The problem of careless language in strategic affairs


Recently, I heard a future military leader (someone who should have known better) use the following words in a sentence…”We create our enemies.” Up to that point I was listening and finding much of what was said to be different but not worth engaging. Upon hearing this, however, I had to chime in.

There is so much junk out there when it comes to “thinking” in the realm of strategic studies and related fields. Sadly, I have found what I am currently calling a crisis of epistemology in strategic circles where people at high levels of government, and on staffs, are using words carelessly or purposely choosing terms wrongly…thinking that there are no consequences or problems with such activity. Using our example above, I stated in the conversation that you can say that a friendly ally could eventually become an enemy, or an enemy can become a friendly…in many cases…

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