Re: wars of position & maneuver

Sun, 20 Apr 1997 10:37:52 +0100
Richard K. Moore (

4/20/97, PAT.LAUDERDALE@ASU.Edu wrote:
>...At least, we can differentiate between a state's "war of position" and
>"war of maneuver." ...the war of position a slow, protracted struggle
>that involves diverse means which include "non-violent" aspects of civil
>society. ...A war of maneuver comprises a strategy of direct, typically
>obvious violence and speedy confrontation, e.g., the 1848 revolutions in
>Europe and the Russian revolution of 1917. Of course, the Gulf War fits
>here and there is an interesting debate over the situation in Chiapas
>with part of the analysis fitting here and the rest in the war of position.
>Even if the concern is who was or is dominate in the world system, the
>concept of hegemony might produce a more precise and richer analysis.

These sound like useful distinctions. If, as you suggest, we consider the
world system, then I'd say the "war" in progress is the one that the global
corporate elite is waging against democratic governance systems and
nation-centered economic development, with USA and other Western leaders
acting as agent. I'd apply your distinctions as follows (let me know if
this properly follows your model):

Wars of position (examples):
- establishment of WTO, GATT, etc.
- concentration of media control in corporate hands
- portrayal of UN as vacillating and weak
- portrayal of USA and NATO as brave and strong
- destabilization of nation states & democracy
- demonization of Muslim states (re: Middle East theater)
- support for Israli exansionism (re: " " )
- demonization of Serbs (re: Balkan theater)
- NAFTA (and removal of Chiapas constitutional protections)

Wars of maneuver:
- Western intervention in Bosnia (taking sides against Serbs,
furthuring neoliberal agenda)
- Italian et al intervention in Albania (bolstering
unpopular regime & neoliberal agenda)