Saturday 23 December 2017

International Terrorism

If you are familiar with the literature or the word " Terrorism", then you realize that this is a fool’s errand.There is little consensus among the Inteligencia or academics on who practices terrorism and what constitutes terrorism; let alone the military, intelligence agencies, the judicial system, and government who formulate the definition and meaning to their own need and requirement

If you are familiar with the literature or the word " Terrorism", then you realize that this is a fool’s errand

Now the word terrorism was formulated and born during French Revolution of 1789 as the label used by the establishment to describe the conduct of revolutionaries and vice-versa.

Inside a Revolutionary Committee during the Reign of Terror"
"Inside a Revolutionary Committee during the Reign of Terror"

When did the word terrorism find its way into the English language?

This excerpt from January 30, 1795, edition of the London Times, reporting on the French National Convention in Paris, appears to be the First Mention of the word in English.

The article begins like this:

January 30, 1795, edition of the London Times, reporting on the French National Convention in Paris, appears to be the First Mention of the word in English.

Duhem:–You have given proofs that the whole Convention will a Republic (Laughter–Murmurs). It can therefore never be your intention to second the foolish hopes of Aristocracy and Royalism, which are impudently rearing their crests at our very doors, and would re-establish the Constitution of 1791.–(The whole Assembly rose, crying out Viva la Republique!)

Later in the transcript,  Monsieur Brsard utters the word that suddenly was part of the English language, and which occupies more news today.

Later in the transcript,  Monsieur Brsard utters the word that suddenly was part of the English language, and which occupies more news today.

Brzard.–“There exists more than one system to overthrow our liberty. Fanaticism has raised every passion; Royalism has not yet given up its hopes, and Terrorism feels bolder than ever.”

The difficulty in defining “terrorism” is in agreeing on a basis for determining when the use of violence (directed at whom, by whom, for what ends) is legitimate; therefore, the modern definition of terrorism is inherently controversial.

UN General Assembly Resolution 49/60 (adopted on December 9, 1994), titled "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism," contains a provision describing terrorism:

Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them;

Definitions of terrorism in other UN decisions

In parallel with the criminal law codification efforts, some United Nations organs have put forward some broad political definitions of terrorism.

UN General Assembly Resolutions

A 1996 non-binding United Nations Declaration to Supplement the 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, was included in UN General Assembly Resolution 51/210, which described terrorist activities in the following terms:
  1. Strongly condemns all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed;
  2. Reiterates that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify them;

UN Security Council

As per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004) condemned terrorist acts as:
 Recalls that criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature, and calls upon all States to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature;

High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change

The United Nations' High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change was created in 2003 to analyze threats and challenges to international peace and security and to recommend action based on this analysis.It was chaired by former Prime Minister of Thailand Anand Panyarachun
The panel focused on state terrorism and asked its member states to set aside their differences and to adopt, in the text of a proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, the following political "description of terrorism":

“That definition of terrorism should include the following elements:

(a) recognition, in the preamble, that State use of force against civilians is regulated by the Geneva Conventions and other instruments, and, if of sufficient scale, constitutes a war crime by the persons concerned or a crime against humanity;
(b) restatement that acts under the 12 preceding anti-terrorism conventions are terrorism, and a declaration that they are a crime under international law; and restatement that terrorism in a time of armed conflict is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions and Protocols;

(c) reference to the definitions contained in the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and Security Council resolution 1566 (2004);
(d) description of terrorism as “any action, in addition to actions already specified by the existing conventions on aspects of terrorism, the Geneva Conventions and Security Council resolution 1566 (2004), that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act”.

Proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism

Since 2000, the United Nations General Assembly has been negotiating a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The definition of the crime of terrorism, which has been on the negotiating table since 2002, reads as follows:

1. Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person, by any means, unlawfully and intentionally, causes:
(a) Death or serious bodily injury to any person; or
(b) Serious damage to public or private property, including a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system, an infrastructure facility or the environment; or
(c) Damage to property, places, facilities, or systems referred to in paragraph

1 (b) of this article, resulting in or likely to result in a major economic loss, when the purpose of the conduct, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.

2. Any person also commits an offense if that person makes a credible and serious threat to commit an offense as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article.

3. Any person also commits an offence if that person attempts to commit an offense as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article.

4. Any person also commits an offense if that person:
(a) Participates as an accomplice in an offense as set forth in paragraph 1, 2 or 3 of this article;
(b) Organizes or directs others to commit an offense as set forth in paragraph 1, 2 or 3 of this article; or
(c) Contributes to the commission of one or more offenses as set forth in paragraph 1, 2 or 3 of this article by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:

(i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of an offense as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article; or

(ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit an offense as set forth in paragraph 1 of this article.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Deterrence Theory (From Sociology Point of View)


Professor Nigel Walker (1980) Director of the UK Institute of Criminology, argued that ‘limiting principles’ exist indicating when the criminal law should or should not be used, eg.
  • It is better to prevent than punish
  • The law should not be used to penalize behavior that does no harm;
  • The law should not be used to compel people to act in their own best interests.; etc.
Deterrence is founded on the first mentioned principle. However, deterrence is never the sole or primary goal of the law (legal system).

Defining Deterrence

Deterrence involves the threat of punishment via some form of sanction.Deterrence is a way of achieving control through fear. 

If motorists do not refrain from offending out of fear of consequences they are, by definition, not deterred.

Deterrence, in general, is the control of behavior that is affected because the potential offender does not consider the behavior worth risking for fear of its consequences.

Beyleveld (1979) defines the essence of deterrence by two criteria:
Given X’s negative attitude towards the imagined experience of undergoing what he believed were the actual penalties he risked if he committed C1., his positive motivation to commit C1, and the chance he believed existed of having what he believed were the risked penalties being inflicted upon him if he committed (or attempted to commit) C1, and the chance he believed existed of successfully fulfilling his motivation to commit.C1, X “decided” that the personal utility of not committing C1 exceeded the personal utility of committing (or attempting to commit C1 . (16) This ‘calculation’ of utility was the reason why X did not commit C1. (Whatever other factors may have weighed towards X not committing C1,this calculation was necessary for X not to have committed C1, and the calculation alone or in conjunction with other factors was sufficient for X not to have committed C1).” (p.209)
A “deterrent effect” of sanctions is the preventive effect of the sanction(s) resulting from the fear that the sanction(s) will be implemented.
Thus “deterrence” refers to any process by which the threatened act is not committed (or is at least hindered) because of the deterrent sanction. Strictly defined (Beyleveld 1979,p.207) 

“A person is deterred from offending by a sanction if, and only if, he refrains from that act because he fears the implementation of the sanctions, and, for no other reason.”

Deterrence is therefore but one compliance-gaining mechanism.

How Does the Deterrence Operate?

The mere presence or introduction of a sanction may hinder or prevent an offense in a number in different ways:
    Deterrence Theory (From Sociology Point of View)
  1. Knowledge of the sanction affects the perception of the cost of offending so that compliance is seen as more attractive than offending;
  2. Knowledge of the sanction, coupled with a belief in the sanctity of law or unquestioning legal authority, may be sufficient for compliance;
  3. Sanctions may also have moral-educative and habituative effects so that they may be causally involved in the generation of moral beliefs and inhibitions, and laws may be obeyed purely by force of habit;
  4. The implementation of sanctions, rather than the mere threat may reduce offenses by incapacitating potential offenders, reforming them or by creating via stigmatization of the offender, informal pressures to comply. 
Deterrence refers to some combinations of these different mechanisms but for strict usage  (i) above must always be present or else the compliance gaining strategy is something other than deterrence. This statement refers to the notion that people weigh up the costs and benefits in deciding not to offend and the cost is the penalties that are threatened.

The philosophy underpinning deterrence is that the risk to the lawbreaker must be made so great and the punishment so severe, that people believe they have more to lose than to gain from the offense.

Deterrence in the literature, and in practice, is usually only in reference to a legal sanction but non-legal sanctions such as fear of ostracism or the disapproval of others are also capable of acting as deterrents.

Thursday 14 December 2017

Total War: Origin & Overview

Total war is a military conflict in which nations mobilize all available resources in order to destroy another nation's ability to engage in war. Total war has been practiced for centuries, but outright total warfare was first demonstrated in the nineteenth century and flourished with conflicts in the twentieth century. When one side of a conflict participates in total war, they dedicate not only their military to victory but the civilian population still at home to working for victory as well. It becomes an ideological state of mind for those involved, and therefore, represents a very dangerous methodology, for the losses are great whether they win or lose.

With the advent of nuclear weapons, the threat of total devastation to the earth and humankind through nuclear warfare in the mid-twentieth century caused a change in thinkingWith the advent of nuclear weapons, the threat of total devastation to the earth and humankind through nuclear warfare in the mid-twentieth century caused a change in thinking. Such a war does not require the mobilization of the whole population, although it would result in their destruction. Since that time, therefore, the arena of war has retreated to smaller powers, and major powers have not been involved in a total war scenario.

However, this has not necessarily reduced the casualties or the suffering of those involved in wars and the threat of widespread violence remains. Ultimately, humankind must move beyond the age of resolving differences through acts of violence, and establish a world in which war, total or otherwise, no longer exists.

The concept of total war is often traced back to Carl von Clausewitz and his writings Vom Kriege (On War), but Clausewitz was actually concerned with the related philosophical concept of absolute war, a war free from any political constraints, which Clausewitz held was impossible. The two terms, absolute war, and total war, are often confused:

Clausewitz's concept of absolute war is quite distinct from the later concept of "total war." Total war was a prescription for the actual waging of war typified by the ideas of General Erich von Ludendorff, who actually assumed control of the German war effort during World War One. Total war in this sense involved the total subordination of politics to the war effort—an idea Clausewitz emphatically rejected, and the assumption that total victory or total defeat was the only options

A U.S. poster  produced during  World War II
A U.S. poster
produced during
World War II.
Indeed, it is General Erich von Ludendorff during World War I (and in his 1935 book, Der Totale Krieg—The Total War) who first reversed the formula of Clausewitz, calling for total war—the complete mobilization of all resources, including policy and social systems, to the winning of the war.

There are several reasons for the changing concept and recognition of total war in the nineteenth century. The main reason is industrialization. As countries' natural and capital resources grew, it became clear that some forms of conflict demanded more resources than others. 
For example, if the United States was to subdue a Native American tribe in an extended campaign lasting years, it still took much fewer resources than waging a month of war during the American Civil War. Consequently, the greater cost of warfare became evident. An industrialized nation could distinguish and then choose the intensity of warfare that it wished to engage in.

Additionally, this was the time when warfare was becoming more mechanized. A factory and its workers in a city would have a greater connection with warfare than before. The factory itself would become a target because it contributed to the war effort. It follows that the factory's workers would also be targets. 

Total war also resulted in the mobilization of the home front. Propaganda became a required component of total war in order to boost production and maintain morale. Rationing took place to provide more material for waging war.

There is no single definition of total war, but there is general agreement among historians that the First World War and Second World War were both examples. Thus, definitions do vary, but most hold to the spirit offered by Roger Chickering:

Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent. Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless. Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies. Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations. The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets


Erich Ludendorff's Concept of Total War

The ‘Brains’ of the Imperial German war machine for the last two years of the war and progenitor of the German concept of ‘total war’ General Erich Ludendorff, the ‘Brains’ of the Imperial German war machine for the last two years of the war and progenitor of the German concept of Total War. On the right is the implementation of gas at Flanders, an extension of the idea that the war had to be fought with every tool, every tactic, every strategy that could be put forth for the very survival of the nation.

"The military staff must be composed of the right men, of the best and ablest men, efficient in the domain of war on land, on the sea, and in the air, in propaganda, war techniques, economics and politics, and they must be intimately acquainted with national life... They have no right to give orders."  - Erich Ludendorff
The last two years of the Great War for Germany are a great illustrative example as to the Ludendorff concept of ‘total war’.By late 1916, both Ludendorff and Hindenburg had effectively phased Wilhelm II and much of the Reichstag and diplomatic elements of the government from the decision making processes and were unilaterally making said decisions devoid of a clear chain of responsibility.

They were, in effect, the perpetual military dictators of Imperial Germany for the remainder of the war.

In Ludendorff’s concept of ‘total war’, the military was the goto, be all for any and all decisions, both political and diplomatic, as they had the chance, whether minute or massive, of influencing the war effort. In effect, the civilian aspects of the government only made policy in response to the needs of the military, not vice-versa, whatever the military needed it received. This concept reserved no place for strategic input by the civilian statesman in the government, the military command was the totality of power within the government and the final body of decision with any policies that had a nationwide effect.

True to the maxim of ‘Prussia is an Army with a State’, Ludendorff envisioned that the military would become the central component of the government which fell in line with his Social Darwinism which saw the notion of ‘peace’ as a temporary reality that interspliced the various period of war that came to dominate the globe and was the main diplomatic tools nations chose to wield.

Ludendorff chose to take this concept to the next level with a more real politik approach as to the strategic aims a ‘total war’ envisioned in accomplishing:

Ludendorff specified the missing strategic aim: ‘Total war is not only aimed against the armed forces but also directly against the people.’
Although the idea was ultimately legitimized by a defensive political objective –– survival of the nation –– this strategic aim had to be pursued by offensive means. The best security for the nation followed from the total annihilation of other nations. Total war thus involved the total mobilization by the total state for the pursuit of total –– political and strategic –– aims.

However horrific we might now think Ludendorff’s product was, this was a coherent and seemingly practical concept of war that was adjusted directly to political demands.

For Ludendorff, war didn’t just end with the defeat of your opponent, it had to be concluded to finality, the ultimate annihilation of any nation that threatened the very survival of one’s own.

This was a more….extreme take on the Clausewitzian principle of the destruction of the enemy’s armed forces by arguing that in the Modern Age, this goal was no longer a possibility and had to be taken one step further, the complete elimination of every citizen as an enemy and therefore a legitimate target as a potential resource for further conflict.

In essence, ‘total war’ for Ludendorff was just that, the very ‘life and death’ struggle, David and Goliath-esque conflict of nations where the stronger came out on top through the ruthless prosecution of a war that vindicated the principles of Social Darwinism.

He argued that the entire physical and moral forces of the nation should be mobilized at all times, because, according to him, peace was merely an interval between wars.

Ludendorff was a Social Darwinist who believed that war was the "foundation of human society," and that military dictatorship was the normal form of government in a society in which every resource must be mobilized.

Historian Margaret Anderson notes that after the war, Ludendorff wanted Germany to go to war against all of Europe and that he became a pagan worshiper of the Nordic god Odin; he detested not only Judaism but also Christianity, which he regarded as a weakening force.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Murphy's Law of Combat

    If the enemy is in range, so are you.  Incoming fire has the right of way. Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
  • If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
  • There is always a way.
  • The easy way is always mined.
  • Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
  • Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.
  • The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: 
a. When you're ready for them                 
b. When you're not ready for them.
  • Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
  • If you can't remember, the claymore is pointed at you.
  • The enemy diversion you have been ignoring will be the main attack.
  • A "sucking chest wound" is natures way of telling you to slow down.
  • If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
  • Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
  • Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.
  • Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won't be able to get out.
  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
  • If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in a combat zone.
  • When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
  • Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder.  
  • Friendly Fire Isn't.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

J.F.C. Fuller: His View On Politicians & National Force

J.F.C. FullerJohn F.C. Fuller was one of the leading theorists on armored warfare during the 1920s and 1930s. During World War-I he served in the newly formed Tank Corps, and responsible for implementing the tank on the European battlefield. Even though the tank faced serious problems and often broke down. 
Fuller was able to see the potential of this new weapon and its impact on warfare (Fuller 1993). Fuller was a strong supporter of understanding how technological advances could affect the conduct of war and then apply it on the battlefield.

Fuller‟s writings span nearly 6 decades, covering topics such as mysticism and cabbala, news reports, military theory, and history. In The Reformation of War (1923) and Foundations of the Science of War (1926), Fuller presented his views on war as a scientific activity. 
The misconduct of World War I led Fuller to believe that the use of force needed a better foundation – a scientific foundation. Fuller believed that the two world wars of the 20th century showed lack of understanding of how military force should be directed in order to obtain the true objective of war: a better peace (Fuller 1993).

Fuller argued for a strong political control of the military forces and believed that a great cause of war is the lack of civil control of the military, or as Fuller wrote: “due to the existence of a hiatus between the mentalities of the nation and its army” (Fuller 1923: 11). Fuller explains: “It frequently arises, however, especially in prosperous nations, that the national will to hunt for wealth is so great that it monopolizes all their efforts, and, consequently, that little thought is given to the maintenance and protection of their wealth through military action. In these circumstances, an army, which should be of the nation, becomes separated from it”. 

Fuller underlines the importance of a strong civil presence in the study of war: “To restrict the development of war by divorcing it from civil science is to maintain warfare in its present barbarous and alchemical form. To look upon war as a world force and attempt to utilize it more profitably is surely better” (Fuller 1993: 32). Fuller argued that politicians should take an active role in the development of their armed forces because these forces should serve the interests of the nations formulated by the politicians. And in order for politicians to take a constructive role in this development, they need to be educated. 

Fuller writes in the preface to The Reformation of War “I have not written this book for military monks, but for civilians, who pay for their alchemy and mysteries” (Fuller 1923: xii), and sums up his efforts in the epilogue: “In order to protect our homes and our institutions we must not only protect our army and look upon it as our shield against adversity, but we must determine whether the shield we have is worthy to protect us. 

In the book, he examined the possibilities of future warfare in order to lead up to this conclusion.
"I feel that I have written enough to enable any intelligent citizen, after he has studied what I have said, to turn to the army he is paying for in order to maintain the peace which he enjoys and to say: "Thou art, or thou art not, found wanting” (Fuller 1923: 282-283).Fuller wanted to create a manual for politicians so that they could better understand how the use of force should be applied in order to serve the nation‟s interests."

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Conflict :Origin and Meaning

Conflict and mankind both have born together. It is an essential feature of society. Men have fought even when there were no arms and tools of violence hasn’t invented, and as Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall quoted “the starting point of understanding the war is the understanding of human nature”.

the starting point of understanding the war is the understanding of human nature”
From birth, a baby begins the journey of conflict by crying, which is a flash of conflict. As he grows up, he bites with his teeth or scratches with the nails on his tiny fingers when he is upset. This presupposes that men will continue to fight as long as they have emotions that have the potential to love or hate; to be happy or sad; to be pleased or angry. So long as man has other men around him, there will be issues of disagreement, because interest differs and interests do clash, which may lead to disagreement or confrontation. A community or society of men thus creates room for explosive attitudes and relations. 

When seen from the extremist and religious point of view; conflict represents one of the two nature of man ‘evil’ and ‘cooperation’. The conflict thus dwells in disagreement, anger, hatred, destruction, killing or war. Any effort capable of charging and changing the political or social environment is likely to result in conflict. Greed, covetousness, self-centeredness, discontent, envy, arrogance, rudeness, impunity, among other acts, is capable of producing a breakdown of human relations. In a way, these vices are innate attributes of the ‘conflict nature’ of man.

What is Conflict?
As per Oxford Dictionary conflict is “A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one”.

Pruitt and  Rubin 1986 “Conflict means perceived divergence of interest or a belief that the parties' current aspirations cannot be achieved simultaneously

Conrad 1990 “Conflicts are communicative interactions among people who are interdependent and who perceive that their interests are incompatible, inconsistent, or in tension.

Folger, Poole, and Stutman 1997 “Conflict is the interaction of interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals and interference from each other in achieving those goals

Nicholson, 1992 “Conflict is an existing state of disagreement or hostility between two or more people”.

Thus one can say that when 2 parties do not an accord and have different views and objectives on the same issue which often result in the pursuit of incompatible goals. Put differently, conflict means collision course; it also refers to opposition to existing view, stand, or position.
Political conflict, on the other hand, is counteracting of parties (political subjects) expressed in certain actions directed against each other.

Goal incompatibility means totally opposite objectives or motives. For example with the end of World War 2 USA and USSR engaged in total opposite type of state economy i.e. USA (capitalist) and USSR (socialist) from 1945 till 1990s which is often referred by the people as COLD WAR where the term ‘WAR’ is referred to the conflict of ideologies and foreign policy.

It is, however, important to know that conflict does not always denote war. While all wars are a state of conflict, all conflict situations may not be a war situation. At the various occasion, conflict is referred to different perception which not results in hostility. Here conflict is the only difference in perception on an issue or situation.

For example; The Syria and Iraq crisis can be referred to as ‘conflict’ and because ISIS is an illegitimate Islamist group that seeks unconventional means to destabilize the state and impose their self-defined laws. Here government have not officially declared war but have targeted criminal insurgents and groups within the state. The conflict thus differs from the war as a conflict is a general definition of a state of chaos, including that of war situations; while war is a legally declared course of action by constitutionally recognized groups.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Theories of Air power:The Command of the Air - G. Douhet

He was a key proponent of strategic bombing in aerial warfare.
General Giulio Douhet (30 May 1869 – 15 February 1930) was an Italian general and air power theorist. He was a key proponent of strategic bombing in aerial warfare. He was a contemporary of the 1920s air warfare advocates Walther Wever, Billy Mitchell and Sir Hugh Trenchard.

In 1921. The same year he completed a hugely influential treatise on strategic bombing titled The Command of the Air and retired from military service soon after Douhet’s theories on airpower have had a lasting effect on airpower employment.

The major premise of Douhet’s theory was his belief that during the war, a quick victory could be won by early air attack on the enemy’s vital centers, while surface forces worked to contain the enemy on the ground. Douhet differed from other prominent early theorists by proposing that civilian populations be directly targeted as part of the air campaign.

Key Aspects of Douhet’s Theories:
  • Major Assumptions
  • Thoughts on Targeting
  • Thoughts on Air Exploitation

    Major Assumptions:

    • Airpower is inherently offensive; the bomber will always get through
    • All future wars will be total wars
    • Civilian morale can be diminished by direct attack
    • The dominance of the defensive form of ground warfare is permanent

        Thoughts on Targeting:
        The first step is command of the air; the next priority is destroying vital centers and civilian moral targets.

        Thoughts on Air Exploitation:
        Once command of the air is won, it must be used to punish the civilians, so that they will coerce their own government to come to terms in order to end the suffering. This will happen so rapidly that total suffering will be less than that experienced in the trenches.

        Implications of Douhet’s Theories:
        • Organization for War
        • Role of Other Armed Forces
        • Force Structure
        • Technology Requirements

        Organization for War
        In order to bring about victory over the enemy before your own civil morale collapses, you must organize airpower under a separate air force.

        Roles of Other Armed Forces
        Other armed forces will only stand on the defensive until the air force offensive has been decisive.

        Force Structure
        The army and navy will be structured to achieve economy of force. All the mass possible will be built into the air force.

        Technology Requirements
        Only one type of airplane is required—the battle plane. It will be of moderate speed, long range, and heavily armored for self-protection. If escort protection is required, battle planes will be made part of the strike package, armed only with self-defensive weapons. Everything not put into the battle plan is a diversion that weakens the main effort and reduces the probability of success. Battles plane would have a combination of high-explosive, incendiary, and gas bombs to have a synergistic effect.

        Influence in Italy
        His influence on Italy was quite significant, in that he helped bring about the development of an air ministry and separate air force under Mussolini.Colonel Billy Mitchell shared many of Douhet’s beliefs and also corresponded with Count Caproni (who was closely associated with Douhet in the articulation of his theory) on airpower employment. The communication between many of the early theorists promoted a vital dialogue in formulating ideas on airpower.

        Influence on the United States
        • His influence on the United States was somewhat indirect. Douhet’s contemporary, Count Caproni, was trying hard to sell his bomber to the U.S. Caproni was also closely associated with Douhet in the articulation of his theory. Colonel Edgar Gorrell, an early advocate of strategic bombing, met with Caproni and later had an influence on the initial development of the Air Service Strategic Bombing Theory.
        • Several U.S. airpower theorists shared Douhet’s view on strategic bombardment. It can be assumed that Douhet had an influence in the formulation of airpower thought during the period. Portions of his book Command Of The Air were translated and incorporated into the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) curriculum. The ACTS would produce the airpower architects of the strategic bombing campaign of World War II.

        Heartland theory : Halford Mackinder

        The Geographical Pivot of History, sometimes simply as The Pivot of History is a geostrategic theory, also known as Heartland Theory. "The Geographical Pivot of History" was an article submitted by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society that advanced his Heartland Theory. In this article, Mackinder extended the scope of geopolitical analysis to encompass the entire globe.

        Supported by five diagrams, it was published by the Society in April 1904 together with comments by several students of geography. Probably few who read the lecture in 1904 guessed that Figure 5, bearing the caption "The Natural Seats of Power," would become one of the most famous maps of our time. It embodied one of the most thought-provoking views of the world in the twentieth century and has exercised a profound influence on foreign affairs and on history.

        The Geographical Pivot of History" was an article submitted by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society that advanced his Heartland Theory
        Pictures 1-5 from "The Geographical Pivot of History(1904)"

        The Heartland consists of Russia and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan)

        In the Heartland theory, Mackinder actually engages geography in international politics both literally and figuratively. Literally, the Heartland theory pointed out that, Eurasia is strategically the most advantageous geographical location (See: Figure). 

        On the other hand, figuratively this theory put emphasis on the centrality of the Eurasian region. Mackinder stated that in the context of the global geopolitical processes, the Eurasian continent is found in the center of the world politics. Under this statement, he suggested that the state that dominated the Heartland would possess the necessary geopolitical and economic potential to ultimately control the world politics. Although the Heartland Theory faced much criticism in the decades since its publication, rather the study aims to just how far the philosophy is rational as well as influential in the contemporary environment of international politics.

        He asserted that the European civilization was the product of outside pressure. His account of Europe and European history, regarding it as the result of many centuries of struggle against invasions from Asia, proceeded from the same idea. He believed that Europe’s advance and expansion were stimulated by the need to respond to the pressure coming from the center of Asia. Accordingly, it was the Heartland (where the continental masses of Eurasia were concentrated) that served as the pivot of all the geopolitical transformations of historial dimensions within the World Island.

        He pointed out that the Heartland was in the most advantageous geopolitical location. Aware of the relative nature of the conception “central location,” Mackinder pointed out that in the context of the global geopolitical processes, the Eurasian continent is found in the center of the world, with the Heartland occupying the center of the Eurasian continent. His doctrine suggested that the geopolitical subject (actor) that dominated the Heartland would possess the necessary geopolitical and economic potential to ultimately control the World Island and the planet.

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