Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Interesting Historical Perspective

As an Eastern Christian, I am naturally drawn to writings oriented (no pun intended) towards matters dealing with Eastern Christianity and the Christian East itself. It is in this context that I came across the Foreign Policy website "History Lesson" by military historian Edward N. Luttwak entitled "Take Me Back to Constantinople: How Byzantium, not Rome, can help preserve Pax Americana." Below, I present the first paragraph. The whole piece is fairly short, so don't hesitate to go read it.

Economic crisis, mounting national debt, excessive foreign commitments -- this is no way to run an empire. America needs serious strategic counseling. And fast. It has never been Rome, and to adopt its strategies no -- its ruthless expansion of empire, domination of foreign peoples, and bone-crushing brand of total war -- would only hasten America's decline. Better instead to look to the empire's eastern incarnation: Byzantium, which outlasted its Roman predecessor by eight centuries. It is the lessons of Byzantine grand strategy that America must rediscover today.
Professor Luttak is the author of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire. Blogger Nicholas D. Rosen has an enticing review of it here. It, too, is well worth reading.

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