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Art of War Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net On 01/18/2000 12:50:00 PM, JR wrote:
>The Art Of War
>Sun Tzu and four American
>Presidents

>Jimmy Carter versus Leonid Brezhnev
>1976-1980
>
>From the end of World War Two, United
>States foreign policy towards the Soviet
>Union was essentially a "keep up with
>the Jones-ski's." If the Soviets made a
>bomb, we made a bomb. If the Soviets
>built a tank, we built a tank.
>Essentially, we treaded water. Jimmy
>Carter was the first president to buck
>that trend. Carter slashed our military
>and proposed we become buddies with the
>Soviets. The Soviet Union promptly took
>over ten countries.

JR, I'm gonna give you credit for not writing this thing you posted from somewhere, interesting as it is, interesting as the aphorisms of Sun Tsu are. What stopped me in my tracks, was the above quote. I don't think that's at all right, factually. As I understand it, we have enough nuclear stockpile to turn the world to ash many times over. The Soviets likewise. Whether we went one-for-one with them or ten-to-one, the result was we were always way ahead, probably in every department of weaponry, from submarines, to SAC planes, to tactical ground nukes.

This write-up is a polemic based on commonplaces. Know your enemy, know yourself, etc. All very good but easy to bend to anybody's political taste, especially using 20-20 hindsight.

The real trick is to use such aphorisms as telescopes to look into the future using 20-20 foresight.

How ya gonna do that?

All you can do is the best you can, whether your name is Carter, Reagan, Bush, or Clinton. Once you've done that, you can let the historians and polemicists take out their back-looking microscopes.

-rs




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