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Teaching Your Enemy to Win

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Betz, Hugo Stanford-Tuck

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages6
JournalInfinity Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

King's Authors


The recent poor performance of the West in the various expeditionary campaigns of the Global war on Terror is often explained as a case of good tactics let down by bad strategy. We argue differently. The situation, in fact, is that our tactics are also poor and strategy is essentially irrelevant because the policy that it is meant to serve is nonsensical. It is bad strategy and poor tactics to engage in conflicts that are doomed to failure from the outset— and immoral to boot. The object of war ought to be the creation of a better peace, for that is all that can justify the violent infliction of death and destruction which is its metier. We, though, go through the motions of war but without conviction or plausible aim. In the process we teach our most highly motivated enemies a thousand tactical lessons and one gigantic strategic one: how to win, against us.

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