Monday, April 20, 2015

Cage, Convert, or Kill

I am not a smart man.  I’m not just quoting Forrest Gump – I’m not a smart man, but I repeat myself.  Maybe that is why I appreciate simplicity so much.  The legendary artist, Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.   In fact, “simplicity” is deemed so important that it is one of the US military’s nine “Principles of War.”
The idea of guidelines for effectively conducting war goes back some 500 years before Christ, at least as far as Sun Tzu.   Machiavelli had his "General Rules" in the 16th century.   Carl von Clausewitz wrote his version in the early 19th century which is largely the foundation of what the US military employs today, or should.  

Military doctrine defines these nine principles as the, “the most important nonphysical factors that affect the conduct of operations.”  As you read each of these doctrinal definitions, decide whether or not they comport with President Obama’s employment of forces in our “overseas contingency operations” formerly known as the “global war on terror.”  (Parenthetical comments are mine.)

Objective -- Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective.  The principle of objective drives all military activity towards the destruction of the enemy's ability and will to fight.  (Like an effective “Jobs program.”  That ought to keep those “violent extremists” too busy to fight.)

Offensive -- Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.  The surest way to achieve decisive results is to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. Seizing the initiative compels an enemy to react.  (See also:  “NOT leading from behind.”)

Economy of Force -- The reciprocal of mass.  Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts. Never leave any unit without a purpose.  (Doing nothing can be very economical, until the enemy is at your door.)

Maneuver.  Place the enemy in a disadvantageous position through the flexible application of combat power.  Effective maneuver keeps enemy forces off balance by making them confront new problems and new dangers faster than they can counter them.  (Caution – promising “no boots on the ground” can cause the enemy to be injured by laughing at your lack of resolve/timidity.)

Unity of Command -- Necessary to applying a force’s full combat power.  A single commander directs and coordinates the actions of all forces toward a common objective and the most effective way to achieve unity of effort. (Note – can be undermined by embracing enemies, and undermining allies.  There has never been a more propitious time to unite the world; Sunni Arabs, Europe, Africa, and Israel all want to stop the spread of radical Islam and the Islamic State – the only thing lacking is a leader.) 

Security -- Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage. Security results from measures a command takes to protect itself from surprise, interference, sabotage, annoyance, and threat surveillance and reconnaissance.  (Antonym – Benghazi)

Surprise -- Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared.  Factors contributing to surprise include speed, operations security, and asymmetric capabilities.   (e.g. Obama enforcing a “Red Line” would be a surprise.)

Simplicity -- Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding and reduce confusion.  (I can say I’m confused -- the Obama administration is trying to strike a deal on nukes with Iran, but will not require that they renounce terrorism or the destruction of Israel?)

Analyzing the conduct of our ongoing military operations using these nine principles, “the most important nonphysical factors that affect the conduct of operations,” suggests, at least to me, it is a good time to revisit our National Security and Military Strategies. Or at least consider relieving/impeaching the Commander-in-Chief for dereliction of duty.

Here is a trustworthy warning:  anytime you hear Obama say, “let me be clear” or a politician say “comprehensive solution”, just know what’s about to follow is malarkey.  As Thomas Sowell said, “People who pride themselves on their ‘complexity’ and deride others for being ‘simplistic’ should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.”  The problem is not with our doctrine being too complex.

Regarding our ongoing war with radical Islam, which they’ve declared and Obama disavows, it seems to me there are really only three options:  cage them, kill them, or convert them
Truthfully, it’s pretty simple.


Francis W. Porretto said...

Mow, now, Colonel, excessive tugging of the forelock is bad for the scalp. You can't be a dunce or an ignoramus and rise to command rank.

I forget who said it, but I love this maxim: "Everything is simple until you get to the details." The principles of effective warmaking hide a host of important details, as you know. But beyond that, the great and essential unknown in all warmaking -- the enemy's response to your moves -- will forever make the battlefield a place of uncertainty, improvisation, and creativity.

All that having been said, the three overarching approaches to Islam that you enumerate are indeed the only ones -- and note that I omit the adjective "radical." A recent mock-riddle defines my position:

A diamond sits at the intersection of two roads. Santa Claus approaches from the north, the Easter Bunny from the east, a moderate Muslim from the south, and a jihadist Muslim from the west. All begin equally far from the crossroads. Who will get the diamond?

Answer: The jihadist Muslim. The others are mythical creatures.

tz said...

I guess the policy applies equally to those who would not live as slaves to socialism.

Obama can cage, kill, or convert all the libertarians, constitutionalists, and anarchists.

As to "radical Islam", first, with Saddam, Quadaffi, and the rest, there didn't seem to be a problem but we had to support "nation building". Didn't they say they would welcome us with flowers? The flowers hid IEDs.

Somehow backwards, 3rd world countries I can't see as a threat. Nor do I quite understand how the country that sunk the USS Liberty is our friend. Have we asked them if they would renounce using cluster bombs?

It is best to avoid ALL foreign entanglements and religious wars.

And protect our borders. That we can have hundreds crossing into the USA daily - with ISIS (Jose Padilla doesn't sound arab) just on the other side is the threat.

If we cannot or will not protect US Citizens on US soil, what point is there in talking about Iran or Israel, or Ireland, or India, or Italy?

The latter may matter, but the EU is a grown up confederation. They are being invaded by Islam. They don't seem to be threatened.

You can't accomplish any of the principles at 10,000 miles distance that you can't accomplish on your home soil. That includes DHS border checkpoint security theater. Or the Transportation Sodomy Administration that is coming to the end of its grope.

Reg T said...

"radical muslim" is a redundancy.

"moderate muslim" is an oxymoron.

And an orthodox muslim cannot, per the qu'ran, be converted. Per the qu'ran, they are apostate, and must be killed. By orthodox muslims.

Choose #1 or #2.