I, as promised earlier (you can find this exchange on education and professionalism in one of the recent threads), begin to address some issues related to military-political analysis as a function of fundamental education and experiences. I want to stress, as I think Tom Verso may have misconstrued my point (and I apologize if I came across as a jerk--in real life I am just an average run-of-the-mill ass-hole, but not a jerk) about humanities as a sweeping generalization about the filed and as me being totally against humanities field. I am not. In fact, as I stressed many times--no truly educated man or woman are possible without rigorous training in philosophy, political economy, history and classic arts. That goes without saying, what also goes without saying is this, I quote myself from my latest book:
It was Socrates, via Plato’s Republic, who came up with the prescription which would, in his mind, make life better for all:Until, then, kings are philosophers, or philosophers are kings, cities will never cease from ill: no, nor the human race; nor will our ideal polity ever come into being.Socrates’ idea, formed in the times of sail and wars fought with swords, shields and spears, seemed reasonable since philosophers and intellectuals of the era had little problem grasping the essence of warfare, the marketplace and industry as it existed 2,400 years back. Any inquisitive mind then could learn a great deal about different manifestations of human activity given that it was greatly limited by the primitive conditions of the time. Philosophers could build and lead armies then, they also could be kings or Caesars, such as Marcus Aurelius who definitely satisfied Socrates’ desire to see a philosopher as a king and vice-versa. Today things have changed dramatically—the modern world is filled with philosophers and their other contemporary iterations such as political scientists, sociologists or even economists, yet their grasp of the modern world is growing weaker and very few of them are capable to grasp all the complexity of the ongoing processes of this increasingly puzzling modern humanity. In fact, increasingly what used to be philosophy’s prerogative—finding the answers to life’s most complex questions by reasoning on the basis of abstractions and principles—cannot be done anymore. It was possible to assert this prerogative in the times of sword and sail, but in the times of space travel, neural networks, instant propagation of information and robots, something else entirely is needed and mere appeal to well-learned philosophical wisdom is not enough. Reasoning can no longer be based on broad generalizations only. In fact, uninformed reasoning can, and often does, lead to unexpected and not always benign results. In the modern world saturated, if not altogether overwhelmed with data, one has to have at least some rudimentary tools which allow one to filter, systematize and analyze this data. Philosophy and political science simply do not provide viable tools for that—the reason being rather simple: most modern philosophers, political scientists and other representatives of what came to be known as the field of humanities are not educated in the field of modern technology.
As you can see, I merely underscore the lack of tools which are required for sound analysis (and synthesis) of the issue central, even more than any time in the past, of global power balance as a function of military, technological and economic potentials of geopolitical players. I would say even more--no one without good training in humanities field will be able to pass sound judgement on this crucial issue. But this is just a necessary condition, but it is not a sufficient one. Something else is required. This something else is a key to unlocking the secrets of this balance--what is generally known in the Wests as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). One simply cannot pass a judgement on modern tactical and operational matters without having a profound background and training in STEM. Real modern military, starting from WW II, is literally driven by STEM in its every manifestation and that imposes an enormously high and rigid requirements on modern military professionals who see themselves slightly more than mere automatons designed for carrying out orders--this doesn't work like this, in fact, it never did. The requirements for a genuine military analysts are even higher.
Here is a simple example. This is how C4ISR looked in the times of Admiral Nelson and Trafalgar Battle:
This, however, is how things started to change by early to mid-20th century. This is how Mark 63 Fire Control System, among many other similar fire control systems around the globe, began to look like by 1950s.
By the end of 1950s fundamentals in guided missiles looked like that. Granted this 1972 version is based on classic 1957 Guided Missiles Fundamentals by the Department of Air Force. I have an paper version in immaculate conditions of this superb book (thanks for garage sales) which is a superb textbook on physics as applied to rocketry. And suddenly this:
Among very many things, become one and the same--a modern warfare. And that is whole other science rooted in complex physics, higher mathematics, dynamics, radio-electronics and the list goes on and on, and on. Now, here is the issue with me personally. As I already stated not for once, I was quite happy to forget all this military science staff, together with my specialty and experiences, if not for damn politics and a catastrophe which unfolded with the US foreign policy which was shaped by people so removed from the state's main power tool--its military--that we could at the end of 2014, after Crimea returning back to Russia, with real hot war. This catastrophic mistake would have been made by utterly incompetent people in Obama Administration, people who have zero understanding (it is expected from people with degrees in political "science" and law) of the warfare and how wars are fought. I was forced to enter my Total Recall phase, abandoning my passive posture with some trolling posts on different fanboys discussion boards. By 2014 it was clear to me that one cannot continue with playing preposterous game of American foreign policy and pseudo-military (largely Hollywood-driven) semantics and has to try to explain to lay people that what they know about real war through mostly American media and so called "experts" is a caricature totally removed from reality.
I should start with pointing out some huge, dramatic really, differences in approaches to higher military education in the USSR/Russia and the United States. I do go over this somewhat in my first book, but often people in the West, and even Russia, still cannot grasp the intensity of the STEM training to which most command-engineering officer cadres were and are subjected in Russia. And I do propose that without serious precise sciences background, not to mention military one, any talk about contemporary geopolitical balance shift becomes absolutely useless since lacks professional understanding of the main factor which drives it--modern military power. It is one thing to know force structure, totally another knowing or predicting how this force will perform. And that is how I began my total recall.
To Be Continued....