Military Strategists Have Known for 2,500 Years that Prolonged Wars Are Disastrous → Washingtons Blog
Military Strategists Have Known for 2,500 Years that Prolonged Wars Are Disastrous - Washingtons Blog

Monday, November 1, 2010

Military Strategists Have Known for 2,500 Years that Prolonged Wars Are Disastrous

2,500 hundred years ago, one of the greatest military strategists ever - Sun Tzu - said:

  • "What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations."
  • "No nation has ever benefited from a prolonged war."
  • "Now, when an army of one hundred thousand is raised and dispatched on a distant campaign, the expenses borne by the people together with disbursements of the treasury will amount to a thousand pieces of gold daily. In addition, there will be continuous commotion both at home and abroad, people will be exhausted by the corvee of transport, and the farm work of seven hundred thousand households will be disrupted."
"A thousand pieces of gold" is a metaphorical, not set, amount. The costs of today's wars are actually much higher than a ton of gold per day.

Despite the talk of withdrawal, America is engaged in perpetual war in the Middle East (and see this, this, this, this, this and this).

America's political leaders haven't learned a 2,500-year-old lesson.

And see this.


  1. You make a valid point. However, I think you have also made a math error. According to the link, one metric ton of gold was worth $32,976,919 when the price of gold was only $934.88 per ounce. At today's price ($1350 per ounce) one metric ton is worth about $47.6 million dollars. Therefore, a thousand tons of gold per day would be worth $47.6 BILLION dollars. Spending at a rate of $47.6 billion dollars per day would equal $17.374 trillion dollars per year. They are spending a lot on war, but not that much.

  2. " A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself immediately calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection with the first.....It accepts as real the images evoked in its mind, though they most often have only a distant relation with the observed fact."

    " It is to the creators of illusions that they have raised more temples, statues, and altars than any other class of men."

    " The beginning of a revolution is in reality the end of a belief." Gustave Le Bon

    These are quotes from Gustave Le Bon's book, "The Crowd: A study of the popular mind".

    If there is one book that detail the conditions necessary to carry out acts like that day in Sept. and the toner-cartridge al-CIAda snafu it is captured in this book. I recommend it to everyone that wonders how governments control the minds of people.

    There are numerous voices throughout history that have warned us of the capacity of man's oppression of man for the profit of the most ruthless.

  3. Now there is some relevant history. Good post. Thanks.

    Wars obviously cause forms of dementia, prolonged wars cause prolonged dementia.

    Military thinkers now actually believe that health care is their greatest enemy and are backing politicians who want to destroy it.

  4. I think prolonged wars have been quite good for me personally. I got a Nobel Peace prize after killing more than a million+ Vietnamese.

  5. Bravo for the post, but sadly what you are saying should be obvious to anyone with working critical thinking skills.

    Equally obvious is that you cannot use the military to create social progress. You either send your military in to completely anhilate the enemy or you can send your military in to colonise the enemy and take his land away in order to cultivate it yourself.

    If you want to win the hearts and minds of your enemy and convince them to adopt your ways you don't use your military unless you are either an idiot or a leader of a nation of idiots who are easily bamboozled.

  6. smart money is in fighting, not winning. if capitalism is the geometrical progression of profits,the only thing left is to tax the workers to pay for the war to protect them from , as it turns out, sting operations by inept g-men.
    is there any such thing as a turnipblood futures market?

  7. Politicians etc. like to hide behind 'mistakes'.

    But Roosevelt was more honest when he at the time said something like: 'everything we see in the public domain is a result of intent'. I'm to lazy to look up the exact quote, but it is clear what he means.

    So the question is: what is the intent. And who's intent is it.

    And it is to bring the US of A down, so that it won't be much of a problem in their quest for world government.

    We can agree that with so much blood on it's hands the US of A really deserves to go down too. Stupidity of the populace is not an excuse, for wholesale rape, plunder and mass murder. As the populations of previous Empires have learned to their detriment.

    The problem is, the US will be missed once the real bosses get their coveted World Throne.

  8. "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

    Whispered the Dradon to the Eagle.

  9. Today's wars are different in that they are waged
    to benefit a few at the expense of many (Main Street). Bottom line: Pols are very aware of that 2,500 year-old lesson. The economic devastation is intentional.


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