The Best Defense

Quote of the day: Napoleon pigs out

In an essay knocking down the concept of "total war" in the book Arms and the Man, West Point history prof (and rowing coach) Eugenia Kiesling offers this interesting analogy: "If war under the ancien regime was like dining at an elegant restaurant where one paid extravagantly for small, elaborately presented portions, Napoleon took advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet."


The Best Defense

Syria: The long hot summer of 2012

I keep on seeing talk about how the Obama administration should do more to oust Assad.

I actually think the best way to get rid of Assad would be to remove the roadblock posed by the possibility that the ouster would be followed by a punitive repression of minorities (Christians, Armenians, and such) who supported the regime. But I don't know if such a removal is possible. Overall, to my surprise, I tend to agree with this Washington Times column by Daniel Pipes.

I wonder if eventually the borders of the Middle East will be re-drawn. I could see it, Iraq and Lebanon all being reconfigured. I am not sure what that would mean for the Kurds. It will be interesting to watch the role Turkey plays in all this -- as a relatively stable, prosperous member of NATO whose interests extend deep into the affected states.