The article was published year ago. Now published with some changes and additions)
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. With many scores one can win; with few scores one cannot. How much less chance of victory has one who gets no scores at all!
Best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them. A victorious army first wins and then seeks battle.
Al - Mawardi
When reasonable person risking he should make sure that for what he takes risk is preferable than to what he risks
Joseph de Maistre
War is sacred; it is instituted by God; it is one of the divine laws of the world.
K. von Clausewitz
War - an act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will.
Wars correspond neither to philanthropy nor education. They could be excusable for our ancestors, when they were plunged in barbarism and didn’t know another glory except to ravage and kill.
War is pointless, terrible, insulting ordinary common sense and religious feeling, sense of beauty and morality, violates everything beautiful and good that exist.
Reader may resent the abundance of the given above quotations, for this reason I restrain from further appeals to authorities. General idea seems clear: wars are inevitable. If so, if we are doomed to live in the world without peace, then being in constant readiness for the possible war becomes a pressing need for any state, every person. Periods of peace must be used to prepare for war.
However, it could be called readiness for war. For example, the philosophy of Arab sages teaches that one should always be at enmity during wars, and between them. Being at enmity by making peace. Not excluded that such philosophy originated and was developed as direct consequence of Prophet Muhammad’s Quranic sayings "war - is the path of deception”, "war - is deception”.
Chinese wise men called to destroy enemy states in breaks between wars. Master the country, enslave it without war, without victims and destruction - is the highest art of war in understanding Chinese philosophers. War without battles, to some extent this idea calls up with the Arab philosophy.
The European thought is less "delicate” and speaks much more specific, without extra ornateness: war either unconditional evil or law of human existence. As the last war surely could not be evil.
I’ll say banality: history doesn’t recognize subjunctive. Expression "if” is not for historians, and therefore let’s agree with axiom: war has always been the most powerful engine of technological progress. Let’s renounce thoughts and abstract reasoning on topic: what would happen, if something would not happen. Or, contrary, if something would happen. We have what we have: history of humanity, woven from wars. Wars that were of different intensity, with different consequences for warring people and countries, with varying quantity of victims. At the same time, we have another reality: wars on planet didn’t cease and in foreseeable future, they won’t cease. Slightly paraphrasing known Russian saying, we can say: don’t abdicate from scrip and war.
We often hear: man is aggressive by nature, therefore wars take place. This is well thought-out or mindlessly repeated lie: wars are not always manifestations of aggression. Often war is vital need. However, in this case mostly could be mentioned defensive war. In fact, what aggression outburst can we talk about when people were attacked and forced to protect themselves? What kind of aggression do we talk about from the side of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ population that underwent direct military aggression by Azerbaijan? Or what kind of aggression could be meant from the side of Poland populations that experienced all "charms” of double aggression from the sides of Germany and USSR simultaneously in 1939?
On the other side, we must recognize that war is possible only if population of two warring countries is "consent” to war. "Consent” in this case could be understood as moral (in the first place) and physical (to a lesser extent) willingness of state’s (or country’s*) population to defend their sovereignty, or their own state’s (or country’s) values. Convincing example of "dissent” to war is the intrusion of American troops in Iraq and the occupation of this state. As known, Iraq didn’t defend itself, although, from a military point of view, it had all opportunities to do so. Anyway, the course of military actions (USA attacked Iraq on March 20th, 2003, and on April 9th capital of Iraq – Baghdad was captured. On April 15th, when Tikrit city was captured war was actually ended.) Symptomatic, that after war in Iraq there were found numerous perfectly serviceable combat aircraft buried in the sand.
Another disagreement to war is invasion of Iraqi troops in Kuwait in August 1990. War started and… ended during one day. Most of Kuwait’s combat aviation flew away to Saudi Arabia and after that some of the army "left”. Others preferred to give up. There are more examples, but the point seems clear. If state disagrees to war, then there is no war. It either fulfills all the requirements of potential enemy, thus attempting to avoid war, or simply surrenders to the mercy of an aggressive enemy.
Agreement (or willingness) of state to war is obviously more often, and each of us can list dozens of such examples. In this case, "consent” often doesn’t depend on human and military resources of the state, which is a confirmation of moral willingness of state’s population to war. Let’s have only one example as evidence close enough on time and well known in the Armenian world. When in 1988 population of Karabakh asked for the decision on reunification with Armenia, the overwhelming majority of its population didn’t expect strong reaction in Azerbaijan, which eventually grew into a military aggression. However, the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were agree to war, which became determining factor in the outcome of Azerbaijan’s aggression, whose residents despite the government, were not agree to war.
Karabakh’s population almost unarmed and quantitatively dozen times lower than Azerbaijan’s was able to resist aggression and break blockade. Following these impressive results with the help of volunteers from Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was able to free native Armenian territory which was for more than seventy years under control of Azerbaijan Republic.
Thus, fighting capacity of the state, its consent to war largely depends on morale of population. The point here is not about military-technical component of combat effectiveness (defense) of state - it is in direct dependence from economic and political empowerment of the state. We talk about moral willingness that also called state of spirit, readiness of large part of population to sacrifice lives for the sake of state’s survival.
After the publication of Gumilev’s famous works became natural to assume that moral combat efficiency of population directly depends in quantity (percentage) of passionaries. In fact, passionaries in many respects determine nation’s potential energy; however, we have to admit that "passionate” and "patriot” are far from being identical terms. Internal potential of man, his life force are often directed only on solution of his individual problems, without regard on nation’s or state’s interests. Passionaries are also basic "material” for recruiting criminals. Hard to doubt that energetic, assertive and decisive in their actions captains of business, or, for example, criminal bosses are expressed passionaries.
Certainly, among important businessmen and criminals could be found patriotic men; however, it’s safe to say that percentage of patriotically disposed people among them is significantly inferior to the same index among, for example, people of intellectual work. Meanwhile if state cannot help to increase the number of passionaries citizens (modern science can’t explain reasons of their origin), anyway it’s obliged to contribute population’s patriotic training.
There is a statement of outstanding Armenian soldier and philosopher Karekin Nzhdeh - "Ignorance, selfishness and betrayal - are three irreconcilable enemies of patriotism”, truly, since cad and egoist, not to mention betrayer, can’t be patriots.
Patriotism - is disinterested and selfless service to the Motherland, to native people, the all-consuming sublime love… But patriotism should not and must not be fanatically blind. True patriotism is based on knowledge, conscious sense of ownership of the historic homeland, state. This conscious feeling is cultivated on the knowledge of people’s history, its ideology and philosophy. Cad’s patriotism is similar to chicken’s attachment, hatched from the planted egg and following first moving creature it saw.
Egoist also can’t be patriot, since it sees country for himself, not himself for the Motherland. Egoist can’t be Motherland’s Soldier, and here we talk not only about battlefield. Actually, egoist and betrayer – are twins, for whom personal interests are placed above people’s interests. Patriotism, population’s commitment to state’s interests, dedication of individuals to nation’s interests, conscious internal readiness for infringing own interests for the sake of national interests, propaganda of this ideology among the population is state’s primary responsibility. Patriotism ideology should become a foundation for entire state building.
Deeply mistaken, indeed, criminally, passion that imposed by the outside "fashionable” ideological flows, rejecting patriotic ideology. "Fashionable” phrase "patriotism - the last refuge of a scoundrel” is nothing but patriotic quote of S. Johnson’s who believed that patriotism for scoundrels – is last chance to revive moral and justify life. However, this expression was intentionally reinterpreted, and in fact vulgarized by people fighting with patriotism among…representatives of another nation.
Almost for sure could be said, most people blaming patriotism, fighting best they can with it, are expressed… patriots of their nation. As a rule, their "anti-patriotic” activity is directed toward the other nations, their aim – is to weaken in potential enemy feeling of sacrificial commitment to his own people and state.
Word – is a strong weapon, well-chosen word or phrase is long-acting weapon. Today Armenia, Armenian people (incidentally, not only Armenian) is under massive ideological aggression, camouflaged into "fashionable”, visually appealing verbal expressions. State’s matter is not only to neutralize this, at first glance, bloodless aggression, but also develop its own ideological machine. In basis should be values cultivated by our ancestors, and therefore acceptable and understandable for the people.
We need awareness of the immutable fact that patriotic, nation-oriented state is crucial element of power and prosperity. National ideology brings solution for many issues of state importance. These are - reducing of shadow economy, increasing tax collection, electing not "convenient” but decent candidate, raising people’s intellectual level (to learn bad is unpatriotic), increasing law-abiding and reducing overall crime, preserving scientific discoveries in country etc.
Naive to assume, that all above-mentioned vices are completely absent in nation-oriented society. On the other hand, there are no doubts that state with prevailing patriotic ideology is capable on many achievements, impossible in other circumstances.
Finally, let’s return to the top, the nation-oriented state, tirelessly promotes national values and patriotism, always prepared to demonstrate "consent” to war. Under conditions of Armenian states it is the most important adequate response on existing external challenges. Moreover, the more expressed state’s "consent” to war, the less chances it would be ever subjected to aggression. If Arab philosophy considered correct to be at enmity by making peace, then our goal must be different - LIFE IN THE CONSENT.
*Borders of state and country (territory, perceived by people’s consciousness and ethnic memory as Motherland - often don’t coincide.) So, extensive Armenian territories located under Turkey jurisdiction are perceived by Armenians as Armenian Country.