OZY on the Art of War
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because war extends beyond the battlefields to the banks, the flow of supplies, and the spread of education.
Few people outside a small circle of Middle East policy experts have ever heard of Mark Dubowitz, a diminutive lawyer turned tech exec turned Iran sanctions guru at the D.C. think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. But Dubowitz and his think tank have become politicians’ brain trust on Iran sanctions. Now they’re in the middle of the debate over negotiations that could ease the sanctions stranglehold … or bring the U.S. to the brink of war. This past fall, his name was suddenly on the tips of policymakers’ tongues as the White House, Congress and allies overseas sparred over thawing relations with Iran after more than 30 acrimonious years.
Some advice from the former deputy director of the CIA: Think about a few things not in the headlines that should preoccupy us more than the NSA. For a start, there are cyberattackers: Whatever concerns people may have about NSA, at least it is on our side. Not so the many countries and independent “hacktivists” that are constantly attacking our information systems. China is reportedly behind much of this. Unsecured nuclear material: There are about 2,300 tons of highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium in the world. Water shortages: One thing we take for granted in the U.S. is clean, safe drinking water, but much of the world doesn’t have that luxury. Population pressures: One thing not in short supply on our planet is people. The recent spurt of growth was in parts of the world which were ill-prepared to deal with the ensuring pressures that inevitably accompany such growth – namely: Africa, the Middle East, parts of Southeast Asia. Al-Qaeda consolidating territory: Finally, seized as we are with the conflict in Syria and the neutering of its chemical weapons capability, the trend there that could be most worrisome over the long term is happening a bit out of sight — the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra group’s gradual consolidation of territory in the country’s northeast.
Razia Sultana’s Delhi was not unlike New Delhi today. No statistics on discrimination, rape or abuse were kept, yet it was indisputably a man’s world — even if you were the daughter of a sultan. But Razia, a Muslim princess whose Turkish ancestors had invaded northern India in the 11th century, had one advantage denied so many young women in India today: an education. And it wasn’t uncommon when Razia was born in 1205 for Sultanate princesses to be trained in the arts of war and administration. But Razia’s father, Iltutmish, had learned to prize competence above all else. So, 730 years before Jawaharlal Nehru’s only child, Indira Gandhi, became India’s first female prime minister, Iltutmish nominated from his deathbed his 30-year-old daughter, Razia, to rule his kingdom — and fight his wars.