Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Arms Racing the Wind

Self-promoting old me at ePluribus Media Journal.


  1. Good Job!...good reading.

  2. Thanks for checking it out, Kristie.

  3. liked the the top ten list - send it to Olberman. He would do it justice.

  4. Jeff, you wrote a great article, really clear and concise. I knew the general outlines of the military-industrial complex but you provided terrific details and brought a complex issue into perspective. I had no idea that colonels, majors and lower ranks were directly benefiting from cronyism.

  5. Very nice, Jeff. You ask:

    "If we were sticking it to the Soviet Union in the Reagan era with our extravagant defense spending, to whom are we sticking it now?"

    I'd say we're stickin' it to the American people.

    I agree with you that more light needs to be shone on the military-industrial complex. I look forward to reading more. (I also like the quotes by Eisenhower. He certainly had the gift of foreseeing the future.)


  6. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Thanks for writing that article, since it was clear, concise, and historically accurate. I especially enjoyed the bit about van Riper.

    I wasn't aware that von Moltke was a part of the transportation profiteers, but I suppose it isn't a aurprise. Railways easily doubled Germany's mobilization goals, and of course, with all the trains running in synch, it would have been impossible to stop the Schlieffen plan once it had been implemented.


  7. Paul,

    I don't think Olberman takes unsolicited material. (Most of them don't.)


    Some of my best friends are beltway bandits.


    Yes, we're sticking it to the taxpayers. I love that with all the talk of cutbacks, nobody's suggesting cutting back the military budget.


    As I understand it, more went wrong with the Schlieffen plan than just the railways. Plus, the Moltke of that war was the nephew of the guy who built the railroads.


  8. Excellent article, Jeff!

  9. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Thanks for the correction about Moltke, Jeff. I must have audited that class at college. The thing about the railways is that once the mobilization machinery had been set in motion, THE PLAN developed its own life. It was technically impossible to stop the movement of troops from the administrative areas through the railheads to the lines of departure. To attempt to stop it, the argument went, would have created chaos, left mobilized troops out of barracks, unfed, isolated at every railway station throughout Germany.

    It vaguely reminds me of something seen just a couple of years ago....

    The Schlieffen plan failed because at the last moment, the General Staff developed a confidence crisis, and moved one or two Corps (I forget which) from the right wing to the left wing to counter a perceived strong French buildup on their right wing. The story is that on his deathbed, the old Field Marshal whispered that the right wing must be so strong that the sleeve of the soldier furthest to the right "must brush the Channel" in its grand wheel south. The last minute reinforcement of the left wing doomed the plan to failure, resulting in four years of situational warfare, rather than the war of movement originally planned.