1: The Minotaur Presented.
2: Imperium In Imperio.
3: Hamiltonian Absolutism: The Minotaur’s Golden Ticket.
4: The Constitution versus Caesar.
5: The Military Ascendancy.
6: America versus MacArthur.
7: The Rise of the Soldier and the State.
8: The Political Science of Everything in 2016.
9: Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Gray Zone.
10: A Coup against the Cathedral.
11: The Red Empire Ascendant.
12: Deconstruction of the Department of State.
13: War Makes the State and the State Makes War.
14: The Pact.
15: The Trumpian Triumvirate.
16: The Minotaur’s “Mad Dog”.
18: Prophetic Aftermath.
What will be America’s future? If America was an experiment in republican government, then what have the results of this experiment been so far? Are we not all Crypto-imperialists now? What should America and the world prepare for? Collapse? Dictatorship?
Our central contention is that America, or rather the United States Government, is in crisis. The crisis of USG is part of a general crisis affecting modern states in general. In USG’s case, the crisis consists of three, interconnected set of anomalies that contradict the paradigm of progress: 1. Security; 2. Economics. 3. Legitimacy.
You could argue that these three anomalies roughly correlate to Clausewitz’s “trinity” of military, state and people. The military, or the security services more broadly, are unable to provide not only basic protection against petty crime but also terrorism and are probably unable to pro-actively deal with emerging threats from new technologies. Furthermore, the military cannot win winnable wars against non-state actors abroad, as witness Vietnam or now in Afghanistan.
The state has not or cannot provide meaningful work and a materially satisfying life to a growing number of people, especially those among the “middle class”. Record numbers of men are dying from drugs and despair in the counties and more are dying from drugs and drug wars in the cities; free trade has hollowed out the country’s manufacturing base and economic bubbles has blown up the middle-class and then there is the trillion-dollar-deficit.
The people (from every spectrum), moreover, are angry and despondent at not only their politicians but the political system and the political formula which confers legitimacy. The “official” narrative(s) peddled by the mainstream media, academics and government officials are no longer believable. Modern communication technologies ( such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube) rather than bring people together have only shown how radically different people are and have played a central role in making Americans hate each other and wishing each other dead.
The idea of the American people (as a people) is coming unstuck and a cold civil war exists – something long foreseen by astute observers.
There is one institution in America doing rather well – despite everything. One that has consistently the highest levels of respect and approval – though still despised by the Left; furthermore, it is the one institution that is still absolutely needed by both Democrats and Republicans: the military.
In what follows, we present selections from a range of authors and sources charting and reflecting upon the origins, rise and current state of America’s civil-military relationship.
For most of America’s history, its military was small, underdeveloped and regarded as a somewhat shameful aspect of national life. Today, the modern military plays a central, critical role in USG’s domestic and foreign politics.
That war makes the state and the state makes war is the central fact of political and American history. America was born in blood (against Britain); next, Federalism triumphed in the bloody Civil War and then the imperialist wars against Native Americans and Mexico; then, USG ascended to global dominance via the two biggest bloodbaths in human history (WW1 and WW2).
For those who oppose all that the Left stands for – Totalitarian control – it is necessary to master the Minotaur of War.
Starting with the English Civil War, a Leftist faction (Anglo-American Left) have won every single time – the last four major wars (American Civil War, WW1, WW2 and the Cold War).
What is the connection between the advance of leftism and war-making?
Caesar once said that when you have men “take money”, and when you have money “buy men”.
Caesar neatly encapsulates the expansionary feedback trinity between war-making, state making and patrons making use of clients and proxies to secure their power.
The thesis we have developed over the last three parts is that the central and centralising power undermines every other power centre it has a relationship with by “stripping” or “peeling” away men, money and materials that are owned or controlled by these secondary centres (Church, aristocracy, businesses and the family). Furthermore, the main reason why the central power does this is in order to secure its own power but also to make itself stronger – stronger and better at waging war.
This, straightforward, materialistic theory explains the incentives, source, development and triumph of Christianity and Leftism; Progressivism and Tranzism. The central powers (and the Elite managers within them) require a political formula (ideology) to justify their actions, persuade others and confuse opponents. Any ideology that justifies the actions of the central powers will be selected and propagated. The kinds of ideologies that will be selected will justify either or both the “liberating” and “equalizing” actions of the central power (as well as its war-making).
Reflecting upon military and political history, the pessimistic conclusion that appears inescapable is that totalitarianism or fascism was a forgone, necessary, conclusion of the inexorable laws of Power.
Our conclusion is thus pessimistic and tragic.
Despite the fact that you get the structure of your state right, with the right people acting for the right reasons, if, however, you face an external state committed to conquest, and if you cannot persuade them, buy them off, persuade or rent another power you will have to either fight or surrender to them.
When it comes to successfully waging war, a state that makes use of all its resources – men, women and children and all its money and materials – then, all else being equal, you will need to do the exact same.
Now, suppose you do copy the practices of this enemy and suppose you win and suppose you win big. You (the Elite) are now in control of a vast, new source of actual and potential power – one that threatens the carefully balanced political, social and economic structure of the “homeland” state.
The men and women who volunteered or who were coerced into the war machine now, for only a brief moment, have bargaining leverage against the political order. Crucially, the man (the Commander) who has both authority and power over these people has a huge, determinate but temporary and declining leverage over other Elites defending the original political order.
Formalism is the philosophy that ownership and control must not only be united but inviolate. The trouble, as Moldbug well knows, is that men with guns beat men with pens and gold – should the men with guns choose or be persuaded (usually by men with pens) to do so.
For instance, after the defeat of Napoleon I, Metternich and the other European Elites carefully constructed and formalised a stable European order; however, a man like Bismarck – a master of realpolitik, who had his hands on the reins of the Minotaur – upended that order by amassing a fearsome and formidable power centre. The full consequences of Bismarck’s centralising and war-making would only be made manifest decades later.
The point is that political order is extremely fragile – from foreign powers as well as from revolutionaries or reformers from within.
USG has, so far, beaten everyone else. However, the game never ends and now USG is an empire. Firstly, USG must firmly hold down any internal challenge to the established order. Secondly, USG must compete economically against China and militarily against the Islamic threat, while keeping the Russians boxed in and the Europeans protected and prostrate.
Since we assume that USG as it is is incapable of reform, it will continue as it currently is until it can no longer do so. The question is what then? Crack up or collapse or both are the only possibilities – with one important exception (civil war).
Nevertheless, even with a crack-up or a collapse there is one thing in the room that cannot be ignored. This thing is not a gorilla, it is King Kong: the United States Military.
The following extracts, from various books and articles, which can be profitably read in full, are presented without comment.
In part six, we come to think about what America’s future might be in the State of STEEL.
1: The Minotaur Presented.
The war through which we have lived has surpassed in savagery and destructive force any yet seen by the Western World.
…But it is of Power’s essence not to be weak. Circumstances arise which make the people themselves want to be led by a powerful will. Then comes the time when whoever has taken hold of Power, whether it be a man or a gang, can make fearless use of its controls. These users quickly demonstrate the crushing enormity of Power. They are thought to have built it, but they did not. They are only its bad tenants.”
The power house was there before them: they do no more than make use of it. The giant was already up and about: they do no more than furnish him with a terrible spirit. The claws and talons which he then makes felt grew in the season of democracy. It is he that mobilizes the population, but the principle of conscription was founded in a democratic time. He is the despoiler of wealth, but democracy provided him with the inquisitorial mechanism of taxation which he uses. The tyrant would not derive legitimacy from the plebiscite if the general will had not already been proclaimed the sufficient source of authority.
Democracy, then, in the centralizing, pattern-making, absolutist shape which we have given to it is, it is clear, the time of tyranny’s incubation.
Can anyone doubt that a state which binds men to itself by every tie of need and feeling will be that much the better placed for devoting them all one day to the dooms of war? The more departments of life that Power takes over, the greater will be its material resources for making war; the more clearly seen the services which it renders, the readier will be the answer to its summons. And will anyone be so bold as to guarantee that this vast mechanism of state will never fall into the hands of a glutton of empire? Is not the will to Power rooted deep in human nature, and have not the outstanding qualities of leadership needed for the handling of a machine which goes ever from strength to strength often had for companion the lust of conquest?
On Power: a Natural History of its Growth. Bertrand De Jouvenel
2: Imperium In Imperio.
So they dissipated the fear of “standing armies,” not by abandoning the fear of military rule but by showing the irrelevance of that peculiar and distinctive concept in the American situation. They recognized the need for a regular, professional army, but they insisted that it remain under strict civilian control: the military must always, Tench Coxe wrote in the course of his defense of a national army, “be regarded with a watchful eye, for it is a profession that is liable to dangerous perversion.” So they showed the irrelevance of the ancient “solecism” imperium in imperio; but despite Hamilton’s assurances and despite the federalist structure of the Constitution, they continued to believe that a concurrence of powers could mean a repugnancy; that in certain situations you could have – to repeat
Madison’s words – “a sovereignty over sovereigns, a government over governments,” and when you did you would find “violence in place of law, or the destructive coertion of the sword in place of the mild and salutary coertion of the magistracy.”
Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Bernard Bailyn.
(See more here.)
3: Hamiltonian Absolutism: The Minotaur’s Golden Ticket.
The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union
From the New York Packet. Tuesday, December 18, 1787.
The principal purposes to be answered by union are these the common defense of the members; the preservation of the public peace as well against internal convulsions as external attacks; the regulation of commerce with other nations and between the States; the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries.
The authorities essential to the common defense are these: to raise armies; to build and equip fleets; to prescribe rules for the government of both; to direct their operations; to provide for their support. These powers ought to exist without limitation, BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FORESEE OR DEFINE THE EXTENT AND VARIETY OF NATIONAL EXIGENCIES, OR THE CORRESPONDENT EXTENT AND VARIETY OF THE MEANS WHICH MAY BE NECESSARY TO SATISFY THEM. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite, and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. This power ought to be coextensive with all the possible combinations of such circumstances; and ought to be under the direction of the same councils which are appointed to preside over the common defense.
This is one of those truths which, to a correct and unprejudiced mind, carries its own evidence along with it; and may be obscured, but cannot be made plainer by argument or reasoning. It rests upon axioms as simple as they are universal; the MEANS ought to be proportioned to the END; the persons, from whose agency the attainment of any END is expected, ought to possess the MEANS by which it is to be attained.
Whether there ought to be a federal government intrusted with the care of the common defense, is a question in the first instance, open for discussion; but the moment it is decided in the affirmative, it will follow, that that government ought to be clothed with all the powers requisite to complete execution of its trust. And unless it can be shown that the circumstances which may affect the public safety are reducible within certain determinate limits; unless the contrary of this position can be fairly and rationally disputed, it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence, that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community, in any matter essential to its efficacy that is, in any matter essential to the FORMATION, DIRECTION, or SUPPORT of the NATIONAL FORCES.
4: The Constitution V Caesar.
Like Rome, it began with a relatively small core—the founding states’ combined area today is just 8 percent of the total extent of the United States—which expanded to dominate half a continent. Like Rome, it was an inclusive empire, relatively (though not wholly) promiscuous in the way that it conferred citizenship. Like Rome, it had, at least for a time, its disenfranchised slaves. But unlike Rome, its republican constitution has withstood the ambitions of any would-be Caesars—so far. (It is of course early days. The United States is 228 years old. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 B.C., the Roman Republic was 460 years old.)
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. Niall Ferguson.
5: The Military Ascendancy.
SINCE Pearl Harbor those who command the enlarged means of American violence have come to possess considerable autonomy, as well as great influence, among their political and economic colleagues. Some professional soldiers have stepped out of their military roles into other high realms of American life. Others, while remaining soldiers, have influenced by advice, information, and judgment the decisions of men powerful in economic and political matters, as well as in educational and scientific endeavors. In and out of uniform, generals and admirals have attempted to sway the opinions of the underlying population, lending the weight of their authority, openly as well as behind closed doors, to controversial policies.
In many of these controversies, the warlords have gotten their way; in others, they have blocked actions and decisions which they did not favor. In some decisions, they have shared heavily; in others they have joined issue and lost. But they are now more powerful than they have ever been in the history of the American elite; they have now more means of exercising power in many areas of American life which were previously civilian domains; they now have more connections; and they are now operating in a nation whose elite and whose underlying population have accepted what can only be called a military definition of reality. Historically, the warlords have been only uneasy, poor relations within the American elite; now they are first cousins; soon they may become elder brothers.
…..as a coherent group of men the military is probably the most competent now concerned with national policy; no other group has had the training in co-ordinated economic, political, and military affairs; no other group has had the continuous experience in the making of decisions; no other group so readily ‘internalizes’ the skills of other groups nor so readily engages their skills on its own behalf; no other group has such steady access to world-wide information.
The ‘politicalization’ of the high military that has been going on over the last fifteen years is a rather intricate process: As members of a professional officer corps, some military men develop a vested interest—personal, institutional, ideological—in the enlargement of all things military. As bureaucrats, some are zealous to enlarge their own particular domains. As men of power, some develop quite arrogant, and others quite shrewd, drives to influence, enjoying as a high value the exercise of power. But by no means are all military men prompted by such motives. As a type of man, the professional military are not inherently out for political power, or, at least, one need not rest the case upon any such imputation of motive. For even if they are not desirous of political power, power essentially political in nature may be and has been thrust upon them by civilian default; they have been much used—willingly or not—by civilians for political purposes.
From the standpoint of the party politician, a well-trained general or admiral is an excellent legitimator of policies, for his careful use often makes it possible to lift the policy ‘above politics,’ which is to say above “political debate and into the realm of administration, where, as statesman Dulles said in support of General Eisenhower for President, there are needed men with the capacity for ‘making grave decisions.’
From the standpoint of the political administrator, military men are often believed useful because they constitute a pool of men trained in executive skills but not openly identified with any private interests.
As politics get into the army, the army gets into politics. The military has been and is being made political, on the one hand, by civilian default, and on the other, by civilian criticism of military decisions.
In the army book, there is no Standard Operating Procedure for fighting a Senator. There seem only two ways out: One way, especially if there is a war on, is a field command and obeying orders rigidly without political question. In other words, go soldierly and withdraw, be aloof and stiff in your dignity. The other way is to go all out politically, by the classic ways of forming alliances with political figures, and, given their executive position, maybe some new ways too. For, so long as they remain officers, they cannot very well go explicitly and openly political in the party sense—although some have done so. But, in the main, they will necessarily work carefully and behind the scenes—they will, in short, be open to membership, with other military men, with corporation executives, and with members of the political directorate and of the Congress, to form or to join pro-military cliques on the higher levels.
It is in terms of this situation that we must understand the political ways of the warlords, and the higher influence military men have now come to exert within the power elite of America. Military men are supposed to be the mere instruments of political men, but the problems they confront increasingly require political decisions. To treat such political decisions as ‘military necessities’ is of course to surrender civilian responsibility, if not decision, to the military elite. But if the military metaphysics, to which the civilian elite now clings, are accepted, then by definition warfare is the only reality, that is to say, the necessity, of our time.
The Power Elite. C. Wright Mills.
6: America Versus MacArthur
The year 1951 was perhaps the only moment in its history that the American Republic came close to meeting the fate of the Roman Republic. The man who would play the part of Caesar was the architect of the new Japan, now commander in chief of the UN forces in Korea, General Douglas MacArthur. Convinced that Truman’s chosen strategy of “limited war” was fatally mistaken, MacArthur effectively crossed the Rubicon by publicly saying so. In defying Truman, he had not only popular support but also the backing of the Republican leadership in Congress and of a substantial proportion of the conservative press. When Truman dismissed him and MacArthur returned home to a hero’s welcome, the Constitution itself seemed in peril.
When MacArthur was informed of his dismissal on April 11—not from a presidential emissary, as had been intended, but from an aide who had heard the news on the radio after an extraordinary nocturnal press conference at the White House—he resolved to return to the United States and “raise hell.” He had little difficulty. When the news of his dismissal broke, there was outrage. Senior Republicans talked wildly of multiple impeachments, sentiments echoed by the Chicago Tribune. MacArthur was hailed as “one of the greatest military leaders since long before the days of Genghis Khan,” and a “deserving idol of the American people”; Truman was nothing more than a drunk and a pygmy the leader of a “popular-front Communist-dominated Government.” There were pro-MacArthur demonstrations from New York to San Gabriel, California, from Baltimore to Houston. Four state legislatures passed resolutions condemning the president’s decision. Telegrams poured in from all over the country, overwhelmingly against Truman. The president’s approval rating crashed to 26 percent; a Gallup poll put support for MacArthur at 69 percent. Those in the White House who joked that MacArthur would “wade ashore” and burn the Constitution amid a “21-atomic bomb salute” were doing their best to make light of a grave political crisis. MacArthur’s return was no laughing matter. His address to Congress was a bravura performance, running the gamut of mawkish sentiments from the pious to the patriotic. It was watched on television by thirty million people…
…We heard God speak here today, God in the flesh, the voice of God!” exclaimed a delirious congressman. One senator “felt that if the speech had gone on much longer there might have been a march on the White House.” MacArthur himself strutted through the streets of New York in an impromptu parade that is said to have drawn a crowd of up to seven million. It was a triumph worthy of a Caesar.
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. Niall Ferguson.
7: The Rise of the Soldier and the State.
SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON AND THE AMERICAN MILITARY TRADITION
IT has only been during the past twenty-five years that American intellectuals have given serious attention to the military, both as a body unto itself and in terms of strategy and national policy. The reasons for this are not hard to come by, nor should they long detain us here. The point; however, has importance for understanding Samuel P. Huntington, as a scholar, and for what his works have revealed about the place of military profession in U.S. society. If nothing else, the sum total of Huntington’s scholarship has opened a whole new avenue of intellectual inquiry for the American academy. His writings have both paralleled and traced the growth of America as a world power and, with it, the transformation of the military from a neglected stepchild of a liberal and isolationist society into a front-running engine of history’s foremost superpower.
Until the end of World War II American society had little reason to concern itself with the military. The vast protection afforded by the two oceans and the British Navy, an ingrained anti-militarism stemming from colonial times and the resultant mind-set to define world politics in a legalistic and constitutional framework consistently kept the American people prejudiced against the military. The importance of military power and the unique culture of military professionalism were generally ignored.
After World War II, however, the U.S. was forced to alter drastically its thinking on international politics. The military became a central concern, especially in 1949 when NATO was formed and in 1950 when the Korean War began. Like it or not, the United States became the global guardian of a vast alliance network which depended upon American power for its existence and prosperity. Americans-for the first time-had to maintain vigilance in peacetime. This meant that they had to support a strong peacetime military force, a proposition for which their experience had not prepared them.
Philosophically, Huntington blends a uniquely American conservative understanding of the nature of world politics with an unconcealed admiration of the professional military “ethic,” a phenomenon he defines as similar to the school of political “realism” which advanced in this country after World War II. By his own definition he is a “neo-Hamiltonian.” Yet, there is an air of detachment about his style throughout most of his works. Not primarily partisan nor necessarily a sympathizer of all things military, he is above all an analyst. Almost scientific, he has carefully unfolded the origins of the military in American society and the nature of military professionalism compared to the, otherwise, anti-military habits of the U.S. public. Unlike such European-born “realists” as Hans Morgenthau, Huntington is thoroughly American. There is nothing “old-world” or Machiavellian about his writings. Rather than accepting the traditional liberal view of the military as a scheming harbinger of war and evil, however, he has sketched a much deeper and far more revealing portrait of what was, until the mid-1950’s, perhaps American’s least understood and most consistently maligned and frustrated professional body. The story begins when The Soldier and the State first appeared in 1957.
In his first book-and afterwards-there remains a consistent and dominant theme which runs throughout Huntington’s work which is that there is a natural pendulum of civil-military relations in any modern society. That pendulum can shift either “left” or “right,” depending upon the position of the military vis-a-vis the civilian elements of political control. It is too far right if the military dominates; too far left if it is isolated or excluded.
The Soldier and the State has three parts. Part I offers an historical and theoretical overview of military institutions with the nation-state. Historically, it traces the origins of the “professional” military, i.e., the officer corps and the General Staff, in modern society, especially in the two archetypes of professional “militarism”: Germany and Japan. Beginning with the Napoleonic Wars, the aristocratic officership of Old Europe gave way to the streamlined and bureaucratic professionalism of nineteenth century military science, including the draft system, the officer corps, and the modern industrialized state. In all of these categories Prussia led the way, symbolized by the genius of the greatest military theorist of the period, Karl von Clausewitz.
Huntington contrasts Bismarck’s Prussia, however, with the anti-military monster state created by Hitler. Nazi Germany, he writes, was a classic case of the party-led totalitarian regime which kept the professional military out of the mainstream of political decisions. The military as a profession, Huntington maintains, has usually favored stability, caution, and restraint in foreign policy. The civilian ideologue, by contrast, has usually been the advocate for “decisive” action, reckless diplomacy, and the type of strategic ignorance which leads to war. The essence of Huntington’s message comes out in his summary of the German generals under Hitler: “The attitude of the German generals was virtually a perfect expression of the military ethic. They wanted to rebuild Germany’s armed might, but they wanted to do so slowly, and not in order to wage war but to protect German security.” …
As Huntington defines the military “ethic,” therefore, it is innately conservative and disciplined. A military force unchecked by civilian political constraints, however, can be as dangerous as the unleased demagogue. Imperial Japan, he writes, was a case in point. The inordinately powerful voice of the Japanese military between the wars violated the healthy balance necessary for selective and restrained national security policies. This reflected upon the “political militarism” of the Japanese officer corps: they became the strongest element of the national ideology. Instead of the aloof and professional guardian of the state, the Japanese military became the armed symbol of the nation unchecked by civilian power, undisciplined, and politicized. Either way, Huntington concludes, a too-weak and overly-controlled military voice (as in Nazi Germany) or a too-strong and unregulated one (Imperial Japan) will almost inevitably produce national disaster, if not immediately, certainly in the long run.
The heart of Huntington’s “theory” of civil-military relations is contained in his twin definitions of “objective” and “subjective” civilian control. At times exasperating and confusing, these definitions leave a good deal to be desired, compared with his more succinct and empirical historical analysis. Primarily an academic exercise, the concept of “subjective civilian control means enhancing the political power of specific civilian groups, while “objective” civilian control means maximizing the professionalism of the military as a servant of the state. Although ideal-types and largely theoretical, these forms of control have, however, been exercised in varying ways throughout history. Huntington naturally favors “objective” control of the military although he admits that “a high level of objective civilian control has been a rare phenomenon even more among modern western societies. (p. 85). He does not, however, offer concrete steps for the attainment of objective civilian control (although he does explain its conditions). The existence of two theoretical-types of civilian control is Huntington’s contribution to this form of military scholasticism. As such, however, it will probably remain a classroom exercise.
Part II of The Soldier and the State deals exclusively with the American experience until 1940. Although the material is primarily historical, Huntington rarely loses sight of his main theme, and he is neither forgiving nor compromising in his treatment of liberalism’s negative impact on the American military. “Liberalism,” he writes, “dominated American thinking from the Revolution though the first half of the twentieth century [and] does not understand and is hostile to military institutions and the military function. . . . Liberalism in the United States has been unchanging, monotonous and all-embracing” (pp. 144-145). As a latter-day Emory Upton (who wrote favorably on a professional military force in the last century), Huntington is devastating in his critique of the liberal mind-not so much as an historical expression of American cultural roots but as a lingering force in a Cold War setting where it was antiquated.
After explaining the ways in which a liberal American society has defined the “proper” role of the military, Huntington next discusses the “structural constraints“: the constitution vs civilian control. His ideal of “objective” control has been largely unattainable in American history, he claims, since there is no real constitutional provision for control. With an ingrained system- of state militia and-minus an aristocracy or even a foreseeable professional military, the framers of the constitution had no real need to institute a system of control over a hypothetical General Staff. This vacuum was filled by the separation of powers between the legislature and the executive, which de facto kept the military in line,” and the isolationist foreign policies which kept it small and removed from the rest of society. Civilian control in America, therefore, became a product of ideology and geography and in a technical sense never existed-the myth of U.S. history textbooks not withstanding. Americans, Huntington writes, “have been deluding themselves. They have ascribed to the Constitution a virtue of geography“
The remainder of Part II traces the origins, nature, and chronology of the American military tradition up to World War II. Prior to the Civil War, there were no important military institutions in the United States, a factor which was intimately connected also with the political failure of Hamiltonian conservatism.
The three strains which contributed to the pre-Civil War military were, according to Huntington, “technicism,” “popularism,” and “professionalism.” The first, which was Jeffersonian in origin, emphasized the engineering aspects of military science during that time and derived its strength from the pragmatic and empirical roots of American culture. The second was Jacksonian and reflected the innate American opposition to the officer corps as a- form of aristocracy. The third strain-professionalism-came almost exclusively from the old South and was the product of Southern romanticism, conservatism, and agrarianism.
The defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, however, ended the only remaining source of national (or sectional) sympathy for the military. The rise of what Huntington calls the dominant philosophy of “business pacifism” led by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Summer isolated the armed forces even further from the political, social, and intellectual momentum of post-bellum U.S. culture. Limited to an average strength of 25,000 men, the Army was even physically isolated, with small posts strung throughout the West manned by units which rarely came into contact with the rest of society.
The “creative core,” as Huntington calls it, was centered around the figures of General’s William Sherman, Emory Upton, and Admiral Stephen B. Luce, all towering military men of the 1870’s and 80’s who, collectively, began the ideas, writings, institutions, and courses of instruction which started the military on its professional way. Modeled mostly after Europe, Germany in particular, the American military “grew up” during these years into a elite and secure professional body, competent in its own way, but still fundamentally removed from the rest of the society it was pledged to defend. As U.S. society grew more liberal, in short, the military grew more conservative in thinking, dress, institutions, and ideology.
The “second wave” of military professionalism in U.S. history began with the influence of Admiral Alfred T. Mahan in the 1890’s and continued with General Leonard Wood and the “preparedness” campaign of World War I. They joined with Republican politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge in a rare fusion for (U.S. history) of military and political cultures. During this period the U.S. Navy embarked on its two-ocean path, colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific were established and, more importantly from the viewpoint of military professionalism, the overhaul of U.S. military institutions by Secretary of War Elihu Root resulted in the first modern General Staff for the United States.
This “neo-Hamiltonian compromise,” as Huntington calls it, failed to last beyond World War I. It was ended, basically, by the American people’s faith in Wilsonian internationalism with an inherent linking of the military with war and a resurgent belief in the optimistic progress of mankind. By the 1930’s the American military was, once again, a stranger in its own land.
Part III is the last section of The Soldier and the State and discusses the vast revolution in U.S. civil-military relations brought on by World War II and the Cold War. By its definition and totality, World War II brought the American military out of its enforced shell and onto center-stage in the U.S. political system. Since the military received carte blanche control over the conduct of the war, it emerged as the dominant single professional body in post-war American politics; a true revolution in civil-military relations if there ever was one.
Yet Huntington is quick to point out that this new-found power did not come without its price. By accepting the reins of political power, the military-by definition-blended with the national environment and was forced, willingly or not, to absorb many of the political traits of American culture. As Huntington expresses it: “the military leaders blended with the liberal environment; they lost their alien and aloof character and emerged as the supreme embodiment of the national purpose” (p. 315). This began, in reality, the first important and ongoing tensions in U.S. civilmilitary relations. At this point Huntington injects his own theory of “fusion” to describe the new realities of military political power. In contradistinction to the “garrison state” thesis advanced by Harold Lasswell, Huntington proposes his own theory, a blend of his conservative ethic with the corporate and intellectual integration of the military into post-World War II American society
Against this kind of thinking, he promotes the fusionist concept; not really a theory so much as a description of reality. He goes on to describe this reality as it emerged in the 1950’s: the near-complete absorption of military officers in the mainstream of national economic and political life, symbolized by the first military President since General Grant. The military, as Huntington explains it, came full-circlefrom unwanted orphan to father figure. Out of these changes would come the “military-industrial complex” issue; an issue ironically first mentioned by the most popular military officer of our time, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The final chapters of The Soldier and the State show the newly emerging (in 1956) powers of Congress and the Federal bureaucracy in strategic programs. These are largely descriptive in nature, although Huntington is careful not to get very far from his single most important point: that the best national security policy needs a combination of professional and autonomous military leadership integrated (“fused”) with intelligent (“neo-Hamiltonian”) statesmanship and domestic political support. This is a blend of the domestic liberal with the foreign policy conservative, a team Huntington finds the most responsible for sound security policies and historically evidenced best in the Truman Administration.
In the last chapter, Huntington pleads for this type of combination. He applauds the “academic realism” of Kennan and Morgenthau and argues for a “new conservatism” consistent with America’s liberal past but strengthened by the emerging realism of the actual conduct of war and foreign policy. “In a liberal society,” he concludes, the power of the military is the greatest threat to their professionalism. . . . The requisite for military security is a shift in basic American values from liberalism to conservatism. Only an environment which is sympathetically conservative will permit American leaders to combine the political power which society thrusts upon them with the military professionalism without which society cannot endure. (p. 464)
As a long-distance participant in power politics, Huntington believed that the United States had basic problems: “The record of 1945 to 1960 . . suggests that its political system and ideology might well hamper the United States in playing a more positive and creative role in world politics” (p. 441). In the final analysis, Huntington remained skeptical about future “greatness” for U.S. foreign policy. He likened the American ship-of-state to a raft: ungainly and awkward but steady and safe. “It will not sink, but one’s feet are always wet.” (p. 447).
The record of Huntington’s several articles on the American military since 1961 falls into two categories: one set of articles which follow the themes of military professionalism argued in The Soldier and the State; the other set concerned with issues of strategy and program articulated in The Common Defense. Each will be taken in turn.
In Daedalus (Fall 1963) Huntington returned to explore “Power, Expertise and the Military Profession” within the confines of the debate he began in 1957 with The Soldier and the State.
The real fear, he wrote, lay not so much in an “unwarranted” military influence but in an escalating rise of frustrations among military professionals; frustrations which fed upon resentment and which, Huntington believed, would result in the traditional and historic withdrawal of the military from public life. To recoup the losses of the period, Huntington advised an intellectual “retooling” for professional officers to a level equal to the network of “think-tank” civilian specialists which grew up during the 1950’s: “The future general with his Ph.D. will lack the political halo of a Marshall or a Eisenhower. Both characteristics, however, should help him in making a creative, professional contribution to national security.” (p. 805).
This theme was taken up again in 1968, in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Vol. 2), when Huntington argued against those writers (e.g., Harold Lasswell 8c C. Wright Mills) who had become famous for their prophesies of doom against the so-called “military industrial complex.” The influence of military officers in politics, Huntington believed, came more from the politicians themselves than from any inordinate ambitions of the military. This was true worldwide as much as it was in the U.S., and the corrective was not to condemn the military per se as it was to restore a healthy civil-military domestic balance. In countries such as Pakistan and Burma and in much of Latin America the military ruled because of the corruption and ineptitude of civilians.
National Security Research Group. JOHN J. TIERNEY, JR.
Review of Huntington, Solider and the State.
Huntington’s attachment to this form of situational conservatism was a life-long concern.
The book closes with a comparison of values as exemplified by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the village of Highland Falls, New York.
West Point embodies the military ideal at its best; Highland Falls the American spirit at its most commonplace. West Point is a gray island in a many colored sea, a bit of Sparta in the midst of Babylon. …Historically, the virtues of West Point have been America’s vices, and the vices of the military, America’s virtues. Yet today America can learn more from West Point than West Point from America. Upon the soldiers, the defenders of order, rests a heavy responsibility. The greatest service they can render is to remain true to themselves, to service with silence and courage in the military way. If they abjure the military spirit, they destroy themselves first and the nation ultimately.
This description led to the Harvard Government Department’s 1957 rejection of Huntington’s bid for tenure. Some faculty members argued the passage suggested an “‘authoritarian’ infatuation with Prussian-style militarism.”
8: The Political Science of Everything In 2016.
According to Mills the three hierarchies of power – political, military, and economic – in the United States are interlocking and form a ruling class whose members, at the time, could generally be grouped into one of the following six distinct groups – the Social Register (today replaced by Forbes’s annual top 500 richest people in the world list), the Celebrities, the Chief Executives, the Corporate Rich, the Warlords and the Political Directorate.
The people at the highest levels of these institutions see each other socially and look after one another by doing each other favours because they not only serve together on the boards of directors of corporations, charitable organisations, and other bodies, but they also share a mutuality of life experiences, educational backgrounds, and economic situations. This self-interest is of course to the detriment of the American people who they derogatively refer to as the masses.
Mills highlights the “revolving door” between government, military and corporations that helps maintain the power elite’s dominance over American life. He explains that when cabinet members, senators, and top generals and other military officials retire, they usually become corporate executives; whereas conversely, corporate executives often become cabinet members and other key political appointees.
The power elite use the conglomerate media to broadcast their opinions to the masses, which believe, and regurgitate what the conglomerate media run by the elites, feed them. The masses are merely easily manipulated spectators led to believe that they are making the decisions: “This is why there won’t be change in the values and course of direction of the United States. One of the biggest myths of American society is that the middle class has influence on which direction and course our society takes. The American middle class does not have interests or values in common with the power elites that control and run US society.
A 19th century Cassandra, Mills’ dire omen on how the power elite would gradually but collusively gain control of every aspect of life was an amazingly accurate analysis of the true nature of power and privilege in America.
The third “blind” man was retired US Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, who was an early critic of the CIA that stood at the head of the then founded security state. In his book titled The Secret Team, published in 1973, he charts the birth of the modern security state through President Harry S. Truman, who in late 1947, signed into law the National Security Act.
He explains how this seminal event “in addition to establishing the Department of Defense (DoD) with a single Secretary at its head and with three equal and independent services — the Army, Navy, and Air Force — also provided for a National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.
His dissection of the secret team also includes the ever-present “revolving-door” between government and corporations: “At the heart of the Team, of course, are a handful of top executives of the CIA and of the National Security Council (NSC), most notably the chief White House adviser to the President on foreign policy affairs. Around them revolves a sort of inner ring of Presidential officials, civilians, and military men from the Pentagon, and career professionals of the intelligence community.
It is often quite difficult to tell exactly who many of these men really are, because some may wear a uniform and the rank of general and really be with the CIA and others may be as inconspicuous as the executive assistant to some Cabinet officer’s chief deputy. Out beyond this ring is an extensive and intricate network of government officials with responsibility for, or expertise in, some specific field that touches on national security or foreign affairs: ‘Think Tank’ analysts, businessmen who travel a lot or whose businesses (e.g. import-export or cargo airline operations) are useful, academic experts in this or that technical subject or geographic region, and quite importantly, alumni of the intelligence community — a service from which there are no unconditional resignations. All true members of the Team remain in the power center whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.”
The fifth “blind” man is Professor of Economics and proud member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Michael J. Glennon. In his book National Security and Double Government, he debunks the myth that US security policy is still forged by America’s visible, “Madisonian institutions” – the President, Congress, and the Courts. “Their roles …have become largely illusory. Presidential control is now nominal, congressional oversight is dysfunctional, and judicial review is negligible.” Glennon’s book details the gradual shift in power that has occurred as the Madisonian institutions gradually became “hollowed out” and their impermanent custodians were gradually replaced by a concealed, non-elected perpetual Trumanite network.
Glennon traces the rise of this double government to the seemingly innocent reorganization of the national security structure established by the Truman administration. Glennon details how the “National Security Act of 1947, which unified the military under a new secretary of defense, set up the CIA, created the modern Joint Chiefs of Staff, and established the National Security Council (NSC).” Also secretly established and not revealed until many years later, was “the National Security Agency, which was intended at the time to monitor communications abroad.”
Glennon describes how the Trumanite network, mostly immune from constitutional and electoral restraints, consists “of the several hundred executive officials who sit atop the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement departments and agencies that have as their mission the protection of America’s international and internal security.” They contain elements mainly from the NSA, the FBI, the Pentagon, the State Department, as well as law enforcement, intelligence and the military entities of the government.
The Political Science of Everything. David Chibo.
9: Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Gray Zone.
U.S. defense strategists and planners must dispense with outdated strategic assumptions about the United States, its global position, and the rules that govern the exercise of contemporary power.
In fact, the U.S. defense enterprise should rely on three new core assumptions.
First, the United States and the U.S.-dominated status quo will encounter persistent, unmitigated resistance.
Second, that resistance will take the form of gray zone competition and conflict.
Finally, the gray zone will confound U.S. defense strategists and institutions until it is normalized and more fully accounted for by the DoD.
These assumptions, combined with the gray zone’s vexing action-inaction risk dilemma, indicate there is an urgent necessity for U.S. defense adaptation. Without it, the United States introduces itself to enormous strategic risk.
The consequences associated with such failure to adapt range from inadvertent escalation to general war, ceding control of U.S. interests, or gradual erosion of meaningful redlines in the face of determined competitors. These risks or losses could occur absent a declared or perceived state of war.
In the area of policy and strategy, this study found that there is no common perception of the nature, character, or hazard associated with the gray zone or its individual threats and challenges. Consequently, there are gaps in strategic design, deliberate plans, and defense capabilities as they apply to operating and succeeding in gray zone environments.
This study further found that there is significant asymmetry in risk perceptions between the United States, its partners, and their principal gray zone adversaries and competitors. The results of this apparent asymmetry of risk-perception are predictable—loss of initiative, ceded control over interests or territory, and a position of general disadvantage in the face of aggressive gray zone competition.
Global leadership is no longer an assumed U.S. entitlement. If the United States does not reassert its leadership—especially against purposeful gray zone competitors—it hazards loss of control over the security of core interests and increasing constraints on its global freedom of action.
Therefore, it is incumbent on senior U.S. leaders to deliberately plan in a campaign-like fashion to compete for primacy and defend core interests in the space where U.S. dominance is most at risk.
A coherent whole-of-government concept for combatting gray zone challenges would be ideal.
Thus, the DoD should not wait for definitive national-level guidance on countering gray zone competition before thoughtfully considering its own options.
Of course, it cannot act alone. However, with presidential approval, it can leverage its substantial strategy development and strategic planning capacity to design coherent and proactive strategic responses to revisionist gray zone competitors.
Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier, Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Burnett, Colonel William J. Cain Jr., Lieutenant Colonel Christopher d. Compton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean M. Hankard, Professor Robert S. Hume, Lieutenant Colonel Gary R. Kramlich II, Colonel J. Matthew Lissner, Lieutenant Colonel Tobin A. Magsig, Colonel Daniel E. Mouton, Mr. Michael S. Muztafago, Colonel James M. Schultze, Professor John F. Troxell, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis G. Wille. (2016)
10: A Coup Against the Cathedral.
The 2016 US election, like all other US elections, featured a gallery of pre-selected candidates that represented the three factions and their interests within the power elite. The 2016 US election, however, was vastly different from previous elections. As the election dragged on the power elite became bitterly divided, with the majority supporting Hilary Clinton, the candidate pre-selected by the political and corporate factions, while the military faction rallied around their choice of Donald Trump.
During the election campaign the power elite’s military faction under Trump confounded all political pundits by outflanking and decisively defeating the power elite’s political faction. In fact by capturing the Republican nomination and overwhelmingly defeating the Democratic establishment, Trump and the military faction not just shattered the power elites’ political faction, within both the Democratic and Republican parties, but simultaneously ended both the Clinton and Bush dynasties.
During the election campaign the power elite’s corporate faction realised, far too late, that Trump was a direct threat to their power base, and turned the full force of their corporate media against Trump’s military faction, while Trump using social media bypassed and eviscerated the corporate media causing them to lose all remaining credibility.
As the election reached a crescendo this battle between the power elite’s factions became visible within the US establishment’s entities. A schism developed between the Defense Department and the highly politicized CIA. This schism, which can be attributed to the corporate-deep-state’s covert foreign policy, traces back to the CIA orchestrated “color revolutions” that had swept the Middle East and North Africa.
The Political Science of Everything in 2016. David Chibo.
11: The Red Empire Ascendant.
Much of the commotion as the Trump administration takes shape, policy ideas are floated, and budgets are rolled out, is fueled by anxiety. The anxiety flows from fear within parts of the regime that we affectionately call the Blue Empire. The State Department and CIA have been anxious since election night, not just because of the threat of a change of policy, but because these agencies now face an existential threat on some level.
As Trump’s cabinet was assembled in late fall, the nervousness grew as Blue Empire realized how many generals and former generals would serve in high-ranking positions. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the fear is based on change within Red Empire. The Pentagon’s growth into a one-stop shop for policy formulation and implementation threatens Blue’s existence and at a minimum, influence.
Since the planes flew into the Twin Towers, the Department of Defense has been in a steady growth mode not strictly limited to increases in spending and budgets. The very scope and nature of the DOD has changed. America’s wars of choice, the imperial wars after World War II, have forced the Pentagon to send a first-world military into regions with zero infrastructure. The U.S. military had to change and find ways to support such a military in many undeveloped areas from scratch. Random reports by American media outlets repeat the same phrase over and over. The Pentagon has become a one-stop shop for the presidency to seek advice, consider policies, and execute plans. For all the recent talk of a Deep State, the Pentagon has grown into a fully operational imperium in imperio.
The expanding scope of the Pentagon’s policy formulation affects even domestic policy. As one of the one stop shop articles notes, Defense even has advice and guidance on domestic threats not just to the American government, but to its long-term health. If the deportations of the Trump administration create a backlash along our border, the Pentagon will then be called upon to handle whatever may flare up along our border. Police and military liaisons were a fixture in the occupation of Iraq, so who shall have the expertise if border clashes grow, State or Defense?
This is why the supposed budget cuts to State have sparked such a reaction. It is not merely the threat of some money being removed. It is the combined threat of money being siphoned away from its pet projects and revolution-funding, while a rival that can replace them waits in the wings.
12: Deconstruction of the Department of State.
“It just feels empty,” a recently departed senior State official told me.
This week began with reports that President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will drastically slash the State Department’s funding, and last week ended with White House adviser and former Breitbart head Stephen Bannon telling the attendees of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that what he and the new president were after was a “deconstruction of the administrative state.” At the State Department, which employs nearly 70,000 people around the world, that deconstruction is already well underway.
With the State Department demonstratively shut out of meetings with foreign leaders, key State posts left unfilled, and the White House not soliciting many department staffers for their policy advice, there is little left to do. “If I left before 10 p.m., that was a good day,” said the State staffer of the old days, which used to start at 6:30 in the morning. “Now, I come in at 9, 9:15, and leave by 5:30.” The seeming hostility from the White House, the decades of American foreign-policy tradition being turned on its head, and the days of listlessness are taking a toll on people who are used to channeling their ambition and idealism into the detail-oriented, highly regimented busywork that greases the infinite wheels of a massive bureaucracy.
“They really want to blow this place up,” said the mid-level State Department officer. “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. “
“This is probably what it felt like to be a British foreign service officer after World War II, when you realize, no, the sun actually does set on your empire,” said the mid-level officer. “America is over. And being part of that, when it’s happening for no reason, is traumatic.”
The State of Trump’s State Department. Julia Ioffe.
13: War Makes the State and the State Makes War.
“War and the Art of Governance” consists of a collection of case studies, beginning with the Mexican-American War and ending in Iraq. Each examines how the U.S. attempted, too often with only limited success, to translate battlefield victory into a lasting and beneficial political outcome.
At first glance, it seems odd that a book on war and governance would stretch so far across the historical landscape. Yet the approach makes a lot of sense. While technology has changed the art of war radically from muskets in Mexico to fighter jets over Iraq, the task of postconflict governance is primarily a humanitarian and political enterprise whose variables have not changed for millennia.
Ms. Schadlow’s case studies tell an often doleful story of America allowing victories to fall apart, leaving behind a suffering populace that should have been rewarded with a better peace.
She asserts convincingly that postconflict governance can only be done well by soldiers.
As battle lines move forward, only the Army retains the authority and the resources to keep the enemy from re-entering conquered spaces. Generals control the means of feeding and sheltering civilians who have been left suffering in the wake of war…
Review of War and the Art of Governance. Robert H. Scales.
14: The Pact.
Two of President Trump’s top advisers reportedly agreed in the early days of the administration that they would not leave the United States at the same time, in order to ensure they could monitor orders coming from the White House.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — who was sworn in as chief of staff on Monday — agreed in the early weeks of Trump’s presidency to coordinate travel plans so that one of them would always be in the United States.
The pact, revealed to The AP by an anonymous official close to Mattis and Kelly, seems to hint at the nature of the Trump administration’s internal relations.
Kelly was named the new White House chief of staff at the end of last week, when Reince Priebus resigned. The Trump administration has not yet named a new leader for the DHS.
15: The Trumpian Triumvirate.
The announcement of the ‘resignation’ of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced ‘resignation’ of President Trump’s first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.
Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.
The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.
It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.
Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.
The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation’s government and deciding the nation’s policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.
Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.
Steve Bannon Goes as the Military Takes Over Trump Administration. Alexander Mercouris.
16: The Minotaur’s “Mad Dog”.
General Mattis is becoming a dominant figure within this administration. As a much decorated former combat officer who is also considered to be a genuine intellectual, Mattis appears to have quickly asserted his authority over the Joint Chiefs of Staff with whom civilian Defense Secretaries have previously often had uneasy relationships…..
All in all General Mattis appears to be gathering more and more of the threads of power into his hands. If this trend continues, and if he uses his position skilfully, Mattis could end up becoming one of the most powerful Defense Secretaries the US has had since the Second World War. Whether such a concentration of power in the hands of a soldier is a good thing is another matter.
In the context of the Trump administration rule by the military means rule by General Mattis, who not only now has friends in charge at the White House, the National Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but who also heads the Department of Defense, the only department of the US government concerned with national security and foreign policy which is functioning properly.
This is because the two other agencies that traditionally have a big input on US foreign and security policy – the State Department and the CIA – are essentially crippled; the State Department because President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson have still not filled most of the vacancies caused by the clear-out of State Department staff which took place at the start of the year, and the CIA because it is distracted and locked in conflict with President Trump over the Russiagate affair.
The result is that the foreign policy of the US is being decided to an extent unique in US history by a former military officer – General Mattis – who does not hold elected office, but who does sit on top of the US’s gigantic defence and national security bureaucracy.
Goodbye “President” Trump. Hail “President” Mattis. Alexander Mercouris.
That insurgency is now over. Its OODA loop is smashed.
Worried that Trump would end existing US spending/policies (largely, still geared to cold war priorities), the senior military staff running the Trump administration launched a counter-insurgency against the insurgency. They have been successful (if only they were half as good fighting against real world insurgencies). Here’s how:
- Former generals took control of key staff positions.
- They purged staff members that were part of the insurgency and tightly limited access to Trump.
- Finally, and most importantly, they took control of Trump’s information flow.
That final step changed everything. General Kelly, Trump’s Chief of Staff, has put Trump on a establishment-only media diet. Further, staff members are now prevented from sneaking him stories from unapproved sources during the day (stories that might get him riled up and off the establishment message).
The impact has been immediate. As Maggie Haberman of the New York Times (Trump talks to her daily) says, “this is definitely true re the media diet, and part of what aides have described as a more sanguine POTUS.”
In short, by controlling Trump’s information flow with social media/networks, the generals smashed the insurgency’s OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act). Deprived of this connection, Trump is now weathervaning to cater to the needs of the establishment (as seen with his new stance on DACA and the Wall).
18: Prophetic Aftermath.
The possibilities would seem to be: Caesarism, secession/crack-up, collapse, or managerial Davoisie liberalism as far as the eye can see … which, since nothing human lasts forever, at some point will give way to one of the other three…….But for those of you who are sober: can you sketch a more plausible long-term future than the prior four following a Trump defeat? I can’t either.
Reveille! Reveille! Reveille!