Major Bob is back, too.
But first, we’ve got a new “Think Again” column called ” It’s Still theBush Economy” about the proclivity of so many in the media to treat thiseconomic crisis as if it were caused by Obama, rather than Bush, here and I did posts for the Daily Beast arguing that:
a) Obama should release the torture memos here and
b) It’s OK to love France (and San Francisco) again here and
c) There may be an actual political strategy behind Obama’swillingness to overload the political system with far more legislationthan he can possibly pass here
Now Here’s Major Bob:
Name: LTC Bob
Hometown: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Hello Altercators, sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been a bit busy oflate. I do, some may have heard, have a day job. Sometimes thisinterferes.
So, anyway, let us talk about pirates, and piracy and viable options.But first, and most importantly, let us consider the ways to think aboutthe problem. At least, from a military perspective. What follows is abrief primer on military thought (yea, yea, “an oxymoron”, I get it,LOL, etc) that may help each of you form your own opinions about thevarious options offered by pundits left, right, center, and everythingin between. My cutting caveat is that the overwhelming (by which I mean,”every single one I’ve seen”) majority of said commentators on “what weshould do” has never actually studied military theory, served aboard aship, or considered the practicalities involved in light of, well,reality.
So, strap on your thinking caps and follow me.
For starters, there are four levels of war. These levels are: Tactical,Operational, Strategic, Political. That’s easy, right? Don’t worry, itgets more complex in a second.
Now the tactical level is one man vs. one man, or 10,000 vs. 10,000, orthirty ships vs thirty ships, whatever. It is the level of short termengagements. Things that last a pico-second, or an hour, or a week. Wecall events that occur at this level “skirmishes” or “battles.” This isthe level of “tactics.”
The next level, Operational, is where you plan to string together aseries of battles in pursuit of your strategic objective. This is thelevel where you see whole Fleets, and Corps (in the Army). Events at theOperational level last months. You use the operational level to achieveyour Strategic objectives. (See how this builds?)
At the Strategic level you are making deliberate choices about how you,as a nation, want to fight. There are, really, only a couple of choices.In essence there are really only three (with a potential fourth)military strategies: Annihilation, Attrition, and Exhaustion (the fourthmight be “Fabian,” but let’s not go there for the moment, ok?) So, well,let’s define those, ok? (And remember, you do not need to agree with theuse of force to read this. I’m only giving you the intellectual tools tounderstand and critically analyze the use of force.) Ok, so, the threemajor military strategies might be defined like this: