Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sun Tzu of the Day

For those who have been to Bible study with me, you know that I cannot stand one-off Chapter and Verse quotations. I am a firm believer in the 10-up-and-10-down rule; you have to read the 10 Verses before and after the money quote in order to get a handle on the context. It is also helpful to have a copy of a parallel translations book as well ... but I digress.

So, there I am thumbing through Sun Tzu's The Art of War again, when I come across something we are all familiar with.
One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements.
... but that isn't the best part, this is;
One who does not know the enemy but knows himself will sometimes be victorious, sometimes meet with defear. One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeeated in every engagement.
Make sure you are reading this from the Chinese perspective you round-eyed devil - this helps.
If I know out troops can attack, but do not know the enemy cannot be attacked, it is only halfway to victory. If I know the enemy can be attacked, but do not realize our troops cannot attack, it is only halfway to victory.

Knowing that the enemy can be attacked, and knowing that our army can effect the attack, but not knowing the terrain is not suitable for combat, is only halfway to victory. Thus one who truly knows the army will never be deluded when he moves, never be impoverished when initiating an action.

Thus it is said if you know them and know yourself, your victory will not be imperiled. If you know them and know yourself, your victory will not be imperiled. If you know Heaven and you know Earth, your victory can be complete.
This has to do with being honest with yourself and gathering proper intel, good honest intel.

What is the main threat to the US from hostile intel services from the Clinton Administration on? China. They know their Sun Tzu better than we know our Clausewitz.

I want to pick on the last line from above.
If you know them and know yourself, your victory will not be imperiled. If you know Heaven and you know Earth, your victory can be complete.
One can argue how much we really know China I presume, but from the Korean War on I think the 51% of the argument is that we know a lot less than we think.

Now, from a USN perspective, how well do we know ourselves?
  • Do we know our deep strike capabilities? Review the lack of organic real tanking ability and lack of deep strike aircraft on our CVN. Don't even mention USAF quasi-peace time permissive tanking support. If you are going in harm's way from a ASW and AAW perspective, how many MK41 cells do you have left available for TLAM when you risk manage your ASW and AAW problem? SSGNs do look like a nice tool to have ... but for both surface and sub-surface units, how are our WESTPAC reload ability looking for sustained combat?
  • Do we know our ASW capability? ASW readiness for fixed and rotary wing - up to speed for both personnel and equipment? Just relying on SSN? How about your aircraft and ship light weight torpedoes - realistic warshot validation in the appropriate water and bottom profiles where we will fight? Numbers of warshots available allow for sustained combat with the expected number of attacks on false contacts?
  • Do we know our ship's capabilities? Enough LCS mission modules and ability to swap out forward deployed to match the changing MIW-ASW-ASUW-AAW threat as it appears? Oh, never mind ... none are and none are expected for a long time. OK then, DD ... FF (not-so-G)? Oops. Enough DDG-51's ready for ASW? Errr...P-3s?
  • Do we know our ability to escort CVN and Amphibs....
  • Do we know our AAW and ABM capabilities.....
Do we know?

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