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"What Edward Luttwak Doesn't Know About Ancient China" Topic


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333 hits since 10 Oct 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2018 2:39 p.m. PST

… (Or a Short History of Han-Xiongnu Relations.

"A few weeks ago a friend passed along one of the least correct essays I have ever had the misfortune to read. It was written by Edward Luttwak, secret agent author of classic titles in the field of strategic studies like Coup D¡¯¨¦tat: A Practical Handbook, Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, and Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace. I was disappointed to find out that this particular piece, published in the Hoover Institute's online magazine Strategika, closely mirrors a passage in Mr. Luttwak's most recent best-seller, The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy. In it Luttwak suggests contemporary Chinese foreign policy follows a pattern first seen in the foreign relations of the Han Dynasty two millennia ago [1]. To quote:

What is peculiar to China¡¯s political culture, and of very great contemporary relevance is the centrality within it of a very specific doctrine on how to bring powerful foreigners¡ªindeed foreigners initially more powerful than the empire¡ªinto a tributary relationship. Specialists concur that this doctrine emerged from the very protracted (3rd century BCE to 1st century CE) but ultimately successful struggle with the Xiongn¨² (ÐÙÅ«) horse-nomad state, just possibly remote ancestors of Attila¡¯s Huns, but definitely the inventors of the Steppe State political system that would be replicated by all their successors, and more adapted than replaced even by the Mongols…"

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