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Military Wisdom

July 24, 1988

Studying military problems for periods prior to the atomic bomb (1945) is probably a waste of time, contrary to Lord Carver's view, "It is not a waste of time for those concerned with the military problems of today and tomorrow to improve their understanding of those of yesterday," as quoted by Douglas M. Hart in his review of Carver's book, "Twentieth Century Warriors" (Book Review, July 10.)

No doubt the history of war is interesting, exciting, and pleasurable for many. And some still find bits of military wisdom in the Greek phalanx, Von Clausewitz's century-and-a-half old strategies, and myriad other ideas as military practices and technology improved to permit more efficient killing.

But the 1945 Trinity, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki nuclear blasts changed everything. Millions now see that war in any form is not a viable means for conflict resolution. The scores of wars constantly devouring the Earth's resources, human and material, confirm this truth. And there are some clues, such as the INF treaty, that hint at a less violent world.

Successful 21st-Century warriors are likely to be those who study the then current problems of disease, ecology, and social justice. They may continue to read military history--but just for fun.

LARRY KELBLEY

RANCHO PALOS VERDES

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