If a nation disarms, can it wage strategic non-violent
defense against a ruthless foe? There is no complete precedent,
but Denmark's struggle against Nazi German occupation 1940-1945 is
one of the nearest tactical facsimiles. When Hitler's bombers swept
over Copenhagen on 9 April, 1940, their menacing leaflets specifically
warned against 'passive resistance':
… it is expected that … the people and all municipalities
will evidence their good will by avoiding either passive or active
resistance. Such resistance will be useless and will be broken
by all means in our power … # 3
It was not useless; it was not broken. The Danish success
in holding the Nazis at bay refutes critics who say that against
Hitler or Stalin non-violent action 'obviously fails'. # 4 However, this paper cites Denmark
only in passing. Its main purpose is to present a construct for non-violent
defense, both as a step toward a general strategic doctrine of unarmed
resistance in future situations, and as a contrast for 'primitive'
tactical examples in the past. From the construct in turn the paper
proposes a theory centering on the respective morale of a defending
Polity, and an invading Foe-Polity. Meanwhile, this assertion is the
keynote: The fast track to failure in non-violent defense is to use
tactics without strategy, strategy without principle, and principle without
tenacity. The slow track to success is more problematic.
* This paper is adapted from my 1978 doctoral
dissertation at York University, Toronto, entitled Strategic
Nonviolent Defense in Theory; Denmark in Practice. Aid and
discomfort were provided by David V. J. Bell (chairman), Roddick
Byers, and Theodore Olson. John Gellner, Edgar Dosman, and Mulford
Q. Sibley were helpful at other stages of the committee process as
were my parents, Scott and Charlotte Keyes. With thanks, I absolve them
all on any question of style or substance herein.
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The idea of non-violent national defense was suggested
as far back as 1852 by Elihu Burritt (USA, 1810-1879), # 5 and in 1915 by Bertrand Russell (UK, 1872-1970). # 6 The idea reappeared in 1931 as a minor
corollary to the work of M. K. Gandhi (India, 1869-1948) , # 7 and a few pacifist thinkers, notably A. J. Muste (USA,
1895-1967), # 8 and Cecil Hinshaw (USA).
Then in 1957, Sir Stephen King-Hall (UK. 1893-1966)
— retired naval commander, former MP, and political-military commentator
— brought the notion of non-violent defense into the realm of strategic
debate by urging it upon the UK, NATO, and the US, in lieu of nuclear
weapons. # 10 Despite many refinements
by more recent writers, the strategy of non-violent defense — also
called civil resistance, civilian-based defense, non-violent common
defense, etc. — remains in escrow. Along with non-violent action in general,
it is often dismissed as merely a local technique for democratic environments
and 'civilized' opponents.
Since the late 1950s, Gene Sharp (USA) has attacked
this cliché, and theorized in detail about the dynamics
and methods of non-violent action for dismembering totalitarian
power structures. # 11 With knowledge
and preparation, civilian resistance could be made a prudent defense
in depth against imposition of alien government. Other analysts who
have advanced the study of civilian non-violent resistance to aggression
include Adam Roberts (UK), # 12 Theodor
Ebert (FRG), # 13 lohan Galtung (Norway),
# 14 plus Anders Boserup and Andrew
Mack (Denmark/UK). # 15
Prior to them, # 16
the confluence of pacifist and Gandhian thinking had gradually generated
a moral case for non-violent defense. # 17 Yet except for occasional hints, pamphlets,
and exhortations, it had not really buttressed the idea with any detailed
study of precedents, problems, or prospects. A new chapter began
in April 1957. King-Hall was aghast that the White Paper on defense
had explicitly renounced any defense of the British Isles, confirming
that all its eggs and all Britons were in the nuclear retaliation
At this point, King-Hall re-emphasized the political
nature of the struggle with the Communist world. He called for a Royal
Commission study on the potentiality of a civilian non-violent defense
posture for Britain (with its allies if possible), and the abandonment
of all its nuclear weapons as useless, along with most of its conventional
forces. His proposal first appeared in his own weekly newsletter,
and later as a lecture at the Royal United Service Institution in October
1957. # 18 His book Defence in the
Nuclear Age was published in March 1958 in England where it stirred
up a lively flurry of reviews, but was unable to break what King-Hall
called the 'thought barrier'. # 19
In this same period, Henry Kissinger gained fame for
discerning the 'nuances' of 'limited nuclear war'. # 20 Morton Kaplan pressed the admittedly 'bizarre' idea
of 'limited nuclear retaliation', # 21 And Herman Kahn's celebrated lectures on thermonuclear
war urged people to 'think about the unthinkable'. # 22 Yet for King-Hall to scorn nuclear
weapons altogether in favor of non-violent defense was a little
too unthinkable. Nowadays one searches almost in vain through
the bookshelves of orthodox strategy for any mention whatsoever
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King-HaIl's attempt to open up an alternative defense
method for discussion. And even some of the most caustic opponents
of nuclear strategy have themselves not troubled to explore the path
King-Hall indicated of a remobilization for non-violent defense.
Such critiques as those by Anatol Rapoport, or Philip
Green, are well-taken, but beg the question: if not nuclear deterrence,
what? # 23 Given Kaplan's
apologia for nuclear assault (along with his conventional trigger-happiness),
# 24 and Green's trenchant puncturing
of deterrence presumptions, one might think that if they debated 'strategic
thinking and its moral implications', I would naturally favor Green.
Yes and no. I found Kaplan voicing a value judgement which is basic
to this paper:
I am not really in disagreement that there is something immoral
in holding the threat of death over someone else to produce a political
result. Even though I agree in principle that every life is infinitely
valuable, psychologically I find the idea of mass destruction of human
beings particularly horrible. # 25
Green voices an assumption which is likewise basic herein:
Enemies or at least opponents always exist in political affairs
— that is a condition the reality of which should be denied by no
one. # 26
But I was startled at Green's deplorable abdication
[Social scientists] should give no policy advice, but should rather
point out, publicly, the shortcomings of policies … # 27
The other fatal weakness in Green's argument is its
toleration of minimum deterrence. Jimmy Carter's rhetorical wish
for 'zero nuclear weapons' is more acceptable, and should be a nation's
operative policy as a function of the 'readiness for defense
by the whole society' which S. L. A. Marshall spoke of in another
context.# 28 It is the non-violent
national defense option which is largely overlooked by orthodox strategic
Times do change, though. In 1964, Alastair Buchan wrote
the introduction to Civilian Defence, the first 'strategic'
pamphlet of its kind after King-HalI. # 29 In 1967, B. H. Liddell Hart and Thomas G. Schelling
each contributed hedging but positive articles to The Strategy
of Civilian Defence, the first book of its kind after King-Hall.
# 30 In 1973, Gene Sharp's
magnum opus The Politics of Nonviolent Action was published.
with an introduction by Schelling; it has been favorably reviewed
by military journals among others. # 3l In 1976, Brigadier General Edward B. Atkeson published
a somewhat negative analysis of 'civilian-based defense' in the Military
Review. # 32 And
in the December 1977 American Political Science Review, Glenn
Paige criticized his own 1968 book, The Korean Decision, for
failing to take into account non-violent policy alternatives; he mentioned
An extraordinarily versatile combination of political, economic,
social, cultural, and communications means might be employed to
prevent, resist, limit, and defuse armed aggression … # 33
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Such nods to non-violent defense are quite the exception,
and the exponents themselves are largely a part-time group: who
wants to subsidize their research? In America as in Canada; in England
as in Denmark: the interest remains almost nil. Undaunted, Gene Sharp
has been the dean of the defenders by virtue of relentless scholarship.
His formidable book elaborates 198 distinct methods of non-violent action,
as well as the step-by-step dynamics involved. # 34 Its central focus is the 'voluntary
servitude' concept of political power, first suggested in 1550 by the
young French philosopher Etienne de la Boetie (1530-1563). # 35 Sharp's theorem is that
political power rests on obedience, that obedience is not inevitable,
and that the strategic task of sustained non-violent action is to deprive
would-be or actual dictatorships of the consent which makes them possible.
Non-violent defense analysts such as Sharp have had
the same problem as their nuclear counterparts: no full-blown precedent
exists for either planned, controlled H-bomb war or planned, controlled
non-violent defense. To date there has never been a feedback situation
where an endangered polity has seized upon a body of tradition and
doctrine and non-violent strategy to adapt for its own conditions, while
producing improvements in doctrine for its own or another conflict. Czechoslovakians
in 1968 may have come closer to that stage than any of their forebears;
but, as in all comparable cases, improvisation was the prime reality.
Every historic instance of 'non-violent defense' (so-called
by me or others) has been a social re-invention; an embryonic flutter
compared to centuries of militaristic know-how. # 36 For the invaded community, there
was little or no theory to speak of; only a need to do something,
somehow. An aroused populace that could not readily find guns began
defying the aggressor by other means. Without doctrine, planning, and
strategy, the efforts were bound to be worn down by the aggressor, and/or
upstaged by more explosive forms of resistance.
Still, attempts were made, and noted. But in most of
the writing on nonviolence and civilian resistance, such cases have
been treated cursorily, or as relatively unstructured narratives.
If non-violent defense theory is to become more reinforced by realities,
it is important that parallel case studies be made of these various
efforts, such as that of Denmark. It is to this end that the following
'construct' is offered. It tries to accomodate alike fortuitous past
occurrences and calculated future exigencies of non-violent defense.
It tries to be an isomorphic pattern for viewing military threats, in
widely varied circumstances, yesterday or tomorrow. And by its very slant,
its first-things-first predisposition, it imparts an order of thinking
about world politics and strategy in general.
It is a measure rather than a model; a construct rather
than a theory. It can be used to describe or evaluate a past or
future situation; not to explain or predict one. It is a diagram,
a sorting out of the subjects and predicates and priorities of non-violent
defense (or any other kind): exactly who does what to
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whom, where and how and why. Thus, the construct serves
both as a checklist for a case history, and a normative sequence
for considering war and politics.
A simple schematic follows:
[original diagram as a jpeg:]
[diagram reprised in HTML, if jpeg not available:]
NON-VIOLENT COMMON DEFENSE: THE CONSTRUCT OF A STRATEGY
< - - - -
- - - - - - - -
*- - -
Thus, the construct has three sectors: Polity, Foe-Polity,
and Strategy. Each can be viewed through the same diffraction grating,
a '6-P ' mnemonic. Its categories are indented that way to accentuate
the primacy of Principles in the construct for all three sectors.
Particulars and Parties are conceptually subordinate, but must precede
and incarnate the argument. Likewise, Purposes, Policies. and Programs
are successively subordinate. # 37 Yet they are so semi-autonomous in political affairs
as to warrant separate enumeration.
A Polity will tend to be a nation-state, but
could also be a city-state, a non-state nation. a region, an alliance,
the UN, a world government, or the like.
A Foe-Polity is any of the above, and one that
threatens, invades, oroccupies another Polity.
Strategy has been well-defined by J. C. Wylie
as 'a purpose together with a system of measures for its accomplishment'.
In the construct, we assume that the Strategy of non-violent
common defense is one among the unarmed policies employed — perhaps
unwittingly, preferably with diligence — by an endangered Polity to
ward off the armed embrace of a Foe-Polity. As for the '6-P ' set:
Particulars specify what and where and when:
the situation, the locale, the context.
The word Parties will be used not only in its
political, but also its legal, social, and personal sense. It will
include discussion of the protagonists, organizations, and personalities
of a given contest.
Principles is so nucleic a word and so critical
to the construct that it will
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embody five of six definitions taken verbatim from The
American Heritage Dictionary:
I. A basic truth, law, or assumption … 2.a. A rule or standard,
especially of good behavior … b. Moral or ethical standards or
judgments' collectively … 3. A fixed or predetermined policy or
mode of action … 4. A basic, or essential quality or element determining
intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior … 6. A basic source.
(We omit '5. A rule or law concerning the functioning
of natural or mechanical processes … '. Willful rather than natural
principles are implied in the construct.)
As used here, Purposes refer mainly to the intent
of foreign policy, not domestic politics. I also propose to sort
out gradations among purposes in this manner (read up or down):
10 — 100 years
1 — 10 years
1 day — 1 year
(In this hierarchy, 'aim' could be synonymous with objective.
'Ends' could be synonymous with goals, but I would rather
not use the former because there are really never any ends to anything,
only new beginnings.) #
A definition for Policies is essentially the same
as that quoted above for Strategy, except that the latter has military
connotations; the former, civilian. The two are braided together in
the construct in the sense that among the policies chosen by a Polity
can be the Strategy of non-violent common defense. This Strategy in
turn carries a number of alternate policy possibilities.
Finally, Programs are the detailed implementation
on a day to day or year to year basis of a given policy: what tactics
are to strategy.
Were non-violent defense a Polity's considered Strategy,
the programs and tactics would be carefully calculated. But when
— as always, so far — we find merely adventitious passive resistance
in lieu of strategic non-violent defense, there is no 'program' as
such. A case history must dub one in. # 40 The same events could just as well be labeled 'improvisation'
or 'narrative'. However, 'program' is the term used here, because the
construct is bi-directional, looking forward as well as backward.
It will consolidate the chance circumstances of a case into the semblance
of a 'program', the better to notice conditions and details which
a real program would have to take into account. Like any animal, vegetable,
or weapon, non-violent defense must be bred into existence from very
Purposes — Political
While there are many causes for which a state goes
to war, its fundamental object can be epitomized as that of ensuring
the continuance of its policy …
Military strategists often seem more aware of purpose
as such than their civilian leaders and counterparts. Thus, John M. Collins,
Director of Military Strategy Studies at the US National War College,
opened his 1973 book by saying 'A clear sense of purpose must underlie
all meaningful plans. programs, and actions. That is an elemental
idea, but it is often unappreciated or ignored.' # 43 Collins further noted that 'no interests
or objectives were formally recorded by the Executive Branch during
either the Kennedy or Johnson administrations.' # 44 He then mentioned what seems to me an astonishing
state of affairs: 'Critical U.S. national security interests and objectives
are still not identified … in unclassified print, but … can be deduced
rather easily … ' # 45 So, when Brigadier
General Edward B. Atkeson, Deputy Commandant of the US Army War College,
essayed a critique in 1976 of non-violent defense theory, he first had
to posit his own list of 'US security interests', because 'nowhere in
official government literature does a comprehensive and succinct statement
of US security interests exist'. # 46
Non-violent common defense, on the contrary, would certainly entail open
purposes openly arrived at, with a decent respect for human rights and
for the opinions of humankind.
As will be shown, the purposes of a Polity and its Strategy
must differ. Meanwhile, for the sake of argument, I would like to
moot three idealized goals for any contemporary Polity, in seven
1. General and Complete Disarmament plus Ideological Competition.
2. Rapid Economic Success for Everyone on Earth.
3. World Community, National Integrity, and Personal Security.
'National integrity' is what I want to emphasize here.
I have not named 'survival' as an overriding goal, as would Nicolas
Spykman or Henry Kissinger or John M. Collins or the Institute for
Strategic Studies, to take just a few. There are a number of reasons
for not doing so.
(a) No Strategy — nuclear, conventional, or non-violent — can
guarantee personal or national survival.
(b) It is a badly anachronistic word: 'survival' in the
context of nuclear strategy deserves a horselaugh; even a nuclear
strategist must qualify the word to death.
(c) 'Survival' lends itself to any means from surrender
(d) In common usage, 'survival' often carries a 'me-first'
or 'us-first' connotation in which particular elites, groups, or sub-groups
take priority over general survival of the general world polity.
(e) In short, to seek 'survival' is to take the dead-end
path through the maze: the Polity which saves its life will lose it.
Nonetheless, national survival as an irremovable political
instinct cannot be
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ignored; what does one tell an Israeli? A Palestinian?
A Basque? An Armenian?
I suggest that all the valuable connotations of the word
'survival' are preserved in the phrase 'national integrity'. As defined
here, national integrity is first of all the humane-principled
basis of a linguistic or historic polity, preferably endowed with a sovereign
territorial commonwealth. It is the morale of the polity which preserves
its principles, while reserving its commonwealth in case of usurpation.
Everyone knows that principles are all that can survive anyway. People
and nations are perishable, as are civilizations and planets; not principles.
But principles can be lost or stolen, and therefore must be defended
to the death by the polity which nurtures them, and was nurtured by them.
This definition omits the fetishes of 'territorial integrity',
yet includes the political ideals for which a people may offer their
lives. It includes the political aspirations of oppressed nationalities,
but omits the excuses for terror and mass murder which have infested
the words 'national security' and 'survival'. # 47
Purposes — Strategic
The non-violent defense literature is sometimes relatively
vague about enunciated goals in the broadest political sense,
though more to the point when it comes to strategic objectives.
This is especially so in the book of Anders Boserup and Andrew Mack.
# 48 (Indeed, they claimed
that the literature has lacked any strategic analysis at all, and amounts
to a stockpile of pressure tactics.) # 49 Interpreting Clausewitz, they rigidly distinguish
'aim' from 'purpose', stressing that the (military) aim of each
side in war is always to win, whereas the (political) purpose is
variable. # 50 Non-violent defense
strategy ought to follow suit, they insist.
At first glance, this seems to fly in the face of Clausewitz's
famous political-military equation; but as Boserup and Mack say, displacement
of purpose by aim is the 'leading idea' in Clausewitzian strategy.
(It has also tended, as Liddell Hart noted, to make 'policy the slave
of strategy — and bad strategy at that.)' # 51 Sharp, Roberts, and Ebert, unlike Boserup and Mack,
are influenced by the anti-Clausewitzian dicta of Liddell Hart, notably
his first and second maxims, 'Adjust your ends to your means',
and 'Keep your object always in mind … ' # 52 And of course they are also influenced
by the Gandhian tenet that 'means and ends are convertible terms'.
I partly agree with Boserup and Mack, if we distinguish
the peacetime from the wartime purposes of Strategy. Let the peacetime
goal of both a Polity and its Strategy include, for example, general
and complete disarmament. But if a Foe-Polity intrudes militarily,
then the wartime goal of the Strategy must change. It becomes
the departure of that foe. We want the foe to go in peace — but
go — as a friend. Meanwhile, the goals of the Polity — such as the three
headlined above — remain constant.
The center of gravity
Therefore, to specify the objectives, objects, and goals
of non-violent common
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defense Strategy is a much more delicate and difficult
choice than it first appears. 'Aims' and 'objects' abound in the
literature, especially since KingHall asked the perfect question,
'what are we trying to defend and against whom and against what are
we trying to defend IT'?'# 54
(Emphasis in the original.) He defined the object of war as 'to change
the enemy's mind'; and the object of defense as 'a way of life', an 'IDEA',
'the freedom of the individual': 'This is the IT' . # 55
Most of the modern defenders, especially Arne Naess, followed
suit. # 56 There the matter lay
until Boserup and Mack attacked that formulation by emphasizing how
classic strategic theory a la Clausewitz dictates defense only of a
'center of gravity'. # 57 This they
defined as the unity of the resistance; nothing else matters as
much.# 58 Find the strategy and the
center of gravity first, they say; do not go around making inventories
of "'things thought worth defending" '. # 59 Moreover, how the defense chooses its center of
gravity influences how the offense must choose its center of gravity
and means of attack. The offense must always mold itself after the defense
— one of the reasons why, in Clausewitzian theory, the defense is always
in a superior position to the offense.
This is a thoughtful argument, but giving unity
the keys to the kingdom does tend to risk everything on a single fragile
factor.# 60 As Adam Roberts
said in apparent counterpoint, making a 'fetish' of unity 'means
that the chain of resistance is no stronger than its weakest link'.
# 61 Also, it lends credence
to one of the more sophisticated arguments against non-violent defense,
first raised by Liddell Hart as early as 1937. He used almost the
same words in 1958, when, in his semi-concurring review of King-Hall's
book, he demurred: 'The effectiveness of non-violent resistance is
undermined if even a small proportion of the community play into the
opponent's hand — through weakness, selfinterest, or pugnacity.' # 62 This paper will address
that problem later.
In any event, I suggest that the center of gravity might
better be identified for the aggressor and defender alike — as morale.
Let unity be impaired if it comes to that. But let the parties bearing
the burden of defense carryon with morale unshaken, and national integrity
will remain intact. If unity frays, let it be; I would not admit defeat.
But if morale collapses, all is over: for us if it's our morale; for them
if it's theirs.
Strategy is a sign of human imperfection. We have to presume
a lot less than unanimity, a lot less than perfect coordination, a
lot less than unselfish sacrifice, and a lot less than unflinching diligence.
A Polity will have some of all that, but never enough — just like any
field commander or statesman or society. So, Strategy, given its non-violent
means and its imperfect people, has a big and roundabout job to do in
securing its goal of the Foe-Polity's departure. (Luckily, the Foe-Polity
is also imperfect.)
I spoke of goals as being achieved in ten to one hundred
years. They need not come so slowly, but protracted struggle is no
monopoly of the Chinese or Vietnamese. Reality being the convoluted
thing it is, we could imagine other
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interim purposes before the goal of the foe's departure
is attained. They can be listed in terms of the time-span chart given
earlier. Obviously the durations are not so precise as shown, and
they may overlap besides:
Objective (1 day - l year):
Object (1 - 10 years):
Goal (10 - 100 years):
These purposes also coincide with what J.C. Wylie calls
'cumulative' rather than 'sequential' strategy. # 63 'Sequential' entails going from
one clearcut locus or victory to the next. 'Cumulative' is a process
of eroding the foe in ways that are not so distinctive — as in guerrilla
or naval warfare — but are decisive in the long run.
It is not distorting Liddell Hart to select some of his
thoughts on strategic purposes, given that he had shown a cautious
interest in non-violent defense near the end of his life: # 64
The key idea is 'strategic operation' rather than 'battle' . .
. # 65
A strategist should think in terms of paralysing, not
of killing. # 67
Building on these, plus earlier epigraphs (p. 130-31
above), I now offer a definition for the wartime Purposes of Strategy
(non-violent common defense):
The use by a Polity of non-violent strategic operations to dislocate
and then demoralize an invading Foe-Polity so as to impel the aggressor's
departure, and thereby to ensure continuance of the Polity's national
integrity and other policy goals.
Morale and demoralization
If morale is a Polity's center of gravity, it follows
that a key object for strategic non-violent offensive is to demoralize
the Foe-Polity. As Richard Gregg wrote in 1934,
non-violent resistance 'reduces the utility of armaments as instruments
of policy', … partly … by disintegrating the morale of the
opponents, - the morale of troops, of commanders, of civil authorities
and of their home civilian populations. # 68
Furthermore, Gregg seized upon Napoleon's dictum that
'"In war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one."' # 69 And Gregg cited the
emphasis on moral factors by both Clausewitz and his commentators.
Clausewitz himself identified them as follows: 'the talents of the
commander, the military virtue of the army, its national feeling'.# 70 (Emphasis in original.)
Let us broaden these factors to encompass the Polity itself
and its morale: In Clausewitz's lexicon, 'military virtue' is
something like esprit de corps plus extreme endurance. Whether
in his usage, or Burritt's, # 71 or Gregg's, or mine, the quality suggested is tensile
strength — of character; of purpose; of spirit proven by ordeal. It
is the principle of tenacity.
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Discoursing on morale in 1947, however, Brigadier General
S. L. A. Marshall seemed to subordinate it to firepower:
… the equation, said by Napoleon and repeated by Foch: 'In
war the moral is to the material as three to one [,]' … is a truth
only as it is related to the state and possibilities of fire. Among
fighting men morale endures only so long as the chance remains that
ultimately their weapons will deal greater death or fear of death to
the enemy. When that chance dies, morale dies, and defeat occurs. # 72
'Fire' is Marshall's cure-all. But is it 'fire' or 'morale'
which is the critical factor in war? I say 'morale', and Marshall
himself clinches the argument: 'What happens,' he asks, 'when an
army loses faith in its cause?'
In this question, and its answer, can be found the
essential object of non-violent common defense strategy:
What happens when an army loses faith in its
cause? It is in fact defeated and wholly submissive to the enemy.
Its will is defeated. If it can expect to receive quarter, the last
reason for resistance has disappeared. # 73
Ergo, one of the cardinal purposes of strategic non-violent
defense is demoralization of the invading force and of the
parent Foe-Polity. It need not be done by fire.
(1 hesitate to mention the Vietnam war. But who can deny,
whether they applaud or decry the fact, that the American polity
lost faith in its cause? Who can deny that demoralization defeated
the French and then the American interventions and the South Vietnamese
regimes? We know that fire was not decisive, because we know
who had far and away the most firepower. That the Army of the Republic
of Vietnam had lost faith in its cause was an open secret all the way through
the war. And consider the Shah with his multi-billion dollar war machine,
demoralized and toppled by largely non-violent demonstrations. Who had
the firepower? Who had the morale? Which was decisive?)
Notes on the Danish resistance
For the ultimate question is always this: What do we do if the
passive resistance ends by really getting on an adversary's nerves
and he takes up the struggle against it with brutal strong-arm methods?
Are we then resolved to offer further resistance? If so, we must for
better or worse invite the gravest, bloodiest persecutions.
We should not forget that [Denmark's] fate will be decided not
by the war in the outside world but by the extent to which we are
able to maintain truth, justice, and freedom by being ready to pay
In 1938, Commander Stephen King-Hall forecast the inevitable
German seizure of Denmark, and told Danes at a private dinner in
Copenhagen, , "While nobody expects you to resist physically, we expect
you to give the best example of passive resistance the world has seen."
' # 77 In the ensuing five-year
occupation Denmark did produce some of the best examples of passive
resistance the world has seen. But it gained perhaps greater repute for
its physical resistance, including some of the nicest sabotage of the
entire War. The non-violent case history must be disentangled. What was
called 'passive resistance' there often connoted one of those inferior wartime
substitutes one had to make do with, until Britain could increase its airdrops
of 'real' weapons, and cigarettes. Danish historians and leaders in the
struggle have tended to regard 'passive resistance' as only a springboard,
something one went 'from', to 'active resistance'.
However, using Gene Sharp's terminology, let us emphasize
that this was a history of non-violent action; otherwise 'passive
resistance' can be a misnomer as debilitating as 'non-resistance'.
# 78 We do not gainsay the military
feats of the Danish struggle. What my study did contend was that
non-violent action comprised many forms and degrees of 'active resistance'
in Denmark — not passive.
On 9 April, 1940, Germany invaded Denmark; the government
conditionally surrendered. The King and a democratic unity Cabinet
remained on Danish soil. A facade of sovereignty and free government
was permitted during the first three and a half years. Despite numerous
extortions, German pressure to Nazify the Cabinet and to take over
the economy was successfully rebuffed. Likewise fended off were all
German efforts to impose anti-Semitism. (King Christian X did not
actually wear a yellow star, but the legend is true to his character.)
By August 1943 a build-up of strikes and British-aided sabotage prompted
the Germans to oust the government and rule through Danish civil servants
and SS terrorism.
Although Denmark was ostensibly cooperating with Germany
throughout the occupation, authoritative responsibility for defending
Danish democracy against Nazi encroachment was assumed by two bodies
in competitive succession. The Council of Nine was an all-party
parliamentary group backstopping a sometimes compromised Cabinet; it
led the 'indirect' resistance from July 1940 on. The Freedom Council
was a seven-man coordinating committee which led the 'direct' resistance
from September 1943 on, becoming a quasi-government.
Though organizing sabotage and aiming to make Denmark
a belligerent, the Freedom Council also helped guide two major episodes
of spontaneous nonviolent action by the public: the rescue of most
Danish Jews by spiriting 8,000 of them to Sweden in October 1943;
and a nine-day General Strike in Copenhagen which gained temporary
German concessions in July 1944.
On 5 May, 1945, German forces in Denmark surrendered,
and a Danish Cabinet was reinstated, with leadership drawn from
both the Council of Nine and the Freedom Council.
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Selected aspects: Denmark in practice
During his 1938 conversation with the Deputy Chief of Staff
of the Danish Army, King-Hall told him that
the technique of two or three million passive resisters had never
been studied, that a Staff College should be set up to train saboteurs and
that the whole Danish nation should be trained to fight in this way. # 80
He took up the problem of consequences as follows:
If, I added, the Germans come, you will have to be prepared to
have 50,000 casualties, shot in batches over a period, but you would make
it necessary for the enemy to keep 500,000 troops in Denmark and that
would be a great victory at a cheap price. Furthermore, the Germans
would find that it is impossible to go on shooting people, provided your
will to resist by passive resistance was proof against the terror.
For almost any other victim of World War II, 50,000 dead
would have been an underestimate of Nazi accomplishment; but here
his guess was sixteen times too high. In round figures we could summarize
by saying that almost 3,200 people died in the war as it affected
Denmark, or almost one in 1,000 of the population. Of the 3,200, perhaps
one in 100 died as a result of essentially nonviolent resistance, or
one in 100,000 of the population. # 82 This is not intended to prove how safe non-violent
action is, but to note, rather, that in this particular case,
the brunt of World War II fell on Russia, Poland, and Jews.
I have already indicated that 'survival' cannot be the
goal of strategic nonviolent defense — or of any military endeavor.
It might be the reward. All we can say is that for the future,
it is reasonable to assume that non-violent defense risks fewer lives
and principles than a polity which is a user, or partner, of nuclear threats.
Had there been the more concerted non-violent defense advocated
by KingHall in 1938, his casualty estimate for Denmark would likely
have been too low. But that is a particular case. The reality was multiplex.
Denmark had some notable assets, such as democratic national
character and solidarity; a steadfast monarch; and the Nordic blood
beloved by Himmler. It had some notable liabilities such as puniness;
geographic exposure; unpreparedness; and defeatism. Lacking a true
military puissance, it fashioned a sabotage campaign 'second to none'.
Lacking a true non-violent strategy, it fashioned an ad hoc array of
non-violent actions ranging from the cold shoulder to a victorious general
strike; from bureaucratic inertia to outright defiance of Nazi demands;
from the underground press to the unparalleled rescue of most Danish Jews.
As Demaree Bess wrote in 1945, in the Saturday Evening Post,
The fact remains that this little nation, whose army was defeated
and disarmed in one day in 1940, succeeded in waging a remarkably
effective war against Germany, with very few military weapons. And,
at the same time, the Danes preserved their democratic society in as
pure a form .as anything outside of Switzerland or Sweden. # 83
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Still, we cannot establish the strategy of non-violent
common defense by planning on a re-run of World War II in Scandinavia.
The modified theory given below arises not from the Danish resistance,
but from the construct, with Denmark as its intial test case.
As mounted on the construct, the case of Denmark may be
arranged so as to dispose its particulars briefly: its geopolitical
predicament (Sweden's iron ore. the Baltic cul-de-sac, etc.); its historical
struggle with Germany over Siesvig; its abused World War I neutrality;
its military-diplomatic weakness in the face of Hitler's expansionism;
its enviable domestic commonweal; and its retention of nominal political
independence after the April 1940 occupation.
Next, Denmark in the construct can exhibit the complexity
of the ascending-alternating-and-sequential levels of political confrontation
with the German invaders — the variform parties involved, from
the King to the Dane in the street. In noting two antithetical yet
complementary foci of leadership — the Council of Nine, and the Freedom
Council — the construct showed that 'unity' was not the essential strategic
criterion Boserup and Mack aver it to be. The construct also abstracted
from Denmark two additional theoretical protagonists for a defending
polity: one is a 'sacrificial goat' or Uncle Tom to provide the form
but not the substance of capitulationism. The other is what I dubbed
a 'residium' (etymology: presidium, and residuum) meaning: a sequence of
authoritative executive bodies which retain or assume complete governmental
legitimacy when part or all of the nominal pre-invasion government is under
duress, is suppressed, or eliminated.
Seen in the construct, Denmark confirmed that principles
were the germ and the hull of its national integrity. Indeed, in terms
of purposes, the construct showed that Denmark is virtually
the classic of an invaded polity whose national integrity is the subject
of common defense.
The subject — not the object! The object is the demoralization
of the foe-polity. And the reciprocal of the object is the preservation
of national morale, which among other things will be a function of
the polity's principles to begin with (besides organization,
leadership, tenacity, and so forth.) While the construct's evocation
of Denmark did not dwell at length on either its principles or its wartime
morale as such, these two are what close the circuit of the construct
and serve as the filament which illuminates both Denmark in practice
and strategic non-violent defense in theory.
While denying that Danish leadership enacted any strategic
policies of non-violent defense, the construct nevertheless ascribed
to it three newly-denominated variants of non-violent action at a policy
level: 'direct and indirect resistance', 'semi-resistance', and 'normalism'.
These policies were all conducive to some degree to either the safekeeping
or the manifestation of Danish morale.
(As for demoralization of the Germans: due to the 'static'
of World War II and the conventional-violence phases of resistance
in Denmark, the construct could not tune a clear picture showing to what
degree Danish non-violent tactics demoralized the occupiers, except inferentially:
the corrosive effect of the cold shoulder; scattered reports of mutiny
and defection; and the fraternization which subverted a group of Luxembourg
conscripts. Just as
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important is the twin effect which Richard Gregg calls
're-moralization'. # 84
Here it was visible as the sapping of the Nazis' own will to capture Denmark's
8,000 Jews. Danish national integrity had fostered a half-heartedness
among the German administrators, who let themselves bungle the pogrom,
while the Danes carried out the rescue.)
'Semi-resistance' — an unpredictable mixture of compliance
and defiance — I had likened to near-beer, or to a product that is
20 per cent butter, 80 per cent margarine. 'Direct resistance' denotes
action bluntly at odds with the invader's policy; human grit in the
invader's war machine. 'Indirect resistance' suggests morale-building
or patriotic ostentation not quite interfering with the invader. It
also embraces various types of 'normalism'; action by duly constituted
authorities which goes against the grain of a usurping force, yet is not
intolerably defiant. As Liddell Hart put it,
Apparent acquiescence that conceals, and is combined with, a strategy
of non-compliance is much more baffling to the occupying power . . . the
Danes, particularly, practised it on a wide scale and in a co-ordinated way.
The Germans found it more frustrating than any other form of resistance —
as they frankly admitted in post-war discussion [with me]. # 85
Thus, compared to the direct kind, indirect resistance was
much more low-keyed, and much more pervasive.
The policies in turn were inferred from the divers events
and efforts which the construct cumulated into programs. regardless
of whether they were 'planned that way'. A key programmatic instance
of 'normalism' was the Danish preservation of its currency against occupation
scrip and against the German attempt to supplant the krone with the
mark. A key programmatic instance of 'semi-resistance' was the intelligence
gathering for the Allies by Danish army officers. Both of these efforts
illustrate gaps in existing non-violent defense doctrine. A key instance
of 'indirect' resistance was the set of civic-consciousness programs
led by Dansk Samling, and the Union of Danish Youth. Another was the
alsang, or mass patriotic sing-alongs. And, of course, the two
landmark battles of mass, 'direct' resistance — active, non-violent
resistance — were the rescue of the Jews, and the Copenhagen General Strike.
The general relevance of this combination of direct and
indirect resistance is that it may enable non-violent defense doctrine
to address what may be the major conundrum held against the strategy.
The weak majority
'What of the "Weak Majority"? is a poser Gandhi himself
grappled with in August 1940, and conceded that he was 'sailing on
uncharted waters.' # 86
A certain Professor Timur had written Gandhi that
' … The experiment which you want to make of defending
India against foreign aggression without the use of arms would be the
boldest moral experiment of all times … A few strongwilled members
of the conquered nation may refuse to own allegiance to the conquerers,
but the large
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majority always submits and adopts servile manners to preserve
its existence … It is the weak majority which needs protection )'
This is the poser Liddell Hart raised even earlier (p. 133
above). And this is the poser implied by Ivo D. Duchacek's mordant
observation about post-1968 Czechoslovakia:
The all-permeating party control over jobs and privileges — and
therefore over life itself — is based on a devastatingly simple assumption
that among mortal men, on the whole, heroes and martyrs have always
been less numerous than bons vivants — especially in the proximity of
the Soviet superpower. #
In other words. we are faced with an inexorable bell-shaped
curve for an occupied populace which might show 5 per cent heroism,
90 per cent disgruntled adjustment, and 5 per cent treason (worse
yet, 2-96-2, or 1-98-1). We have an explicit fear that a non-violent
defense policy can be cracked, not so much by the bang of a firing squad
as by the whimper of a self-seeking public. (If this fear is correct,
then nuclear weapons are the supreme symbol of national cowardice, a
polity's supreme confession of non-confidence in itself and its citizenry.)
Yet as far as non-violent defense strategy need be concerned,
that bell-shaped curve is merely one of the givens, one of the particulars,
an environmental constraint: an immensely difficult constraint, but
not prohibitively so. Thus it will be the task of non-violent defense
analysts to estimate and allow for the degree of public pliability vis-a-vis
an invader, as well as to factor in the allowable limits of compliance,
semi-resistance, and indirect resistance. All of these will compose the
bulk of the common defense, the 'inert ingredients' of the medicine.
As well, the non-violent defense planners will also prescribe the more
exciting dosages of direct resistance, which will be a much smaller
percentage, but the 'active ingredients' of the medicine. (A familiar
compound in guerrilla warfare.) The important thing will be to 'shake
well', because direct and indirect resistance should not become too separated.
Average citizens should not be shamed for making only indirect gestures
(e.g., alsangs), nor should they fail to be challenged to go all
out at critical moments (as in the Copenhagen General Strike).
Strategic non-violent defense in theory
Pity the theory which sets itself in opposition to mental and
Apart from certain variants and new details for policies
and programs, does the construct yield a theory of strategic
non-violent defense when it screens the Danish resistance — a theory
not bound by the peculiarities of the Danish case, nor limited to reiterating
Emerging from the parallax of the construct, and the Danish
case history, the factor of morale jumps to a higher prominence
than it had in either by
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itself. Despite my earlier emphasis on morale as the
center of gravity for the Polity and Foe- Polity alike, I had perhaps
not sufficiently heralded the significance of that concept - at least
not to the extent this paper is now stressing as a critical realignment
of strategic non-violent defense theory.
Wylie calls the choice and control of the center of gravity
'the fundamental key to the conduct of warfare'. # 90 And I had already raised the argument
of morale forming that center of gravity. I hereby raise the same
argument, to another power. Morale at the center of gravity will be
the theory adumbrated by the construct, not just an adjunct to it.
We are not discussing morale itself; only its place in strategic
non-violent defense theory. Of course, 'morale' is just the verbal
tip of an iceberg. Let S. L, A. Marshall's definition be indicative;
and as before, let his additional remarks be broadened from 'army' to
'society'. He calls morale '"the body of thought of a person or persons
as to whether it disposes the thinker to high endeavor or toward failure"'
and goes on to say:
Morale is the thinking of an army. It is the whole complex body
of an army's thought: The way it feels about the soil and the people
from which it springs. The way it feels about their cause and their
politics as compared with other causes and other politics. The way it
feels about its friends and allies, as well as its enemies. About its
commanders and goldbricks. About food and shelter. Duty and leisure.
Payday and sex. Militarism and civilianism. Freedom and slavery. Work and
want. Weapons and comradeship. Bunk fatigue and drill. Discipline and
disorder. Life and death. God and the devil. # 91
I will try to encapsulate below a modified theory of strategic
non-violent defense. In its immediate formulation, it is patterned,
not after Sharp, Roberts, or Ebert, but after Boserup and Mack, and
J. C. Wylie; ultimately after Clausewitz. # 92
Thus, according to Boserup and Mack, a strategic theory
must be descriptive, suggesting the '"laws of motion" of war'; and
prescriptive, enabling a strategist to overview an entire struggle,
choose and control its center of gravity, and evaluate tactics only
according to their usefulness in maintaining one's own center of gravity
while undoing the foe's. # 93
This is essentially the same course laid by Rear Admiral Wylie:
a general theory of strategy should be some development of the
following fundamental theme: The primary aim of the strategist in
the conduct of war is some selected degree of control of the enemy for
the strategist's own purpose; this is achieved by control of the pattern
of the war; and this control of the pattern of war is had by manipulation
of the center of gravity of war to the advantage of the strategist and
the disadvantage of the opponent. # 94
So, a modified theory of strategic non-violent defense —
descriptive, prescriptive, predictive — is offered as follows:
In war the center of gravity is morale; the side which loses it
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the war. A defending polity whose strategy is non-violent common
defense must ensure that its morale is strong to begin with and essentiially
unshaken in the course of a struggle against an invading foe-polity
whose aim perforce is to subdue the defenders' morale. All tactics
must relate first to preserving the polity's own morale; and then to
reducing the foe-polity's morale, sufficient for the eventual departure
of the foe-polity.
This morale-centric theory ought to be applicable to a wide
variety of cases, non-violent or otherwise. Vietnam and Iran were
noted above. And, to cite one other. example, Finland: militarily,
it lost the Winter War against Russia by March 1940, but was able to
sue for peace with morale unshattered, and keep its democratic government,
despite Stalin's earlier onslaught, complete with puppet-government-in-waiting.
# 95 Technically, Russia
could have annexed Finland in 1940, but among other factors, Stalin knew
that the Finns had not been demoralized, whereas the Red Army and the
Soviet Union had been during their inept aggression. As Max Jakobson
said, 'Finland was defeated. But she was not conquered.' # 96
The theory can also readily accomodate the existing literature
on non-violent defense. For one thing, to locate morale in the zenith
of strategic non-violent defense doctrine is scarcely a new suggestion.
Gregg. and King-Hall, respectively, had just about said as much in 1934
and 1957. # 97 Furthermore,
demoralization of a foe is widely discussed in the literature. Yet
a polity's own morale, though by no means lacking consideration,
is rather more implicit by comparison; more subsidiary in tone; more
in the category of 'yes, we need that too'. However, at the center
of gravity, morale becomes the sine qua non of strategic non-violent
For another thing, morale has at its own nucleus a moral
argument, which is where Gandhian strategic non-violence began in
the first place. It is in the concept of morale that the pragmatic and
the moral interpretations of non-violent defense converge and co-exist;
where the militarist Clausewitz and the pacifist Burritt stand shoulder
(The linkage of morale and morality is a theme I have developed
in draft manuscripts, but not the present work. That I do not overestimate
the moral component, however, is indicated by my choice of the Marshall
definition. Meanwhile, the 'basic value judgment' inhering strategic
non-violent defense was stated in the passage by Morton Kaplan. Nonetheless,
Kaplan and most orthodox strategists — and some latter-day non-violent
strategists — have tried to tiptoe past the moral argument with only
a pro-forma recognition. J. C. Wylie called 'strategic morality' an 'incidental
stumbling block'. # 98
My theory hypothesizes, per contra, that morale — with its moral nucleus
— is not just an 'incidental stumbling block', but the very grounds of
the defense effort, as well as the reef on which a foe-polity goes aground.)
If this theory re-orients the literature somewhat, does
it modify the construct whence it came? Though it does not supplant
principles as the pith and pinnacle of the construct, morale may
be regarded as the sum and substance of the principles and
the purposes, the policies and the programs: of the Polity;
of the Strategy. All of which could be used to equate morale with two
other words: grand strategy.
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One further point. It ought to go without saying that this
preferment of morale as the strategic imperative is no practical or
theoretic panacea; quite the opposite. As the 'weak majority' discussion
showed, the maintenance of morale by an unarmed polity is hardly a minor
question. Indeed, our theory makes it the question. Our theory
states a very severe and challenging problem, not its answer. It states
that a foe-polity must aim its blow to smash the morale
of the defending polity, there being no armed forces to destroy. If morale
holds, national integrity holds. And then comes the counter-assault
on the morale of the attacker.
The theory states the problem. But it is only the nerves
of some polity, as yet unprepared, which will determine whether strategic
non-violent defense can transcend the pages of theory and the stages
of blind experience, and enter the realm of praxis: the mutual aid
of theory and practice.
Recalling again that the Danish experience, like the few
comparable ones, was a pre-natal and pre-conscious and pre-strategic
instance of quote non-violent defense unquote, we may review some of
the strategy implications for non-violent common defense doctrine from
this particular case arrayed in the construct. We will circuit the 6-P's
from the apex. Neither rigid hypotheses nor aphoristic coda, these are
some of the clues and themes I found the most salient:
The morale and
the principles of a polity are the guardians of one another, and the
substance of national integrity.
Preservation of national
morale is the grand strategy of non-violent common defense.
Mutiny is the
jugular vein of the invader, and a commensurately dangerous target
for the non-violent offensive; disaffection and malingering meanwhile
can be stimulated at less risk all around.
'Adjust your ends to fit your means'; a lot
can still be done.
be a basic policy of strategy for confounding the foe without throwing
down the gauntlet, and for maximizing long-term public participation
in a graduated non-violent defense effort.
The same for 'semi-resistance',
a perhaps 20 / 80 duality of defiance and compliance, functioning not
as a contradiction but as a composite.
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The same for
'indirect resistance', those milder forms capable of reinforcing
public morale and patriotism.
There is a time and place
for 'direct resistance', ranging from the cold shoulder (every minute)
and the underground press (every day) to a set-piece general strike
(once or twice per war).
for emission of legitimate currency must be attended to.
The scope and focus of intelligence
must be determined.
A plenitude of
quietly competent self-starters is preferable to one heroic leader.
A government-in-exile is
a sign of weakness and a power vacuum in flagrante; a government
that stays and faces the music will be in a stronger position, whether
for legalistic haggling, daily normalism, or in extremis martyrdom.
Two or more complementary
/ competitive nodes of central political leadership are not necessarily
bad for the defense effort; if a polity's morale and principles are
strong, plural unity can improve rather than hinder the resistance.
Leadership must be expendable,
including a 'sacrificial goat' who may compromise himself but not the
polity which eventually repudiates him.
A 'residium' of legitimate
political authority must be latent or kinetic in a number of contingent
Let the polity
strive for self-reliance, while paying due regard to the map, to
friends and neighbors, and to the power realities.
the form, but principles are the essence, of national integrity.
(No kindly breed of Nazis were running Denmark. Of the
German triumvirate there, Plenipotentiary Werner Best had been the
administrative organizer of the entire Gestapo, and he was a 'moderate'
compared to Hanneken of the Wehrmacht and Pancke of the SS.)
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Now, as I am going to die, I wonder if I have been able to ignite
a small flame in someone, a flame which will outlive me, and yet I
am calm in the knowledge that nature is rich … the dream for you all,
young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency … That
is the great gift our country hungers for …
— Kim Malthe-Brunn, 21, a day before
he was executed by the Gestapo on 5 April, 1945. # 101
I would like to return to the preconception with which this
paper began: that the fast track to failure in non-violent defense
is to use tactics without strategy, strategy without principle, and principle
Non-violent tactics there were aplenty in Denmark. Of strategy
there was little or none, simply because the concept did not exist,
except for King-Hall's bright idea in 1938; Gandhi's exhortations;
a few other inklings. Principle was Denmark's strongest suit:
democratic principle and a strong trait of moderation, in lieu of Gandhian
non-violence. Tenacity is to be found in ample measure among the various
Danish leadership groupings. So Denmark was well endowed with at least
three of the four considerations above, as well as the national integrity
and invincible morale which are the foundations of strategic non-violent
defense. In this imperfect world, Denmark waged an imperfect yet exemplary
kamp uden vaaben (war without weapons); at the same time cooperating
perhaps more than necessary with German bloodsuckers and British firebrands
But Denmark adds two more desiderata to our listing: laughter;
and decency. As for the former, Ebbe Neergaard wrote that Nazi ideology
had made little headway, partly due to the Danes' 'peaceable sarcastic
mentality, entirely unimpressed by anything pompous'. # 102 Poul Nørlund
said that 'The German chains were broken by Danish laughter' . # 103 And as for the latter
(with apologies to General MacArthur): there is no substitute for decency.
In Denmark, common ordinary decency became the stuff of non-violent
A postscript and a parting shot: strategic studies and
strategic non-violent defense
Murphy's Law, # 104ipse dixit, should be the definitive warning
against any strategy involving the mere possession of nuclear weapons,
much less their use. But this bit of lore has yet to be fully appreciated
by orthodox defense analysts. In a 1975 conventional-wisdom introduction
to strategic studies, John Baylis makes the dubious confession that his
group believes 'with luck and good judgement, military power can be effectively
managed … ' # 105 Luck
and good judgement are two volatile commodities which it is highly irresponsible
to count on indefinitely in a nuclear-armed world. # 106 Baylis concedes it is 'optimistic'
to hold such an opinion, and consoles himself only by presuming it more
optimistic 'to believe that, by sustained effort, the capacity for organized
THE JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC STUDIES
violence can be abolished'. # 107 Thus, as in virtually all other
books of that type, there is not the slightest mention of King-Hall
and his pioneering effort to break the thought barrier, to make non-violent
defense a realistic substitute for nuclear roulette.
One need not be optimistic, and I am not, about the prospects
for abolishing reliance on organized violence. But that is no excuse
to shrink from the attempt; no excuse to shirk the intellectual effort
required to explore the problems and possibilities of strategic non-violent
defense; and no excuse to count fatalistically on 'luck' to vindicate
nuclear strategy of any stripe. Nuclear deterrence will succeed — Baylis,
et aI., will be right — 5 times out of 6, perhaps even 5,999 out
of 6,000. And then?
Meanwhile, as noted, non-violent defense analysis receives
at best a wink and a nod from mainstream strategic writers. It has
also been something of a foster child in the fairly new field of peace
research. Even here it gets lost in the shuffle, given the over-inclusiveness
which plagues this discipline. But is non-violent common defense really
a peace study? Or a strategic study? Or both? Or what? Two comments by
Adam Roberts are apposite. He cautioned peace researchers that
It is obvious that to propose a policy of civilian defense is
to advocate a form of conflict — and one which can be both unpleasant
and costly. It is therefore not a peace proposal except in the very
broad sense. . . # 108
Yet under the aegis of the Swedish Defense Research Institute
he likewise cautioned:
Unless there is a clear theoretical conception of the role of
civil resistance, it will all too easily be regarded as a mere adjunct
of military defence: as something which can be thrown in for good measure
on top of existing military preparations. # 109
Finally, we note that Boserup and Mack insist they have already
demonstrated non-violent defense to be 'a strategy in the classical,
Clausewitzian sense'. #
110 As they see it, the strategy 'may run into any number of problems
of actual implementation … but theoretically it belongs on a par with
all other Clausewitzian strategies'". # 111
In other words, non-violent common defense belongs to strategic
studies, but the paternity suit is still pending.
B. H. Liddell Hart, 'Lessons
from Resistance Movements — Guerilla and Non-violent', in Adam Roberts,
ed., Civilian Resistance as a National Defense: Non-violent
Action Against Aggression (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole, 1968), 210.
Rev. ed. of paper given at Oxford Civilian Defence Study Conference,
Elihu Burritt, 'Passive
Resistance', in Burritt, Thoughts and Things at Home and Abroad
(Boston: Philips, Sampson, 1854), 269-86. Reprinted in Staughton Lynd,
ed., Non-violence in America: A Documentary History (Indianapolis:
Bobbs-Merrill, 1966), 93-108.
Bertrand Russell, 'War
and Non-Resistance', Atlantic Monthly (Aug. 1915), 266-74.
Reprinted in Russell, Justice in War Time (Chicago and
London: Open Court, 1916), 38-57. (The word 'non-resistance' is no
longer used by advocates of non-violent resistance —GK.)
Cecil Hinshaw, 'An Adequate
and Moral Program of National Defense', The Peacemaker, supplement (5
Mar. 1950). Rev. ed., Nonviolent Resistance: A Nation's Way to Peace
(Wallingford, Pa.: Pendle Hill Pamphlet #88. Mar. 1956).
Adam Roberts, 'Civil
Resistance as a Technique in International Relations', in The Yearbook
of World Affairs (London: Stevens, 1970), 25-39; Total Defence
and Civil Resistance: Problems of Sweden's Security Policy and
The Technique of Civil Resistance (both mimeo from Stockholm:
Research Institute of Swedish National Defense, 1972 and 1976). See also
n. 2 above.
Theodor Ebert, trans.
Hilda Morris and George Joffee, 'Freedom on the Offensive: Strategy
and Tactics of Nonviolent Resistance to a Communist Invasion' (Oxford:
Civilian Defence Study Conference, mimeo, Sept. 1964). Published as several
chapters in Civilian Defence: An Introduction, edited by
T. K. Mahadevan, Adam Roberts, and Gene Sharp (New Delhi: Gandhi Peace
Foundation, 1967), 150-211. Ebert has also written numerous articles
and books in German; see listing by Herbert M. Kritzer, 'Nonviolent National
Defense: Concepts and Implications', Peace Research Reviews
For brevity we need a
word that will characterize 'theorists and proponents of non-violent
resistance to a hostile aggressor'. Let us co-opt the term 'defender'.
In an earlier day we could have said 'pacifist', but not all defenders
(as defined here) are pacifists, and not all pacifists are defenders.
Stephen King-Hall, 'Reflections
on Defence', King-Hall News-Letter #1083 (24 April 1957). Reprinted
in David Boulton, ed., Voices from the Crowd: Against the H-Bomb
(London: Peter Owen, 1964). 27-35. Lecture: 'The Alternative to the Nuclear
Deterrent: Nonviolent Resistance', Journal of the Royal United Service
Institution (Feb. 1958), 4-20.
N. 10 above. Gene Sharp
prepared a 23-page synopsis of the reviews, 'Britain Considers Her Weapons:
A Record of a Debate', Gandhi Marg (April 1959). In 1959, the
pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation published an American edition
of King-Hall's book, with an arm's-length introduction by Edward R.
Murrow. Otherwise, after some initial enthusiasm, many, perhaps most,
pacifists remained as cautious of the King-Hall approach as his more skeptical
brethren in the strategic mainstream.
Anatol Rapoport, Strategy
and Conscience (New York: Harper, 1964); Philip Green, Deadly
Logic: The Theory of Nuclear Deterrence (Columbus: Ohio State University
Press, 1966). Reprint (New York: Schocken, 1967).
On 29 January, 1980,
appearing on the Phil Donahue TV show, Kaplan proposed, inter alia,
a blockade of Cuba. Donahue: ' … you really are ready to go in with
guns blazing, it sounds to me.' Kaplan: 'You better believe it.' (Donahue
Transcript 01290, Cincinnati: Multimedia Program Productions), 5.
See n. 2 above. Liddell
Hart's sotto voce endorsement of non-violent defense comes as a 7-page
addendum (205-11) to what is otherwise 'Guerilla War', ch. 23 in his
book Strategy (n. 41 below), re-published that same year, 1967, but
omitting the non-violent resistance commentary given in part at Oxford,
1964. Neither book mentions the overlap / omission.
Etienne de la Boetie,
trans. Harry Kurz, The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, co-titled
The Politics of Obedience (Montreal: Black Rose; and New
York: Free Life, 1975; Orig. 1550 and 1942). Another edition contains
the original French facing the 1735 English translation, and is co-titled
The Will to Bondage, ed. Wm. Flygare (Colorado Springs:
Ralph Myles Publisher, 1974).
Another seven are: 1.
Finland vs. Russia, 1898-1905; 2. Germany vs. France and Belgium. 1923;
3. Norway vs. Germany, 1940-45; 4. The Netherlands vs. Germany, 1940-45;
5. Germany (GDR) vs. Russia, 1953; 6. Hungary vs. Russia, 1956; and
7. Czechoslovakia vs. Russia, 1968-69. See April Carter, David Hoggett,
and Adam Roberts, eds., Non-violent Action: A Selected Bibliography,
rev. ed. (London: Housmans, 1970); and Gene Sharp, Exploring Nonviolent
Alternatives (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1970). 133-59.
The cue is from Eugene
McCarthy, who has stressed the proper relation of 'philosophy, policy,
and program" and inveighed against the tendency of programs to shape
the other two. See his article 'Out of Phase', Newsweek, 'My
Turn', (16 April 1973), 14-15.
For other perspectives
on purpose, see B. H. Liddell Hart, Strategy (n. 41 below),
227-29, 338-339, 344, 351; John M. Collins, Grand Strategy (n.
43 below), 1-7, 24-25, 73-75); The American Heritage Dictionary's
discussion of all similar words under 'intention'; and Aldous Huxley,
Ends and Means (New York: Harper, 1937).
By no means is this to
mythologize a purposefulness that never was (e.g., 'the masses arose
and overthrew the tyrant'). Rather, it is to suppose that many important
deeds were done by people who 'knew and knew not that they knew' (e.g.,
that they were using or inventing certain non-violent defense tactics).
It is the business of case studies to draw such conclusions.
John M. Collins, Grand
Strategy: Principles and Practices (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute
Press, 1973), 1. A spot-check of official and unofficial American foreign
policy writing tends to bear this out; indexes are strangely barren of
the words 'aim', 'goal', 'object', or 'purpose'. The discourse leans toward
policy, and process, and — that synonym for license — 'interest'. For
example, the Nixon-Kissinger 1970 State of the World Message dwelt upon
four process-oriented topics, namely, the National Security Council, Partnership,
Strength, and Negotiation; but the only items resembling goals per
se were to 'support our interests' (emphasis in the original; noun
and possessive pronoun unspecified), and 'durable peace' (defined at hortatory
length from a July 1969 toast Nixon made in India in praise of — Mahatma
Gandhi). NYT (19 Feb. 1970), 17-25.
Deduced! Among other things, Collins felt obliged to deduce that
'U.S. national security policy still is defensive … ' (p. 75). More
recently my astonishment was compounded when Zbigniew Brzezinski briefed
PRC leaders on top-secret 'U.S. security goals'. The Peking
leadership, not the American citizenry! NYT (28 May 1978),
1. Whereas a February 1980 speech by President Carter to the American
Legion, entitled 'National Security Goals', was mood music unrelated
to that title. (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Current
Policy No. 139, 19 Feb. 1980).
Arne Naess, 'Non-Military
Defense', in Quincy Wright, William M. Evan, and Morton Deutsch, eds.,
Preventing World War III: Some Proposals (New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1962) 123-25. Also, 'What does Civilian Defence Intend
to Defend?' (Oxford: Civilian Defence Study Conference, mimeo, Sept.
B. H. Liddell Hart, 'Passive
Resistance', in Deterrent or Defence (London: Stevens, 1960),
221. This was originally a review of King-Hall's book, for Reynolds
News, 9 Mar. 1958. The above passage was also quoted by Gene Sharp
(n. 19 above) and mis-quoted by AJ.R. Groom in British Thinking About
Nuclear Weapons (London: Frances Pinter, 1974),418. Cf. also Liddell
Hart, 1937: 'The Defence of Freedom', in his Europe in Arms (New
York: Random House, 1937),17-18.
To mention just a few English-language
sources on the Danish resistance; see n. 75 and 76 above and also:
Børge Outze, ed., Denmark During the German Occupation (Copenhagen:
Scandinavian Publishing Co., 1946); Jeremy Bennett, British Broadcasting
and the Danish Resistance Movement 1940-45 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1966); John Oram Thomas, The Giant-Killers (London:
Michael Joseph, 1975); and Jorgen Haestrup, trans. Reginald Spink, Panorama
Denmark — From Occupied to Ally: Denmark's Fight for Freedom 1940-45
(Copenhagen: Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1963).
Ivo D. Duchacek, [Review
of Czechoslovakia and the Absolute Monopoly of Power: A Study
of Political Power in a Communist System by Barbara Wolfe Jancar],
American Political Science Review, 67/3 (Sept. 1973). (Oddly
enough, this same book was reviewed again in a later issue of the same
journal, by Galia Golan. APSR, 68/4 Dec. 1974, 1813-15.)
Karl von Clausewitz, trans.,
ed., and intro. Co!. Edward M. Collins, War, Politics, and Power:
Selections from 'On War' and 'I Believe and Profess' (Chicago: Regnery
Gateway, 1967; orig. 1962), 149. (Orig. 1827).
Karl von Clausewitz, trans.,
and ed. Hans W. Gatzke, Principles of War (Harrisburg, Pa.:
Military Service Publishing, Sept. 1942); Clausewitz, n. 70 and 89 above;
Boserup and Mack, n. 15 above, 163; and Wylie, n. 38 above, 91.
Roger Fisher, International
Conflict for Beginners (New York: Harper, 1969), 20I.
To quote just one observation among many similar ones, this
by Roger Fisher: 'Today reason plays a small role in international
affairs. Perhaps ten per cent of international decisions reflect a
purely rational judgement of what ought to be done.'