War Has a Mind of Its Own

A thoughtful essay titled “The ‘Aresian Risk’ of Unmanned Maritime Systems,” by a Naval philosopher. The “Aresian risk” to which Hatfield refers is the risk the ancients understood but moderns have largely forgotten: war, symbolized by Ares, god of war, is more than just the sum of two warring parties:

It is instructive to note that the ancient Greeks, through their personification of war with the god Ares, had the conceptual resources to cope with the true nature of war in a manner that has become less accessible to modern strategists. In this respect we have become rational to a fault. Like the actual warfare that defines recent experience, Ares was thought to have a mind of his own. Capable of independent action, he was no tool of men. Because of this, all Greek commanders understood warfare as a peculiarly precarious undertaking.