Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Crappy Book Thread 1/18/2015

Again crappy thread not necessarily crappy books -

As I noted last week Mark Zuckerberg has started a book club.  The first book was to be "The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be" (the second book was supposed to be posted 1/16 but already the two schedule has fallen by the wayside.) This book is described as a provocative examination of the relationship between dominant megapowers and insurgent micro-aggressors based on original research, but (and bear in mind I am only 25% of the way in) so far I don't see anything that strikes my as terribly provocative or original. The author accepts the dominant paradigms that a) the US is losing it's superpower status and b) China will replace it.

Personally I accept neither of those propositions (at least if we can get Obama out of office without a clone being elected).  Demographics are working against China as is it's coming economic collapse (again my opinion) and the US is still growing in terms of population which is a requirement to maintain economic dominance.  While the US has shortcomings it is much easier for us to overcome them than the Chinese under their system.

The author also accepts as fact that the US cannot exercise power based on the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Again I reject that conclusion.  Those wars could have had much different outcomes if we had not artificially limited ourselves.  Insurgencies and asymmetric warfare developed after we intentionally limited infrastructure damage in the name of "proportionality".  That will always result in failure unless you are willing to invest a generation in rebuilding the country (we weren't) .  If as was the case in Germany and Japan we had engaged in total war and then occupied the country after an extended period of warfare I maintain the outcomes would have been different.  We made the choice to artificially constrain our use of power.  (Not advocating a total war approach just saying that a combination of shortsightedness and artificial constraints led to the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and if we are going to engage in limited actions we have to understand the follow-on investment required).

The again I am a moron so what do I know?

Also reading -

The Warriors by Sol Yorick - What can I say it's the basis for on of the classic movies of the 70s but wow is it different.

Short thread I know but heopefully next week I will have more to say.  (or not depending on your viewpoint)
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