Strategery in East Asia and thereabouts.


Babak suggested that we should have Korea and the South China Sea included in our list of strategeral concerns.  I agree.

Korea.  This nightmare state is evidently not going to suddenly disappear.  Therefore, we must think about it.  IMO they will keep doing product improvements on their missiles and nuclear weapons until they have one that will range Japan, Guam, Oahu or some such place.  What will we do about that?  Will we wait to see if they ever decide to perform such a mad act?  The retaliation would be awesome (teen talk).  Would we then invade North Korea along with our Spam tinned meat addicted South Korean friends for the purpose of occupying the ruins?  If we did, the South Koreans could be counted on to do the occupying.  You probably not want to watch the "sausage making" process of occupation, but … A bigger question would be – what would Big Grandma do about all this?  The neocons are not focused on this problem because it does not involve Israel so she might be without comprehensive advice on this one. 

The South China Sea (China).  The Chinese evidently want to be a maritime power and to that end have been constructing man made islands built on the "foundation" of tiny sand bars that stuck up out of that distant sea in which I used to SCUBA dive and … other things.  The US Navy seems perpetually absorbed in Alfred Mahan's vision of a world dominated by SEAPOWER!  Mahan believed that if you control the sea you control the world.  The air power guys seem to have second thoughts about that, but, no matter …  Mahan is the unofficial patron saint of the US Naval War College where he was a professor and wrote his earth shattering tome "The Influence of Sea Power on History."   I'm a Clausewitz man.  Mahan never seems to go away.  I have been subjected by navy people to a lot of harangues on the Soviet sea power menace in the USSR's "drive to warm water ports" in India, Pakistan, Alexandria (once upon a time) and Syria!!.   Now, the Fu Manchu menace is "crowding" the sea lanes in the South China Sea with these island bases.  After she is installed in the White House the Borg Queen will have to deal with some old sea dog channeling Bull Halsey who wants to "show'em."  How will she deal with that? 

How would Trump deal with that?  Who knows? But …  pl



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48 Responses to Strategery in East Asia and thereabouts.

  1. Stumpy says:

    Although the spectre of NK arms exports to ME has been a concern from time to time.

  2. oofda says:

    Need to think about Japan when discussing both situations. There used to be a saying that under every Japanese Self-Defense Force officer was a samurai waiting to burst out. Japan will figure in both the ROK and Chinese scenarios, however they evolve.
    Then there is the India-Pakistan standoff- don’t forget that one. If there is ever going to be a war using nuclear weapons, the odds are that it would be between these two.

  3. Chris Chuba says:

    This is one of my favorite websites in general and they regularly discuss N. Korea and China …
    They are not pro-North Korea but will publish articles suggesting that certain allegations are over done which is probably true given that we tend to overdo everything but of course N. Korea is extremely dangerous. Strategically, they mentioned that China considers the U.S. deployment of THAAD, to counter N. Korean missiles, a threat to their national security because it could neutralize their deterrent ICBM’s. I was surprised to learn that China only has about 250 nuclear warheads which is a pittance compared to either us or Russia. A THAAD deployment in S. Korea could be used against China, especially in a west coast trajectory.
    I have a very strong feeling that GWB mismanaged the nuclear issue with N. Korea. He played hardball but didn’t follow through with an attack. Perhaps he believed the Neocon premise that our demonstration of force in Iraq would frighten them, it didn’t. Every gram of Plutonium that was used in their first nuclear weapon was produced under his Administration. Here is the timeline, it is pretty concise.
    From the kicking out of inspectors to their first nuclear test was from 2003 to 10/9/2006—fast-facts/
    I have read about the South China Sea issue and believe it to be way overblown but will not comment on it now.

  4. Babak Makkinejad says:

    War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable
    Disclaimer: I do not agree or disagree with the contents of the .PDF document. I am supply this link for the purposes of further discussion.

  5. A Pols says:

    The South China Sea is something I don’t have much to say about.
    North Korea on the other hand is, despite all the crazy bombastic talk (for NK domestic consumption I think), probably a rational actor under the hood and their development of Nuclear Weapons likely intended as an “antibiotic of last resort” against an externally mounted regime change war.
    The blatherskites in Congress and the punditry have talked for ages about such an operation and the NK leadership would be foolish not to take some of it seriously.
    Stalin’s push to provide the bomb was motivated the same way and they held their breath at the time, just waiting for our B29s to cross the Urals…

  6. will2713 says:

    there are a few articles around that the North Koreans want a nuclear deterrent so they can shrink their conventional forces. With some 20K artillery pieces on the DMZ that could pulverize Seoul in a few minutes, why would they need it.
    interestingly in Ash Carter’s first incarnation, he and Bill Clinton thought they could take out the artillery units on the DMZ, the S Koreans talked them out of it as deadly dangerous provocation. One of these days, Korea will be reunited and it will be an awesome economic powerhouse.
    The US should get out of Korea. The S Korean army is huge and their industrial capacity is proven. What do they need us for? S Korea could have a nuke in a couple of days if they thought they needed one. Ditto Japan.
    The Pakistani’s claim that majority muslim Kashmir should be able to join them. The Indians counter that would lead to a mass expulsion and/or a repression of the Hindu population. One fact forgotten is that India is the world’s third largest Muslim population country. A joint administration could serve both their interests, b/ it ain’t gonna happen. The Russians are strategic partners and sell arms to both India and China, but the latter don’t get along. How will that develop? Can they keep both as allies?

  7. b says:

    1. North Korea has the declared(!) policy to build a nuclear deterrent for the purpose of minimizing defense costs. A lot of NoKo’s GDP has been going into unproductive, conventional defense especially the huge number of conscripts. The aim is to develop the economy better and faster. So the three step program is:
    a. build nuclear deterrence
    b. decrease conventional deterrence
    c. use money saved to develop (consumer) economics.
    I see no reason to doubt that this is indeed the long term policy of the ruling party. NoKo has neither the capability nor the ideology to go beyond that.
    2. South China Sea
    It is not that China “evidently wants to be a maritime power”. It does not want to (yet) and there is no evidence that it ever wants to. What it wants is to be safe and to keep its life lines to the world open. To control the SCS is for that purpose.
    One must look at the South China Sea with two perspectives:
    – SCS is the location where Chines nuclear submarines with second strike nukes are habituated and can be most easily fought. China must secure the area to keep its second strike capabilities valid.
    – SCS is where China’s trade lifeline runs through.
    The SCS is China’s weak point. That is the reason why the U.S. is bugging around there.
    Indeed all the “freedom of navigation” talk the U.S. issues is nonsense. 90% of all SCS traffic goes from or to China! (see maps here: It is China, not anyone else, who has to fear problems in the area.
    Every country in the area has build on this or that island. Vietnam is just now moving mobile rocket launcher onto one of the Spratly Islands. I haven’t heard the DoD warning about THIS militarization of the SCS. It is no exception or wonder that China is doing the same.
    The U.S. pressure on China and Russia is just pressing China and Russia to unite their capabilities. The U.S. navy will then learn that the two biggest landpowers of the world, sitting on the biggest landmass with all resources on might ever want, can not be beaten by Mahan seapower nonsense.
    3. Japan
    The current prime minister Abe is one of the top man of the revisionist, fascist sect Nippon Kaigi. The new governor of Tokyo is also near to that group as is the defense chief. The U.S., for its own purpose, is pushing Japan to be more aggressive towards China and to abolish its anti-war culture. The Japanese population does not want to but Abe will.
    Does the U.S recognize how dangerous it is to stoke such fires? Japan is for practical purpose a nuclear power (it as the material and capability to build lots of nukes as well as delivery vehicles). Nippon Kaigi are racist. They hate the U.S. for their defeat in WWII. I do not understand what Washington thinks it is doing in urging them on.

  8. Aka says:

    I don’t think China wants to dominate all seas. But their strategy seems to be linked with their economics strategy of the “maritime silk route”.
    Lot of Chinese energy and raw material supplies are from Africa and Middle east. But these supplies needs to pass near considerable number of hostile and unfriendly countries before they reach China.
    My guess is Chinese are “fortifying” this maritime route through various means.

  9. b says:

    It was Clinton who negotiated a deal with NoKo and immediately broke it. Two civil nuclear reactors were promised to NoKo for ending its Pu program but not even the foundations were finished.

  10. b says:

    Whoever controls Kashmir controls the Indus river system which is Pakistan’s lifeline. Behind all the ethnic and religious blabber it is pure geographic fate that makes Kashmir such a point of strife.

  11. Peter says:

    If I were NK I would certainly be rushing to develop a nuke that could range Japan at the very least. After witnessing what happened to Gaddaffi and Saddam I don’t think they will ever see disarming as an option. Then there’s the constant poking and jabbing with military drills close to the borders – I think it would be best for the US to leave S Korea completely and deescalate the situation asap.

  12. different clue says:

    Chris Chuba,
    I continue to suspect that a primary driver of ChinaGov behavior in the China Sea is to extract all the undersea gas, oil and fish in and under all parts of the China Sea.

  13. Joe100 says:

    “and other things” – SOG nasty boat rides?

  14. turcopolier says:

    Define “nasty?” pl

  15. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Peter 12 August 2016 at 02:53 PM
    “After witnessing what happened to Gaddaffi and Saddam I don’t think they will ever see disarming as an option.”
    I think a lot of people all around the world learnt that lesson.

  16. SmoothieX12 says:

    “The Influence of Sea Power on History.” I’m a Clausewitz man.
    I am too, but I wouldn’t reject Mahan out of hand–he wrote what then, in that technological paradigm, seemed as a sensible thing. After all, Unites States themselves were born out of sea (power). As later, CNO Admiral Zumwalt reiterated–United States is a “world’s Island”, which it is. No doubt, Mahan Doctrine is moribund today. But, it is also a very useful “doctrine” for US navalism since provides a steady cash flow for places such as Newport News Shipyard, among many.

  17. Joe100 says:

    SOG’s “navy” — “The most potent of SOG’s Maritime resources were the PTFs, the so called “Nasty” Class motor gunboats built by Batservice Verft A/S in Mandal, Norway”
    I had a Marine friend who did a tour on these out of SOG’s “Maritimes Study Group’s” Danang operations base.

  18. turcopolier says:

    “better than drinking champagne out of your best girl’s formal evening slipper.” pl

  19. will says:

    part of the link is bad, but this will work

  20. turcopolier says:

    Ah, you are a navy guy. Actually I do not reject him “out of hand.” Interestingly, his father was Dennis Hart Mahan who played some role in teaching the WP grad CW types about Napoleon by way of Jomini. pl

  21. BabelFish says:

    Right on the money.

  22. AEL says:

    Informed speculation by open source arms control analysts suggest that North Korea may have the technology to lob one of their nuclear weapons all the way to Washington D.C.

  23. SmoothieX12 says:

    I am a navy guy (wrong navy, of course). Another matter that Lenin loved Clausewitz and good ole’ Carl was properly presented in a number of philosophy and military history courses. In the same time, naval infantry (marines) tactics and combat was duly taught and later it turned out very handy and not for me only.

  24. kao_hsien_chih says:

    THAAD situation is peculiar.
    I don’t think, realistically, THAAD or any other system can protect South Korea against North Korean attack. Too close, especially the major population centers. Too little time to react. The real purpose behind THAAD is to protect Japan, whether against North Korea or China. This is where China gets unhappy…although I think not unhappy enough.
    There was a lot of shuttle diplomacy where South Koreans went back and forth between Washington, Beijing, and Tokyo for a long time over THAAD matters. The impression I got was that, in a sense, the Chinese kinda stuffed South Koreans and put nothing or very little on table. ROK agreed to the THAAD deployment only after a great delay. Their reluctance is understansdable, even in recognition of the fact that the deployment is not very popular in South Korea–they are not getting much out of the deal, at least on surface. I am curious what exactly went on under the surface.
    This is one point where I think Trump, if something weird does happen, could surprise by pulling THAAD out of South Korea altogether. Personally, I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all: it’s not really our business to get into a possible fight with China for sake of Japan or South Korea. Trump might stiff the Chinese on economic matters, but I don’t think he is eager for a military escalation. Yes, this will likely mean that the Japanese will have to “normalize” their military–but that only involves putting new insignia on their uniforms, so to speak. Not a huge deal–just a rectification of correct names, as BM might say.
    The more likely path, though, since HRC victory is significantly more likely, is worrying: we seem poised for an accidental collision with the Chinese, over silly uninhabited islands that the Japanese, the Vietnamese, and the Chinese (on both sides of the Taiwan straits–on the same side) are quibbling about–i.e. none of our damn business.

  25. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Did Clausewitz not serve with the Imperial Russian Army in the 1812-13 period? Surely, he must have left a favorable impression then….

  26. different clue says:

    Did Clinton break it? Or did Congress prevent it and cancel it?

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not any longer; Pakistan is now safe from India behind her nuclear weapons.

  28. Aka says:

    About North Korea, it seems that the South Koreans have very little interest in starting war let alone a occupation of NK.

  29. SmoothieX12 says:

    He did serve and is, actually, featured in Tolstoy’s War And Peace precisely during last meeting between Pierre and Andrei on the eve of Borodino. While passing the barn where Pierre and Andrei speak Carl and other Germans speak about necessity to “expand war into the (battle)space”, to which Prince Andrei sardonically responds:
    “Der Krieg muss in Raum verlegt werden. Der Ansicht kann ich nicht genug Preis geben,”* said one of them.
    *”The war must be extended widely. I cannot sufficiently commend that view.”
    “Oh, ja,” said the other, “der Zweck ist nur den Feind zu schwachen, so kann man gewiss nicht den Verlust der Privat-Personen in Achtung nehmen.”*
    *”Oh, yes, the only aim is to weaken the enemy, so of course one cannot take into account the loss of private individuals.”
    “Oh, no,” agreed the other.
    “Extend widely!” said Prince Andrew with an angry snort, when they had ridden past. “In that ‘extend’ were my father, son, and sister, at Bald Hills. That’s all the same to him! That’s what I was saying to you- those German gentlemen won’t win the battle tomorrow but will only make all the mess they can, because they have nothing in their German heads but theories not worth an empty eggshell and haven’t in their hearts the one thing needed tomorrow- that which Timokhin has. They have yielded up all Europe to him, and have now come to teach us. Fine teachers!” and again his voice grew shrill.

  30. Peter Reichard says:

    The Straits of Malacca are as economically important to China as the Panama Canal ever was to the US. The bases in the Spratly Islands are a means to project power towards and to secure from hostile closure this vital naval choke point.
    China’s preposterous territorial claim to the entirety of the South China Sea is all about its energy and seafood resources. Their foolish greed is already driving the other claimants into the US orbit and is counterproductive to China’s goal of regional hegemony.

  31. turcopolier says:

    “little interest in starting war let alone a occupation of NK.” Yes, but what crazy ideas might the US have in that instance? pl

  32. SmoothieX12,
    Back in 2009, the British historian Dominic Lieven published a study entitled ‘Russia Against Napoleon.’
    (See .)
    Its conclusions were summarised in a lecture which Lieven gave at the LSE the following year, entitled ‘The Tsar Liberates Europe? Russia Against Napoleon, 1817-14.
    From the introduction:
    ‘In 1812-14 Alexander I defeated Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and then created and led a European alliance all the way to Paris. This lecture explains why and how he did this. It discusses Russian grand strategy, diplomacy and espionage, as well as the tsarist military machine, and the mobilisation of the home front. In both Western and Russian historiography the Russian achievement in 1813-14 is greatly underestimated, which seriously distorts understanding of European power politics and the causes of Napoleon’s demise. The lecture explains this underestimate partly as a legacy of Leo Tolstoy but also because while 1812 was traditionally seen by Russians as a national war, the victories of 1813-14 were interpreted as the triumph of the dynasty and empire.’
    A central part of the book’s argument is that, for all the brilliance of ‘War and Peace’, it simply misses the fundamental point that Napoleon lost because Alexander I and his advisors were better strategists. They had worked out well in advance the kind of war Napoleon could not afford to fight, and ensured that he fought it.
    The account Lieven gives here ‘meshes’ with a piece which appeared on the ‘Russkiy Mir’ site in April 2012, under the title ‘Two Hundred Years of Russian Intelligence.’
    It opens:
    ‘Field Marshal Barclay de Tolly, whose merits before Russia are great indeed, is not deprived of his share of regard on the part of his descendants. It is no surprise that his monument was set up in front of Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg adjacent the Kutuzov monument. But among all of his merits there is one that is seldom discussed: just before the War of 1812, he established Russia’s military intelligence.’
    (See .)
    There is another irony here, perhaps. The great Russian interpreter of Clausewitz was Aleksandr Svechin, one of the most brilliant of the former Tsarist ‘genstabisty’ who taught the Red Army how to fight.
    What Svechin always insisted was that – as indeed one might expect, given his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars – Clausewitz was two-sided: the emphasis on the decisive importance of the offensive is balanced by an insistence on the strengths of the defensive. The art of strategy is knowing what is appropriate in given circumstances – and when to switch from one to the other.
    In the event, Tukhachevsky’s insistence on the overriding importance of the offensive was adopted as orthodoxy by the Red Army in 1926, and Svechin’s views marginalised.
    As Andrei Kokoshin noted in a paper which has just appeared on the site of the Belfer Center of Harvard University, the Red Army paid a terrible price for Tukhachevsky’s victory in the summer and autumn of 1941.
    (See .)
    By the time the war broke out, both Svechin and Tukhachevky had been shot.
    As I understand it, however, the former’s strategic approach was very clearly exemplified in the command style of Konstantin Rokossovsky.

  33. BraveNewWorld says:

    First let me say great idea looking at the Far East as well. If your going to be serious about looking at any piece of geo-poitics you have to look at the big picture as well as it is all connected, no more so than the cross roads of the world, the Middle East.
    Some thing many people may not know is that South Korea built the Kaesong Industrial Region inside North Korea. This provided NK with some desperately needed currency but also brought some of the modern world to NK. It of course also gave SK access to cheap labour. It all came crashing down in February for numerous reasons including NKs bomb test and rocket launch but also changing politics in SK. The Kaesong project has been stopped before so may get going again some where down the line. But right now it doesn’t look good.
    The creation of the zone involved considerable interaction between the Koreas and the people working in the industrial area would have been able to tell other North Koreans how life in that bubble was different from what they have in the rest of NK.
    One thing to keep in mind when talking about the Koreas is that China really, really does not want an American aligned, united Korea on it’s border. Look at how the US reacted to Cuba and a few missiles. Scale that up to the size of a united Korea to see the problem.
    Every one would be better off if the US packed up and went home.

  34. SmoothieX12 says:

    it simply misses the fundamental point that Napoleon lost because Alexander I and his advisors were better strategists. They had worked out well in advance the kind of war Napoleon could not afford to fight, and ensured that he fought it.
    It is, certainly, true in a sense that Tolstoy remained consistent throughout W&P with his “swarm” view of history. Anatol Rappoport makes a wonderful argument with Tolstoy in his rather lengthy Editor’s Introduction to Penguin’s Edition of Vom Kriege. In W&P Alexandr I is portrayed as a sensitive man who is far removed from operational realities of the war, and even Kutuzov is portrayed as a man who merely follows a larger and much more powerful social and military laws perceived only by him and no one else. Hence Tolstoy’s insistence on Kutuzov “surrendering” in his decision to fight Borodino, which allegedly Kutuzov didn’t want to fight. Tolstoy’s writer genius screwed it up for many who began to perceive War of 1812 only through the wonderful lens of W&P, later augmented with probably the best epic movie of all times–Bondarchuk’s cinematographic masterpiece.
    The lecture explains this underestimate partly as a legacy of Leo Tolstoy but also because while 1812 was traditionally seen by Russians as a national war, the victories of 1813-14 were interpreted as the triumph of the dynasty and empire.’
    Very true.
    What Svechin always insisted was that – as indeed one might expect, given his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars – Clausewitz was two-sided: the emphasis on the decisive importance of the offensive is balanced by an insistence on the strengths of the defensive. The art of strategy is knowing what is appropriate in given circumstances – and when to switch from one to the other.
    Clausewitz, of course, was more complex than it is usually perceived and his maximum exertion of force principle applies equally to offense and defense. Vom Kriege, however, goes even further into the almost metaphysical world of the nature of war. Vom Kriege is to military word is what Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon to (rock)music.
    In the event, Tukhachevsky’s insistence on the overriding importance of the offensive was adopted as orthodoxy by the Red Army in 1926, and Svechin’s views marginalised.
    As Andrei Kokoshin noted in a paper which has just appeared on the site of the Belfer Center of Harvard University, the Red Army paid a terrible price for Tukhachevsky’s victory in the summer and autumn of 1941.

    Totally agree. Tukhachevsky came into prominence for his good looks and using somebody’s ideas. He was an average (to put it mildly) military leader but extremely ambitious. His, at some point of time in 1990s, almost cult status among Russian “reformers” was primarily inspired by him being purged–as an additional argument against Stalin. The truth (I do respect Kokoshin) of him and others from “old guard” contributing to the Red Army’s demise in 1941 was not a popular topic then. Actually, I am describing a somewhat similar situation, such as the ideas of late Vitaly Shlykov, which almost cost Russian Armed Forces its combat ability in my blog.

  35. b says:

    The agreement the U.S President Clinton made on behalf of the U.S. with North Korea was broken by the U.S. Why should North Korea, or anybody, care what political shenanigans within the U.S. were involved in this?
    Clinton negotiated a deal he could not pay for. His fault.

  36. kxd says:

    true enough.
    But is Pakistan safe from the gulfies and their merry band of radical offspring?
    I’m more worried of them losing their nukes than war between USA and Russia.

  37. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I suppose, in a sense, I should have remarked that Clausewitz’s Russian experience made a big impression on him…. 😉

  38. kao_hsien_chih says:

    It is equally unclear that SK leadership is especially interested in continuing to be a close ally of US, or whether the Chinese would actually pay the price that would satisfy South Koreans.
    I think the deal that would ultimately satisfy South Koreans–of ALL political stripes–is that PRC gives up North Korea as possible leverage, while letting South Korea become a neutralist state somewhat like Finland during late Cold War days, or perhaps even Belgium before World War I: friendly towards both China and U.S., not poised to become a military/strategic threat to China, but not willing to let itself be used for military/strategic advantage of China either–and, unlike Belgium in 1913, perhaps, have this status credibly guaranteed by the Chinese. In terms of foreign policy (domestic policy is an altogether different matter), the difference between SK factions is that some think that, if the Chinese can be suitably mollified, they’d pay this price, while others (including the current administration) do not believe that the Chinese would ever pay up. The value of having NK as possible source of leverage vs. both US and Japan, even if NK leadership might be nuts and troublesome for the Chinese, is enormous and the current relationship between SK and PRC is good enough that, I suspect, the Chinese will never pay a big price to satisfy the South Koreans.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Pakistanis are a threat to Pakistan and not Gulfies. They began to march down the dead-end path a few decades ago; when their government began defining who is or is not a Muslim. It has been down-hill ever since; in my opinion.

  40. LeaNder says:

    Smoothie, dear,
    Hmm? War and Peace, Book 10, Chapter XXV.
    I have troubles to believe Tolstoy uses German in the original in this passage. Does he? Interesting though.
    In any case it’s a highly odd German. Even considering the time of the translation. … 1869 …
    I should spare you my comments, really.
    Ok shortly “Der Krieg muss in [den] Raum verlegt werden.”
    Translation: War has to be relocated into space. Hasn’t it always been there? The German version below mirrors your translation, but not Maude’s.
    Preis geben/preisgeben not the meaning they/and you want, pretty much the opposite or some even more unrelated possibilities really: Preis=price/award geben=give; preisgeben=give up, disclose, reveal … Yes the two rather distinct possibilities “giving a price/award” versus “give up/let out/betray/reveal” weren’t always distinguished orthographically, if one checks historical grammar books. You/the translator seems to want something like “emphasize”.
    “in Achtung nehmen” not possible, not in earlier times either. Simply “beachten” would do e.g. … “(sich)in Acht nehmen”, would be possible, but not “in Achtung”.
    Passage from the German translation:,+Lev+Nikolaevi%C4%8D/Romane/Krieg+und+Frieden/Zehnter+Teil/25.
    »Man muß dem Krieg eine weitere räumliche Ausdehnung geben. Diese Ansicht kann ich nicht genug betonen«, sagte der eine.
    »Gewiß«, antwortete eine andere Stimme. »Da der Zweck nur der ist, den Feind zu schwächen, so kann auf die Verluste, welche Privatpersonen dabei erleiden, keine Rücksicht genommen werden.«
    Now I am curious, what Tolstoy actually wrote. 😉

  41. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, David, interesting documents.

  42. SmoothieX12 says:

    Now I am curious, what Tolstoy actually wrote. 😉
    Learn Russian, get 1986 Pravda edition (my favorite) 4 volume of Война И Мир and in the 3rd Volume on page 217 you’ll find it.

  43. SmoothieX12 says:

    I suppose, in a sense, I should have remarked that Clausewitz’s Russian experience made a big impression on him…. 😉
    Battle of Borodino alone would make an impression on anyone, forget the whole campaign. Yet, this battle is, for the most part, is not known in the West.

  44. tim s says:

    Any estimates on how stable these Chinese artificial islands are going to be?

  45. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Well, Knyaz Bolkonsky speaks fluent German, donchaknow, from his days with the NKVD deep-infiltrating the Nazis and all that. 😉

  46. kao_hsien_chih says:

    There are quite a few ebook editions of War and Peace in original Russian. Tolstoy did write multilingually, as you can see when you check them out. 🙂

  47. LeaNder says:

    I regret I gave it up during my studies, Smoothie. … And sorry, for my poorly reflected interference. If you will please accept?
    Thanks to everyone. Especially kao. Tolstoi is indeed multilingual. French passages surface too. Unfortunately I never moved much beyond Dostoevsky in Russian literature.
    Hmm, he deals with it, via footnotes:
    2. Война должна быть перенесена в пространство. Это воззрение я не могу достаточно восхвалить (нем.).
    3. О да, так как цель состоит в том, чтобы ослабить неприятеля, то нельзя принимать во внимание потери частных лиц (нем.).

  48. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, kao, yes, Russia was always an important part of European history. Even left traces in my own family.

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