The merits of warriors on the battlefield are often praised; some of their exploits have been able to turn the tide of war and at the same time of history. However, this image is that of another time, warriors have become soldiers and the strength of an army today lies in the productive capacity of the countries that support it.
The Ease Of Predicting The Outcome Of A War
In Napoleon’s time, tactical genius could make the difference even when the forces at play were seriously leaning against the general. Today, it is different. With equal technological skills, the country that can field the most tanks, submarines or nuclear warheads wins. The whole secret of war lies in the real knowledge of the productive capacities of the belligerents. The whole art of war consists in concealing one’s true strength to deceive the enemy.
The Production Capacity The Real Nerve Of War
A war is above all based on a war economy, and moreover an industrial and self-sufficient one. The Western countries, represented by the NATO coalition, appear at first sight to be the first nuclear power. But what is it really? A large part of the industrial production has been relocated to China. Some of the countries that make up this coalition owe their food subsistence only to international trade (e.g. England). Are they really the favorites we think?
Is The Western Camp As Strong As It Thinks It Is?
If a large-scale war were to break out, it is not certain that we would see a resounding victory for the Western camp. On paper, the United States is an economic giant. Is this still true? Its industrial power has been greatly devalued by successive relocation policies. Its GDP is artificially inflated. Here is an example: health care is excessively expensive. One could say that it costs at least ten times more on average than in countries like China and Russia. For the same benefit, the country records 10 times more GDP in its accounts. Other examples can also be cited: higher education, the deprivation of the prison system (if it were nationalized, it would not be counted in the GDP) etc. For all these reasons, we can think that the real GDP is much lower than what it is officially. On the other hand, the power of the United States rests in part on the central role played by the dollar in the world economy. What will happen to the country when the dollar loses its status?
Logistics, The Other Central Point Of A War
War is certainly about economics, but it is also about the ability to project and supply its units in operation. The strong point of the Western camp is certainly its logistics. The experience of several conflicts in the Middle East, bases spread over all the continents, a first class maritime transport system, etc. gives the advantage to the West. However, the best logistics are useless if there is no productive capacity behind them.
Why Do We Still Go To War Today?
War is an easy answer of a nation that has the power. It is the lack of wisdom and patience that drives countries to resort to armed conflict to serve their interests. It is the same reason why there is bullying or racketeering. Force helps to get what you want quickly, without regard for human life. It can be said that there are different levels of power relations between nations. For each of them there is a different relationship to time and to the acceptance of the people. The time and the acceptance of the population being inversely proportional. Here are some examples:
War (time: short; acceptance: zero/rejection)
Trade (time: medium short; acceptance: low)
Diplomacy (time: long; acceptance: medium)
Cultural and linguistic soft power (time: very long; acceptance: high)
To illustrate this idea, one must simply think that a people will be more inclined to accept the will of a foreign power if it has been culturally and linguistically immersed in its culture. This explains the influence that former colonial powers still have today on the countries they had colonized. Similarly, a trade agreement between two countries is not sufficient for the population to validate the political choices of a foreign country. War is about winning territory, but it is not about winning hearts. Winning people’s hearts is the real way to triumph, it takes time, but I hope that the powers of tomorrow will be more in the business of seduction than oppression.