Fight a War or Run a Business?

Have you ever heard the saying: “To defeat someone, you must become a monter?” It must be yes. With inferior technology, Sadam Hussen made it fruitless to oppose him so as to keep Iraq together. The problem is if we are unwilling to rule Iraq then we must leave Iraq to its own devices.


Like so many others in the United States I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the war. I am torn. On one hand I understand and support the need to counterstrike groups who attack us; particularly when those groups do so with the level of prior planning that was a success requirement to accomplish the attacks of September 11, 2001. On the other hand I strongly hold the position that if a war is worth fighting we should fight it all the way.


Mister Rumsfeld has adopted the Military Transformation doctrine which should not surprise anyone. This administration and most of those powerful Senators seem to think the wholesale export of American industry is what we need to make our economy lean and mean. The ideology is that technology and the advancement of new technology is the savior of the United States. However, technology is not that advanced and isn’t the solution to human needs. In point of fact, most Americans can see the affect of technology on our children. They disappear into their rooms where they are watching TV, ‘IM’ing and talking on their cell phones. Yet, with all these technological advancements, these young Americans couldn’t fix their technology if they broke it.


How is that related to the Rumsfeld Doctrine? Simple. Technology drives just in time infrastructure; and just in time is the core of the Rumsfeld Doctrine of Force Transformation. Rumsfeld reasons that the soldiers working in network with each other and equipment are more effective than a much larger force not as well coordinated. Sounds good at the sanitary scientific theory level but when you apply the science to humans and their training levels and attitudes, it begins to fall apart.


I think the problem with the Rumsfeld Doctrine is the same as the problem with the economy. Just in time depends on a growing thriving economic environment. Likewise, Force Transformation requires an enemy that’s consistent. Fundamentalist religious fanatics are only consistent the extent that it benefits their own self serving behavior. The problem with self serving behavior is its different with every ‘self’ you encounter. In the end, it always comes down to money and power. The only way to combat the fundamentalist is to remove the hoped for reward. That isn’t going to happen within the structure of the Rumsfeld Doctrine.


In some ways fighting a war is like running a business; technology is not the solution for success people are. First, networking our troops and our equipment thinking we are becoming ever more intellectually advanced is foolish. Every time the humans are in combat success depends on raw human courage and the will to win the day. Second, thinking ourselves intellectually superior to our enemy is far beneath the intellectual levels we perceive ourselves at. Finally, thinking we can increase, not only our intellectual assets exponentially, but that we can increase our ability to develop and exploit new advancements in technology is an unrealistic expectation.


Sometimes, it has been said, to defeat a monster you must become a monster. Sadam, with inferior technology, kept Iraq together by making it fruitless to oppose him. If we are unwilling to rule Iraq then we must leave Iraq to its own devices. However, if we intend to win in Iraq we must abandon the Rumsfeld Doctrine and return the military to a war time fighting level capable of stifling the enemy. If we are going to perform the current police action against an insurgent enemy then we should install a large national police force much like that in any major city in the United States. As with our police we need special operations and a ton of uniformed officers. Better yet, let the Iraqis figure it out for themselves and use the Army to get the real enemy … Al Qaeda. Abandon the Rumsfeld Doctrine and return to the Weinberger/Powell position that the U.S. Military is not the tool to use to fight an insurgent war. Our troops are too important to us to waist them on someone else’s war. Who cares if the enemy hates us for leaving? They currently hate us for staying.


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