Ah yes, these were the good old days indeed.
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Exar Kun wrote:Holiday drinking will do you no good,you seem to have mixed Jiang Wei up with someone else.But it's all right,I won't call you on these things.
Exar Kun wrote:Reading this,Exar became shocked.
Bofu seemed to have this debate in a lock.
What course of action,could he possibly take?
"Read your last post...for pity's sake!"
But looking back,the answer became clear:
"Bofu I said that already...right over there.
Good grief, I certainly do miss my old friend Bofu (Lu Kang).
I'll give a concise summary of my thoughts on this matter.
I don't believe Jiang Wei's motives were selfish at all. It's obvious that he was not truly valued in Wei at all if they would so easily believe him to be a traitor. And then he's offered a position by Zhuge Liang himself. It's strange that people would be so quick to point out disloyalty here but then look the other way and go "hmm" if anyone tried to equate Sun Ce with the same behaviour.
Now then, as to the campaigns. Again I don't believe he was glory seeking at all. The campaigns quite simply were essential to Shu's survival. Shu is often seen as the aggressor kingdom that threw everything into offense while Wu was the sleeping giant, happy with what he has and only baring his teeth occassionally to show he hasn't lost them.
Well at the end of the day they both fell. Wu's defensive posture gained them 17 years. 17 years and literally zero chance of victory short of Wei/Jin collapsing totally. In exchange for Shu's 17 less years, they had the opportunity for victory everytime they went north. Yes, every time
. No matter how bad they may have been beaten at times, they gave it their all and would have been fully prepared to go all the way. Compare to Wu, who would retreat win,lose or draw.
Given that the war never was (and never would be) a cold war, each kingdom could choose either victory or death. Victory meant fighting and that's what Jiang Wei believed in. If you aren't prepared to go for victory and instead will just wait for death then why even bother being independent. They could have gotten a better deal going vassal and offering their support in a Wei offensive against Wu as a dowry. Liu Shan would have been made King of Shu and they could live peacefully.
Jiang Wei was simply doing what was required. Shu was not getting any better, in fact the kingdom was steadily deteriorating, especially in terms of military personnel. Better to attack while still some strength remained, even if the effort sapped that remaining strength at an increased rate.
But even had he launched no campaigns, Shu would still be dead before the turn of the century. The kingdom was simply too weak, even from its inception, to live unless it maintained anything but an "offence if the best defence" posture. Thinking anything else is delusional.
And so is believing that by trying to survive as long as possible is a plausible strategy for victory.
This post really isn't keeping with the usual high standard I keep for myself but I don't feel particularly eloquent today. I'll try adding some more later, I just felt obliged to post something since James named me.
"Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it."
-Creed of the New Sith-