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They can, just not for nation-states.

(The Arabs are an extreme case, but really, it applies to virtually all Muslims).

Latest case in point: Taliban Fighters Capture Kunduz City as Afghan Forces Retreat

No matter how many gazillions of dollars the US pours into training them, no matter how many shiny toys they get from Uncle Sam, no matter by how much they outnumber the enemy (at least on paper), both Iraqis and Afghans alike collapse under the onslaught of men who fight not for gold but for God.

It’s not a failing of their trainers. The Soviets couldn’t do much either. (In both 1967 and 1973, the Arab armies had more military capital than the Israelis, and their tech was not inferior. But they still got whooped).

There have been some very good socio-political analyses of why this is the case, but ultimately it likely comes down to HBD reasons. Muslim, and especially Arab, societies tend to be based around consanguineous, which results in ultra-high levels of clannishness. The clan becomes the first focal point of loyalty. The second focal point is the Ummah, the wider Islamic community under God. This leaves precious little room for any strong emotional attachments to the third focal point, the nation-state that Europeans and East Asians are both intimately familiar, but which is quite novel, strange, and foreign to most Muslims.

Muslims who fight for states, to be of any use, have to be either amply compensated with gold (which tends to get stolen anyway), or be driven to do so by the fear of punishment from a dictator. This is why both Saddam’s Iraq and Assad’s Syria, for all their problems, made vastly better showings against their enemies than the militaries of semi-democratic modern Iraq and Afghanistan.

With a few exceptions like Trevor Dupuy, US analysts’ predictions of their own casualties during the Gulf War veered into the tens of thousands, whereas in actual fact they ended up being less than 300. In contrast, they systemically underestimated the difficulty of pacifying the conquered territories in both Afghanistan after 2001 and Iraq after 2003.

One explanation for this is well known to military theorists: In 4GW warfare, insurgents have the ability to fade into the general population, which means that the US (or the USSR in Afghanistan) is practically unable to make use of its gargantuan superiority in military capital. What use is a B-2 bomber against an IED? Effectively, it mostly comes down to the combat effectiveness ratios of US soldiers vs. insurgents, and the latter tend to additionally have the advantage of surprise in any engagement.

But all this should in principle be accounted for. What they might not necessarily account for, however, is the fact that insurgents – being far more driven, fighting for clan or God – have much higher combat effectiveness than the sorts of poor demoralized grunts they’d have steamrolled during the initial invasion. And from which they might have logically extrapolated to any insurgents, on the logic that these societies resemble the European ones that they would be most intimately familiar with (most recently in Serbia!).

When you have national Iraqi and Afghan armies fighting insurgents, you get not a double, not even a triple, but a quadruple whammy. A negative modifier due to the usual advantage insurgents have in surprise and concealment. Another negative modifier due to their status as soldiers in a national army suffering from all the typical problems of Muslim state armies, fighting insurgents who fight for God. And a final negative modifier due to them being democracies, if somewhat half-assed ones. I recall the Iraqi PM promising to execute officers who abandoned their stations to flee the Islamic State, but nothing came of it so far as I’m aware. Assad would have just gone ahead and done it.

The universalist American impulse to disregard human cultural and socio-biological differences not only makes it easy for the neocons to manipulate them into idiotic and irresponsible military adventures abroad. It also ensures that as soon as they leave, any political structures they leave behind soon get swept away as well by the irresistable tides of Anon (Nature or Nature’s Allah, to steal from the NRx lexicon) and the black flags of the Islamic resurgence.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan, Clannishness, Military, Muslims 
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  1. Kamran says:

    We turks (and anatolians in general) have always been good fighters and infantrymen, despite being just as clannish as arabs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    In terms of genetics, IQ, clannishness and a lot of other things Turkey and the Balkans are transitional areas between Europe and the Middle East. So of course Turkish military effectiveness would be somewhere between Arab and European ones.
    , @wrd9
    The Turks have always been good at genocide.
    , @Anonymous
    Actually turks are quite Nationalist.
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  2. Truth says:

    The US is once again, off, in its desire to train the Arabs; they need to train the to conduct Francis Marion style attacks; give up territory, and bushwack the offenders in small groups without uniforms.

    That would be our only semi-effective option.

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  3. Mitleser says:

    That is a generalization.
    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Deduction
    All good Arab armies who fought for their state as opposed to God were slaves. Indeed the whole Arab ruling caste under the royal family were slaves. This circumvented the Arab impulse fot nepotistic corruptions and tribalism.

    Mainstream war historians like John Keegan have recognised this for years. Indeed the logistical benefits of the camel explain Arab conquest very well and outside of Europe there has never really been national armies which stand and fight opposing each other - it is a European model of warfare.

    Everyone else attacks the other side's weak spot, their civilians or sends a champion or fights practically ceremoniously by scampering quickly.

    The Japanese are a weird exception.
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  4. Numinous says:

    The phenomenon this article seeks to analyze is an interesting one, but it assumes a particular explanation as proven (Muslims can’t fight except for clan or God) and then runs away with it. Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans? Much of the British fighting force in its colonial wars in the 19th century and even the two world wars was Indian, a very large part of whom were Muslims (now mostly in Pakistan). I haven’t read anything to suggest they were poor fighters. The mercenary instinct was probably a big factor, but you can’t manufacture a good fighter purely out of money. Loyalty to the entity they are fighting for is key.

    As many historians and contemporary observers have analyzed, much of the problems of the Middle East can be traced back to World War I and the wholesale manufacturing of “nations” based on no good reason. And then the Israeli state was formed in a way that was very traumatic for the Levantine Arabs, so the “nations” formed after WW1 never had time to settle. Afghanistan was never historically a country; it was a shared (and disputed) frontier zone between the Indian and Persian cultural spheres. After the advent of Islam, it became a playground for warlords (the Mughal founder Babur being one of them) and a source for mercenaries, which it has remained since then. The British and Russians fought their Great Game on its soil during the 19th century, so it’s not like it was a stable “nation” then either.

    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena? You all take a snapshot of the present day world and then spin theories around it as if that snapshot represented an ephemeral truth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    East Indians are even worse at warfare than Arabs. This is beacuse they're somewhat more clannish and much less masculine than Arabs. Indian history is a long story of foreign invasions and occupations.

    The Brits used Ghurkas from Nepal in their wars. I'm sure this was because they're more war-like than most sub-continental groups. I think Sikhs are also relatively war-like.
    , @Glossy
    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena?

    As a non-HBDer, shouldn't you have a (learned!) aversion to describing any behavioral trait as congenital?
    , @iffen
    Nice of you not to castigate those last line drawers just because they happened to be the ones caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
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  5. Muslim, and especially Arab, societies tend to be based around consanguineous, which results in ultra-high levels of clannishness. The clan becomes the first focal point of loyalty. The second focal point is the Ummah, the wider Islamic community under God. This leaves precious little room for any strong emotional attachments to the third focal point, the nation-state that Europeans and East Asians are both intimately familiar, but which is quite novel, strange, and foreign to most Muslims.

    Uncle Tolya,

    What about Iranians/Persians? In his magnus opus, Arnold Toynbee referred to the Persians as the first historical nation. As far as I know, Persians are as much a tribal/clanocentric society as the Scots or the Japanese.

    So I wonder how they fit into your Islamo-jihado-tribal theory of Muslim military incompetence.

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  6. To address some common counterarguments both here and elsewhere:

    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.

    Turks and Iranians have extremely strong emotional attachments to their countries. No Westerner can outdo them in terms of nationalism or patriotism.

    Egypt is likely as patriotic or nationalist as most Western states.

    (1) Talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things.

    76% of Afghans say in polls they’re willing to fight for their country, far more than the 18% of Germans. But its a safe bet to say the Germans will still make far superior soldiers, just like they did in both WW1 and WW2 when they consistently had higher combat effectiveness than even the Brits or the Americans.

    Again, I strongly recommend reading the linked Why Arabs Lose Wars for the primer on this topic.

    (2) There is of course a sliding scale in terms of effectiveness from Arabs to other Muslims, especially the Turkic peoples who have a more recent nomadic heritage. Even so it should be noted that the Azeris performed very poorly against the Armenians. (The Azeris are sort of a melange of Turkish and Persian genetically and culturaly).

    Note that Hezbollah is a non-state grouping so the factors that undermine Muslim state military effectiveness would not apply them to them. This enables them to be very effective relative to their own region..

    Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans?

    The Ottomans were (1) a Caliphate, not a classic nation-state; (2) I would not say their military performance overall was very impressive. If you look at the history of the Russo-Turkish wars, they usually lost despite having the numerical advantage. And the Russian Army was not a particularly good one by European standards.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The Ottomans had numerical superiority vis-à-vis all major opponents on all fronts.
    , @Mitleser
    Modern Germans have a different mentality than Germans from the first half of the 20th century.
    They really don't want to fight in wars, especially outside of Germany.
    That is why the German armed forces are undermanned and underfunded.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    The issue is not just with the nation-state but with combined arms warfare. It is, of course, is a function of nation-state but the greatest issue in fighting modern war (throughout centuries, that is) was that with Arabs. Technology alone does not provide for good war fighting skills--developed national military school does. It opens door to the Operational Art and Strategy. Warfare IS a cultural thing, it is one of manifestations of culture.
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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Generalizing to all muslims seems like a stretch. When you should compare to the global average, rather than just Europeans.

    How are Kurds though – obviously they’re fighting for their clan and home, but isn’t there also a good amount of fighters from Kurd areas who are not under attack, volunteering?

    Another example of good muslim soldiers would be the Moroccans etc. fighting in the French army, back in the day. They might’ve not been quite up to par with European soldiers (can’t say either way, haven’t looked into it), they certainly weren’t incompetent to the arab levels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    "Another example of good muslim soldiers would be the Moroccans etc. fighting in the French army, back in the day."

    Were they actually that great as soldiers? Only thing I've ever heard about them is how they engaged in orgies of rape, murder and looting in Italy during the 2nd world war. My English grandfather certainly wasn't impressed by them in a positive way (whereas he seems to have had a very positive opinion about the Poles fighting at Montecassino...and actually admired the quality of German equipment like the 88 flak cannon).
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  8. @Anatoly Karlin
    To address some common counterarguments both here and elsewhere:

    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.
     

    Turks and Iranians have extremely strong emotional attachments to their countries. No Westerner can outdo them in terms of nationalism or patriotism.

    Egypt is likely as patriotic or nationalist as most Western states.
     
    (1) Talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things.

    76% of Afghans say in polls they're willing to fight for their country, far more than the 18% of Germans. But its a safe bet to say the Germans will still make far superior soldiers, just like they did in both WW1 and WW2 when they consistently had higher combat effectiveness than even the Brits or the Americans.

    Again, I strongly recommend reading the linked Why Arabs Lose Wars for the primer on this topic.

    (2) There is of course a sliding scale in terms of effectiveness from Arabs to other Muslims, especially the Turkic peoples who have a more recent nomadic heritage. Even so it should be noted that the Azeris performed very poorly against the Armenians. (The Azeris are sort of a melange of Turkish and Persian genetically and culturaly).

    Note that Hezbollah is a non-state grouping so the factors that undermine Muslim state military effectiveness would not apply them to them. This enables them to be very effective relative to their own region..

    Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans?
     
    The Ottomans were (1) a Caliphate, not a classic nation-state; (2) I would not say their military performance overall was very impressive. If you look at the history of the Russo-Turkish wars, they usually lost despite having the numerical advantage. And the Russian Army was not a particularly good one by European standards.

    The Ottomans had numerical superiority vis-à-vis all major opponents on all fronts.

    Read More
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  9. Sean says:

    Er, the Viet Cong were not fighting for God and they fought better than the South Vietnamese army I think. There are these things called nations and people fight for them against imperialists and their running dogs.

    The western way of war was a result of Protestant Military revolution and stoicism

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/a-crack-in-the-stoic-armor/?_r=0
    The Stoic doctrine is essentially about reducing vulnerability. And it starts off where Aristotle leaves off. Aristotle insists that happiness depends to some degree on chance and prosperity. Though the primary component of happiness is virtue — and that, a matter of one’s own discipline and effort — realizing virtue in the world goes beyond one’s effort. Actions that succeed and relationships that endure and are reciprocal depend upon more than one’s own goodness. For the Stoics, this makes happiness far too dicey a matter. And so in their revision, virtue, and virtue alone, is sufficient for happiness. Virtue itself becomes purified, based on reason only, and shorn of ordinary emotions, like fear and grief that cling to objects beyond our control.

    In the military, even those who have never laid eyes on a page of Epictetus, still live as if they have. To suck it up is to move beyond grieving and keep fighting; it is to stare death down in a death-saturated place; it is to face one more deployment after two or three or four already. It is hard to imagine a popular philosophy better suited to deprivation and constant subjection to stressors.

    And yet in the more than 30 interviews I conducted with soldiers who have returned from the long current wars, what I heard was the wish to let go of the Stoic armor. They wanted to feel and process the loss. They wanted to register the complex inner moral landscape of war by finding some measure of empathy with their own emotions. One retired Army major put it flatly to me, “I’ve been sucking it up for 25 years, and I’m tired of it.” For some, like this officer, the war after the war is unrelenting. It is about psychological trauma and multiple suicide attempts, exacerbated by his own sense of shame in not being the Stoic warrior that he thought he could and should be. He went to war to prove himself, but came home emasculated.

    Arabs are different.

    https://www.traditionalright.com/mormons-and-jihadis-parallel-revolts-against-the-modern-world/ William Lind: Hegghammer also spoke about the tendency of Islamist fighters to weep openly, an action mirroring their tendency to declare their “love” for their brothers.3 He writes: “It is curious, for example, that Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi should be known simultaneously as al-dhabbi (the slaughterer), and al-baki (he who weeps a lot).” He continues that “These ‘soft’ activities pose a big social science puzzle, in that they defy expectations [of groups such as ISIS]”.

    Beyond this question of “hard men doing soft things”, as Hegghammer calls it, such behavior also calls to my mind an interesting parallel, as it reminds me greatly of the Mormon patriarchs I grew up around, who were equally given to such proclamations, and equally comfortable with crying publicly. [...] In a kind of round-about agreement with feminists, I concur that men must be quite confident in their masculinity to weep openly in front of other men. However, this kind of confidence does not come from a wholesale rejection or “rethinking” of masculinity, as our liberal contemporaries constantly harp on, but rather from an embracing of masculinity. When you have fought other men with your bare hands, when you have looked down the barrel of an opponent’s gun, when you have sired eight children, when you have a close-knit group of male friends who respect you and your prowess as a man, that is when you feel confident enough in your masculinity to weep openly [...] As Lee Harris states in The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat To The West, “While we think little further than our retirement, they think in terms of centuries–what, however, do centuries mean to us anymore? In the long run, we’re all dead–so who cares about the long-term fate of the West? Finally, while we raise our children to have contempt for the very traditions that created the Western cultures of reason, they are raising their children to be willing to die to keep their traditions alive.”. [...] As groups who believe in traditional notions of masculinity and gender roles, Mormons and jihadis are both in opposition to our modern world. Multicultural-corporatist society has deemed masculine young men the enemy. But unlike other young men, who deal with this existential crisis through a focus on alcohol, pornography, video games, and other forms of consumption and debauchery, young Mormon and Islamic men stand fast to their values, and in doing so stand in firm opposition to society.

    Post WW2 Germans never had a resistance movement, their traditional philosophy and method of war while suited to conquering Russia was very fragile and enabled the total defeat of their country. Germans are vulnerable in a way that Arab warfare was not. Afghanistan remains undefeated. Nassim Taleb becomes apoplectic when Jihadists say Islamic State is anti-fragile, but it is. They cannot be defeated.

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  10. @Anonymous
    Generalizing to all muslims seems like a stretch. When you should compare to the global average, rather than just Europeans.

    How are Kurds though - obviously they're fighting for their clan and home, but isn't there also a good amount of fighters from Kurd areas who are not under attack, volunteering?


    Another example of good muslim soldiers would be the Moroccans etc. fighting in the French army, back in the day. They might've not been quite up to par with European soldiers (can't say either way, haven't looked into it), they certainly weren't incompetent to the arab levels.

    “Another example of good muslim soldiers would be the Moroccans etc. fighting in the French army, back in the day.”

    Were they actually that great as soldiers? Only thing I’ve ever heard about them is how they engaged in orgies of rape, murder and looting in Italy during the 2nd world war. My English grandfather certainly wasn’t impressed by them in a positive way (whereas he seems to have had a very positive opinion about the Poles fighting at Montecassino…and actually admired the quality of German equipment like the 88 flak cannon).

    Read More
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  11. Arabs are also incredibly lazy and don’t believe in preventive maintenance (really important for things like jets and tanks) beyond “in’shallah it’ll work.”

    Read More
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  12. Mitleser says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    To address some common counterarguments both here and elsewhere:

    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.
     

    Turks and Iranians have extremely strong emotional attachments to their countries. No Westerner can outdo them in terms of nationalism or patriotism.

    Egypt is likely as patriotic or nationalist as most Western states.
     
    (1) Talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things.

    76% of Afghans say in polls they're willing to fight for their country, far more than the 18% of Germans. But its a safe bet to say the Germans will still make far superior soldiers, just like they did in both WW1 and WW2 when they consistently had higher combat effectiveness than even the Brits or the Americans.

    Again, I strongly recommend reading the linked Why Arabs Lose Wars for the primer on this topic.

    (2) There is of course a sliding scale in terms of effectiveness from Arabs to other Muslims, especially the Turkic peoples who have a more recent nomadic heritage. Even so it should be noted that the Azeris performed very poorly against the Armenians. (The Azeris are sort of a melange of Turkish and Persian genetically and culturaly).

    Note that Hezbollah is a non-state grouping so the factors that undermine Muslim state military effectiveness would not apply them to them. This enables them to be very effective relative to their own region..

    Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans?
     
    The Ottomans were (1) a Caliphate, not a classic nation-state; (2) I would not say their military performance overall was very impressive. If you look at the history of the Russo-Turkish wars, they usually lost despite having the numerical advantage. And the Russian Army was not a particularly good one by European standards.

    Modern Germans have a different mentality than Germans from the first half of the 20th century.
    They really don’t want to fight in wars, especially outside of Germany.
    That is why the German armed forces are undermanned and underfunded.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    No youth bulge these days. Where one kid families are the norm the ability to shrug-off significant casualties is very limited.
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  13. Glossy says: • Website
    @Numinous
    The phenomenon this article seeks to analyze is an interesting one, but it assumes a particular explanation as proven (Muslims can't fight except for clan or God) and then runs away with it. Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans? Much of the British fighting force in its colonial wars in the 19th century and even the two world wars was Indian, a very large part of whom were Muslims (now mostly in Pakistan). I haven't read anything to suggest they were poor fighters. The mercenary instinct was probably a big factor, but you can't manufacture a good fighter purely out of money. Loyalty to the entity they are fighting for is key.

    As many historians and contemporary observers have analyzed, much of the problems of the Middle East can be traced back to World War I and the wholesale manufacturing of "nations" based on no good reason. And then the Israeli state was formed in a way that was very traumatic for the Levantine Arabs, so the "nations" formed after WW1 never had time to settle. Afghanistan was never historically a country; it was a shared (and disputed) frontier zone between the Indian and Persian cultural spheres. After the advent of Islam, it became a playground for warlords (the Mughal founder Babur being one of them) and a source for mercenaries, which it has remained since then. The British and Russians fought their Great Game on its soil during the 19th century, so it's not like it was a stable "nation" then either.

    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena? You all take a snapshot of the present day world and then spin theories around it as if that snapshot represented an ephemeral truth.

    East Indians are even worse at warfare than Arabs. This is beacuse they’re somewhat more clannish and much less masculine than Arabs. Indian history is a long story of foreign invasions and occupations.

    The Brits used Ghurkas from Nepal in their wars. I’m sure this was because they’re more war-like than most sub-continental groups. I think Sikhs are also relatively war-like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Numinous
    A brief history lesson:

    The British used troops from every corner of India during their 3-and-a-half century long presence (including 1-2 centuries of rule, depending on which part of the country you are talking about.) When their base was in the south (i.e., the East India Company), they largely employed local troops. When they conquered Bengal (which included Bihar and parts of UP), their troops were almost entirely drawn from those areas. After these troops rebelled in 1857, the British used Sikhs (who had earlier been conquered using the Bengal troops) to suppress the rebellion. To ensure continued Sikh loyalty and service, they created the self-serving myth of the Sikhs (and Punjabi Muslims a.k.a. Pakistanis) being "martial" and people from the east and south being wusses. Gurkhas were then as now been hardy mountain people, used to the outdoors, and dirt poor. So hiring them en masse for the army made good sense for both parties.

    A lot of colonial literature was written with the explicit purpose of maintaining and deifying British rule over India, whether or not those writings had any factual basis. Of course, such literature serves a similar purpose for the HBD crowd.

    Historically speaking, Indians rarely considered themselves a unified country from Punjab to Tamil Nadu. When Punjab was being pummeled by Muslim invaders back in the day, it made as little sense for kingdoms based in the south to rush to their aid as it would have made for Harold Hardrada's troops to rush to the aid of the Byzantine Anatolians. Different kingdoms were happy to fight their internecine battles and ally with foreigners to stab their (more adversarial) beighbors in the back. That lovely process continued until the British rule unified India, and educated Indians got infected with the spirit of nationalism. None of this means India did not have fighting ability. The "kshatriya" class was very similar to the Spartiates in its upbringing and training. That likely helped spread traditional Hindu culture spread all across the subcontinent and into SE Asia. But later on, this fighting spirit got channeled inwards and all contact with foreigners considered impure. Also, Buddhism and Jainism made a virtue out of pacifism and likely blunted this fighting spirit, but I'm not sure how much of a factor that was.
    , @jimmyriddle
    Indian troops performed pretty well in Burma, North Africa and Italy.

    The British recruited from minorities for the same reason that Soviet MVD units were heavily Central Asian.
    , @singh
    Is that why the entire ea worships us, while superior whites & worship abrahamic dick?

    You can't even protect your native culture from destruction, we can claim to have started you.

    All the devas, jain tirthankars, bhudda, Sikh gurus etc & most of the rishis are from the same jaati or tribe.

    So why mix it i.e give our women away.

    We ruled up to caspian & balkans before. Who are you? Lol someone with nothing but cuckxitianity & a nigger brother in law.
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  14. Glossy says: • Website
    @Kamran
    We turks (and anatolians in general) have always been good fighters and infantrymen, despite being just as clannish as arabs.

    In terms of genetics, IQ, clannishness and a lot of other things Turkey and the Balkans are transitional areas between Europe and the Middle East. So of course Turkish military effectiveness would be somewhere between Arab and European ones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kamran
    Glossy, deep genetic ancestry is not informative in this discussion, since most of the social differences we are talking about here arose in the last 2000 years :).

    It is of course possible that there are paleolithic influences at work on middle-eastern/european personality characteristics, but since Europeans and middle easterners share a shit-ton of ancestry dating back the early paleolithic and neolithic, and bronze age movements of peoples, it is unlikely.
    , @Kamran
    Glossy, deep genetic ancestry is not informative in this discussion, since most of the social differences we are talking about here arose in the last 2000 years :).

    It is of course possible that there are paleolithic influences at work on middle-eastern/european personality characteristics, but since Europeans and middle easterners share a shit-ton of ancestry dating back the early paleolithic and neolithic, and bronze age movements of peoples, it is unlikely.
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  15. Kamran says:
    @Glossy
    In terms of genetics, IQ, clannishness and a lot of other things Turkey and the Balkans are transitional areas between Europe and the Middle East. So of course Turkish military effectiveness would be somewhere between Arab and European ones.

    Glossy, deep genetic ancestry is not informative in this discussion, since most of the social differences we are talking about here arose in the last 2000 years :).

    It is of course possible that there are paleolithic influences at work on middle-eastern/european personality characteristics, but since Europeans and middle easterners share a shit-ton of ancestry dating back the early paleolithic and neolithic, and bronze age movements of peoples, it is unlikely.

    Read More
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  16. Kamran says:
    @Glossy
    In terms of genetics, IQ, clannishness and a lot of other things Turkey and the Balkans are transitional areas between Europe and the Middle East. So of course Turkish military effectiveness would be somewhere between Arab and European ones.

    Glossy, deep genetic ancestry is not informative in this discussion, since most of the social differences we are talking about here arose in the last 2000 years :).

    It is of course possible that there are paleolithic influences at work on middle-eastern/european personality characteristics, but since Europeans and middle easterners share a shit-ton of ancestry dating back the early paleolithic and neolithic, and bronze age movements of peoples, it is unlikely.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Europeans and Middle Easterners are much closer to each other than either group is to East Asians or Blacks, yet they also differ a lot from each other. Have you taken a 23AndMe test? I have. It differentiates between Middle Easterners and Europeans ad well as among various kinds of either. And it does it correctly. The info I got from it matched my family history very well.
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  17. Glossy says: • Website
    @Kamran
    Glossy, deep genetic ancestry is not informative in this discussion, since most of the social differences we are talking about here arose in the last 2000 years :).

    It is of course possible that there are paleolithic influences at work on middle-eastern/european personality characteristics, but since Europeans and middle easterners share a shit-ton of ancestry dating back the early paleolithic and neolithic, and bronze age movements of peoples, it is unlikely.

    Europeans and Middle Easterners are much closer to each other than either group is to East Asians or Blacks, yet they also differ a lot from each other. Have you taken a 23AndMe test? I have. It differentiates between Middle Easterners and Europeans ad well as among various kinds of either. And it does it correctly. The info I got from it matched my family history very well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kamran
    No I haven't taken a 23AndMe test, although I follow several pop-gen blogs closesly, like Davidski's and Razib's.

    I'm pretty sure of my ancestry stretching back 4 generations: All eastern anatolian. One Armenian grandmother. Not much else that's interesting.

    Yes, 23andme does show continental ancestry, but it doesn't breakdown that ancestry into prehistoric genetic components.

    For example, if you are European and you want to know how much neolithic middle eastern ancestry you have, the 23andme test will give you 0% middle eastern ancestry. That's because it's algorithm will fit your genomic information cozily among other Europeans who have submitted their genomes for analysis to the company. You may easily be 70% neolithic middle eastern in ancestry, but if other Europeans are also 70% neolithic middle eastern farmer in ancestry, you'll have no way of knowing.

    Polako's K12,K13, K14 series of ancestry tests are much more informative, since they take ancient DNA into account.
    , @5371
    23andme is bullshit. What would you expect from Brin's moll? You'd be better advised to use an ouija board.
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  18. Kamran says:
    @Glossy
    Europeans and Middle Easterners are much closer to each other than either group is to East Asians or Blacks, yet they also differ a lot from each other. Have you taken a 23AndMe test? I have. It differentiates between Middle Easterners and Europeans ad well as among various kinds of either. And it does it correctly. The info I got from it matched my family history very well.

    No I haven’t taken a 23AndMe test, although I follow several pop-gen blogs closesly, like Davidski’s and Razib’s.

    I’m pretty sure of my ancestry stretching back 4 generations: All eastern anatolian. One Armenian grandmother. Not much else that’s interesting.

    Yes, 23andme does show continental ancestry, but it doesn’t breakdown that ancestry into prehistoric genetic components.

    For example, if you are European and you want to know how much neolithic middle eastern ancestry you have, the 23andme test will give you 0% middle eastern ancestry. That’s because it’s algorithm will fit your genomic information cozily among other Europeans who have submitted their genomes for analysis to the company. You may easily be 70% neolithic middle eastern in ancestry, but if other Europeans are also 70% neolithic middle eastern farmer in ancestry, you’ll have no way of knowing.

    Polako’s K12,K13, K14 series of ancestry tests are much more informative, since they take ancient DNA into account.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The differences between Turks and, say, the Irish, are large enough for someone to be able to tell the two groups apart facially with what, 90% certainty? We could crank up the certainty to 100% if we compared Swedes and Iraqis. If you were given pictures of faces, you'd know who's who. And 23AndMe would tell them apart with 100% certainty as well.

    What does that tell us? The genetic difference is large. Some of it is prehistoric, some of it more recent. But the overall amount of difference is large enough to account for all sorts of personality differences.
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  19. Glossy says: • Website
    @Kamran
    No I haven't taken a 23AndMe test, although I follow several pop-gen blogs closesly, like Davidski's and Razib's.

    I'm pretty sure of my ancestry stretching back 4 generations: All eastern anatolian. One Armenian grandmother. Not much else that's interesting.

    Yes, 23andme does show continental ancestry, but it doesn't breakdown that ancestry into prehistoric genetic components.

    For example, if you are European and you want to know how much neolithic middle eastern ancestry you have, the 23andme test will give you 0% middle eastern ancestry. That's because it's algorithm will fit your genomic information cozily among other Europeans who have submitted their genomes for analysis to the company. You may easily be 70% neolithic middle eastern in ancestry, but if other Europeans are also 70% neolithic middle eastern farmer in ancestry, you'll have no way of knowing.

    Polako's K12,K13, K14 series of ancestry tests are much more informative, since they take ancient DNA into account.

    The differences between Turks and, say, the Irish, are large enough for someone to be able to tell the two groups apart facially with what, 90% certainty? We could crank up the certainty to 100% if we compared Swedes and Iraqis. If you were given pictures of faces, you’d know who’s who. And 23AndMe would tell them apart with 100% certainty as well.

    What does that tell us? The genetic difference is large. Some of it is prehistoric, some of it more recent. But the overall amount of difference is large enough to account for all sorts of personality differences.

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  20. Numinous says:
    @Glossy
    East Indians are even worse at warfare than Arabs. This is beacuse they're somewhat more clannish and much less masculine than Arabs. Indian history is a long story of foreign invasions and occupations.

    The Brits used Ghurkas from Nepal in their wars. I'm sure this was because they're more war-like than most sub-continental groups. I think Sikhs are also relatively war-like.

    A brief history lesson:

    The British used troops from every corner of India during their 3-and-a-half century long presence (including 1-2 centuries of rule, depending on which part of the country you are talking about.) When their base was in the south (i.e., the East India Company), they largely employed local troops. When they conquered Bengal (which included Bihar and parts of UP), their troops were almost entirely drawn from those areas. After these troops rebelled in 1857, the British used Sikhs (who had earlier been conquered using the Bengal troops) to suppress the rebellion. To ensure continued Sikh loyalty and service, they created the self-serving myth of the Sikhs (and Punjabi Muslims a.k.a. Pakistanis) being “martial” and people from the east and south being wusses. Gurkhas were then as now been hardy mountain people, used to the outdoors, and dirt poor. So hiring them en masse for the army made good sense for both parties.

    A lot of colonial literature was written with the explicit purpose of maintaining and deifying British rule over India, whether or not those writings had any factual basis. Of course, such literature serves a similar purpose for the HBD crowd.

    Historically speaking, Indians rarely considered themselves a unified country from Punjab to Tamil Nadu. When Punjab was being pummeled by Muslim invaders back in the day, it made as little sense for kingdoms based in the south to rush to their aid as it would have made for Harold Hardrada’s troops to rush to the aid of the Byzantine Anatolians. Different kingdoms were happy to fight their internecine battles and ally with foreigners to stab their (more adversarial) beighbors in the back. That lovely process continued until the British rule unified India, and educated Indians got infected with the spirit of nationalism. None of this means India did not have fighting ability. The “kshatriya” class was very similar to the Spartiates in its upbringing and training. That likely helped spread traditional Hindu culture spread all across the subcontinent and into SE Asia. But later on, this fighting spirit got channeled inwards and all contact with foreigners considered impure. Also, Buddhism and Jainism made a virtue out of pacifism and likely blunted this fighting spirit, but I’m not sure how much of a factor that was.

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    • Replies: @singh
    Laughably hilarious as all of those kingdoms were ruled by bharatvanshis. So unity by blood
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  21. Glossy says: • Website
    @Numinous
    The phenomenon this article seeks to analyze is an interesting one, but it assumes a particular explanation as proven (Muslims can't fight except for clan or God) and then runs away with it. Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans? Much of the British fighting force in its colonial wars in the 19th century and even the two world wars was Indian, a very large part of whom were Muslims (now mostly in Pakistan). I haven't read anything to suggest they were poor fighters. The mercenary instinct was probably a big factor, but you can't manufacture a good fighter purely out of money. Loyalty to the entity they are fighting for is key.

    As many historians and contemporary observers have analyzed, much of the problems of the Middle East can be traced back to World War I and the wholesale manufacturing of "nations" based on no good reason. And then the Israeli state was formed in a way that was very traumatic for the Levantine Arabs, so the "nations" formed after WW1 never had time to settle. Afghanistan was never historically a country; it was a shared (and disputed) frontier zone between the Indian and Persian cultural spheres. After the advent of Islam, it became a playground for warlords (the Mughal founder Babur being one of them) and a source for mercenaries, which it has remained since then. The British and Russians fought their Great Game on its soil during the 19th century, so it's not like it was a stable "nation" then either.

    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena? You all take a snapshot of the present day world and then spin theories around it as if that snapshot represented an ephemeral truth.

    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena?

    As a non-HBDer, shouldn’t you have a (learned!) aversion to describing any behavioral trait as congenital?

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    • Agree: Seminumerical
    • Replies: @Numinous
    Sorry, I was just fooling around. I need to learn not to let the snarky comments slip out.

    It would be inaccurate to categorize me as a non-HBDer. Call me an agnostic. To me, it is clear that current evidence supports a hereditarian (genetic) basis in cognitive and behavioral traits, but the evidence for a racial basis is not clear cut (to me at least), because I see various other variables (geography, institutions, historical churn) that are common to people of a common racial heritage that have not been satisfactorily eliminated, leaving genes as the sole basis to explain such traits. I am open to accepting a racial basis for such traits if more solid evidence emerges in the future.
    , @AP
    Sort of OT, but relevant to something you've been avoiding:

    Yet another Galician won yet another chess competition.

    http://uatoday.tv/sport/ukrainian-natalya-buksa-wins-world-chess-championship-in-russia-494155.html

    She is from Lviv:

    http://zik.ua/pl/news/2015/09/16/lwowianka_natalia_buksa_mistrzyni_wiata_w_szachach_juniorw_do_lat_20_624884

    Add her to Mariya Muzichuk from Lviv oblast, who is the world female chess champion, and Vassily Ivanchuk, former world # 2 (1997), from a Galician village.
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  22. 5371 says:
    @Glossy
    Europeans and Middle Easterners are much closer to each other than either group is to East Asians or Blacks, yet they also differ a lot from each other. Have you taken a 23AndMe test? I have. It differentiates between Middle Easterners and Europeans ad well as among various kinds of either. And it does it correctly. The info I got from it matched my family history very well.

    23andme is bullshit. What would you expect from Brin’s moll? You’d be better advised to use an ouija board.

    Read More
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  23. Vendetta says:

    Hezbollah seems to be the great exception among the Arabs these days. Not only are they brave, spirited warriors, but they also have a level of discipline and professionalism probably unseen outside the Jordanian and maybe the Egyptian special forces, neither of which are remotely as battle-tested.

    Best light infantry in the Arab world, hands down, with a strategic rocket arsenal and an excellent system of concealed fortifications on their home turf to back it up.

    Judging by the caliber of training Hezbollah has demonstrated, the Iranians must have some highly professional troops as well. Between that, their creative asymmetric tactics, and the fanatical Shia fighting spirit we all know of from the Iran-Iraq War, they’d be a highly formidable opponent on their own turf, regardless of the obscolescence of their arms and lack of heavy equipment.

    Turkish Army has always been tough as well and is trained and armed with NATO gear, they’re the other regional heavyweight (not counting Israel).

    Yemenis are the toughest, most rugged individual Arab warriors, likely even more so than Hezbollah, but they’re also the most clannish. None of them would have the discipline or organization of a Hezbollah force. They’re the closest Arabs you could find to the Taliban.

    The Kurds would be Hezbollah’s only real competition as best light infantry in the Middle East. Clannish as well but better organized than the Yemenis. They’re not Arabs, though.

    Nor are the Chechens, who are up there as the best shock troops ISIS has to offer.

    Israel, of course, continues to hold the advantages of best hardware and strongest air force. The quality of its infantry though…these are not the same Israelis who fought like Spartans in the Golan Heights in 1973. They’re a whole new generation, and outside the elite units like the Golani and the paratroopers, they’re a lot softer. The reports of the 2006 war say it all. The Israeli regulars were uncharacteristically cautious; casualty-averse to an extent that would even have the Pentagon shaking its head.

    The special and elite units were still as good as you’d expect, but if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon, no air support, no artillery or tanks, I would bet on Hezbollah running them right out of town.

    Unless the Israelis have made some drastic changes since 2006, I’d say Hezbollah is fielding infantry that are man-for-man as good as Israel’s (and thus better than Israel’s when they’re on their home ground in Lebanon). And that’s a situation, fighting Arabs man-for-man as good as they are, that they haven’t experienced since they fought the Jordanian Arab Legion with its British officers in 1948.

    I’d say it has much, if not more to do with Israel’s hesitation to start another war with Hezbollah than the much-hyped rocket threat.

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    "if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon"

    This sounds like an episode of:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msFljrJ7M4A
    , @Anonymous
    I am not sure if I agree regarding the superiority of Hezbollah light infantry. For one, they are not doing all that well against ISIS in Syria. Heavy casualties and not all that much progress on the offensive. Regarding Israel comparison, historically taking an Israeli soldier and an Arab soldier, you would not get a huge divergence. It's when you get above the Company and Battalion level that you begin to see the real difference in war fighting and why the Israelis are vastly superior to their peers. For all the vaunted success of Hezbollah in 2006, at best they were able to achieve a draw. Israel's infantry forces performed well in the Gaza offensives, so to discount them as "soft" is premature.
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  24. Numinous says:
    @Glossy
    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena?

    As a non-HBDer, shouldn't you have a (learned!) aversion to describing any behavioral trait as congenital?

    Sorry, I was just fooling around. I need to learn not to let the snarky comments slip out.

    It would be inaccurate to categorize me as a non-HBDer. Call me an agnostic. To me, it is clear that current evidence supports a hereditarian (genetic) basis in cognitive and behavioral traits, but the evidence for a racial basis is not clear cut (to me at least), because I see various other variables (geography, institutions, historical churn) that are common to people of a common racial heritage that have not been satisfactorily eliminated, leaving genes as the sole basis to explain such traits. I am open to accepting a racial basis for such traits if more solid evidence emerges in the future.

    Read More
    • Agree: Vendetta
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  25. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    To address some common counterarguments both here and elsewhere:

    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.
     

    Turks and Iranians have extremely strong emotional attachments to their countries. No Westerner can outdo them in terms of nationalism or patriotism.

    Egypt is likely as patriotic or nationalist as most Western states.
     
    (1) Talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things.

    76% of Afghans say in polls they're willing to fight for their country, far more than the 18% of Germans. But its a safe bet to say the Germans will still make far superior soldiers, just like they did in both WW1 and WW2 when they consistently had higher combat effectiveness than even the Brits or the Americans.

    Again, I strongly recommend reading the linked Why Arabs Lose Wars for the primer on this topic.

    (2) There is of course a sliding scale in terms of effectiveness from Arabs to other Muslims, especially the Turkic peoples who have a more recent nomadic heritage. Even so it should be noted that the Azeris performed very poorly against the Armenians. (The Azeris are sort of a melange of Turkish and Persian genetically and culturaly).

    Note that Hezbollah is a non-state grouping so the factors that undermine Muslim state military effectiveness would not apply them to them. This enables them to be very effective relative to their own region..

    Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans?
     
    The Ottomans were (1) a Caliphate, not a classic nation-state; (2) I would not say their military performance overall was very impressive. If you look at the history of the Russo-Turkish wars, they usually lost despite having the numerical advantage. And the Russian Army was not a particularly good one by European standards.

    The issue is not just with the nation-state but with combined arms warfare. It is, of course, is a function of nation-state but the greatest issue in fighting modern war (throughout centuries, that is) was that with Arabs. Technology alone does not provide for good war fighting skills–developed national military school does. It opens door to the Operational Art and Strategy. Warfare IS a cultural thing, it is one of manifestations of culture.

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  26. Deduction says:
    @Mitleser
    That is a generalization.
    Iranians seems to be decent and the Iranian-trained (Arab) Hezbollah in Lebanon is not incompetent either.
    Turks are not bad either.

    All good Arab armies who fought for their state as opposed to God were slaves. Indeed the whole Arab ruling caste under the royal family were slaves. This circumvented the Arab impulse fot nepotistic corruptions and tribalism.

    Mainstream war historians like John Keegan have recognised this for years. Indeed the logistical benefits of the camel explain Arab conquest very well and outside of Europe there has never really been national armies which stand and fight opposing each other – it is a European model of warfare.

    Everyone else attacks the other side’s weak spot, their civilians or sends a champion or fights practically ceremoniously by scampering quickly.

    The Japanese are a weird exception.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    Tell it to the Mongols or Tamarlaine.
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  27. @Mitleser
    Modern Germans have a different mentality than Germans from the first half of the 20th century.
    They really don't want to fight in wars, especially outside of Germany.
    That is why the German armed forces are undermanned and underfunded.

    No youth bulge these days. Where one kid families are the norm the ability to shrug-off significant casualties is very limited.

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  28. @Glossy
    East Indians are even worse at warfare than Arabs. This is beacuse they're somewhat more clannish and much less masculine than Arabs. Indian history is a long story of foreign invasions and occupations.

    The Brits used Ghurkas from Nepal in their wars. I'm sure this was because they're more war-like than most sub-continental groups. I think Sikhs are also relatively war-like.

    Indian troops performed pretty well in Burma, North Africa and Italy.

    The British recruited from minorities for the same reason that Soviet MVD units were heavily Central Asian.

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  29. @Vendetta
    Hezbollah seems to be the great exception among the Arabs these days. Not only are they brave, spirited warriors, but they also have a level of discipline and professionalism probably unseen outside the Jordanian and maybe the Egyptian special forces, neither of which are remotely as battle-tested.

    Best light infantry in the Arab world, hands down, with a strategic rocket arsenal and an excellent system of concealed fortifications on their home turf to back it up.

    Judging by the caliber of training Hezbollah has demonstrated, the Iranians must have some highly professional troops as well. Between that, their creative asymmetric tactics, and the fanatical Shia fighting spirit we all know of from the Iran-Iraq War, they'd be a highly formidable opponent on their own turf, regardless of the obscolescence of their arms and lack of heavy equipment.

    Turkish Army has always been tough as well and is trained and armed with NATO gear, they're the other regional heavyweight (not counting Israel).

    Yemenis are the toughest, most rugged individual Arab warriors, likely even more so than Hezbollah, but they're also the most clannish. None of them would have the discipline or organization of a Hezbollah force. They're the closest Arabs you could find to the Taliban.

    The Kurds would be Hezbollah's only real competition as best light infantry in the Middle East. Clannish as well but better organized than the Yemenis. They're not Arabs, though.

    Nor are the Chechens, who are up there as the best shock troops ISIS has to offer.

    Israel, of course, continues to hold the advantages of best hardware and strongest air force. The quality of its infantry though...these are not the same Israelis who fought like Spartans in the Golan Heights in 1973. They're a whole new generation, and outside the elite units like the Golani and the paratroopers, they're a lot softer. The reports of the 2006 war say it all. The Israeli regulars were uncharacteristically cautious; casualty-averse to an extent that would even have the Pentagon shaking its head.

    The special and elite units were still as good as you'd expect, but if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon, no air support, no artillery or tanks, I would bet on Hezbollah running them right out of town.

    Unless the Israelis have made some drastic changes since 2006, I'd say Hezbollah is fielding infantry that are man-for-man as good as Israel's (and thus better than Israel's when they're on their home ground in Lebanon). And that's a situation, fighting Arabs man-for-man as good as they are, that they haven't experienced since they fought the Jordanian Arab Legion with its British officers in 1948.

    I'd say it has much, if not more to do with Israel's hesitation to start another war with Hezbollah than the much-hyped rocket threat.

    “if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon”

    This sounds like an episode of:

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Or you could post it to /r/whowouldwin. :)
    , @Vendetta
    Ouch. Yeah, might have strayed a little too far into that territory myself, but the fools on that show made their judgments based exclusively on weaponry. That's a dumb way to judge these things, especially in the modern era.

    Israel didn't win three wars with the Arabs on the basis of having a better assault rifle or even a better tank or fighter plane. And they didn't lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the "edge" in armaments either.
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  30. @Deduction
    All good Arab armies who fought for their state as opposed to God were slaves. Indeed the whole Arab ruling caste under the royal family were slaves. This circumvented the Arab impulse fot nepotistic corruptions and tribalism.

    Mainstream war historians like John Keegan have recognised this for years. Indeed the logistical benefits of the camel explain Arab conquest very well and outside of Europe there has never really been national armies which stand and fight opposing each other - it is a European model of warfare.

    Everyone else attacks the other side's weak spot, their civilians or sends a champion or fights practically ceremoniously by scampering quickly.

    The Japanese are a weird exception.

    Tell it to the Mongols or Tamarlaine.

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    • Replies: @Deduction

    Tell it to the Mongols or Tamarlaine
     
    The Mongols and Timurids tended to ride around on horseback firing arrows and only met in combat once the enemy was rendered ineffective, except in the case of their slave infantry.

    Which is exactly my point.

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  31. Yevardian says:

    I don’t want to sound like that raver Tom_R, but why even use the term Neocons at this late date? Why not just Jews?

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  32. anon says: • Disclaimer

    I think there’s a lot of truth is this but it’s a correlation.

    Clannish populations are generally very good at small-scale warfare but not so good at large scale warfare – in the same way they are good at small scale clan-sized competition generally and bad at large-scale organization generally.

    Arabs are particularly keen on cousin marriage so this effect is centered on Arabia and declines with distance.

    nb a lot of Arab/Muslim military success historically involved slave soldiers who didn’t have that clannish handicap and were effectively professional soldiers in an age of feudalism for example African slave Ghulams and European slave Janissaries

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghilman

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janissaries

    The slave soldiers could be used by the top guy to keep the tribes in line.

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  33. Deduction says:
    @jimmyriddle
    Tell it to the Mongols or Tamarlaine.

    Tell it to the Mongols or Tamarlaine

    The Mongols and Timurids tended to ride around on horseback firing arrows and only met in combat once the enemy was rendered ineffective, except in the case of their slave infantry.

    Which is exactly my point.

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  34. Just leaving a very good comment from Facebook here.

    A very interesting article by Anatoly Karlin

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/why-cant-muslims-fight/

    Also Karlin’s article provides a very interesting link to another article written by a US officer who has been involved in training missions in Arab states.

    http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

    My one objection to this piece is in the claims it makes about Soviet training of Arab armies in its penultimate paragraph. Here I am sorry to say the author allows cliches and stereotypes to influence his thinking.
    I read some years ago an account by a Soviet air force officer of his experiences providing training in Libya. He made almost the same criticisms as the US officer does: of a military deeply stratified by clan and caste, with senior ranks (including pilots) selected on the basis of their connections rather than proficiency, and of an arrogant contempt on the part of the senior ranks towards the lower ranks
    There was also a surprising indifference to equipment.
    I remember a particular passage about how senior Libyan officers expected their Russian advisers to undertake even the most basic maintenance duties for them rather than do them themselves. On one occasion a Libyan pilot parachuted out of a hugely expensive TU 22 bomber during a training exercise because of a minor technical malfunction, where a Soviet pilot would have first made a serious (and almost certainly successful) effort to save the aircraft.
    All this despite the undoubtedly sincere effort by Gaddafi and his closest associates to modernise Libya and to foster a spirit of egalitarianism there.
    All this brought to mind what actually happened during the 2011 Libyan civil war, when the fighting essentially came down to a struggle between lightly armed militias, with the all the huge amounts of heavy equipment Gaddafi had previously brought from the Soviets, too far deteriorated to be put to use.
    I would add that if one reads German accounts of the Italian army during the Second World War one comes across many of the same criticisms.
    Italy today it goes without saying is not like that at all. Since the 1940s it has evolved into a far less stratified and caste ridden society – and the Italian army no longer has the political role it once did. The Arabs are still stuck there.
    I would add that the same Soviet officer also carried out training in Cuba, where his experiences were completely different.
    As for why the Arabs seem stuck where the Italians once were, and where the Cubans never were, Karlin’s explanations about an absence of genuine national loyalties – as opposed to loyalties to the clan and the Ummah – seem to me as good as any.

    I agree with this commentator 100%, although considerations of space prevented me from making that point explicit (since it didn’t directly relate to this post anyway).

    I (well, a close friend) heard *exactly analogous* things in person in the 1990s, from a person who was a Soviet military adviser in Egypt back when Nasser was still cool with the Soviets.

    Read More
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  35. @jimmyriddle
    "if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon"

    This sounds like an episode of:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msFljrJ7M4A

    Or you could post it to /r/whowouldwin. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Choice excerpts from the Crooke and Perry's three part report on the 2006 war. Take with a grain of salt as they've got strong biases in favor of Palestine, but the facts on the ground say they can't be too far off the mark. The Israelis were not 'winning' when the ceasefire arrived.

    "Israeli troops looked unprepared, sloppy and demoralized," one former senior US commander noted. "This wasn’t the vaunted IDF that we saw in previous wars."

    "Reports from Lebanon underscore this point. Much to their surprise, Hezbollah commanders found that Israeli troops were poorly organized and disciplined. The only Israeli unit that performed up to standards was the Golani Brigade, according to Lebanese observers."

    "IDF commanders were also disturbed by the performance of their troops, noting a signal lack of discipline even among its best-trained regular soldiers. The reserves were worse, and IDF commanders hesitated to put them into battle."

    "Moreover, and more significant, Hezbollah’s fighters proved to be dedicated and disciplined. Using intelligence assets to pinpoint Israeli infantry penetrations, they proved the equal of Israel’s best fighting units. In some cases, Israeli units were defeated on the field of battle, forced into sudden retreats or forced to rely on air cover to save elements from being overrun."
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  36. iffen says:

    the undoubtedly sincere effort by Gaddafi and his closest associates to modernise Libya and to foster a spirit of egalitarianism there.

    Really?

    Read More
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  37. Vendetta says:
    @jimmyriddle
    "if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon"

    This sounds like an episode of:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msFljrJ7M4A

    Ouch. Yeah, might have strayed a little too far into that territory myself, but the fools on that show made their judgments based exclusively on weaponry. That’s a dumb way to judge these things, especially in the modern era.

    Israel didn’t win three wars with the Arabs on the basis of having a better assault rifle or even a better tank or fighter plane. And they didn’t lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the “edge” in armaments either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Unzerker

    And [Israel] didn’t lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the “edge” in armaments either.
     
    They lost? I was glued to my monitor for the entire duration of the war and didn't notice any of that. Hezbollah has been awfully quiet ever since their "victory". Maybe you should inform them that they have actually won.

    Or maybe they are silent because their rocket arsenal turned out to be almost useless and most of their home turf was leveled to the ground.
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  38. Vendetta says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Or you could post it to /r/whowouldwin. :)

    Choice excerpts from the Crooke and Perry’s three part report on the 2006 war. Take with a grain of salt as they’ve got strong biases in favor of Palestine, but the facts on the ground say they can’t be too far off the mark. The Israelis were not ‘winning’ when the ceasefire arrived.

    “Israeli troops looked unprepared, sloppy and demoralized,” one former senior US commander noted. “This wasn’t the vaunted IDF that we saw in previous wars.”

    “Reports from Lebanon underscore this point. Much to their surprise, Hezbollah commanders found that Israeli troops were poorly organized and disciplined. The only Israeli unit that performed up to standards was the Golani Brigade, according to Lebanese observers.”

    “IDF commanders were also disturbed by the performance of their troops, noting a signal lack of discipline even among its best-trained regular soldiers. The reserves were worse, and IDF commanders hesitated to put them into battle.”

    “Moreover, and more significant, Hezbollah’s fighters proved to be dedicated and disciplined. Using intelligence assets to pinpoint Israeli infantry penetrations, they proved the equal of Israel’s best fighting units. In some cases, Israeli units were defeated on the field of battle, forced into sudden retreats or forced to rely on air cover to save elements from being overrun.”

    Read More
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  39. wrd9 says:
    @Kamran
    We turks (and anatolians in general) have always been good fighters and infantrymen, despite being just as clannish as arabs.

    The Turks have always been good at genocide.

    Read More
    • Replies: @kamran
    Before genocide, you must subdue your enemies armies....

    No subdue. No genocide.
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  40. One thing that should be added is that not all Arabs are Muslims, especially not in Syria. And Christians are the ones who tend to support the current regime. They seem quite prepared to fight “for the Motherland, for Assad”, if only because the alternative for them is so much worse.

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  41. kamran says:
    @wrd9
    The Turks have always been good at genocide.

    Before genocide, you must subdue your enemies armies….

    No subdue. No genocide.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Deduction
    The best Ottoman soldiers were not Turk.
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  42. AP says:
    @Glossy
    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena?

    As a non-HBDer, shouldn't you have a (learned!) aversion to describing any behavioral trait as congenital?

    Sort of OT, but relevant to something you’ve been avoiding:

    Yet another Galician won yet another chess competition.

    http://uatoday.tv/sport/ukrainian-natalya-buksa-wins-world-chess-championship-in-russia-494155.html

    She is from Lviv:

    http://zik.ua/pl/news/2015/09/16/lwowianka_natalia_buksa_mistrzyni_wiata_w_szachach_juniorw_do_lat_20_624884

    Add her to Mariya Muzichuk from Lviv oblast, who is the world female chess champion, and Vassily Ivanchuk, former world # 2 (1997), from a Galician village.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    It's a bit of anecdotal evidence. Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.

    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago. Punishing or ignoring excellence, saying that recognizing excellence is unfair, pretending that everyone is equal, giving everyone participation trophies - that's as leftist today as it was in 1917. And Stalin put a stop to it.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It's not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.

    0 out of 28 in Norse before 1100, with the vast majority of the letters coming from Novgorod, the most Varangian city in the country - to me that's informative. We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.

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  43. AP says:

    Anyone know about the fighting abilities of Arab Christians? They are obviously outnumbered by Muslims. How was their performance judged in the Lebanese civil war? Do they have soldiers in the Egyptian army, and if so is there a difference?

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  44. Deduction says:
    @kamran
    Before genocide, you must subdue your enemies armies....

    No subdue. No genocide.

    The best Ottoman soldiers were not Turk.

    Read More
    • Replies: @kamran
    There's no such thing as a "turk."

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.
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  45. kamran says:
    @Deduction
    The best Ottoman soldiers were not Turk.

    There’s no such thing as a “turk.”

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Deduction

    There’s no such thing as a “turk.”

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.
     
    Turkish nationalism is quite potent. Admittedly Attaturk, it's most influential proponent, looks nothing like the wave of Anatolian peasants that have swept Turkey away from secularism. So I'm on the fence on this issue.

    Still, the elite of the Ottoman army was European. Just as the elite of the ancient Persian army was.
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  46. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP
    Sort of OT, but relevant to something you've been avoiding:

    Yet another Galician won yet another chess competition.

    http://uatoday.tv/sport/ukrainian-natalya-buksa-wins-world-chess-championship-in-russia-494155.html

    She is from Lviv:

    http://zik.ua/pl/news/2015/09/16/lwowianka_natalia_buksa_mistrzyni_wiata_w_szachach_juniorw_do_lat_20_624884

    Add her to Mariya Muzichuk from Lviv oblast, who is the world female chess champion, and Vassily Ivanchuk, former world # 2 (1997), from a Galician village.

    It’s a bit of anecdotal evidence. Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.

    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago. Punishing or ignoring excellence, saying that recognizing excellence is unfair, pretending that everyone is equal, giving everyone participation trophies – that’s as leftist today as it was in 1917. And Stalin put a stop to it.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It’s not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.

    0 out of 28 in Norse before 1100, with the vast majority of the letters coming from Novgorod, the most Varangian city in the country – to me that’s informative. We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Another thing hinting at early language loss:

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders - Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That's it, isn't it? Am I missing any?

    There are hundreds upon hundreds of Norse names. I've read translations of the sagas. Lots and lots of variety. So, starting some time in the 10th century the Rurikovichy stopped using Norse names in a natural way. The few Norse names that they retained were the ones with political and sentimental meaning for them - the names of the dynasty's founders. "May you be another Oleg, son" - that kind of thing. This is entirely consistent with language loss.
    , @AP

    It’s a bit of anecdotal evidence.
     
    Three recent top chess players in the world (youth champion, women's champion, #2 world ranked in 2008) out of a population of 4 million is rather compelling. And then there are many other high-ranking ones such as Lviv's Yuri Kryvoruchko (ranked 39 in the world),

    Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.
     
    It depends on the nature of the income. Regions blessed with oil or coal or that produce something like steel that that bring in cash, may have higher incomes, but this tells us little about intelligence. Norway's GDP PPP per capita is about 66k, Sweden's only 45k.

    Despite not having much in the way of natural resources, the two Galician oblasts of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk were ranked 11 and 13 respectively, out of 25 oblasts plus Kiev City, in nominal per capita GRP in 2013:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2008/vvp/vrp/vrp2008_u.htm

    One can add other facts, such as % of population with university education (Lviv oblast, third place in Ukraine), rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.


    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago
     

    Good point. In this respect Stalin' system was more "conservative." Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It’s not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.
     

    None were from before 1050.

    You are correct, however, this is an informative piece of data. Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however.


    We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.
     
    Slavic names even became popular in Denmark. Sviatoslav grew up with a Scandinavian tutor, Asmud. Per wiki the practice of Rus princes having Scandinavian tutors persisted into the 11th century. And Sviatoslav's close advisor was a Scandinavian, Sveneld:

    http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_s/sveneld.html

    This suggests the Norse language was not lost yet.

    Sviatoslav's son Vladimir felt comfortable moving to Scandinavia, raising an army there, and then seizing the Kiev throne with his Scandinavian army. This suggests the Norse language wasn't yet lost for him.

    Vladimir's son Yaroslav, with two Scandinavian parents, married a Swedish princess and like his father seized power using Scandinavians (though he recruited them locally in Novgorod and not while in exile in Scandinavia). This suggests the Norse language was not yet lost. He ruled until 1054.

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  47. Glossy says: • Website
    @Glossy
    It's a bit of anecdotal evidence. Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.

    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago. Punishing or ignoring excellence, saying that recognizing excellence is unfair, pretending that everyone is equal, giving everyone participation trophies - that's as leftist today as it was in 1917. And Stalin put a stop to it.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It's not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.

    0 out of 28 in Norse before 1100, with the vast majority of the letters coming from Novgorod, the most Varangian city in the country - to me that's informative. We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.

    Another thing hinting at early language loss:

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders – Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That’s it, isn’t it? Am I missing any?

    There are hundreds upon hundreds of Norse names. I’ve read translations of the sagas. Lots and lots of variety. So, starting some time in the 10th century the Rurikovichy stopped using Norse names in a natural way. The few Norse names that they retained were the ones with political and sentimental meaning for them – the names of the dynasty’s founders. “May you be another Oleg, son” – that kind of thing. This is entirely consistent with language loss.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders – Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That’s it, isn’t it? Am I missing any?
     
    Mstslav of Kiev, who ruled from 1125 to 1132, married a Swedish princess and named one daughter Ingeborg and another Mamfred. The elite were supposed to have been Slavicized by then though....

    Gleb is also a Norse name.

    But sure, they used few Scandinavian names. They also used few Slavic names - mostly the same Sviatoslav, Yaroslav, Vladimir, Yaropolk. Many of these names had Scandinavian counterparts. Yaroslav is mentioned in the sagas as Jarisleif the Lame, Vsevolod Vissivald, etc.

    How do you explain Vladimir moving to Scandinavia, spending a few years there, raising an army there, if he wasn't Norse speaking? How do you explain Yaroslav seizing power using Scandinavian mercenaries, married to a Swedish princess, and basing his foreign policy on a Scandinavian alliance if he didn't speak Norse as his father Vladimir did? And according to Verndadsky, Yaroslav's son Vsevolod (ruled until 1073) spoke Norse.

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  48. AP says:
    @Glossy
    It's a bit of anecdotal evidence. Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.

    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago. Punishing or ignoring excellence, saying that recognizing excellence is unfair, pretending that everyone is equal, giving everyone participation trophies - that's as leftist today as it was in 1917. And Stalin put a stop to it.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It's not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.

    0 out of 28 in Norse before 1100, with the vast majority of the letters coming from Novgorod, the most Varangian city in the country - to me that's informative. We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.

    It’s a bit of anecdotal evidence.

    Three recent top chess players in the world (youth champion, women’s champion, #2 world ranked in 2008) out of a population of 4 million is rather compelling. And then there are many other high-ranking ones such as Lviv’s Yuri Kryvoruchko (ranked 39 in the world),

    Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.

    It depends on the nature of the income. Regions blessed with oil or coal or that produce something like steel that that bring in cash, may have higher incomes, but this tells us little about intelligence. Norway’s GDP PPP per capita is about 66k, Sweden’s only 45k.

    Despite not having much in the way of natural resources, the two Galician oblasts of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk were ranked 11 and 13 respectively, out of 25 oblasts plus Kiev City, in nominal per capita GRP in 2013:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2008/vvp/vrp/vrp2008_u.htm

    One can add other facts, such as % of population with university education (Lviv oblast, third place in Ukraine), rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.

    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago

    Good point. In this respect Stalin’ system was more “conservative.” Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It’s not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.

    None were from before 1050.

    You are correct, however, this is an informative piece of data. Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however.

    We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.

    Slavic names even became popular in Denmark. Sviatoslav grew up with a Scandinavian tutor, Asmud. Per wiki the practice of Rus princes having Scandinavian tutors persisted into the 11th century. And Sviatoslav’s close advisor was a Scandinavian, Sveneld:

    http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_s/sveneld.html

    This suggests the Norse language was not lost yet.

    Sviatoslav’s son Vladimir felt comfortable moving to Scandinavia, raising an army there, and then seizing the Kiev throne with his Scandinavian army. This suggests the Norse language wasn’t yet lost for him.

    Vladimir’s son Yaroslav, with two Scandinavian parents, married a Swedish princess and like his father seized power using Scandinavians (though he recruited them locally in Novgorod and not while in exile in Scandinavia). This suggests the Norse language was not yet lost. He ruled until 1054.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    "rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc."

    I think Kharkov is above Lvov on that score.

    Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    You're completely ignoring the quotes that I provided earlier where Trotsky accused Stalin of being a patron of the kulaks and of not collectivizing enough. Stalin collectivized and Putin deals with oligarchs, but the most committed Communists considered Stalin a traitor to the cause and an enemy and the most outspoken oligarchs (Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky) had a similar attitude to Putin.

    Your idea that the USSR mellowed with time through some natural process is magical. Newton's first law of motion is an instance of a general principle of the Universe. Things will remain in stasis or will continue moving at a constant rate unless acted upon by some force. This isn't just about physics. It's common sense. Why did revolutionary violence stop at some point? Because somebody stopped it. And before that he killed all the revolutionaries.

    You dismissed industrialization, such an enormous thing, in the most frivolous manner. You said that the agreement with the Orthodox Church was a desperate war-time move, yet it wasn't revoked after the war.

    There were many things from many disparate areas of life - the arts, education, industry, religion, the attitude to the past, etc. - that moved to the right in unison as the 1930s progressed.

    You're blind to that because Lenin, Trotsky and co. supported Ukro-nationalism, established the Ukraine, etc. And Stalin cut that back a bit.

    The rightward turn happened. I'm unsure of many varied things, but I'm absolutely sure of this one. You deny it for selfish reasons.
    , @Glossy
    "Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however."

    In any settled medieval society a very large majority of the population tilled the land. That's not what Scandinavians came to not-yet-Russia to do. Most of the letters were discovered in Novgorod. What percentage of the population could have been urban at that time? 5%? 10%? Almost all of the Scandinavians would been urban. They called not-yet-Russia Gardariki - land of towns - because that's where the princes resided with their armies, that's where they came back to after campaigns and that's what they usually fought each other over.

    There would have been many times more Scandinavians in the towns than in the countryside, and all the letters were found in the towns.

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  49. AP says:
    @Glossy
    Another thing hinting at early language loss:

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders - Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That's it, isn't it? Am I missing any?

    There are hundreds upon hundreds of Norse names. I've read translations of the sagas. Lots and lots of variety. So, starting some time in the 10th century the Rurikovichy stopped using Norse names in a natural way. The few Norse names that they retained were the ones with political and sentimental meaning for them - the names of the dynasty's founders. "May you be another Oleg, son" - that kind of thing. This is entirely consistent with language loss.

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders – Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That’s it, isn’t it? Am I missing any?

    Mstslav of Kiev, who ruled from 1125 to 1132, married a Swedish princess and named one daughter Ingeborg and another Mamfred. The elite were supposed to have been Slavicized by then though….

    Gleb is also a Norse name.

    But sure, they used few Scandinavian names. They also used few Slavic names – mostly the same Sviatoslav, Yaroslav, Vladimir, Yaropolk. Many of these names had Scandinavian counterparts. Yaroslav is mentioned in the sagas as Jarisleif the Lame, Vsevolod Vissivald, etc.

    How do you explain Vladimir moving to Scandinavia, spending a few years there, raising an army there, if he wasn’t Norse speaking? How do you explain Yaroslav seizing power using Scandinavian mercenaries, married to a Swedish princess, and basing his foreign policy on a Scandinavian alliance if he didn’t speak Norse as his father Vladimir did? And according to Verndadsky, Yaroslav’s son Vsevolod (ruled until 1073) spoke Norse.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    They used a lot more Slavic than Norse names. You didn't mention Bryachislav, Vseslav, Izyslav, Sviatopolk, Vsevolod, Rostislav, Viacheslav.

    Monarchs of all periods concluded dynastic and non-dynastic alliances. Speaking the allies' language was optional for those. Byzantine emperors also used Scandinavian mercenaries. That's what Scandinavians were good at. They offered themselves to many employers.

    Some Rurikovichy of the 11th and 12th centuries had Scandinavian mothers, just like all 19th century Romanovs had German mothers. How well did the 19th century Tsars speak German? It must have varied. I've never seen any suggestions that any of them had a foreign accent in Russian though.
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  50. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP

    It’s a bit of anecdotal evidence.
     
    Three recent top chess players in the world (youth champion, women's champion, #2 world ranked in 2008) out of a population of 4 million is rather compelling. And then there are many other high-ranking ones such as Lviv's Yuri Kryvoruchko (ranked 39 in the world),

    Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.
     
    It depends on the nature of the income. Regions blessed with oil or coal or that produce something like steel that that bring in cash, may have higher incomes, but this tells us little about intelligence. Norway's GDP PPP per capita is about 66k, Sweden's only 45k.

    Despite not having much in the way of natural resources, the two Galician oblasts of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk were ranked 11 and 13 respectively, out of 25 oblasts plus Kiev City, in nominal per capita GRP in 2013:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2008/vvp/vrp/vrp2008_u.htm

    One can add other facts, such as % of population with university education (Lviv oblast, third place in Ukraine), rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.


    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago
     

    Good point. In this respect Stalin' system was more "conservative." Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It’s not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.
     

    None were from before 1050.

    You are correct, however, this is an informative piece of data. Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however.


    We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.
     
    Slavic names even became popular in Denmark. Sviatoslav grew up with a Scandinavian tutor, Asmud. Per wiki the practice of Rus princes having Scandinavian tutors persisted into the 11th century. And Sviatoslav's close advisor was a Scandinavian, Sveneld:

    http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_s/sveneld.html

    This suggests the Norse language was not lost yet.

    Sviatoslav's son Vladimir felt comfortable moving to Scandinavia, raising an army there, and then seizing the Kiev throne with his Scandinavian army. This suggests the Norse language wasn't yet lost for him.

    Vladimir's son Yaroslav, with two Scandinavian parents, married a Swedish princess and like his father seized power using Scandinavians (though he recruited them locally in Novgorod and not while in exile in Scandinavia). This suggests the Norse language was not yet lost. He ruled until 1054.

    “rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.”

    I think Kharkov is above Lvov on that score.

    Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    You’re completely ignoring the quotes that I provided earlier where Trotsky accused Stalin of being a patron of the kulaks and of not collectivizing enough. Stalin collectivized and Putin deals with oligarchs, but the most committed Communists considered Stalin a traitor to the cause and an enemy and the most outspoken oligarchs (Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky) had a similar attitude to Putin.

    Your idea that the USSR mellowed with time through some natural process is magical. Newton’s first law of motion is an instance of a general principle of the Universe. Things will remain in stasis or will continue moving at a constant rate unless acted upon by some force. This isn’t just about physics. It’s common sense. Why did revolutionary violence stop at some point? Because somebody stopped it. And before that he killed all the revolutionaries.

    You dismissed industrialization, such an enormous thing, in the most frivolous manner. You said that the agreement with the Orthodox Church was a desperate war-time move, yet it wasn’t revoked after the war.

    There were many things from many disparate areas of life – the arts, education, industry, religion, the attitude to the past, etc. – that moved to the right in unison as the 1930s progressed.

    You’re blind to that because Lenin, Trotsky and co. supported Ukro-nationalism, established the Ukraine, etc. And Stalin cut that back a bit.

    The rightward turn happened. I’m unsure of many varied things, but I’m absolutely sure of this one. You deny it for selfish reasons.

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    • Replies: @AP

    “rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.”

    I think Kharkov is above Lvov on that score.
     
    It might depend on the list. Here top one in Kharkiv is #11:

    http://www.4icu.org/ua/

    Here:

    http://www.webometrics.info/en/europe/ukraine%20

    Lviv is #6 and #9. Kharkiv has #10 and #11.

    You’re completely ignoring the quotes that I provided earlier where Trotsky accused Stalin of being a patron of the kulaks and of not collectivizing enough.
     
    Trotsky could claim anything, but the fact is that prior to Stalin's rule the countryside was largely left alone, and was utterly transformed under Stalin. Stalin also had killed the guys who opposed collectivization (Bukharin).

    Your idea that the USSR mellowed with time through some natural process is magical.
     
    It mellowed because Stalin killed his enemies and there was nobody left to possibly challenge him. Not only Old Bolsheviks, he largely wiped out the remnants of the old aristocracy, slaughtered 10,000s of priests, etc. etc.

    Newton’s first law of motion is an instance of a general principle of the Universe.Things will remain in stasis or will continue moving at a constant rate unless acted upon by some force.
     
    Well, throw a ball and it will not fly forever. Gravity, atmosphere etc,. slow it down. People also slow down, as they get older. Why do you think youths commit most violent crimes?

    You dismissed industrialization, such an enormous thing, in the most frivolous manner.
     
    Was Stalin's mass industrialization "conservative?"

    You said that the agreement with the Orthodox Church was a desperate war-time move, yet it wasn’t revoked after the war.
     
    Prior to Stalin the Bolsheviks killed around 10,000 priests. Stalin killed over 100,000. The remnants were useful for morale during the war effort and were no possible threat to him after the war.

    There were many things from many disparate areas of life – the arts, education, industry, religion, the attitude to the past, etc.
     
    Wiping out pre-Revolutionary art in favor of socialist realism is hardly conservative. Slaughtering over 100,000 priests to create a new church totally loyal to the atheist State is not conservative. Industrialization involving the destruction of the old Russian countryside is not conservative. Destroying old city centers and replacing their buildings with Stalin architecture wasn't conservative. Russia in 1940 was much less like Russia of 1910 than Russia of 1925 had been.

    You’re blind to that because Lenin, Trotsky and co. supported Ukro-nationalism, established the Ukraine, etc. And Stalin cut that back a bit.
     
    Lenin seemed to have borrowed his nationalities policy from Austria-Hungary where he had spent much time in exile. This was a conservative approach, recognizing old regional customs and peculiarities, rather than Enlightened-Centralization approach aimed at standardizing and transforming society. Life in a Ukrainian or Russian village in the 1920s during NEP was pretty much the same as it had been under the Tsars. It was totally different under Stalin.
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  51. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP

    It’s a bit of anecdotal evidence.
     
    Three recent top chess players in the world (youth champion, women's champion, #2 world ranked in 2008) out of a population of 4 million is rather compelling. And then there are many other high-ranking ones such as Lviv's Yuri Kryvoruchko (ranked 39 in the world),

    Personal income statistics by region is the opposite of anecdotal evidence. On average, ability has a big effect on income.
     
    It depends on the nature of the income. Regions blessed with oil or coal or that produce something like steel that that bring in cash, may have higher incomes, but this tells us little about intelligence. Norway's GDP PPP per capita is about 66k, Sweden's only 45k.

    Despite not having much in the way of natural resources, the two Galician oblasts of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk were ranked 11 and 13 respectively, out of 25 oblasts plus Kiev City, in nominal per capita GRP in 2013:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2008/vvp/vrp/vrp2008_u.htm

    One can add other facts, such as % of population with university education (Lviv oblast, third place in Ukraine), rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.


    Also OT: already after our argument about whether or not Stalin turned the USSR to the right I stumbled upon the fact that the early Bolsheviks abolished all grading in the educational system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Russia

    Between 1917 and 1935, the Communist government had tried to implement a radically new evaluation system with no grades at all, but it never fully took root.

    School and university grades were reinstated in 1935! Abolishing school grades is a very leftist idea. This was done in Sweden up to the 6th or 8th grade (I forget) 20 or 30 years ago
     

    Good point. In this respect Stalin' system was more "conservative." Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    More OT: you asked how many birch bark letters were written before 1100.

    Not many. There is a database here:

    http://gramoty.ru/index.php?key=bb

    It’s not up to date. It shows 956 Novgorodian letters while the Wikipedia talks about 1065. Only 28 of those 956 letters are from before 1100. 27 of those were written in Russian, 1 in German and 0 in Old Norse. Novgorod was involved in Hanseatic trade, hence the German.
     

    None were from before 1050.

    You are correct, however, this is an informative piece of data. Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however.


    We also know that the Rurikovichi started giving most of their kids Slavic names in the 10th century. Sviatoslav was born in 942 and 2 out of his 3 sons also had Slavic names. That gives us hints about when they lost the Norse language.
     
    Slavic names even became popular in Denmark. Sviatoslav grew up with a Scandinavian tutor, Asmud. Per wiki the practice of Rus princes having Scandinavian tutors persisted into the 11th century. And Sviatoslav's close advisor was a Scandinavian, Sveneld:

    http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_s/sveneld.html

    This suggests the Norse language was not lost yet.

    Sviatoslav's son Vladimir felt comfortable moving to Scandinavia, raising an army there, and then seizing the Kiev throne with his Scandinavian army. This suggests the Norse language wasn't yet lost for him.

    Vladimir's son Yaroslav, with two Scandinavian parents, married a Swedish princess and like his father seized power using Scandinavians (though he recruited them locally in Novgorod and not while in exile in Scandinavia). This suggests the Norse language was not yet lost. He ruled until 1054.

    “Not sure how applicable or representative it is of the upper echelons of Rus society, however.”

    In any settled medieval society a very large majority of the population tilled the land. That’s not what Scandinavians came to not-yet-Russia to do. Most of the letters were discovered in Novgorod. What percentage of the population could have been urban at that time? 5%? 10%? Almost all of the Scandinavians would been urban. They called not-yet-Russia Gardariki – land of towns – because that’s where the princes resided with their armies, that’s where they came back to after campaigns and that’s what they usually fought each other over.

    There would have been many times more Scandinavians in the towns than in the countryside, and all the letters were found in the towns.

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  52. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP

    The few Norse names that the Riurikovichi retained after the middle of the 10th century were the names of their founders – Rurik, Oleg, Olga and Igor. That’s it, isn’t it? Am I missing any?
     
    Mstslav of Kiev, who ruled from 1125 to 1132, married a Swedish princess and named one daughter Ingeborg and another Mamfred. The elite were supposed to have been Slavicized by then though....

    Gleb is also a Norse name.

    But sure, they used few Scandinavian names. They also used few Slavic names - mostly the same Sviatoslav, Yaroslav, Vladimir, Yaropolk. Many of these names had Scandinavian counterparts. Yaroslav is mentioned in the sagas as Jarisleif the Lame, Vsevolod Vissivald, etc.

    How do you explain Vladimir moving to Scandinavia, spending a few years there, raising an army there, if he wasn't Norse speaking? How do you explain Yaroslav seizing power using Scandinavian mercenaries, married to a Swedish princess, and basing his foreign policy on a Scandinavian alliance if he didn't speak Norse as his father Vladimir did? And according to Verndadsky, Yaroslav's son Vsevolod (ruled until 1073) spoke Norse.

    They used a lot more Slavic than Norse names. You didn’t mention Bryachislav, Vseslav, Izyslav, Sviatopolk, Vsevolod, Rostislav, Viacheslav.

    Monarchs of all periods concluded dynastic and non-dynastic alliances. Speaking the allies’ language was optional for those. Byzantine emperors also used Scandinavian mercenaries. That’s what Scandinavians were good at. They offered themselves to many employers.

    Some Rurikovichy of the 11th and 12th centuries had Scandinavian mothers, just like all 19th century Romanovs had German mothers. How well did the 19th century Tsars speak German? It must have varied. I’ve never seen any suggestions that any of them had a foreign accent in Russian though.

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  53. AP says:

    They used a lot more Slavic than Norse names. You didn’t mention Bryachislav, Vseslav, Izyslav, Sviatopolk, Vsevolod, Rostislav, Viacheslav.

    I did mention Vsevolod, aka Vissivald.

    Monarchs of all periods concluded dynastic and non-dynastic alliances. Speaking the allies’ language was optional for those.

    Sure. But combine speaking the allies’ language with having both parents of the same ethnicity as those allies, plus living in the allied country in exile, plus marrying allied families, etc. You haven’t noted that even the famous Ruskaya Pravda legal code was a Scandinavian one.

    Some Rurikovichy of the 11th and 12th centuries had Scandinavian mothers, just like all 19th century Romanovs had German mothers. How well did the 19th century Tsars speak German? It must have varied. I’ve never seen any suggestions that any of them had a foreign accent in Russian though.

    Don’t know. However Rus (at least until around 1100) was more Scandinavian that Russia under the tsars was German. Tsars had German mothers for generations, Rus princes had two Scandinavian parents (Malusha may or may not have been an exception); no ethnic German Tsar went into exile in Germany and then seized the Russian throne with German troops he had gathered, Vladimir did that with Scandinavia. And Yarsoslav, product of two Scandinavian parents, married to a Swedish princess, also came to power with Scandinavian mercenaries.

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  54. AP says:
    @Glossy
    "rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc."

    I think Kharkov is above Lvov on that score.

    Weigh that against his complete destruction and transformation of Russian villages and annihilation of entire pre-Revolutionary classes of people.

    You're completely ignoring the quotes that I provided earlier where Trotsky accused Stalin of being a patron of the kulaks and of not collectivizing enough. Stalin collectivized and Putin deals with oligarchs, but the most committed Communists considered Stalin a traitor to the cause and an enemy and the most outspoken oligarchs (Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky) had a similar attitude to Putin.

    Your idea that the USSR mellowed with time through some natural process is magical. Newton's first law of motion is an instance of a general principle of the Universe. Things will remain in stasis or will continue moving at a constant rate unless acted upon by some force. This isn't just about physics. It's common sense. Why did revolutionary violence stop at some point? Because somebody stopped it. And before that he killed all the revolutionaries.

    You dismissed industrialization, such an enormous thing, in the most frivolous manner. You said that the agreement with the Orthodox Church was a desperate war-time move, yet it wasn't revoked after the war.

    There were many things from many disparate areas of life - the arts, education, industry, religion, the attitude to the past, etc. - that moved to the right in unison as the 1930s progressed.

    You're blind to that because Lenin, Trotsky and co. supported Ukro-nationalism, established the Ukraine, etc. And Stalin cut that back a bit.

    The rightward turn happened. I'm unsure of many varied things, but I'm absolutely sure of this one. You deny it for selfish reasons.

    “rank of universities (Lviv home to #4 and #10, only city other than Kiev with more than one in the top 10), etc.”

    I think Kharkov is above Lvov on that score.

    It might depend on the list. Here top one in Kharkiv is #11:

    http://www.4icu.org/ua/

    Here:

    http://www.webometrics.info/en/europe/ukraine%20

    Lviv is #6 and #9. Kharkiv has #10 and #11.

    You’re completely ignoring the quotes that I provided earlier where Trotsky accused Stalin of being a patron of the kulaks and of not collectivizing enough.

    Trotsky could claim anything, but the fact is that prior to Stalin’s rule the countryside was largely left alone, and was utterly transformed under Stalin. Stalin also had killed the guys who opposed collectivization (Bukharin).

    Your idea that the USSR mellowed with time through some natural process is magical.

    It mellowed because Stalin killed his enemies and there was nobody left to possibly challenge him. Not only Old Bolsheviks, he largely wiped out the remnants of the old aristocracy, slaughtered 10,000s of priests, etc. etc.

    Newton’s first law of motion is an instance of a general principle of the Universe.Things will remain in stasis or will continue moving at a constant rate unless acted upon by some force.

    Well, throw a ball and it will not fly forever. Gravity, atmosphere etc,. slow it down. People also slow down, as they get older. Why do you think youths commit most violent crimes?

    You dismissed industrialization, such an enormous thing, in the most frivolous manner.

    Was Stalin’s mass industrialization “conservative?”

    You said that the agreement with the Orthodox Church was a desperate war-time move, yet it wasn’t revoked after the war.

    Prior to Stalin the Bolsheviks killed around 10,000 priests. Stalin killed over 100,000. The remnants were useful for morale during the war effort and were no possible threat to him after the war.

    There were many things from many disparate areas of life – the arts, education, industry, religion, the attitude to the past, etc.

    Wiping out pre-Revolutionary art in favor of socialist realism is hardly conservative. Slaughtering over 100,000 priests to create a new church totally loyal to the atheist State is not conservative. Industrialization involving the destruction of the old Russian countryside is not conservative. Destroying old city centers and replacing their buildings with Stalin architecture wasn’t conservative. Russia in 1940 was much less like Russia of 1910 than Russia of 1925 had been.

    You’re blind to that because Lenin, Trotsky and co. supported Ukro-nationalism, established the Ukraine, etc. And Stalin cut that back a bit.

    Lenin seemed to have borrowed his nationalities policy from Austria-Hungary where he had spent much time in exile. This was a conservative approach, recognizing old regional customs and peculiarities, rather than Enlightened-Centralization approach aimed at standardizing and transforming society. Life in a Ukrainian or Russian village in the 1920s during NEP was pretty much the same as it had been under the Tsars. It was totally different under Stalin.

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  55. Deduction says:
    @kamran
    There's no such thing as a "turk."

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.

    There’s no such thing as a “turk.”

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.

    Turkish nationalism is quite potent. Admittedly Attaturk, it’s most influential proponent, looks nothing like the wave of Anatolian peasants that have swept Turkey away from secularism. So I’m on the fence on this issue.

    Still, the elite of the Ottoman army was European. Just as the elite of the ancient Persian army was.

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    • Replies: @Kamran
    So can the white nationalist/christian ultra fucktards get back into their moms' basements then?

    After all, during Ottoman depradations against europe, the Christians and whites of Europe were being slaughtered, raped, and pillaged by their own white brethren!!!

    Why should they be angry! I thought whites don't commit crimes against other whites?

    But of course, the elite leadership of the ottoman empire were all white (some sultans had Ukrainian and slavic mothers). So really ottoman-european wars were just white civil wars. Why are European ultra-nationalist hardcore whitey-mighteys geting so worked up in the comments sections about the ottoman empire? Clearly they love whites, so they must support their white brothers leading the ottoman empire who raped and killed them!!

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  56. Kamran says:
    @Deduction

    There’s no such thing as a “turk.”

    Only various confused middle eastern and european nationalities cobbled together with an islamic faith, and a bastardization of Oghuz (true turkic) language.
     
    Turkish nationalism is quite potent. Admittedly Attaturk, it's most influential proponent, looks nothing like the wave of Anatolian peasants that have swept Turkey away from secularism. So I'm on the fence on this issue.

    Still, the elite of the Ottoman army was European. Just as the elite of the ancient Persian army was.

    So can the white nationalist/christian ultra fucktards get back into their moms’ basements then?

    After all, during Ottoman depradations against europe, the Christians and whites of Europe were being slaughtered, raped, and pillaged by their own white brethren!!!

    Why should they be angry! I thought whites don’t commit crimes against other whites?

    But of course, the elite leadership of the ottoman empire were all white (some sultans had Ukrainian and slavic mothers). So really ottoman-european wars were just white civil wars. Why are European ultra-nationalist hardcore whitey-mighteys geting so worked up in the comments sections about the ottoman empire? Clearly they love whites, so they must support their white brothers leading the ottoman empire who raped and killed them!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Deduction
    Having your children stolen, even if it is to form the elite of an imperial army, is still having your children stolen...
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  57. More on this theme.

    Saudis now spend $80 billion annually on their military. That’s more than Russia! (in nominal terms). Soldiers fire overhead without aiming while allah akbaring.

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    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Kamran
    The random sermon at 9:00 doesn't help :P


    Pretty poor example though: These guys aren't actually fighting anybody in the video. They're just wasting bullets. There may be somebody in the town they're firing at, but there's no return fire.

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  58. Kamran says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    More on this theme.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/649911765203980292

    Saudis now spend $80 billion annually on their military. That's more than Russia! (in nominal terms). Soldiers fire overhead without aiming while allah akbaring.

    The random sermon at 9:00 doesn’t help :P

    Pretty poor example though: These guys aren’t actually fighting anybody in the video. They’re just wasting bullets. There may be somebody in the town they’re firing at, but there’s no return fire.

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  59. iffen says:
    @Numinous
    The phenomenon this article seeks to analyze is an interesting one, but it assumes a particular explanation as proven (Muslims can't fight except for clan or God) and then runs away with it. Historically, Muslims seem to have fought for national or supra-national polities (empires) quite well. Remember the Ottomans? Much of the British fighting force in its colonial wars in the 19th century and even the two world wars was Indian, a very large part of whom were Muslims (now mostly in Pakistan). I haven't read anything to suggest they were poor fighters. The mercenary instinct was probably a big factor, but you can't manufacture a good fighter purely out of money. Loyalty to the entity they are fighting for is key.

    As many historians and contemporary observers have analyzed, much of the problems of the Middle East can be traced back to World War I and the wholesale manufacturing of "nations" based on no good reason. And then the Israeli state was formed in a way that was very traumatic for the Levantine Arabs, so the "nations" formed after WW1 never had time to settle. Afghanistan was never historically a country; it was a shared (and disputed) frontier zone between the Indian and Persian cultural spheres. After the advent of Islam, it became a playground for warlords (the Mughal founder Babur being one of them) and a source for mercenaries, which it has remained since then. The British and Russians fought their Great Game on its soil during the 19th century, so it's not like it was a stable "nation" then either.

    A general open question: do HBDers have a congenital aversion to studying history and using historical evidence to explain particular phenomena? You all take a snapshot of the present day world and then spin theories around it as if that snapshot represented an ephemeral truth.

    Nice of you not to castigate those last line drawers just because they happened to be the ones caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

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  60. Unzerker says:
    @Vendetta
    Ouch. Yeah, might have strayed a little too far into that territory myself, but the fools on that show made their judgments based exclusively on weaponry. That's a dumb way to judge these things, especially in the modern era.

    Israel didn't win three wars with the Arabs on the basis of having a better assault rifle or even a better tank or fighter plane. And they didn't lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the "edge" in armaments either.

    And [Israel] didn’t lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the “edge” in armaments either.

    They lost? I was glued to my monitor for the entire duration of the war and didn’t notice any of that. Hezbollah has been awfully quiet ever since their “victory”. Maybe you should inform them that they have actually won.

    Or maybe they are silent because their rocket arsenal turned out to be almost useless and most of their home turf was leveled to the ground.

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    The Israelis started the war with the intention of crippling Hezbollah as a fighting force. They failed to do so and they gave up. Hezbollah would not have had the confidence to split their forces and intervene in Syria if Israel had really beaten them.

    And that rocket arsenal may have failed to produce mass casualties, but it did succeed in producing mass terror and military frustration. A quarter of the country was living in air raid shelters and nothing the IDF did could stop the barrage. The IDF boasted it would bring the rocket attacks to a halt. They failed to follow through on that.

    Pyrrhic victory for Lebanon the country, maybe, but a definite defensive victory for Hezbollah.
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  61. […] those of you who have been following my recent writings on the Arab militaries will know, one of the key problems that the SAA – as a […]

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  62. Vendetta says:
    @Unzerker

    And [Israel] didn’t lose the war in 2006 on the basis of Hezbollah having the “edge” in armaments either.
     
    They lost? I was glued to my monitor for the entire duration of the war and didn't notice any of that. Hezbollah has been awfully quiet ever since their "victory". Maybe you should inform them that they have actually won.

    Or maybe they are silent because their rocket arsenal turned out to be almost useless and most of their home turf was leveled to the ground.

    The Israelis started the war with the intention of crippling Hezbollah as a fighting force. They failed to do so and they gave up. Hezbollah would not have had the confidence to split their forces and intervene in Syria if Israel had really beaten them.

    And that rocket arsenal may have failed to produce mass casualties, but it did succeed in producing mass terror and military frustration. A quarter of the country was living in air raid shelters and nothing the IDF did could stop the barrage. The IDF boasted it would bring the rocket attacks to a halt. They failed to follow through on that.

    Pyrrhic victory for Lebanon the country, maybe, but a definite defensive victory for Hezbollah.

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  63. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Kamran
    We turks (and anatolians in general) have always been good fighters and infantrymen, despite being just as clannish as arabs.

    Actually turks are quite Nationalist.

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  64. Deduction says:
    @Kamran
    So can the white nationalist/christian ultra fucktards get back into their moms' basements then?

    After all, during Ottoman depradations against europe, the Christians and whites of Europe were being slaughtered, raped, and pillaged by their own white brethren!!!

    Why should they be angry! I thought whites don't commit crimes against other whites?

    But of course, the elite leadership of the ottoman empire were all white (some sultans had Ukrainian and slavic mothers). So really ottoman-european wars were just white civil wars. Why are European ultra-nationalist hardcore whitey-mighteys geting so worked up in the comments sections about the ottoman empire? Clearly they love whites, so they must support their white brothers leading the ottoman empire who raped and killed them!!

    Having your children stolen, even if it is to form the elite of an imperial army, is still having your children stolen…

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  65. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The problem with cousin marriage is that it sets up trust relationships which make the formation of an effective officer corps impossible.
    Either they refuse to trust one another, they’re not family, playing ridiculous status games; or they stuff the officer corps full of relatives they do trust but who are not up to the task; or they transfer their family alligence to one another and promptly launch a coup which forces leaders to divide the officer corps against itself; failing that they do deals with enemies to change sides or simply go AWOL at first sign of trouble, as dying for family you trust is one thing but for a nation you don’t, quite another.
    Without an officer corps your army does not work. I don’t believe cousin marriage has any effect on the fighting ability of ordinary soldiers.

    The Turks get round this problem historically by “recruiting” their army from non-cousin marrying populations the devsirme. And in more recent times by using white turks in senior command positions, the white turks tending to follow Christian marriage norms I.e. not arranged marriages to cousins.
    The British in India by only having British officers. And the Jordanians by use of British officers and the circassians another Muslim group who follow orthodox Christian marriage norms.

    As for the Shi’a I think the threat of excommunication by the imam ensures that they don’t point their guns at one another. That in turn means that they are more willing to trust other Shi’a they are not related to. The shia have historically and in the present been almost undefeatable on the defensive but on the offensive no different from other Muslim groups. I believe that is because the imams can pull the community together and organise an officer corp when threatened but not when not.

    The highland Scots were no greater militarily than the Afghans. And the Chinese & Japanese have a strict no marrying within clan rule which forces the clans to act cooperatively with one another, unlike the Muslims.

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    • Replies: @singh
    Chinese & japs get that from us, 8 clans on both sides cannot match or the boy & girl are killed & previous 3 generations outcaste.

    Cina is name of tribe living in tarim basin who were vassals in mahabharat. Same with sakas or scythians,

    Of course that never happened because Russian 'aryans' who ate beef wrote vedas & invaded in 1500bc even though they've always been our vassals sending horses & damsels.

    :/ o yea India is low iq, backwards nigger, didn't keep up with Europe & China economically till late 1800s because they are dark niggers.

    Astrophysics, radio science, USB, agp, pci express didn't happen.

    Zorastrians don't speak sanskrit except with h replacing s nor do they say they come from Gandhar which is kingdom from Indus to Attock river.

    India is not called AryaVart or land of aryans, instead magical cuckxitian afro-centric sry euro-centric white trash created everything.


    Hahahahahaha :D
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  66. singh says:
    @Glossy
    East Indians are even worse at warfare than Arabs. This is beacuse they're somewhat more clannish and much less masculine than Arabs. Indian history is a long story of foreign invasions and occupations.

    The Brits used Ghurkas from Nepal in their wars. I'm sure this was because they're more war-like than most sub-continental groups. I think Sikhs are also relatively war-like.

    Is that why the entire ea worships us, while superior whites & worship abrahamic dick?

    You can’t even protect your native culture from destruction, we can claim to have started you.

    All the devas, jain tirthankars, bhudda, Sikh gurus etc & most of the rishis are from the same jaati or tribe.

    So why mix it i.e give our women away.

    We ruled up to caspian & balkans before. Who are you? Lol someone with nothing but cuckxitianity & a nigger brother in law.

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  67. singh says:
    @Numinous
    A brief history lesson:

    The British used troops from every corner of India during their 3-and-a-half century long presence (including 1-2 centuries of rule, depending on which part of the country you are talking about.) When their base was in the south (i.e., the East India Company), they largely employed local troops. When they conquered Bengal (which included Bihar and parts of UP), their troops were almost entirely drawn from those areas. After these troops rebelled in 1857, the British used Sikhs (who had earlier been conquered using the Bengal troops) to suppress the rebellion. To ensure continued Sikh loyalty and service, they created the self-serving myth of the Sikhs (and Punjabi Muslims a.k.a. Pakistanis) being "martial" and people from the east and south being wusses. Gurkhas were then as now been hardy mountain people, used to the outdoors, and dirt poor. So hiring them en masse for the army made good sense for both parties.

    A lot of colonial literature was written with the explicit purpose of maintaining and deifying British rule over India, whether or not those writings had any factual basis. Of course, such literature serves a similar purpose for the HBD crowd.

    Historically speaking, Indians rarely considered themselves a unified country from Punjab to Tamil Nadu. When Punjab was being pummeled by Muslim invaders back in the day, it made as little sense for kingdoms based in the south to rush to their aid as it would have made for Harold Hardrada's troops to rush to the aid of the Byzantine Anatolians. Different kingdoms were happy to fight their internecine battles and ally with foreigners to stab their (more adversarial) beighbors in the back. That lovely process continued until the British rule unified India, and educated Indians got infected with the spirit of nationalism. None of this means India did not have fighting ability. The "kshatriya" class was very similar to the Spartiates in its upbringing and training. That likely helped spread traditional Hindu culture spread all across the subcontinent and into SE Asia. But later on, this fighting spirit got channeled inwards and all contact with foreigners considered impure. Also, Buddhism and Jainism made a virtue out of pacifism and likely blunted this fighting spirit, but I'm not sure how much of a factor that was.

    Laughably hilarious as all of those kingdoms were ruled by bharatvanshis. So unity by blood

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  68. singh says:
    @Anonymous
    The problem with cousin marriage is that it sets up trust relationships which make the formation of an effective officer corps impossible.
    Either they refuse to trust one another, they're not family, playing ridiculous status games; or they stuff the officer corps full of relatives they do trust but who are not up to the task; or they transfer their family alligence to one another and promptly launch a coup which forces leaders to divide the officer corps against itself; failing that they do deals with enemies to change sides or simply go AWOL at first sign of trouble, as dying for family you trust is one thing but for a nation you don't, quite another.
    Without an officer corps your army does not work. I don't believe cousin marriage has any effect on the fighting ability of ordinary soldiers.

    The Turks get round this problem historically by "recruiting" their army from non-cousin marrying populations the devsirme. And in more recent times by using white turks in senior command positions, the white turks tending to follow Christian marriage norms I.e. not arranged marriages to cousins.
    The British in India by only having British officers. And the Jordanians by use of British officers and the circassians another Muslim group who follow orthodox Christian marriage norms.

    As for the Shi'a I think the threat of excommunication by the imam ensures that they don't point their guns at one another. That in turn means that they are more willing to trust other Shi'a they are not related to. The shia have historically and in the present been almost undefeatable on the defensive but on the offensive no different from other Muslim groups. I believe that is because the imams can pull the community together and organise an officer corp when threatened but not when not.

    The highland Scots were no greater militarily than the Afghans. And the Chinese & Japanese have a strict no marrying within clan rule which forces the clans to act cooperatively with one another, unlike the Muslims.

    Chinese & japs get that from us, 8 clans on both sides cannot match or the boy & girl are killed & previous 3 generations outcaste.

    Cina is name of tribe living in tarim basin who were vassals in mahabharat. Same with sakas or scythians,

    Of course that never happened because Russian ‘aryans’ who ate beef wrote vedas & invaded in 1500bc even though they’ve always been our vassals sending horses & damsels.

    :/ o yea India is low iq, backwards nigger, didn’t keep up with Europe & China economically till late 1800s because they are dark niggers.

    Astrophysics, radio science, USB, agp, pci express didn’t happen.

    Zorastrians don’t speak sanskrit except with h replacing s nor do they say they come from Gandhar which is kingdom from Indus to Attock river.

    India is not called AryaVart or land of aryans, instead magical cuckxitian afro-centric sry euro-centric white trash created everything.

    Hahahahahaha :D

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  69. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Vendetta
    Hezbollah seems to be the great exception among the Arabs these days. Not only are they brave, spirited warriors, but they also have a level of discipline and professionalism probably unseen outside the Jordanian and maybe the Egyptian special forces, neither of which are remotely as battle-tested.

    Best light infantry in the Arab world, hands down, with a strategic rocket arsenal and an excellent system of concealed fortifications on their home turf to back it up.

    Judging by the caliber of training Hezbollah has demonstrated, the Iranians must have some highly professional troops as well. Between that, their creative asymmetric tactics, and the fanatical Shia fighting spirit we all know of from the Iran-Iraq War, they'd be a highly formidable opponent on their own turf, regardless of the obscolescence of their arms and lack of heavy equipment.

    Turkish Army has always been tough as well and is trained and armed with NATO gear, they're the other regional heavyweight (not counting Israel).

    Yemenis are the toughest, most rugged individual Arab warriors, likely even more so than Hezbollah, but they're also the most clannish. None of them would have the discipline or organization of a Hezbollah force. They're the closest Arabs you could find to the Taliban.

    The Kurds would be Hezbollah's only real competition as best light infantry in the Middle East. Clannish as well but better organized than the Yemenis. They're not Arabs, though.

    Nor are the Chechens, who are up there as the best shock troops ISIS has to offer.

    Israel, of course, continues to hold the advantages of best hardware and strongest air force. The quality of its infantry though...these are not the same Israelis who fought like Spartans in the Golan Heights in 1973. They're a whole new generation, and outside the elite units like the Golani and the paratroopers, they're a lot softer. The reports of the 2006 war say it all. The Israeli regulars were uncharacteristically cautious; casualty-averse to an extent that would even have the Pentagon shaking its head.

    The special and elite units were still as good as you'd expect, but if you put a platoon of the Israeli regulars against a platoon of Hezbollah commandos in a village in Lebanon, no air support, no artillery or tanks, I would bet on Hezbollah running them right out of town.

    Unless the Israelis have made some drastic changes since 2006, I'd say Hezbollah is fielding infantry that are man-for-man as good as Israel's (and thus better than Israel's when they're on their home ground in Lebanon). And that's a situation, fighting Arabs man-for-man as good as they are, that they haven't experienced since they fought the Jordanian Arab Legion with its British officers in 1948.

    I'd say it has much, if not more to do with Israel's hesitation to start another war with Hezbollah than the much-hyped rocket threat.

    I am not sure if I agree regarding the superiority of Hezbollah light infantry. For one, they are not doing all that well against ISIS in Syria. Heavy casualties and not all that much progress on the offensive. Regarding Israel comparison, historically taking an Israeli soldier and an Arab soldier, you would not get a huge divergence. It’s when you get above the Company and Battalion level that you begin to see the real difference in war fighting and why the Israelis are vastly superior to their peers. For all the vaunted success of Hezbollah in 2006, at best they were able to achieve a draw. Israel’s infantry forces performed well in the Gaza offensives, so to discount them as “soft” is premature.

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