Chinese War Principles

Hosted byIan Punnett

Chinese War Principles

About the show

America's leading authority on Sun Tzu's 2500-year-old book The Art of War, Gary Gagliardi discussed the principles contained in the ancient Chinese military treatise and how they can be applied to the shifting situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to the War on Terror in general.

Gagliardi outlined five basic principles that make up Tzu's philosophy of strategy (mission, climate, ground, leadership, and methods), and summed up the work in the concept of "winning without conflict." According to Tzu, it is much better to replace conflict with information, he noted.

Gagliardi suggested Tzu would see folly in America's current positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as Tzu saw trying to win long-distance, long-term wars as problematic. For Tzu, movements should be kept small, local, quick, and always moving steadily toward a goal, Gagliardi continued.

Gagliardi, who believes the United States is involved in a "legitimate war against a real enemy," said the real battleground in the War on Terror is in the media, a fight the United States is not winning thanks to Abu Ghraib Prison photos and poorly marketing the alternative (democracy) to totalitarian Islamic rule under Al-Qaeda.

Gagliardi also commented on the United States' strategy of nation-building, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Iran's burgeoning nuclear program and a potential future conflict between America and China.

Internet Privacy Issues

In the first hour, Ian spoke with privacy expert Lauren Weinstein about how Internet Service Providers (ISP) are invading the privacy of their customers' by recording their browsing habits. Weinstein said ISPs use this data to target and monetize web advertising, but such 'deep packet inspections' could lead to much worse privacy violations, he noted. Weinstein also talked about how traditional telephone companies have re-engineered their networks to make wiretapping and obtaining transactional data very simple.

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