A friend of mine asked a very insightful question last week, “Why do career military folks focus on history so much?”
The answer is as simple as it is complex. Georges de Santayana said it best: “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them!”
For a military professional, there have been no new strategies or tactics since the Peloponnesian Wars, or the Roman conquest of the known world; what has changed over the years are the technologies of war. Patton, in World War II North Africa successfully used the tactics of the third century Persians. History does repeat itself!
In a country far away, a long time ago, a parliamentry party attacked his opposition in the most cruel and personally vindictive ways, accusing the other partys’ members of being under the control of another country, or whose wives were protitutes, or who were homosexuals. The attacks were relentless and filled with the most foul vitriol imaginable, and even threatening to kill them in their sleep. This bullying of other parliamentarians was tolerated by one of the best educated and technologically sophisticated countries on the planet. No, it isn’t Her Royal Higness Nancy Pelosi, or AOC, it was Herman Goering, the point man for the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party (NAZI) delegation in the Reichstag, in 1933. The rich and powerful of Germany decided that if they gave these bullies a seat at the political table, they would settle down, and there would be peace in the streets—they were wrong and the result was a level of killing and destruction unrivaled at the time. Will the United States in 2020 repeat that mistake? Will we give Biden the keys to Air Force One and repeat the mistake of the Weimar Republic and the German Junkers (upper class), and ultimately reap the whirlwind? It is in the hands of the voters!