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Reader comment on item: Uncovering Early Islam
in response to reader comment: No mistakes , just applied theory of chaos as a new grand US strategy

Submitted by the Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), Jun 21, 2012 at 22:07

Ianus writes:

Re Mann:

In the paper he outlines how discoveries and ideas in physics have shaped strategic military and diplomatic thought forming once a Newtonian idea of war and diplomacy where deterministic linear forces act and decide who wins and who loses. But with the emergence of the theory of chaos in the 80-ies there is an objective need to review and replace the old doctrine. The non-linear chaotic paradigm of the theory of chaos gives an excellent tool not just to reconsider warfare but also international relations. This tool allows to better manipulate international policy to promote American national interests and inhibit and thwart national interests of rivals. There are four factors ( "initial conditions", "underlying structure", cohesion of a system and conflict energy ) that are responsible for non-linear chaotic effects. Unlike the two first factors the latter two can be changed to get the desired end effects. Decreasing cohesion of a system and increasing its conflict energy is a direct way to "criticality" - a technical term describing a point where chaotic effects set in. S.Mann writes :

" How then to use criticality to our advantage? The true aim of national strategy is shaping the broad context of security affairs , achieving the desired end state with the mildest upheaval. There are times when we will wish to delay formation of a critical state ; there are times when we will wish to encourage it and will seek to shape the reordering"

And further :

"We should therefore be wary of incurring policy costs to achieve a future stability…Indeed, "stability, like "presence", "nation-building" and even "peace" , is a contextless goal.When such a goal is advanced as a policy objective , it betrays either the inadequacy or the duplicity …of the underlying strategy.Stability is no more than a consequence , and should never be a goal."

Ianus: ".....In short, as long as such ideas as Mann's classics are followed and form the basis of the "new thinking" in America we can expect no good news from this world."

Great response from you and you make a strong case. But whether it' right or wrong - Mann's insight makes perfect sense (as does yours) . If you want outcome A - use methods B and C. Modern cars follow the laws of aerodynamics not just to make them look sleeker and all alike - but to enable higher speeds, greater stability and lower fuel consumption. There is (at the moment) no third way to achieve those outcomes. It is just following logical principles based on information refined from past data and experience. So if chaos theory can be extrapolated to some degree to realworld situations - it would be irrational not to utilise it. Do we want superpowers acting irrationally?

But is it only the USA with such grand designs? Who wrote 'the Art of War'? Don't other countries vying for 'superpowerdom' also have professional strategists? (OK, it seems the EU doesn't so leave them out)

"...more chaos, more Islam, more desecrated churches and displaced and oppressed non-Moslem populations, more destabilization, more disasters, more insecurity and , more death and destruction in the world with the loud slogans of "democracy", "freedom", and "human rights" which Mann defines with disarming sincerity as nothing else but a "virus to intfect target populations", a weapon of chaos..."

Well - treating all phenomena and values dispassionately and simply as inputs in an equation - he could make those definitions

But as we all agree that success in the further spread of the muslim meme is a regressive and bad thing for civilisation - now the hard questions: does the apparent US strategy achieve the best of possible outcomes? If not - can we do anything about it? What are we going to do about it?


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