America: You Need a Policy Chimp

America needs a Policy Chimp. To qualifychimp-9090 as a Policy Chimp, an individual:

  1. Should be perceived as completely nuts.
  2. Should lack self-awareness or a sense of irony.
  3. Should randomly spout threats.
  4. Should be given to verbal flamboyance of the most extreme kind.
  5. Should lack a sense of humor.
  6. Should have a Chuck Schumer-like attraction to cameras.
  7. Should be able to easily scare foreigners and local intelligentsia.
  8. Should have a direct thought-to-mouth interface for maximum performance.

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Clausewitz, On War, Book 1: Clausewitz on Military Genius

I am reading Clausewitz because I fight as a profession. It is therefore my duty to heed my obligation to society that I read and understand my craft. Clausewitz, whether one agrees with him or not, has shaped the doctrine of all modern state-owned militaries. The capstone doctrinal document of the Marines, MCDP 1: Warfighting, is laced with Clausewitzian thought and terminology. Ask any Marine lieutenant what Friction is. He almost certainly knows!

On my road to professionalism I have wondered what makes a person a genius at the military arts and sciences. Fortunately Clausewitz provided me the Third Chapter of Book One of On War, where he dissects military genius into its component parts and discusses them. In doing so he provides a great starting point to discuss the nature of military genius. What is military genius? Where does it come from? What kinds of people are military geniuses? Do we make geniuses, or are they born?

Here I will digest the chapter and provide my thoughts, as well as questions for the Round Table.

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