Book Release Announcement: Eagles Over Bangladesh

Some readers of this blog might remember that I write on military aviation history; more specifically, the history of the Indian Air Force (IAF), and especially its role in India’s post-independence wars. Thus, I’m pleased to announce the release of my second book on this subject: Eagles Over Bangladesh: The Indian Air Force in the 1971Continue reading “Book Release Announcement: Eagles Over Bangladesh”

Chemical Weapons and the ‘Unnecessary Roughness’ Rule

Fans of the NFL will be familiar with the unnecessary roughness rule; it’s one of those features of America’s most popular game that  sometimes causes bemusement, even to those who consider themselves long-time devotees. In a game memorably described as ‘young men running around risking spinal injury’ or ‘an endless series of head-on collisions’, thereContinue reading “Chemical Weapons and the ‘Unnecessary Roughness’ Rule”

Crossfit and the Military: A Way Forward

As a long-time member of Crossfit South Brooklyn, I have blogged here on Crossfit-related issues before (posts on Crossfit and the military, Crossfit and women, and of course, some training notes on weightlifting.) I’m not done yet writing about Crossfit, especially when it comes to issues of inclusiveness. On that note, I’m glad to welcomeContinue reading “Crossfit and the Military: A Way Forward”

Academic Arguments, Sports, and Urban Policing as ‘War’

In the introduction to The Social Construction of What? Ian Hacking writes: Labels such as ‘‘the culture wars,’’ ‘‘the science wars,’’ or ‘‘the Freud wars’’ are now widely used to refer to some of the disagreements that plague contemporary intellectual life. I will continue to employ those labels, from time to time, in this book, for my themesContinue reading “Academic Arguments, Sports, and Urban Policing as ‘War’”

Glaucon and the Basic and Advanced Polis, Contd.

Yesterday’s post on Glaucon and the preferred forms of the polis for him and Socrates  sparked off an interesting discussion on Facebook with Alex Gourevitch. I’m reproducing it here as Gourevitch’s responses are wonderfully rich and worth responding to carefully. Here is the sequence of comments on Facebook, followed by my response last. Alex: IContinue reading “Glaucon and the Basic and Advanced Polis, Contd.”

Glaucon’s Porcine Preference for the Advanced Polis

I never particularly liked Glaucon. His responses to Socrates‘ description, in Plato‘s Republic (372 (a-d)), of the basic polis are a good reminder of why. Socrates quoth: First of all, then, let us consider what will be the manner of life of men thus provided. Will they not make bread and wine and garments and shoes?Continue reading “Glaucon’s Porcine Preference for the Advanced Polis”

Young Lady, You Too Can Strap On An Ammo Belt

It’s official: American women can now  kill strange people in strange lands, put themselves in harm’s way and die for their country.  The Pentagon’s announcement that women in the US military will now be allowed to serve in combat zones finally brings to an end a discriminatory policy that had looked increasingly ludicrous as women continuedContinue reading “Young Lady, You Too Can Strap On An Ammo Belt”

Miguel De Unamuno: Conservative War-Lover?

My philosophical education, just like everyone else’s, is far from complete, and of course, never shall be. One omission from my readings has been the work of Miguel De Unamuno, whose The Tragic Sense of Life has been adorning my bookshelves for some twenty years now. Recently, I set out to clean up some shelf spaceContinue reading “Miguel De Unamuno: Conservative War-Lover?”

Michelle Maltais’ Cyber-Weapon Fantasy About ‘War Without Bloodshed’

What is it about technology that makes so many, warriors and armchair-enthusiasts alike, imagine that it will make war,  somehow, less bloody, less brutal, less inhumane? That never-ending and most curious of seductions is again visibly on display in Michelle Maltais’ article ‘Cyber Missiles Mean War Without Bloodshed’ (Los Angeles Times , June 2nd 2012).Continue reading “Michelle Maltais’ Cyber-Weapon Fantasy About ‘War Without Bloodshed’”

Barbells for America? Crossfit, the Military and War

On any given day, if you were to click over to the Crossfit ‘mainsite’,  the chances are you will find a reference to the military  in the daily entry. Today, on February 25th, the blog prescribes a ‘Hero workout’ named ‘Zimmermann‘ named after U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant James R. Zimmerman, who died in action in Afghanistan.Continue reading “Barbells for America? Crossfit, the Military and War”