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The White Flag Principle: How to Lose a War…

The White Flag Principle: How to Lose a War (and Why)

by Shimon Tzabar

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Throughout history, much has been written about war and how to win it. This book looks at how, and why, a war should be lost.

Military vistory is not necessary for a country to realize its aims. A military defeat may produce a better postwar situation than victory. In judo, it is possible to battle strength with weakness; the same thing is true between countries, as long as the vanquished submits the right way. The victor not only has to financially take care of their own country, they also have to pay the bills of the vanquished. It is possible to intentionally create a foreign policy whose ultimate goal is to be conquered by another. How?

A first step is to alienate your allies. The next step is to make a claim on your neighbor's territory, whether emotional or accidental. The easiest way to ruin your economy is to do nothing; the economy will run aground by itself. Timing is critical; ruining the economy must be done before war starts. Do it too far ahead of battle, and there will be time for an economic recovery to begin.

When it comes to the actual army, many factors, alone or together, can cause military disaster. Bad troops must be recruited (good troops can survive almost anything). Treatment must be as harsh as possible to keep morale low. The troops must be kept hungry, or in a constant state of indigestion. Excessive drills, marches and exercises are needed. A non-working weapon has a greater chance of not harming the army.

On the battlefield, many things must be considered, including how to measure the severity of defeat. When retreat time comes, one way is to swing around a fixed point, so that the front becomes the rear, thereby making it easier to retreat along the line of communication. The act of surrender cannot easily be performed while on the move. It's best if it happens while an army is besieged. The hardest part is actually giving up. Each army should equip itself with regulation white flags and hoist them properly. There is also a proper procedure for raising one's hands in surrender.

This is certainly a very different sort of book (possibly a satire?). It feels very logical, and well thought out. It contains plenty of historical examples to illustrate its points. This is worth checking out, especially for military and historical enthusiasts. ( )
2 vote plappen | Jul 28, 2008 |
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