Rewriting the Rules of War

A curious thing happened in American thinking about warfare in 1961 - the rules needed to be rewritten, or so thought "the best and brightest" civilian strategists that President Kennedy brought with him into the White House.  In his book The Best and Brightest, David Halberstam covers how Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, William P. Bundy, Dean Rusk, George Ball, et.al, arrogantly ignored the historical lessons of warfare and set about to change the rules of war.  This change has had far-reaching negative effects, even to today.What was at the root of their hubris?With the advent of nuclear weapons, many civilian think tank warfare theorists believed that direct superpower confrontation had become too dangerous to contemplate.  Thus was born "limited war" in the national lexicon of strategic thinking when the Korean War broke out in 1950 and President Truman limited the war objectives and means in order to avoid nuclear confrontation with the Soviet...(Read Full Article)

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