Victor Davis Hanson has written a brilliant essay in the November 2009 issue of Imprimis, in which he discusses what he calls the Western way of war, how it developed over the history of Western Civilization, its current configuration, and its prognosis. The sum of its evolution to date is that it has been without a doubt the most successful war methodology in world history essentially because of the moral and political systems which have sustained and organized it. Hanson’s disturbing message is the prognosis for its future, because all of the limiting factors on the tradition and current application of the Western way of war—its growing bureaucratization, the existence of world markets for weapons, the growth of the anti-war movement in the West, and, most seriously, the asymmetry of contemporary warfare—are magnified in our time. And his most disturbing point is this: “We who created the Western way of war are very reluctant to resort to it due to post-modern cynicism, while those who didn’t create it are very eager to apply it due to pre-modern zealotry, and that’s a very lethal combination”.
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