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The Pentagon’s “Ides of March”: Best Month to Go to War

 
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03/13/2013 11:30 AM
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The Pentagon’s “Ides of March”: Best Month to Go to War
Is it a coincidence?

In recent history, from the Vietnam war to the present, the month of March has been chosen by Pentagon and NATO military planners as the “best month” to go to war.

With the exception of the War on Afghanistan (October 2001), all major US-NATO led military operations over a period of almost half a century –since the invasion of Vietnam by US ground forces on March 8, 1965– have been initiated in the month of March.

The Ides of March (Idus Martiae) is a day in the Roman calendar which broadly corresponds to March 15. The Ides of March is also known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Lest we forget, the month of March (in the Roman Calendar) is dedicated to Mars (Martius), the Roman God of War.

For the Romans, the month of March (Martius) marked “the time to start new military campaigns.”

As in the heyday of the Roman Empire, the US Department of Defense has a mandate to plan and implement a precise “timeline” of military operations.

Does the month of March –identified by the Romans as a “good time” to initiate new military undertakings–, have a bearing on contemporary military doctrine?

Throughout history, seasons including the transition from Winter to Spring have played a strategic role in the timing of military operations.

Do Pentagon military planners favor the month of March?

Do they also –in some mysterious fashion– “idolize” Mars, the Roman God of War?

March 23 (which coincides with the beginning of Spring) was the day “Romans celebrated the start of the military campaign and war fighting season.”


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