Lao Tzu and Machiavelli Compared to the Us Military

The United States Policy on War and the Military Should Be a Blend of Lao Tzu and Machiavelli’s ideas
Lao Tzu and Niccolo Machiavelli had very different ideas about war and the military.   Lao Tzu believed the leader should be less involved and the military almost non-existent.   Machiavelli believed it was crucial for a leader to be completely involved and the military should be strong.   In order for the United States to be a leading world power, it needs to adopt policies that are a blend of both of their ideas.
In regard to weapons, Lao Tzu said, “weapons are the tools of violence…tools of fear.”   He believed that there were better ways to spend the country’s money than weapons and that having more weapons actually made the country less secure.   He also believed that if you were forced to use weapons, you should use them reluctantly and with restraint.   Contrastingly, Machiavelli believed that being disarmed was dishonorable and that if a leader was unarmed, his armed soldiers would have no reason to follow him.   The United States sides more with Machiavelli on these issues.   The United States stockpiles weapons and spends quite a bit of money producing new and better weapons.   Part of this money could be spent on medicines or social programs and the U.S. would still have an adequate supply.   In contrast to Machiavelli’s idea about a leader needing to be armed, the President is not.   Instead he is protected by the Secret Service.   Also the President of the United States is more like Lao Tzu’s idea of a leader as he is less involved with military matters.   While his is the Commander In Chief, he must consult with congress before making decisions regarding military policy and war.   (“War Powers Resolution”)
Machiavelli believes that a good leader must always be prepared for war.   He must keep himself and his soldiers trained and accustomed to the hardships they will face during battles.   He also believes they should study and understand the terrain around them...