Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama, Afghanistan, and the Art of War.

With some time on my hands, I took the time to watch a historical critique of Sun Tsu and his book, The Art of War. I've heard about this man's work from time to time, but never took a serious look at what it was that he was teaching and why. As I was learning about the man's writings and their implication in the battlefields that have come afterwards, I couldn't but help to take note of our current war on terror and all the mistakes that are being made. Now I have a better understanding of what they really are and why they're so devastating. The war that comes to mind that has all that Sun Tzu would condemn is the War in Afghanistan.

One of the first rules in Art of War is that you must define what your goals are and seek to accomplish them. Not so much the military goals but the political ones. War is a political tool to be used only in critical situation. If one doesn't define the goal that is to be achieve, then as the author said, "First find the objective that you wish to accomplish and then fight. You fight with clarity and valor. The enemy that fights then defines his objective fights in confusion and darkness. Sounds a lot like what's going on in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraq policy is pretty clear at this point, turn tail and run. Given that we have no truly define objective, perhaps that's not the worse thing in the world. The fight in Afghanistan is proving to be more allusive since BO made it one of his platforms during his campaign that the real war on terror is in Afghanistan. The problem is he didn't defined what that threat is or how to eradicate it. Sun Tzu said, if the orders are unclear, then it's the fault of the general, if they are clear, it's the fault of the soldiers. Well, it's clear that it's the fault of the general, or in the case of our constitutional republic, the Commander-in-Chief. Now we're left with a quagmire with no clear objective as to when it will end. This is leading to another lesson: No nation has ever benefit from an extensive war.

Wars have bankrupt nations and destroyed empires, and not just the ones that lost. As we sit around and let our men become target practice for the Taliban while being body guards to a corrupt and divided government in Kabul, the cost in men, material, and money continues to rise. When a war is fought, it's to be fought to an end. There doesn't seem to be one other that stooges for corrupt Muslim thugs who continue in their quest to which thug gets to be in charge. With Bush, we had enough of a lack of leadership. With an even weaker commander, things are get getting worse. This is leading to another problem that's becoming clear and another violation in the art of war (I'm paraphrasing here because I don't remember the exact wording): leaders need to leave their generals alone.

Obama puts in his own guy to determine what's need to win the war there and when he comes back asking for more troops, Obama does exactly the opposite of what a winning commander does: intervenes. Basically, he tells him to shut up. This is what cost General Lee the battle of Gettysburg. When it was clear that fighting uphill against the Union was suicide and the more prudent tactic was to go around and draw them out from the advantage the Union had, Lee, three times said no. Had he listen to his commanders and let them do what they needed, the battle would have had a different results and DC would had been open to assault, perhaps taking Lincoln and obtaining a major political victory for the Confederacy, but Lee continue to intervene and lost 2/3rd of his army. It was the last time the Confederacy ever remained a threat politically and militarily to the Union and Lincoln gained the biggest political win of his presidency and went on to win the war. Now we have a Commander that doesn't want to listen to his own guy that he put in and wants to continue with what isn't working.

Perhaps one shouldn't be surprised by this. Obama doesn't know much of anything, much less about how to fight a war. Given his radical views, hatred of America, and socialistic objective, the war bleeding us to death would work in favor of his objective. He is taking one lesson quite well: maintain the moral high ground. This is the pysdo-arguments that he uses to maintain his political capital on the home front. Health care, Cap and Trade, the Nationalization of our industries, it's all done in the guise that it's to save the economy, the environment, to save and maintain the health of the country's citizens. However, his victory in this front is starting to crack as more and more people are opposing him. His political capital is being used up quickly as he's gone from an approval rating of nearly 80% to less than 50%. If he's weak at home and abroad, however, it won't be long before the rest of the country will follow unless leadership, especially in the Congress, is changed. Otherwise, as history has proven this man's wisdom repeatedly, we will suffer a huge and utter defeat and our republic will die.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Art of War is even used in Marketing strategy.