Edward Luttwak

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Edward Luttwak in 2011

Edward Nicolae Luttwak (born 4 November 1942) is a Jewish writer of books on strategy, best known for Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook.


  • Our first precondition of the coup, therefore, is: The social and economic conditions of the target country must be such as to confine political participation to a small fraction of the population... The second precondition of the coup, therefore, is: The target state must be substantially independent, and the influence of foreign powers in its internal political life must be relatively limited... The third precondition of the coup, therefore, is: The target state must have a political center. If there are several centers, these must be identifiable, and they must be politically, rather than ethnically, structured. If the state is controlled by a nonpolitically organized unit, the coup can only be carried out with its consent or neutrality.
    • Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook, Chapter 2
  • An unpleasant truth often overlooked is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political conflicts and lead to peace. This can happen when all belligerents become exhausted or when one wins decisively. Either way the key is that the fighting must continue until a resolution is reached. War brings peace only after passing a culminating phase of violence. Hopes of military success must fade for accommodation to become more attractive than further combat.
  • Perfectly ordinary regular armed forces, with no counterinsurgency doctrine or training whatever, have in the past regularly defeated insurgents, by using a number of well-proven methods. It is enough to consider these methods to see why the armed forces of the United States or of any other democratic country cannot possibly use them.
  • Yes, you can convert [Afghanistan] into Sweden, but you'll need four hundred years, and you have to kill three quarters of the males in Afghanistan probably in three generations, one after the other, to be able to do it.
Wikipedia has an article about: