Supreme Excellence in Warfare

November 24, 2007 at 3:03 pm

One of the greatest ironies of the Bush administration is that the worse the President performs, the more people think that they need a “strong leader” like him.

For example, Bush invades Iraq on trumped up charges, destabilizes the Middle East, creates more terrorists than ever before, and convinces people we need a strong leader to solve these problems. Of course, few mention that Republicans are responsible for these problems in the first place.

Part of the reason this strategy is so effective is that they brand themselves as “strong,” and Democrats as “weak.” In the spirit of reframing this conversation around effective versus ineffective, I’d like to offer a few quotes from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”:

  • “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”
  • “If the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.”

As a nation, we are overextending ourselves and you can see it in the fact that the world is losing confidence in America. There is no better illustration of this than the falling value of the dollar.

  • “In the practical art of warfare, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.”
  • “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

The Bush administration only uses military options. These are not always the best strategy in an effective war on terror. Isn’t it about time for a Commander in Chief who has more than one card to play?