Walter Russell Mead wrote this back in 2011. I read it last year. It popped up again tonight (June 9th) in a Sun Tzu community I belong to. Time to re read!
What interested me was the application of the precepts to the process of modern asymmetrical conflict. Todays Western Armies appear on the outside to be highly restricted due to moral considerations. As the article in part shares no moral axioms are left unturned for Sun Tzu. His advice is as far as war is concerned, to be total in nature, with no quarter given. That is assuming you have to fight in the first place.
Modern Armed forces face very different strictures. Rules of engagement, nation building missions, policing actions, advisory roles, strategic strikes, tactical insertions all bind the hands and missions of the State.
So much so that recent studies have shown that if “rebels”, “terrorists” or anarchists can keep up a certain level of conflict long enough the ‘State’ power is usually successfully overwhelmed.
What the hell I hear you say? Indeed. What has this got to do with wargames?
Would a study of this not be a fascinating fundamental layer for a game?
As I read the War of the Suns rules and its asymmetrical elements and conflicts between factions I cannot but help be excited about the possibilites that this system may
have inadvertently include, thought of, or applied some of these principals. How exciting. Somehow we will find time for this in 2013. Oh…it also fits nicely into the WWII Chronological play thru effort also!