Saturday, January 09, 2010


Initiative is one of the tenets of combat, whether in the field or on the strategic board. If you've got the initiative, you've got the enemy responding to you. I'm reminded of a quote that I can't find right now, and it's probably apocryphal, but some say that when US Grant was with his staff at the beginning of the Wilderness campaign, there was a great discussion about what General Lee might do. Grant listened for a time and said something to the effect that he was heartily tired of hearing about what Lee might do. Grant knew what he intended to do and he'd let Lee figure out how to respond to those plans.

That's taking the initiative.

I see that we're still trying to decide what went wrong during the Christmas bomber incident. The one where the guy set his underwear on fire? Now I'm hearing that we're setting up new procedures to keep this kind of thing from happening.

A couple of thoughts.

1. When we're responding to the latest ploy, we've ceded the initiative. We're responding to them and that's a bad idea.

2. We always train for the last war. It seems in this conflict, we're always closing barn doors after the horse is escaped.

3. If you're a national security type and you talk to the media, you're telegraphing our plans. That's never a good idea. You don't think Al-Queda watches TV or reads the newspapers? You need a new line of work.

It looks to me like we've ceded the initiative to the bad guys.


J said...

>You don't think Al-Queda watches TV or reads the newspapers?

Dang right they do. We've been giving the enemy advance notice of our operations, plans, capabilities, etc., etc., since the fiasco called the "War On Terror" began. You can read things in the *Town Talk* that would have gotten the author shot by a firing squad during WWII.

It's been that way since day #1 of this "war." All our enemy needs to do is read a couple of daily newspapers or have an Internet connection, and they have all the information Hitler needed 5,000 spies to gather. It POs me to the max.

Rivrdog said...

How to take back the initiative:

1. When a foreigner attacks our country and is captured, he is never seen again. The press can speculate all they want where he might be, what will happen to him, but we take him and bury him in a prison offshore until radical Islam is defeated. That probably means forever, and we have the legal right to do that, as guaranteed by international convention.

2. We tell Karzai that we are going to defeat the Taliban in his country, and we are going to do it quickly and with no finesse whatsoever. We direct him to send one message to his people: that they are ordered to cooperate with the Allied military, and any citizen harboring Taliban will be assumed to be Taliban. We lose all the absurd ROEs and finish this war. When we're done, AGAIN, we turn the country back to Karzai. The warlords will move back in to divide up the nation, and we accept that. Democracy has never worked there and we can't make it work.

3. Then we move our troops to Pakistan and do the same, and remove their nukes. After Pakistan, the muzzies will have learned that they are not going to cow the West anymore.

The longer we postpone taking back the initiative and actually FIGHTING radical Islam, the worse the job of defeating it gets for us.

J said...

Rivrdog, all that does is kill 50,000 American soldiers. We need to fight Islamic extremism at its source--the radical preachers and their mosques. Two Cruise missiles through the roof of the most rabid mosque per month. Next month, the same for the next most rabid, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

We need to send teams to all countrys to kill people that want to kill us. Look to Mossad. We start hunting w/ or w/out the countrys permission. They get in the way, we kill them too. Small teams, just like Mossad. KD