About

“It was the course of events which first compelled us to increase our power to its present extent: fear of Persia was our chief motive, though afterwards we thought, too, of our own honor and our own interest.’’ – Thucydides

“Like lawyers in civil cases, nations usually settle security disputes out of court to avoid the costs and unpredictability of litigation. But always in the background is the ultima ratio regum: war. Thus the risks and requirements of war—preventing it, preparing for it, ensuring readiness to win if it proves unavoidable—while far from the only concerns of national security, are always the foremost concerns.” – Richard K. Betts

“In this high-tech age of firewire and microchip, we still keep the four-five clip filled with the spiral tip.” – The RZA

From ancient Greece to the Wu-Tang Clan, a consistent body of political thought suggests a triad of the rational (national interest) and the irrational (fear and honor) motivates human conflict. Despite, revolutions in political and military affairs, the future of human conflict will be dominated by these powerful forces–and history will be made by the great men and women who fight to tame them.

Fear, Honor, and Interest is a group blog and blog aggregator focused on strategy, power, and destiny. Despite our old-school title, we are not all “realists” or even interested in international relations to begin with. Our interests are eclectic–we care about both state-centric grand strategy and police counter-cartel tactics. We reference late-90s mafioso rap and giant robot anime as well as Clausewitz and Jomini. Our contributors range from the graduate students in political science and defense contractors to former commanders of Bedouin reconnaissance platoons and police lieutenants. We have no common political orientation, but share a devotion to the study of strategy, operations, tactics, and running up large tabs at the Barnes and Noble military history section.

We are:

Email us at fear[dot]honor[dot]interest[at]gmail.com

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Fear, Honor, and Interest: Hardcore Strategy for Hardcore Strategists by Hardcore Strategists « The Committee of Public Safety

  2. Wow!!!
    Really looking forward to following this.
    As an OBTW, have been exchanging e-mails with Tempo author Venkatesh Rao on my ongoing work on analysis of the battle of Midway through the lens of O,O,D,A centering around the destruction of Nagumo’s ability to command control – in effect complete inability to reestablish tempo once lost. All of this was in spite of poor observation and ability to orient on both sides, yet Spruance given Nimitz direction for both aggressiveness AND prudence acted so as to afford the best possibility and flexibility of outcome. This most certainly includes the one decision he was most criticized for – the withdrawal on the night of 4 June.

    Venkatesh’s comment is most telling:

    “What you are describing in the Midway case as Spruance’s reasoning is actually classic tempo/OODA thinking in my opinion. I think of the idea of “getting inside the opponent’s tempo” as having more to do with making more information-dense moves than your opponent, not necessarily moving at a faster raw tempo. i.e. it’s about how much information each “move” processes rather than the raw ratio of your moves to mine. So an experienced martial artist, for instance, may be only making 1 move for every 3 by his opponent, but his moves may have 4 times the “information processing.”

    In this case, it appears that in a symmetric case of equally poor information on both sides, Spruance moved in ways that opened up his action to more information saturation, by amplifying feedback. In my technical field of control theory, there is even a rigorous mathematical idea called “persistence of excitation” which loosely translates to ‘if you don’t have enough information about the system, any action, even random action, will help you identify the system properly and will be better than operating using bad information.’ “

  3. Pingback: Libya: Airpower, SOF and the NTC | Wings Over Iraq

  4. Pingback: Libya: Airpower, SOF and the NTC | Right Wing News

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