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Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Lessons of War From History

I think it is great that people remember the lessons of history. They remember the bad times when despots and dictators became too bold and invaded bordering countries in order to conquer their part of the world. An example within memory of most people today is when Saddam and his 'generals' invaded Kuwait, and later launched many missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia. (Invasion started: 2 August 1990. ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War )
(See also: "Iraqi Missile Strikes" into Israel for six weeks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War#Iraqi_missile_strikes_on_Israel_and_Saudi_Arabia )

Older people will remember the appeasement folly at the start of the Second World War.
The "flawed" (Munich Agreement) treaty signed by Neville Chamberlain in 1938 was called 'appeasement' -- meaning, the policy of acceding to the demands of a potentially hostile nation in the hope of maintaining peace. The golden rule is probably never trust the word of a despot or a dictator (or a common criminal for that matter). A dictator, in particular, doesn't usually care what other people say. In the end, dictators do exactly what they want to do (and they make their people do it) -- that's the definition of a dictator.

If the leaders of Great Britain, France and Poland had been blessed with enough foresight in 1938 they could have lined up their combined forces along the Polish border and rejected the advancing Nazi forces.
In the modern world it isn't hard to know when a hostile nation is moving their armed forces into battle-ready positions. There are lots of satellites that can help with that sort of intelligence. So having enough foresight, or making educated predictions isn't quite so important. The leaders can make decisions based on solid facts.

By the way, most people want a peaceful world, but realistic people know that occasionally the human race produces despots or tyrants, and countries must maintain credible *defense* forces, so that the potential invaders won't be quite so bold. ... Also, in the nuclear age (since the Second World War) there has been a concept known as "Mutually Assured Destruction" -- it would be M.A.D. for one nuclear capable country to attack another. The concept is responsible for maintaining relatively sane relations between the nuclear capable countries.

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