Thursday, 6 October 2016

End Game.


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I used to enjoy a game of Chess. I established my school's Chess Club, and later ran a Chess Club at my son's Junior School in Brighton. I was NOT a good player by any means; I was simply an enthusiastic amateur.

Chess is a game where working towards those last few crucial moves (without showing one's hand) is all important.

It's a war game. The word 'Checkmate' coming from the ancient Persian words (Shah mat) meaning 'The King is Dead'. It is a game of two sides, a strategic battle, and a winner.

Wars are no longer like this. When I undertook my school Officer Training course, the first thing we learned about the art of warmongering was to 'Go in hard, go in strong, and know your enemy'. Obviously those who lead us into wars these days did not attend the same pre-Sandhurst lectures as myself; nor, probably, do they play Chess.

These days decisions to go to war seem to be made by poorly advised committees; their whims based of the premise that if other people are having a rough time, we must intervene. This concept of 'policing' the world has been adopted by just a handful of countries, and between them they have caused (and are causing) more problems than they could ever have imagined.

Honestly, what is the point of bombing the shit out of some third-world, oil-rich, area of scrubby desert, unless there is some specific aim involved? Just saying we wanted to get rid of X or Y does not solve a problem.

We should either leave them alone to sort out their own problems, or have a very solid plan to put it all back together again. Doing neither one thing or the other helps no-one.

In war, as in life, there are people who are quite prepared to light the fuse, then hope it will just fizzle out with an aroma of honey and roses. Well life ain't like that, and there are always consequences. In life people simply end-up with egg on their faces, but in international conflict the effects are far more important and far-fetching.

Go in hard.... go in strong.... and know your enemy'; yes, but I'll have to add to that 'Have a carefully prepared end game at the ready'! And..... if it all ends in a way other than how one had anticipated, don't bloody complain.



28 comments:

  1. A sad reflection of our modern government thinking.

    I often wonder about the logic behind sending our forces into war-torn inhospitable lands to achieve what?

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    Replies
    1. Wars don't seem to end any more; they simply escalate.

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  2. The wars that have rumbled on since 1945....yes, '45....have only one aim...weapons testing by manufacturers and governments. The varicose excuses may include aid, ideology, etc.... but there is no endgame... people are being sent into conflict to test weapons,,,,the data is more accurate than using pigs!!!

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    Replies
    1. Wars are also used to get rid of old stock, then replace it with newer, deadlier examples.

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  3. Well said, Cro. But if there were no wars then how would the arms manufacturers and sellers make their millions, so I think all the unrest in the world is fuelled by the need for some very selfish, hard, and cruel people to make money. I don't think the welfare of people comes into it.

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    Replies
    1. And there are an awful lot of them about!

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  4. Defend and win. Hitler would not have been defeated around a table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Divide and conquer; and the division was already there.

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  5. I find it all just too painful to watch Cro - especially as I am sure that our country had such a hand in sparking the whole thing off in the first place.

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    1. The man in the photo says it all; total desperation.

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  6. There has been no discernable motive or clear strategy attached to any war since the first Gulf one - unless you count the aspiration to 'stabilise the Middle East'.

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    1. And that sounds like a Blair-ism, and we know where that got us!

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  7. First off Syria has little oil. It cannot even cover basic production.
    Secondly the bulk of the arms in the region are Russian. IS IS have some US stuff they captured when the iraqi army literally ran away.
    Interestingly though ISIS can obtain SA18 man pad missiles, AK rifles with their shipping tags still on, RPGs, even spares, spare tracks, ammunition and coolants for their T72 and T90 tanks.
    Apparently we are to believe Putin is so stupid and the FSB so incompetent the the west can steal them from him to sell to ISIS. There is only one man making money from this war and he's in charge of Russia.
    Why we are getting involved though is a mystery other than to thwart Putins plans for a new naval base there.
    Israel has had the good sense to not get involved apart from killing and possible incursions into their country despite their capability to flatten Assad or ISIS.
    Maybe we should listen to them for once.

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  8. Tom their desire to stabilise the middle east is flawed because it simply is not or ever has been a stable region. Setting aside the obvious Sunni/Shia problem the entire region is riven by tribal politics, centuries old feuds and grievances and with the added splash of several other religious and ethnic minorities such as the Kurds, Coptic Christians, Druze etc.
    It has endless conflict written all over it. Since the 1950s almost every significant power in the region has purchased vast amounts of arms, mainly from Russia/USSR,and the place is now awash with them.
    Heck we haven't even touched on the Saudi/Iran proxy wars that have been going on either.
    No wonder the Israelis built a wall.

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    1. The notion of 'stabilising' the Middle East came about shortly after Thatcher and Regan sacked all their Arab experts who advised the Civil Service. The Americans had to employ locals to do their translating for intelligence, as they had only one Arab-speaker in the Army, and he did not know the dialectical difference between the word for 'money' and the word for 'vegetables', bringing about the arrest and imprisonment of a 14 year-old boy at the market. He knew even less about historical tribal differences.

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  9. The Idea of stabilising or unifying the middle east has been around since before Churchills foray in the Sudan.
    The fact that no one has learned since is a testimonial to the stupidity of politicians of every stripe.
    Heck the US Marine Corp was founded to deal with pirates and slavers in the region over two hundred years ago.

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  10. Off subject cro...
    I heard from two of cranky' blog friends recently
    Things are poor. She is off the ventilator, is paralysed down one side and is not responding to loved ones. The prognosis looks poor I am afraid
    Sorry
    Jx

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    Replies
    1. Strokes are nasty things, I'd feared this could be the case. Let's hope she improves bit by bit.

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  11. Where and when can we vote for you? Blessings

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  12. It seems evident now that Syria has been in the works for a long time. Putin has had his eyes on the only way for Russia to get to the Mediterranean and will stop at nothing to get a base there. I heard a Vice President of the US say once when asked by a reporter how much we really know what is going on in the government/world, and his answer was - about 5%. I don't like conspiracy theorists, but I think it is all out of our hands.

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    1. Nothing surprises me with politics or politicians.

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  13. There's a video on YouTube where a retired US military top brass announces the list of countries to go to war with after 9/11 and it is so far going to plan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and in a couple of moves the big one Iran, except that Syria having requested the assistance of Russia a move which the US had not reckoned with is proving to be a something of a zugzwang.

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    Replies
    1. JFK, Ike, and others warned us.

      I once played against Nigel Short in a simultaneous game. He beat all 10 of us.

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    2. I haven't heard that name for a while. Is he still around?

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  14. "We should either leave them alone to sort out their own problems" Wise words. We get no thanks for interfering and they only value change that the people themselves have achieved.

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    1. It's there for all to see, and it won't get better.

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    2. I fully agree. No one here in US knows what Obama is doing. Personally I think it's a pissing contest with Putin....seeing who has the biggest bomb. Stupid.

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