Tuesday, June 07, 2011

D.V. Gallery on planning

As a ground war seems to be more and more of a topic of discussion WRT that wandering conflict in Libya, I am reminded of a quote that Sid pointed my way to a bit ago.

In A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War you can find on page 274 the following from Admiral D.V. Gallery,
The purpose of war .... is to gain political objectives, and a plan that results in military success and political defeat is worse than useless. "
So, political objectives? How about one we started this conflict with?

The fundamentals echo in the words of great men for a reason - they are timeless.



  1. ewok40k02:28

    We shall see when/if Sarkozy, and Berlusconi survive next elections.
    Cynicism aside, the political objective was to avoid millions of refugees. It was scaled down to thousands. Secondary objective of removing Quaddaffi from power - and possibly from the realm of the living - is nearing as the rebels are coming to within 100 klicks of his HQ.
    While it might be beyond scope of next-election-thinking, US interest is in as few arab/muslim people in Europe, and Europeans getting some combat experience isnt bad, since soon they will be on their own regarding defence. UK is already reconsidering the carrier fighter vacation until F-35, and sending some fighter pilots to train on USN F/A-18s to keep the skills alive.

  2. ewok40k02:40

    By comparison, Iraq resulted instead of democratic country that is counterbalance to Iran, in a democratic country ever more aligned with Iran, to the point of attacking camps of Iranian exiles.
    Definitely not something Bush expected.
    AFG is still in balance, but doesnt seem to go anywhere near stable nation-state. Though Bin Laden being dead is certainly a GOOD THING TM. AQ is severely disrupted, but not eradicated. If we consider not many of terror groups are ever successfully eradicated unles they relied too heavily on nation sponsorship that disappeared (as happened to the Red Brigades and RAF after collapse of Soviets), we can relegate eradicating AQ to the fanciful wishes realm, not objectives.
    And last but not least we have growing problem of PAK getting unstable with nukes onboard. And US has nowhere near the manpower needed to invade it Iraq/AFG style.
    But, from the perspective of AQ, they have gotten even further from the stated goal of caliphate in the Middle East. OTOH Iran's influence grows. And Chinese influence grows WORLDWIDE. They are housing few thousands workers in Bahamas right now and building great hotel complex. Ronnie Raygun invaded Grenada in similar circumstances...

  3. Outlaw Mike03:21

    NATO's involvement serves a useful purpose: showing the muslim world that we still have teeth and can vaporize them whenever we want. It's about the projection of our military power - even though no single western leader may at this stage even see it like that.

    But we will get there.

    ewok, the efforts to install a semblance of democracy in Iraq and AF are tactics. Are they good tactics? No one knows at this stage. The resurgence of militant islam has handed the West a problem it has trouble finding a tactic to deal with it, and one of those tactics was/is trying to make them like us.

    If it fails, it only shows that islam truly IS the scourge of humanity and has ultimately, for the benefit of mankind, to be either contained or destroyed completely.

    But one cannot blame the West for TRYING a tactic.

    In WWI, faced with novelties such as machineguns and precision artillery, the allies sought tactics to brake the stalemate. It was only after half a generation was wiped away that the allied leaders realized that simply charging fortified positions would not work, and that something else would be needed.

  4. UltimaRatioRegis07:23

    "<span>Iraq resulted instead of democratic country that is counterbalance to Iran, in a democratic country ever more aligned with Iran, to the point of attacking camps of Iranian exiles."</span>

    Don't be quite so sure.  We are told a lot of doomsday things yet about Iraq and Iran's influence.  I was in the middle of it, and saw how little support Al-Sadr really had among the Iraqis, and how much the Iraqis dislike Iranians, who are Persian, and not Arab. 

    We were told over and over again that Muqtada Al-Sadr was the "pied piper of the Iraqi poor".  He wasn't.  We were told that Iraq was in the throes of a civil war.  It wasn't.  We were told there could never be elections for the provincial council or the national government.  There was.  We were told we could never secure Ramadi, and Fallujah.  We did. 

    As for Mujahideen El-Khalq, they lived twenty-some years of being housed, fed, armed, trained, and paid by Saddam's Iraq.  They had it so good that their enthusiasm for re-taking Iran dimmed precipitously.  They knew a good deal when they saw it, and wanted no part of a fight across the Shatt al Arab.  They in fact became a problem for the Iraqi government.

  5. So...

    Here I be...sitting in a room full of Euros from Czechs to Icelanders...

    What I see is a bunch of folks comfortable in their skin, and wanting to keep their way of life going.

    And appear to be motivated to maintain it....

  6. DeltaBravo09:21

    way of life in our world... way of death in theirs... tough choice... hmmmm.. give me time I'm working on it.

  7. DeltaBravo09:24

    reading the original quote... can't imagine Adm. Gallery isn't turning in his grave over the military victories in AFG hanging by the thread of political defeat in DC. 

  8. ewok40k09:45

    I am not swapping bikinis for the burqas... and if needed will fight for my right to party.

  9. <span><span>I'm not so far away ewok... ;)
    Is my observation above wrong?    
    Also, I was shocked at how many folks have turned against being "Green" here too...</span></span>

    Its starting to hit their wallets.

  10. Sean11:34

    I have no problem fighting for my way of life...hell, I even signed up to spend a year and a half of my life underwater to defend my way of life. I happen to think it is a pretty good way of life and worth defending.

    I am in no desire to be dragged kicking and screaming back into the 8th century.

    But as others have mentioned, if forced to I will grow out my beard, pick up an extra wife or two, and try to keep my head down in the new regime....But some of my more diverse colleagues are going to have a harder time fitting into the new 8th century...(YMMV).

  11. Salty Gator11:49

    Ewok, I think you are also forgetting about the Oil dynamic.  Libya provides a lot of European oil.

  12. 11B4012:36


    I recently re-read Samuel P. Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations..." to see how well his thoughts were holding up fifteen or so years after he past them off to the printer.  In one of his little gems towards the end of his book, he specifically addressed involvement by the West in internecine Islamic conflicts. "Don't," he wrote. 

    Funny how Mr. Huntington doesn't get much mention from the Obama/Clinton foreign policy putsche. Perhaps it's that his name has such an Anglo-Saxon aurora while our President seems to prefer those Rashids and Zakarias. 

  13. DeltaBravo12:45

    Try and throw a burkha on me.  Just try.


    You'll be sorry.

  14. ewok40k12:54

    Oil is secondary concern, Libya has some but not on the scale of Saudis and rest of the Gulf.
    Maybe total of 10% of euro oil imports was from Libya, and it was quite easy to replace on markets. And if oil would be primary concern, everyone just would quietly nod to Quaddafi crushing the rebellionas long as he would keep the flow.

  15. James21:05

    While i agree with ya on the rest ewok i have to say on the oil i think you may be wrong. There are different types of OIL. In some cases like in the US there are different lvls of refinment in some cases per city. Now Libyan oil is a sweet and easily refined oil while saudi oil is bitter and harder the US is one of the few nations that does the refining for the more bitter types (why venezuella wont back out of selling oil to the US we are one of the few who have enough capacity to refine it).

    Europe refines alot of the sweet oilits easier and cheaper.

    Thats one of the reasons and yes the refugee problem is another reason.

  16. James21:09

    Plus during all this the Iraq's have performed demonstrations but they were for the improvment of conditions not a new government.

    I think JUST MAYBE the Iraqi's might get it. Maybe.

  17. Libya...I am more concerned with this quote and A'stan...