By John DeRosa

“Few of us can hold on to our real selves long enough to discover the real truths about ourselves and this whirling earth to which we cling. This is especially true of men in war. The great god Mars tries to blind us when we enter his realm, and when we leave he gives us a generous cup of the waters of Lethe to drink.”

Gray, Jesse Glenn. The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle. First Bison Books, 1998.

“There are many ways of fighting. Many a man or woman has waged a good war for truth, honor, and freedom, who did not shed blood in the process. Beware of those who would use violence, too often it is the violence they want and neither truth nor freedom.”

L’Amour, Louis. The Walking Drum. Bantam, 2005.


“In this way, the bravery of the warrior underwrites collective civic cowardice, while fostering a slack, insipid patriotism.”

Bacevich, Andrew J. Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. Macmillan, 2013.


“The path to peace is exceedingly vast, reflecting the grand design of the hidden and manifest world. A warrior is a living shrine of the divine, one who serves that grand purpose.”

Ueshiba, Morihei. The Art of Peace. Shambhala, 1992.


“War makes the world understandable, a black and white tableau of them and us. It suspends thought, especially self-critical thought. All bow before the supreme effort. We are one. Most of us willingly accept war as long as we can fold it into a belief system that pains the ensuing suffering as necessary for a higher good, for human beings seek not only happiness but also meaning. And tragically war is sometimes the most powerful way in human society to achieve meaning.”

Hedges, Chris. War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. Anchor, 2002.


“If I had time and anything like your ability to study war, I think I should concentrate almost entirely on the “actualities of war”—the effects of tiredness, hunger, fear, lack of sleep, weather…. The principles of strategy and tactics, and the logistics of war are really absurdly simple: it is the actualities that make war so complicated and so difficult, and are usually so neglected by historians.”

—Field Marshal Lord Wavell, in a letter to Liddell Hart

Grossman, Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Open Road Media, 2014.

“If force is to have political utility, one needs to understand the nature of the problem on its own terms, not through dogmatically applied ideological or doctrinal lenses.”


“…continuous conflict idea implicitly challenges the utility of war as a decisive political instrument”

Simpson, Emile. War from the Ground Up: Twenty-First Century Combat as Politics. Oxford University Press, 2012.