RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Static Display of Impotence <

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Static Display of Impotence

--Dollar Operation, Arend van Dam

How can I bear unaided the trouble of you,

and the burden, and the bickering!

--Deuteronomy 1:12

And the Governors agree to say:

"He's a lovely man!"
He makes it easier for

Them to screw

All of you...

Yes, that's true!

--Heavenly Bank Account, Frank Zappa

There can be economy
only where there is efficiency
--Benjamin Disraeli

The recent debt ceiling debate and budget cut proposals led Ranger to think about the Principles of War and how they were violated in the last several weeks (The Nine Principles can be viewed HERE.) The Principles are the foundation for planning and executing a successful military exercise, and the rules are readily applicable to ensure the success of most undertakings.

Ticking off the list:

This fight could not place the combat power at the decisive place and time; it was an exercise in futility. The decisive battle should not be about caps and cuts but rather, how do we stem the economic assault on our defensive position? We are re-acting when we should be acting. The entire debt limit discussion was an admission of defeat.

There was not a clearly-defined, decisive or attainable objective. Just as with the present U.S. Counterinsurgency (COIN) policy, the negotiation gave more credence to politics than to attainable objectives. The objective was not reached because it was obscured by smoke.

Neither political party maintained or achieved the initiative.

Both parties put all their assets forward, leaving them with nothing in reserve (which also affected their maneuver plan.)

Ditto above regarding surprise. Additionally secondary efforts were ignored and never prioritized. Not discussed were balance of trade, loss of jobs, balance of dollars leaving our shores, loss of industry and weak economic white papers. Nope -- we just focused on borrowing more, slashing and burning more.

Both sides were totally dug-in defending in zone with no demonstrable mobile warfare. Neither side possessed the combat power essential to overrun the opposing side. It was a static display of impotence.

One would assume the President would be the responsible commander, but this oversimplifies the situation. Obama should have stated his commander's guidance, but allowed the maneuver commanders to formulate their respective Operations orders. By placing himself on the battlefield he ignored the subordinate chain of command. In addition, his presence stiffened the opposition to an unacceptable intransigence.

There can be no unexpected advantages in this altercation because we had already lost our freedom of movement and would win or lose with the forces committed. This hardly describes the concept of security.

Simplicity was violated because the principle of objective was ignored. The leaders preferred to ignore this principle to the detriment of the goals of the operation.

In a recent Time essay, "How Today's Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality
," Fareed Zakaria bemoans the intransigence of today's conservatives, saying they have lost their touchstone of "reality" in exchange for reactive policies which ignore the truths on the ground. For instance, they failed to recognize that, "(t)axes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950":

"The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion. The rich countries that are in the best shape right now, with strong growth and low unemployment, are ones like Germany and Denmark, neither one characterized by low taxes."

So the can has been kicked down the road; Ranger hasn't any faith that the next group of mutton-heads will apply the simple and infallible Principles to their effort.

Everyone says they love the military, yet they cannot apply some simple procedures to their policy-making processes.

[cross-posted @ milpub]

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Anonymous barcalounger said...

When you think that MAYBE President O wants to cut entitlement spending, to lower Social Security Medicare/Medicaid payments, it makes perfect sense. I hate to sound like a killjoy but I think we have a wolf in sheep's clothing for a President. For a Democrat he sure acts like a Republican when it comes to throwing the poor and the unemployed and the elderly (did I mention veterans?) under the bus.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 2:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


We saw the wolf a while back.

Salon.com had an incisive piece on how Democrats are the new Republicans (a la 1956) last month -- I'll see if I can find it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Carl said...

Have you seen the movie (doco) "Inside Job" by Charles Ferguson? If not, strongly suggest doing so. A well researched expose' on the continuing massive worldwide financial scam.

Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 3:37:00 AM GMT-5  

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