Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The War Nerd


This entry is about a news columnist that I have recently discovered and enjoy.  Some of you may have heard about him before.  His name is Gary Brecher and his column is called “The War Nerd”.  
Gary will be the first one to admit that he is nothing more than a fat, out of shape, armchair general who loves reading military history and current events and never has been in the service.  But, I feel that he really has a finger on the pulse on warfare, at least the human nature of it. 


His work is not really “Safe For Workplace”, but he puts it all in very simple layman’s terms.  I like that.   I don’t agree with him 100%, but I find myself agreeing with most of what he says from my own experiences and knowledge as well.  You could say that reading his columns, you can see how I view the world and warfare.   

Brecher has summarized his view of modern warfare as follows:

  1. Most wars are asymmetrical / irregular.
  2. In these wars, the guerrillas / irregulars / insurgents do NOT aim for military victory.
  3. You can NOT defeat these groups by killing lots of their members. In fact, they want you to do that.
  4. Hi-tech weaponry is mostly useless in these wars.
  5. "Hearts and Minds," meaning propaganda and morale, are more important than military superiority.
  6. Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics.

At times you can’t tell what side of the political platform he is on, because he will attack the Conservatives just as quick and abusive as he will the Liberals.  So if you are thin-skinned or rabid opinionated about your political outlook, you will probably be offended.   

Gary Brecher also wrote a book, “The War Nerd”, which is a collection of his best articles.  I am currently reading that and catching up on some of his older stuff on the web.  He really is worth at least a quick read.  Here are the links for his columns:

(Currently) Not Safe For Work Corp:

(Previous Carrier) The Exile:
(Book) The War Nerd:




commissarmoody said...

I will check him out.

Pete. said...

Given his description could practically apply to me I guess he is living the dream in a round about way. I'll look up his stuff online.



Sapper Joe said...

I hope you guys enjoy his column as much as I do.