The Friday Rant: Modern-day generals too dumb to know there's supposed to be a point to war.
It was back in the early sixteenth century that Nicholas Machiavelli wrote The Prince. It was a guide to his employers, the Medici rulers of Italy, on how to profit from waging war. Nick became so unpopular for this work that his name became an alias for the devil (Old Nick). But his work survives because no matter what you think of him, or of war for that matter, Nicky boy had a point. If you've got to go to war then war should have a purpose and that purpose has to be gain.