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Saturday
06Dec

Response to Rex Brynen - On Lebanon

Thanks for these valuble insights, Rex. For the record, I'm posting below my original response to your comment on the interview. I don't have much to add to it and I think I addressed some of your points in my response to Martin Senn.

I confess I have not studied in great depth the recent Lebanon war and should perhaps have spoken more carefully. Your post adds a lot of nuanced empirical context to relate to my broader theoretical arguments. There is indeed a whole spectrum of more or less decentralised approaches to warfare with all real warfighting forces constituting their own specific combination of these approaches. A fully chaoplexic force could hardly be reconciled with definite political goals in the absence of a chain of command and an ability to convert military successes on the ground into political when time for negotiation comes. I see the different regimes of warfare I distinguish as different poles of attraction for military organisation rather than descriptions of actually existing entities.

Finally, you raise the important point that the effectiveness of any strategy or tactics is always a function of those employed by the opposition. This inherently relational and contextual nature of armed conflict is what to my mind precludes the elaboration of a set of technological or organisational systems that can deliver victory everywhere and at all times.


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