Edward Luttwak

Edward Luttwak is a strategic adviser to the US government.

Goethe in China

Edward Luttwak, 3 June 2021

Goethe’s​ best-known books are quite portable: both parts of Faust, Italian Journey (which points travellers in the right direction, Sicily), The Sorrows of Young Werther (with which the most disparate readers identify all too easily) and, for those of us who can declaim it in German, the sinister, compelling Erlkönig. But Goethe complete is immense: the ‘collected...

Scuba diving​ was pioneered in Italy and so was the combat frogman and all his equipment, including hand-placed limpet mines and the explosive motor boats and manned torpedoes that the Japanese would copy as suicide weapons – the originals allowed the operators to save themselves, if they were lucky. With a tiny fraction of the Italian navy’s resources, between 1941 and 1943...

Limitless Empire: Very Un-Mongol

Edward Luttwak, 19 March 2020

Now​ that the long-term confrontation between China and an assortment of countries – Australia, Japan, the US, Vietnam and other less committed fellow travellers (including the UK) – is well underway, interest in Chinese doings and undoings in the past as well as the present has further increased.

Demand evokes supply, and Timothy Brook has supplied his Great State, in which...

Friendly Relations: Abe’s Japan

Edward Luttwak, 4 April 2019

One can fly​ to Japan from anywhere, but from Japan one can only fly to the Third World, and it hardly matters whether one lands in Kinshasa, London, New York or Zurich: they are all places where one must be constantly watchful and distrustful, where one cannot leave a suitcase unattended even for ten minutes, where women strolling home through town at 3 a.m. are deemed imprudent, where the...

Platformitis: Darpa

Edward Luttwak, 1 December 2016

The development​ of a nuclear explosive device and two air-deliverable fission bombs by the Manhattan Engineering District of the US Army Corps of Engineers cost $1.845 billion, equivalent to the cost of a mere nine days of war. A much happier, and infinitely cheaper piece of research that also turned out to have world-historical impact was the development of a digital network between...

Rules of Battle: The Byzantine Army

Glen Bowersock, 11 February 2010

A man of deep culture and reading in many languages, Edward Luttwak has at least three major personae – strategist, journalist and scholar. His practical experience of contemporary policy...

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Capitalism without Capital

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 26 May 1994

Even at the end of his new book, it’s not clear where Edward Luttwak is coming from, as they say in his country. He leaves no doubt, however, about where he dreads coming to. Instead of...

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