Posts Tagged ‘Triangles’

Rough Triangles II

On learning that Hamas and Hizbollah are now fighting each other in Syria, Peter Ingemi writes:

This sets up the possibility that the greatest threats to Israel and the US will be clashing in Syria & Lebanon, in a long and bitter struggle and moreover as Iran doesn’t want to lose their clients and the Saudis and others want to bleed Iran this has the potential to become a mass killing ground for the most vile and despicable enemies the western world has faced.

And all of it happening without us, or Israel lifting a finger.

For a foe of radical Islam it’s practically a wet dream, we just have to sit back and let them slaughter each other and if one side starts to lose, we aid third parties to reenforce [Sic] them enough to keep the fight going until the cream of the jihadist crop finds themselves, shot, gassed or blown up.

And at this point where you contemplate the solution to so many problems that pesky Christian belief comes in. … That’s when you look at your glee at the death of your enemies and feel ashamed.

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June 2, 2013admin 13 Comments »
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Visual Trichotomy

Nick B. Steves sent this along to keep the discussion moving forward:

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[Click on the image to enlarge]

May 2, 2013admin 102 Comments »
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The ‘Spandrellian Trichotomy’ (Nick B. Steves’ coinage, based on this post) has become an awesome engine of discussion. The topic is seething to such an extent that any linkage list will be out of date as soon as it is compiled. Among the most obvious way-markers are this, this, this, this, and this. Given the need to refer to this complex succinctly, I trust that abbreviating it to ‘the Trichotomy’ will not be interpreted as a clumsy attempt to obstruct Spandrell’s Nobel Peace Prize candidacy.

What is already broadly agreed?

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April 30, 2013admin 71 Comments »
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Rough Triangles

The elementary model of robust plural order is the tripod. Whether taken as a schema for constitutional separation of powers, a deeper cultural matrix supporting decentralized societies, or a pattern of ultimate cosmic equilibrium, triangular fragmentation provides the archetype of quasi-stable disunity. By dynamically preempting the emergence of a dominant instance, the triangle describes an automatic power-suppression mechanism.

From the Romance of the Three Kingdoms to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, triangular fragmentation has been seen to present an important and distinctive strategic quandary. In power balances of the Mexican Standoff type, initiation of force is inhibited by the triangular structure, in which the third, reserved party profits from hostilities between the other two.

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March 27, 2013admin 5 Comments »
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The Unspeakable

To prepare for an excursion into the real-world workings of strategic triangles, this harshly illuminating conversation between David P. Goldman (‘Spengler’) and the ghost of Cardinal Richelieu is worth recalling:

“We are a bit confused about Syria,” I began. “Its leader, Bashar al-Assad, is slaughtering his own people to suppress an uprising. And he is allied to Iran, which wants to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate the region. If we overthrow Assad, Sunni radicals will replace him, and take revenge on the Syrian minorities. And a radical Sunni government in Syria would ally itself with the Sunni minority next door in Iraq and make civil war more likely.”

“I don’t understand the question,” Richelieu replied.

“Everyone is killing each other in Syria and some other places in the region, and the conflict might spread. What should we do about it?”

“How much does this cost you?”

“Nothing at all,” I answered.

“Then let them kill each other as long as possible, which is to say for 30 years or so. Do you know,” the ghastly Cardinal continued, “why really interesting wars last for 30 years? That has been true from the Peloponnesian War to my own century. First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren’t usually enough men left for a third iteration.”

“We can’t go around saying that,” I remonstrated.

ADDED: DrewM at AoS channels Richelieu from the id: “Personally, I’m happy to let [the Syrians] fight it out amongst themselves for a good long time. Hell, let’s arm both sides.”

March 21, 2013admin 3 Comments »
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