For those who read my blog consistently for the last 1.5 years this shouldn't present any difficulty--it is a system of measures for attaining political objectives of a war, campaign (both military and, why not, advertising) or even a test. I like Daniel Larison, to whose blog I have a direct link, but he doesn't like me since I constantly point out to the fact that if one wants to make a difference in US disastrous foreign policy one should start to point out WHO runs it or...speak in broadsides. That involves appropriating a famous neocon "method" of ad hominem but with one very serious addition--use of an actual serious academic argumentation. For example, if I say that Marco Rubio is mama's boy who compensates for...being mama's boy (plus, of course, being on the payroll of Israeli-first Adelson)--it could be easily proven that his, or, as an example, Speaker Paul Ryan's, views on foreign policy are nothing more than wet dreams of lawyers or political "scientists" who didn't spent a day in the armed forces nor have any clue of outside world. Easy. The only thing which drives them is a necessity to look tough and cool--like Speaker Ryan who simply lied about his sports' achievements. You see, being macho is really big deal in Congress where very few ever served in armed forces, let alone saw combat or serious operations, which were dangerous to their lives.
Now, Daniel Larison writes another excellent piece in The American Conservative and this piece, yet again, makes an argument within the confines of American perception of the outside world and war, but this cannot be changed since, as I write throughout this whole blog for the last 18 months--it can not be changed until all those Ivy League boys feel an intensive heat from explosions, feel what kinetic means first hand and, in general, experience the fear, sweat, exhaustion, smell and desperation of the serious military service. Nothing is going to change until those people get a very clear idea that their decisions may have a very serious consequences for their very own dears like being....blown to smithereens. Especially so against the background of US political "elites" literally living in La-La Land insofar as military power goes. The closest those people ever have been to real military is, probably, when given rides on some military technology and watching movies and reading late Clancy's BS. Now, mentally, fly into Kremlin and ask yourself a question: do Russians know that most of US "elites" sincerely, truly believe that US is militarily exceptional? Not only Russians are aware of that, their awareness is a part of their geopolitical and military calculus.
Much of US foreign policy arrogance (and failures) is based on the fact of decision-makers being completely oblivious to real issues of war. In current American political world where appearances are more important than substance, the image of modern Russian Armed Forces may create such hysterical reactions:
You see, just mere purposeful and to a good end (killing ISIS and US supported "moderate terrorists") use of Russia's Armed Forces creates a near aneurysm reaction. Fact is, Russia has no intention to humiliate anyone, let alone US military to which Russian Armed Forces have professional respect. But Russians know that every performance of Russian Armed Forces (which were presented always as hordes of primitive barbarians in the "West"), be it on the Red Square during Victory Day parade or delivering precision guided munitions against ISIS animals, inevitably creates among those who set current US foreign policy against Russia a sense of, how to put it politely, insecurity. Reason? I mentioned it not for once--a sacred belief that US and NATO can conventionally defeat Russia in her vicinity based on Hollywood. Well, it can not. So, does demonstration of Russian conventional military prowess become a part (an element) of strategy to deter war? Absolutely, if it wasn't the case, both Putin and Russian General Staff (which knows a thing or two about war) should have been fired. As Sun Tzu, or Clausewitz, or Delbruck, or whoever (maybe even George Friedman of STRATFOR;-)) said it: the best way to win the war is not to fight it, especially against the opponent whose political command has barely any idea what they are dealing with. This is also a great strategy, that is a system of measures to attain political objectives of the war, and I may add, without fighting it. Today's decision on "deployment" of the whole....4 NATO battalions in Poland and Baltic States against Russian "aggression" surely testifies to the fact that the message was delivered and understood. The rest--let PR and media people deal with that. As long as the appearances are good and Russians feel intimidated;-)