Si vis pacem, para bellum.
If you want peace, prepare for war.
No one understood this better than President John F. Kennedy.
Source: US Army Special Operations Command
In 1962, Kennedy gave a speech at the military academy at West Point:
‘Korea has not been the only battleground since the end of the Second World War. Men have fought and died in Malaya, in Greece, in the Philippines, in Algeria, and Cuba and Cyprus, and almost continuously on the Indo-Chinese peninsula. No nuclear weapons have been fired. No massive nuclear retaliation has been considered appropriate.
‘This is another type of warfare, new in its intensity, ancient in its origins, war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins, war by ambush instead of by combat; by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It is a form of warfare uniquely adapted to what has been strangely called “wars of liberation,” to undermine the efforts of new and poor countries to maintain the freedom that they have finally achieved.
‘It preys on economic unrest and ethnic conflicts. It requires in those situations where we must counter it, and these are the kinds of challenges that will be before us in the next decade if freedom is to be saved, a whole new kind of strategy, a wholly different kind of force, and therefore a new and wholly different kind of military training.’
Of course, Kennedy wasn’t just another plain-vanilla politician speaking fancy words:
- He was himself a navy veteran of World War II. Because of this, he was forward-looking. He understood that the nature of war was evolving. The geostrategic terrain was shifting.
- Already, the world was moving away from large international confrontations. Instead, it was entering a new era of smaller localised conflicts, often fuelled by the dynamics of race, religion, and ideology.
- The front lines would become fluid and blurry. The combatants would become unconventional, wearing no uniform, operating in the shadows, blending in with the civilian population.
- Asymmetric warfare would become the new standard for global conflict. More unpredictable. More volatile.
Source: The Intercept
Kennedy’s words have proven to be eerily prescient — especially in the 21st century:
- On 7 October, 2023, Hamas guerrillas from the Gaza Strip invaded Israel, shattering the nation’s sense of security.
- They used the low-tech (bulldozers and paragliders), as well as the high-tech (unmanned drones and digital countersurveillance).
- Their unconventional assault resulted in the bloodiest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
Fortunately, Western companies are working overtime to find new ways to defend us against threats like Hamas:
- Indeed, this is the billion-dollar question: how do you find, fix, and finish an unconventional enemy before they can strike again from the shadows?
- Right now, one Company is developing big-data analytics for intelligence and law enforcement. It is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect and deter emerging threats.
- The Company’s stock price is already up 130% this year. Could this cutting-edge technology save you and your family from the next terror attack?
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