Fortune is a Woman

Thus, and as Machiavelli argued, fortune is a woman and “is the arbiter of half of our actions, but that she still leaves the other half of them, more or less, to be governed by us.” As a result, doing the right thing matters given that the one who “relies entirely on Fortune comes to ruin as she changes.” Everything is governed by rules and principles, including conflict and war. Also, being cognizant of which epoch or period of history we are in is also relevant to our success in international affairs, given that “the man who adapts his mode of proceeding to the nature of the times will prosper, and similarly, that the man whose mode of proceeding is not in accord with the times will not prosper.” 

Hence, adapting and tailoring all of our efforts and energy to a 21st century “global hybrid war” means we will not get trampled by it to a certain extent and that we can at least cope with the situation. What is called for, essentially, is adaptation and change on a very large scale and scope, given that “since Fortune changes and men remain set in their ways, they will prosper as long as the two are in accord with one another, but they will not prosper, when the two are not in accord.” 

And as the French-Swiss military strategist and theorist Antoine-Henri Jomini argued, wars end up converging and culminating at both a “decisive moment” in time and a “decisive point” in the theatre of war. In a sense, all strategies, tactics, and operations are tailored towards bringing wars up to that decisive moment in time and decisive point in the theatre of war. Both the decisive moment in time and the decisive point in the theatre of war have to be brought about and fostered by the defensive force through essentially exhausting the offensive force and protracting the war until intuition tells us that we have finally reached the decisive moment in time and the decisive point in the theatre of war when we can then exert ourselves with the fullest energy and force. 

Arguably, in our 21st century global hybrid war, we are still very far from reaching that decisive moment in time and decisive point in the theatre of war. And given that our hybrid war is global in scope, that decisive moment can be at any time and that decisive point could be anywhere in the world. We also have to know what our policy aim is amidst this global hybrid war, given that one’s war strategy ultimately amounts to “the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy” as Sir Basel Liddle Hart argued. 

Our policy in Washington, arguably, amounts to overcoming global challenges to the status quo of the international order. It has been argued: “War is never the end, but always the beginning of a new social order.” And as E.H. Carr wrote: “War is produced by the conditions which have made revolution necessary, and in turn hastens the consummation of the revolution. It is part of a revolutionary process, and cannot be isolated from it either as cause or as effect.” In sum, our policy aim vis-à-vis this global hybrid war has to account for some sort of control and management of the change and the evolution of our social order which seems to be inevitable as a result of this global hybrid war, which one must add is governed by two major non-anthropomorphic forces, namely, the balance of power and globalization.  

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