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1, summer 2022, pages 4-10. Photo 32858264 / Mao © Imran Ahmed | Dreamstime.com
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 5 understood – shadow over contemporary political conduct in the nations that constitute the liberal-democratic West. Of all the strands of modern political theorising that may be said to influence current Western political conduct, it was Mao, above all, who articulated and put into practice ideas of so-called cultural warfare. Key to the idea of culture war is the understanding that the space to be conquered to gain and retain power is not necessarily the physical battlefield but the intangible sphere of the mind. The Maoist conception of the strategic utility of the mind, and its capacity to be moulded towards the waging of cultural warfare, presents some interesting challenges to traditional Western notions of strategic formulation, as this essay will endeavour to show. Discerning the Strategic Dynamics Although the notion of culture war is not new, its salience has heightened since 2016, and turned into actual violence in the United States and the UK in May/June 2020. The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US city of Minneapolis was the immediate cause of the violence. Arguably, however, it was the long-term consequence and logical escalation of forces that had been brewing in US and UK polities for the better part of six decades. The manifestation of the culture war took the form of riots and civil disturbances across US cities, as well assaults upon public statues, heritage sites and icons. In non-violent form culture war continues in the felt need to ‘decolonise’ the alleged structures of oppression, from the secondary and tertiary curriculums of schools and universities to libraries, health services, the police, the armed forces, and to just about everything. The motive towards cultural iconoclasm and the impetus to destroy an inconvenient past is something that should concern strategic theorists. After all, the role of strategic theory is to render explicit what is implicit in our social surroundings by identifying the purpose and the means that impel political actors towards actions that seek to fulfil ideological goals.[i] Yet few analysts, have sought to uncover the strategic dynamics at work in the culture war currently convulsing Anglophone institutions. Looking at the philosophical creed that seeks confrontation with the Anglo-American liberal democratic project, we see the work of the radical Left, a broad movement dedicated to advancing notions of social egalitarianism that ultimately has no interest in the preservation of the existing structures of society. Unlike the constitutional or social democrat Left, the radical Left does not accept the legitimacy of the current capitalist democratic order. It is prepared to engage with the structures of that order to exploit its fault lines and expose its weaknesses with a view to overthrowing it. How to advance towards the new social order has seen radical Left theorists develop a profound interest in matters of strategy, often attending carefully to the methods necessary to bring about the conditions for revolution. The strategy of cultural warfare on the part of the contemporary radical Left comprises an amalgam of many different strains of thought, fromVladimir Lenin to Antonio Gramsci, to Herbert Marcuse. However, this essay focuses on the underappreciated influence of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking on the strategy of cultural warfare in the West. Maoist ideas of revolutionary war have filtered intoWestern political discourse ever since the late 1930s when Chinese communist forces, holed up in the caves of Yenan in the remote Shensi province after the Long March, attracted the attention of sympathetic American journalists, like Edgar Snow and Anne Louise Strong, eager to broadcast Mao’s struggles to the wider world. During this period Mao and his acolytes scrutinised the failures of former Communist strategy, extending back to the 1920s, which had initially sought to stimulate revolution through urban uprisings, before being forced out of its Kiangsi Soviet and onto the Long March in 1934/35. It was in Yenan that Mao and his comrades cultivated their vision of the revolutionary persona necessary to withstand the rigours of long-term political struggle. The victory of the communists in 1949, but especially the impact of the Cultural Revolution after 1966, drew further Western adherents, who were attracted to Maoist ideas of revolutionary purification. Mao’s thinking had a particular impact upon a generation of French intellectuals that, in part, constitute what is often termed the New Left – Alain Badiou, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, among others. The NewLeft looked to sources of inspiration like Mao to reinvigorate communist thinking from its moribund condition following the revelations of Stalinist excesses in the Soviet Union. Largely via their reflections, Maoist ideas of cultural struggle arrived upon the shores of American campuses in the late 1960s. And never left. Dissecting the direct and indirect intellectual influences of Maoist thought on Western radicalism reveals, as this essay discloses, a very different construction of the strategic realm than that which has traditionally constituted the basis of Western political conduct. Maoist Thought Confronts Western Strategic Formulation The principal difference in strategic approach resides in the Maoist conception of the self and its manipulation as a latent source of power. As Philip Short wrote: ‘Stalin cared about what his subjects did (or might do); Hitler, about who they were; Mao cared about what they thought’.[ii] How the mind could be moulded towards revolutionary ends was to become highly influential upon the theorists of the New The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 6 Left. In contrast to liberal-democratic notions of the individual self and its autonomy, Maoist thought devotes considerable attention to addressing how to break down the barriers between the interior and external worlds in a manner that undermines established Western understandings of politics to a degree often overlooked in appreciations of strategic formulation. In that regard, Maoist ideas open up possibilities little understood either among scholars of strategy or mainstream political practitioners. Strategy can be understood as the endeavour to relate means to ends: the use of available resources to gain defined objectives,[iii] encompassing the attempt to maximise interests with available resources.[iv] Actions are thus consciously intended to have utility. They are intended to achieve goals and therefore are constructed with a purpose. Strategy is, then, an inherently practical subject, concerned with translating aspirations into realisable objectives. Strategy, as Colin Gray explained, functions as the ‘bridge’ between tactics, that is, actions on the ground, and the broader political effects that they are intended to produce. [v] From this perspective, we can analyse the challenges and possibilities that Maoism poses for strategic conduct in a Western liberal democratic setting. Strategy as objectively observable The conception of strategy as a goal-orientated enterprise thus delineates a pragmatic concern with realising tangible objectives with available means. In its intellectual and operationalmanifestations, therefore, strategyconcentrates on practices as physically observable phenomenon. Strategy is revealed and evaluated in relation to material facts, acts and outcomes: political mobilization, armed clashes, organised violence, plans, battles, campaigns, victories and defeats. Simply put, a successful strategy can usually be gauged by real world effects that are clear and demonstrable: objectives achieved, battles won, victories secured. Strategy as a method of completion Focusing on achieving empirically observable outcomes, strategy, as traditionally conceived, has little to say about the mind: the sphere of the self of private thoughts, reflections and beliefs. Strategy, conventionally understood, is about transforming an idea – a desire to achieve an objective – into reality. Strategy, in this sense, is a movement from inception to completion. The desire for completion, winning in war or attaining any other goal, reflects the wish to make something final, that is, to reach a definitive end that will be hard to question or undo. Moreover, a physically observable aftermath demonstrating the achievement of aims validates that final completion. Where the aim might arise in the individual or collective consciousness is something in which the study of strategy has evinced little interest. The political distinction between war and peace This conception of strategy as something that is focused on achieving tangible outcomes also reflects the clear distinction often drawn in Western political thought between the state of war and peace. Although, of course, professional thinkers on strategy, military planners and policy makers, do not see strategy as simply a wartime activity, the point is that the liberal conception of war is regarded as a largely negative consequence of the public breakdown of civil or inter-state relations, requiring a decision to be reached through force of arms.[vi] By contrast, ‘peace’ is war’s antithesis – the absence of fighting – and an altogether more preferable state of affairs. Indifference to the private sphere Yet where ‘fighting thoughts’ come from in the first place is rarely, if ever, examined in Western strategic discourse. This dichotomy itself reflects understandings in Western philosophy concerning the self. Modern philosophy begins with René Descartes’ mind-body dualism and the method of doubt.[vii] Seventeenth century liberal thought gradually came to treat the mind as an internal sphere free from the legal and confessional controls imposed on external behaviour (the Catholic Church was very happy to examine men’s souls as was the Puritan version of election). This was for seventeenth century materialists a function of the body, whether it was the arm that threw the stone or the mouth that uttered an insult. This mind-body dualism in Western thought over time came to delineate, at least in England, the separation of the private from the public realm, which in turn established the grounds of social contract theory and the ‘cultural inheritance’ of Western liberalism. Through a series of unintended consequences, it enabled a more liberal and rationally enlightened polity to develop. In essence, so long as subjects acknowledged their temporal allegiance to the constitutional monarch or the republic, the state would not seek to look into men’s souls. Over time, the quid pro quo of outward conformity in return for the state’s indifference to the private beliefs of its subjects enabled a political language and practice of individualism. Inexorably, the idea of the liberal democratic state as a container of individual legal rights, including the right to free speech and dissent became normalised. Although the concept of the private self was to be challenged by the growth of the administrative state and totalitarian ideologies during the twentieth century, the notion of the self-regarding autonomous individual – endowed with the vote and a right to political participation – remained the foundational condition of the Western liberal polity. The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 7 The Concept of Universal Struggle In contrast, Mao sought control of the mind collectively and individually for the purposes of creating revolution. His strategic novelty in this respect resides in the challenge posed to notions of finality and completion in Western strategic discourse. For Mao, there was no endpoint, no single decisive victory, only endless struggle; a condition embodied in the phrase often ascribed to Mao (and Leon Trotsky) of ‘permanent revolution’. Mao elaborated his thinking about the ceaseless nature of struggle in On Contradiction (1937). He asserted that the ‘interdependence of the contradictory aspects present in all things and the struggle between these aspects determine the life of all things and push their development forward’. For Mao, ‘contradiction exists universally and in all processes, whether in the simple or in the complex forms of motion, whether in objective phenomena or ideological phenomena’.[viii] The implication of Mao’s ideas were that the interior realm of thought and belief was a site of contestation, and constituted the key to revolutionary progress because ‘Contradiction is universal and absolute, it is present in the process of development of all things, and permeates every process from beginning to end’. ‘The old unity with its constituent opposites’, Mao continued, ‘yields to a new unity with its constituent opposites, whereupon a new process emerges to replace the old. The old process ends and the new one begins. The new process contains new contradictions and begins its own history of the development of contradictions’.[ix] Mao’s thinkingabout theuniversal struggleof contradictions confronts Western strategic understandings about the separation of the physically observable from the intangible. Mao was not, however, the first to make the connection between the material and the intangible elements of strategy. Did Clausewitz Get There First? Carl von Clausewitz is perhaps the one figure in theWestern strategic tradition to challenge the notion of strategic completion. Clausewitz’s notion of the trinitarian theory is often associated far more with the ‘passions’ than the mind.[x] However, there are intimations, albeit somewhat inchoate, that he intuitively grasped the inherent power of the interior realm. In a short and under-analysed passage in On War, he observed: ‘The result in war is never final’. He continued: ‘even the outcome of a war is not always to be regarded as final. The defeated state often considers the outcome merely a transitory evil, for which a remedy may still be found in political conditions at some later date’.[xi] What Clausewitz may or may not have meant by this passage is rendered opaque by the lack of much in the way of further elucidation. Consequently, we are, like quite a lot of Clausewitz’s incomplete thoughts, left to infer what he might have been hinting at or ‘read in’ what we – that is, Clausewitz’s modern interpreters – wish to see. Clearly, he was writing about his own experiences in the Napoleonic wars where the defeat of his beloved Prussia in 1806, did not turn out to be final. Likewise, the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 following the Battle of Paris did not turn out to be conclusive but arguably was in 1815 after the Battle of Waterloo. Nevertheless, Clausewitz’s theoretical point is that the seeds of resistance are always present that might one day disturb or overturn the status quo. This holds true even in instances where no further attempt is made to violently contest the political conclusion in war. For example, the defeat and dismemberment of Germany after 1945 may have been categorical, but it did not stop Germany from re-uniting in 1990. In politics, all is change: and the political conditions wrought even by resounding victories or defeats are always, and can only be, provisional. Thus, although Clausewitz did not enlarge upon his observation, it intimated that he, like Mao, considered that the conduct ofwarwas not reducible tophysical phenomena, but entailed an interior dimension that is obscured by the strategic focus upon the construction of visible means to reach a terminating point where fighting stopped, and peace began. Clausewitz’s other famous aphorism, that ‘war is a continuation of political intercourse, carried on with other means’,[xii] also implied that war is simply the overt expression of different interests generated by the internal clash of popular passions. Politics, in this rendition, is the sublimation of a continuous struggle made manifest. In stating that the result in war is never final, Clausewitz contests conventional expectations that war and strategy is only about clinical endings and beginnings. War begins in themind and does not necessarily ceasewith declarations of victoryordefeat. Clausewitz infers that decisive outcomes in war are, in fact, inherently uncertain, unstable, and indeed may contain unresolved contradictions that could see war recur as a consequence of continued mindful resistance to the status quo. Internal resistance may at some point break out into open physical violence once more. For that reason, the results in war remain impermanent because they create, to paraphrase Mao, new conditions and therefore new contradictions in which conflict can arise. Political Power Grows Out of the Mind, Not the Gun Clausewitz’s reflections on the philosophical origins and purposes of war present intriguing parallels with Mao’s writings on the unity of opposites and the perpetual struggle between contradictions. It may be of some interest that there remains a continuing historical debate as to whether Mao might have read and been influenced by Clausewitz. The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 8 [xiii] Pondering Clausewitz’s potential influence on Mao it is possible to contradict his oft-cited maxim that ‘political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.[xiv] Mao undoubtedly approved of revolutionary violence ‘whereby one class overthrows another’.[xv] ‘Only with guns can the world be transformed’, he wrote.[xvi] His injunction about power growing out of the barrel of a gun was, though, issued principally in order to reiterate the necessity of retaining political control over the means of violence as the following sentence reminded his audience at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Communist Party’s Sixth Central Committee in November 1938: ‘Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party’.[xvii] In fact, if we accept that there is an overlap between Clausewitz’s thinking about the result in war never being final and war as a continuation of politics with Mao’s contentions regarding the continuous struggle between contradictions, then it suggests, logically, that political power does not only grow out of the barrel of a gun, as a Mao’s phrase might suggest, but rather that it grows out of the passions, fears, and moral beliefs held within the minds of individuals. This reading, moreover, would seem to fit more accurately with Mao’s understanding of the cognitive sources of revolutionary struggle, as stated in his 1937 tract, On Practice, where he maintained: ‘Cognition starts with practice and through practice it reaches the theoretical plane, and then it has to go back to practice’.[xviii] Mind Control Given Mao’s interest in unlocking the revolutionary potential of collective action, it followed that controlling the mind was the key to unleashing the power of mass resistance. Maoist ideas opened the strategic possibility of exerting control over the private sphere as a tool of struggle and revolt. Mao’s ruminations on how the interior world could be instrumentalised towards revolutionary emancipation offer a systematic philosophy of the human mind as both perfectible and perfectlymalleable. TheMaoist conception proceeds methodically from the assumption that under capitalism and imperialism the mind is polluted by cultural accretions requiring permanent rectification and purification if the collective will of the masses is to be made strategically useful. Maoism seeks purification for a purpose, to make control of the interior realm strategically instrumental. Mao emphasised that the final stage of cognition was ‘the leap from rational knowledge to revolutionary practice’. Having ‘grasped the laws of the world’, Mao stated, ‘we must redirect this knowledge to the practice of revolutionary class struggle and national struggle’.[xix] The imperative for revolutionaries in this respect was, first and foremost, not to wage violent struggle, but to ‘reconstruct their own subjective world, that is, to remold their faculty of knowing; and to change the relations between the subjective and external worlds’. Finally, he added: ‘When the whole of mankind of its own accord remolds itself and changes the world, that will be the age of world communism’.[xx] What Mao Should Be Remembered For When analysts consider Mao’s contribution to strategic thought they tend to focus on his three-stage theory of people’swartowinpower.Arguably, though,hismostoriginal and influential contribution lies in his understanding of the latent power that can be instrumentalised through mind control. As Apter and Saich state, Mao’s goal ‘was nothing less than the generating of new modes of power: the power of discourse’.[xxi] Tracing the evolution of Maoism in theWest, it is possible to perceive how 1960s radicals began to redirect their thinking towards Mao’s ideas on cognition and the generation of ‘alternative’ modes of power. As disillusion with the armed struggle set in during the early 1970s, radicals moved to embrace other methods. As Collier and Horowitz noted of the Maoist inspired Black Panthers: ‘The Party no longer seemed to believe now that power grew out of the barrel of a gun but from community organizing’.[xxii] By adopting such means, the Panthers were not abandoning Mao’s tenets but rather moving towards his position on cognition as a means to elevate the revolutionary spirit by reshaping the external environment. As the era of violent ‘direct action’ subsided in the course of the 1980s, Maoist ideas of social control and thought reform gained currency in activist circles. Bill Tupman, a Marxist scholar explained in 1991: ‘The young revolutionary has only the one place to run to. Maoism gives people something to do: Trotskyismwas about waiting around and selling newspapers. I see it coming back in a big way’.[xxiii] Channelling the Maoist appeal to ‘do’, finds its expression across the modern campus Left with academics asserting that universities should act ‘as missionaries, teaching new ideas’ that ‘enable active citizenship and even inspire some to take up activist roles’.[xxiv] The instrumentalization of the socially re-constructed mind toward activist roles, and committed towards waging cultural warfare, is pure Maoism in action. In its applied ‘critical theory’ guise, it focuses on ‘controlling discourses, especially by problematising language and imagery it deems theoretically harmful’, in a manner that leads to the scrutiny, rectification and policing of thought.[xxv] This social activist mindset percolates from the universities to the wider professional and business world beyond. From schools to media services, to multinational corporations, ‘Organizations and activist groups of all kinds announce that they are inclusive, but only of people who agree with them’.[xxvi] In his 1937 tract, ‘On the correct handling of The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 9 contradictions’, Mao explained how to address incorrect, ‘non-Marxist’, ideas. ‘As far as unmistakeable counterrevolutionaries and saboteurs of the socialist cause are concerned, the matter is easy, we simply deprive them of their freedom of speech’.[xxvii] Conclusion: Harnessing the Power of the Private Sphere Obviously, the notion of culture wars and the impact of Mao’s thinking on contemporary political practices in the West is a vast subject, and at best one can only draw attention to its general contours in a brief essay such as this. This short article has therefore sought to illustrate how the all-pervasive thought and language policing within public and private institutions in evidence across the Anglosphere attests to the little understood influence of Maoist strategic ideas. His proto-constructivist writings on how perceptions of the exterior world can be reordered by changing one’s subjective cognition may be found in any number of contemporary social science texts in Western academic literature, and which in many other respects provides the fuel for culture war. Whether or not one regards these developments as a progressive good, the ideas regarding the harnessing of the power of the internal sphere as a latent realm of power represents Mao’s most innovative contribution to strategic thought, more so than his writings on guerrilla warfare. Certainly, it represents his most enduring influence on the post-modern West. Whatever else Maoism may be in a Western setting, it repudiates the liberal understanding of politics, which draws a separation between the personal and the political. Maoist understandings of the private sphere reject this view and hold that the un-curated mind is a barrier to social transformation and needs to be sanitised of all impurities. Politicising the private realm is precisely what Maoist strategic conduct aspires to. Mao made no secret of his aversion to liberalism. He despised its civility, itswillingness to hear ‘incorrect views without rebutting them’, and its latitude for permitting ‘irresponsible criticism in private’. [xxviii] Whatever one’s viewpoint on contemporary political and cultural developments, there should be few illusions, Western Maoism seeks to eliminate the liberal-democratic conception of the West. References [i] See Matthew Clapperton, David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith, ‘Iconoclasm and Strategic Thought: Islamic State and Cultural Heritage in Iraq and Syria’, International Affairs, Vol. 93, No. 5 (2017), pp. 1205-1231. [ii] Quoted in Timothy S. Chung, ‘In search of Mao Zedong – two views of history’. Taipei Times, 25 May 2000, http://www. taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2000/05/25/0000037415, (accessed 29 April 2021). [iii] Michael Howard, The Causes of Wars (London: Counterpoint, 1983), p. 36. [iv] F. Lopez-Alves, ‘Political crises, strategic choices, and terrorism: the rise and fall of the Uruguayan Tuparmaros’, Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1989), p. 204. [v] Colin Gray, The Strategy Bridge: Theory for Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 15-53. [vi] See Michael Howard, War and the Liberal Conscience (London: Hurst, 2008), pp. 5-22. [vii] Renati Des-Cartes [René Descartes], Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur (Paris: 1641). [viii] “Mao Tse-tung, On Contradiction,” (August 1937), pp. 2-3, Maoist Documentation Project, available at https://www. marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_17.htm (accessed 3 May 2021). The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 10 [ix] Mao Tse-tung, On Contradiction (August 1937), pp. 2-3, Maoist Documentation Project, https://www.marxists.org/ reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_17.htm (accessed 3 May 2021). [x] M.L.R. Smith, ‘Politics and Passion: The Neglected Mainspring of War’, Infinity Journal, Vo1. 4, No. 2 (2014), pp. 32-36. [xi] Carl von Clausewitz, On War (trans. and ed. Michael Howard and Peter Paret) (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), p. 80. [xii] Ibid., p. 87. [xiii] See for example, Edward Katzenbach and Gene Hanrahan, ‘The revolutionary strategy of Mao Tse-tung’, Political Science Quarterly, 70/3 (1955), pp. 321-340; Francis Miyata and John Nicholsen, ‘Clausewitzian principles of Maoist insurgency’, Small Wars Journal, 24 October 2020, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/clausewitzian-principles-maoist-insurgency (accessed 3 May 2021). [xiv] Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II, pp. 224-225, Maoist Documentation Project (2004), [xv] https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/ (accessed 3 May 2021). [xvi] Mao Tse-tung, ‘Report on the peasant movement in Hunan’, February 1927, Mao’s Road to Power: RevolutionaryWritings, 1912-1949, Vol. 2 (New York: Armonk, 1992), p. 434. [xvii] Mao Tse-tung, ‘Problems of war and strategy’, in Mao’s Road to Power, p. 553. [xviii] Mao, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, pp. 224-225. [xix] Mao Tse-tung, On Practice (New York: International Publishers, 1937), p. 11. [xx] Ibid., p. 11. [xxi] Ibid., p. 15. [xxii] David Apter and Tony Saich, Revolutionary Discourse in Mao’s Republic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), Revolutionary Discourse in Mao’s Republic, p. 35. [xxiii] Quoted in Peter Collier and David Horrowitz, Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties (New York: Encounter, 1989), p. 166. [xxiv] Quoted in Simon Strong, Shining Path: The World’s Deadliest Revolutionary Force (London: HarperCollins, 1992), p. 253. [xxv] Sandra J. Grey, ‘Activist academics: What future?’ Policy Futures in Education, 11/6 (2013), p. 708. [xxvi] Helen Pluckrose and James Lyndsay, Cynical Theories (London: Swift, 2020), pp. 61-62. [xxvii] Ibid., p. 65. [xxviii] Mao Tse-tung, ‘On the correct handling of contradictions among the people’, People’s Daily, 19 June 1957. [xxix] Mao Tse-tung, Combat Liberalism, 7 September 1937, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/ volume-2/mswv2_03.htm (accessed 12 May 2021). The Strategy of the Mind: Maoism and Culture War in the West David Martin Jones and M.L.R. Smith
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Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 12 The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle Antulio J. Echevarria II - U.S. Army War College About the author Dr Antulio J. Echevarria II is a Professor of Strategy and the Editor in Chief of the US Army War College Press, which includes Parameters. He formerly held the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies and has published extensively on strategic thinking, including War’s Logic: StrategicThought and the American Way of War (Cambridge 2021). This article revisits an argument that appeared nearly twenty years ago in two publications: a short monograph entitled Toward an American Way of War (2004) and in a book chapter, “Transforming America’s Way of Battle: Revising Our Abstract Knowledge” (2005).[i] Each of these publications argued America did not yet have a way of war; instead, it had a way of battle. This distinction is an important one; for, at the time, the United States had difficulty thinking about armed conflict as more than a series of battles aimed at destroying an opponent’s military might. Once that destruction was accomplished, victory was expected to follow in the form of an enemy’s capitulation or by granting any number or type of concessions. This manner of thinking typifies a way of battle. It assumes winning battles suffices to win wars. Whereas a way of war means having the ability and the inclination to view an armed conflict not only militarily but also politically and in socio-cultural terms. The assumption that winning To cite this article: Echevarria II, Antulio J., “The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle,” Military Strategy Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1, summer 2022, pages 12-18. United States Navy, ID 030402-N-5362A-004, Public Domain
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 13 battles suffices to win wars is a risky one, and it has plagued American strategic thinking since at least the VietnamWar. As that conflict shows, winning battles or engagements does not necessarily equate to accomplishing one’s political objectives. Instead, closing the gap from battlefield victory to policy success can prove quite difficult, especially within the context of a modern limited war. It is simply much more difficult to achieve “compellence” in a modern limited conflict in which the belligerents, or their allies, are armed with nuclear weapons. Two major campaigns and nearly two decades later, it is worth asking whether America has found its way of war, or whether it still has away of battle. Unfortunately, the answer is its way of battle persists. Integral to answering that question, however, was another, underlying one: whether the US Army—which is charged with winning America’s wars—has succeeded in transforming its way of battle into a way of war. The answer, again, is negative. Obviously, the US Army’s doctrine does not exist in a vacuum. It is a subset of the body of doctrine that applies to the entire US Joint community in which the US Army has a strong and influential voice. Some of the observations that follow would certainly apply to US Joint doctrine; however, the focus in this article is on the US Army’s share of America’s warfighting doctrine. The principal reason for this focus is that many of the activities necessary to transform battlefield victory into policy success transpire on land, which is the US Army’s responsibility. Getting the US Army’s doctrine right is, thus, an essential first step in driving the larger process of doctrinal reform for the US Armed Forces; it will also strengthen the linkages between the US Army’s claim to be a profession and its corpus of professional knowledge. As a profession, the US Army is responsible for cultivating and disseminating the bulk of the professional knowledge that pertains to land combat. The US Army is not necessarily representative of other Western militaries either in size, organization, or culture. Yet it enjoys considerable influence among those (and many non-Western) militaries, as do its doctrinal publications. Furthermore, many of America’s allies and strategic partners have adopted the spirit, if not the letter, of US Joint and US Army doctrine to minimize friction when conducting multinational operations. The perspectives the US Army holds with respect to armed conflict may differ less than one might expect from those of other armies. Ergo, while this article examines America’s way of battle as it is manifested in US Army doctrine, much of what it says may apply just as well to other states and their ground forces. I. Doctrine as the US Army’s Professional Knowledge The major doctrinal publications of the US Army not only provide officially sanctioned guidelines they also offer a basis for how the US Army defines itself as a “Profession.”[ii] According to the US Army’s own definition, professions possess a special expertise that enables them to perform vital services for the societies to which they belong. Professions “focus on generating expert knowledge,” and that body of knowledge enables members of a profession to apply that expertise to new situations.[iii] Just as lawyers and physicians apply their expertise to new cases, military professionals apply to their unique expertise to new strategic situations requiring the management of violence. For reasons that are unclear, the US Army has deliberately excluded concepts and concept development from its definition of professional knowledge; the US Army’s network of doctrinal publications is, therefore, the repository of its expert knowledge. The members of the US Army must master that knowledge, or at least the portion of it which pertains to their individual branches and ranks, to be considered legitimate professionals. The state of a military organization’s doctrine, therefore, is critical to its status as a profession. If its doctrine is fundamentally flawed, its status as a profession will be dubious—unless it subscribes to a different definition of a profession. The US Army owns and updates literally hundreds of doctrinal publications. The list below, however, identifies those publications most crucial to the conduct of war. The hub of these publications is FM 3-0 Operations (2017). It is the US Army’s authoritative statement regarding the conduct of military operations, and it is the base document for such publications as FM 3-07 Stability (2014) and FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies (2014). • Army Doctrine Publication ADP 1 The Army (2019); • Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 1-01 Army Doctrine Primer (2019); • ADP 3-0 Operations (2017); • ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and the Profession (2019); • Field Manual (FM) 3-0 Operations (2017); • FM 3-07 Stability (2014); • FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies (2014); • FM 3-24.2 Counterinsurgency Tactics (2009); • Strategic Document 01, Chief of Staff of the Army Paper 01: Army Multi-Domain Transformation (2021); • Strategic Document 02, Chief of Staff of the Army Paper 02: Army in Military Competition (2021); • Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force (2021).[iv] The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle Antulio J. Echevarria II
Volume 8, Issue 1, Summer 2022 14 II. Essential Observations Space limitations do not permit an extensive discussion of each of these documents; hence, this section presents only essential observations. The first of these concerns FM 3-0. Given the central role FM 3-0 plays in the US Army’s fighting doctrine, it ought to convey a conceptual understanding of a way of war. To its credit, it contains several statements suggesting a general awareness of a way of war, such as: “Tactical success wins battles, but it is not enough to win wars.”[v] But FM 3-0 assumes the nature of battle is the same as the nature of war, and it describes the conduct of operations based on that assumption. Section III below defines the difference between the two in more detail. As graphic evidence of this battle-centric perspective, we have the oft-maligned Joint Operations Phasing Model (see Fig. 1) [KL1] also known as the “Sand Chart,” which clearly emphasizes Phase III “Combat Operations” as the most important of the phases. While the model holds true for some cases, it is more atypical than typical of the situations the US Army is frequently tasked to resolve. Figure 1 shows a dark-blue line indicating the reality that many opponents, recognizing US superiority in Phase III, have “backloaded” their resistance efforts into Phases IV and V; in this way they can employ small, militia-type organizations more effectively. The light-blue line indicates the relative degree to which information operations and other conditionsetting measures have increased in importance to the goal of “dominating” the situation. This rendition of the Sand Chart is now under revision. But it is unclear how much it will be changed. Instead of depicting an ideal case, US Army and US Joint doctrinal publications should show multiple cases and thereby downplay the traditional assumption that dominance is typically achieved through battlefield victories. In addition, FM 3-0 stresses the centrality of the tenets and principles of the concept of AirLand Battle (agility, initiative, depth, and synchronization), which characterized the US Army’s operational doctrine through most of the 1980s and 1990s. These battle-centric tenets and principles were successfully applied in the annihilation of Saddam Hussein’s forces during Desert Storm. But one decade later, in the aftermath of the rapid collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regular forces, these principles proved insufficient for the extensive counterinsurgency campaigns US military forces and their coalition partners had to conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hence, counterinsurgency principles had to be rediscovered and reintroduced to America’s military leadership, which in turn sparked considerable controversy. [vi] Unfortunately, battle-centric perspectives of this sort generally focus on only one type of military “grammar” at a time (where grammar is a given set of principles) and tend to want to refine that grammar to perfection, often doing so without considering policy’s logic which may require alternative grammars. Whereas Clausewitz famously said war has its own grammar but not its own logic, battlecentric perspectives tend to reverse that precept, allowing military grammar to drive policy’s logic. The principles and tenets of AirLand Battle have definite merit and reincorporating them into FM 3-0 was hardly wrong-headed. But the US military ought to have had an opportunity to debate their limitations and constraints, and tohave had the resultant caveats incorporated into the latest doctrine. For example, encouraging battlefield commanders to take initiative invariably means accepting the possibility that they will have to act without, or contrary to, political guidance, especially because the speed of combat in the twenty-first century is too fast for centralized control. That possibility, in turn, means some loss of political control over military operations will likely occur, particularly because political processes can be complicated and require time—and thus policy changes can arrive too late. One of the differences between a way of war and a way of battle is the former acknowledges the potential political and/or sociocultural implications of applying a given principle or tenet. Thus, the US Army’s expert knowledge must follow suit and discuss the potential political and sociocultural tradeoffs that might come with applying a specific military grammar. The 2017 edition of FM 3-0 has the appearance of having been rushed into publication. Perhaps it was. After all, interest in strategic competition has been increasing since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, and the seemingly rising possibility of a major conflict with Russia or China, or both. Hence, the US Army (among others) may well have updated FM 3-0 and other doctrine, albeit hastily, to signal it was still conceptually prepared for large-scale operations. Yet the signal it sent has not been deconflicted with messages sent by the emerging guidance on “MultiDomain Operations (MDO)” and “All-Domain Operations (ADO),” which is moving the US military toward different principles.[vii] Even if FM 3-0 (2017) is only an interim publication intended to reorient the US Army toward largescale operations, the publication’s battle-centric focus is worth noting so follow-on publications can avoid the error. The second doctrinal publication this article considers is FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies (2014). The previous edition of FM 3-24 appeared in 2007/08 with great fanfare. It was intended to assist the US Army and US Marine Corps in reorienting intellectually from how to achieve success in large-scale, force-on-force operations to how to defeat insurgencies. Regrettably, FM 3-24 is not well synchronized with FM 3-0 (or ADP 3-0) which, again, may be a function of the hasty, interim nature of FM 3-0. Indeed, FM 3-24 and FM 3-0 read as if they were written by authors from two different armies, each completely isolated from the other. FM 3-24 does, unfortunately, share an important similarity with FM 3-0, namely, its lack of appreciation for the political and sociocultural implications of the concepts it describes; for instance, it sheds little light on the fact that counterinsurgency campaigns essentially amount towars of The Persistence of America’s Way of Battle Antulio J. Echevarria IIwww.militarystrategymagazine.com