Friday, April 04, 2003

No, this is a TechBlog. Really.

Duncan writes:

"good stuff! on the war, was the pause a head fake, an attempt to draw the
RG out so it could be destoyed, and to draw out the fedayeen so they could
be identified?"

I reply:

No "head fake" -- I don't think that war is anywhere near as arcane and frothy as our hypermedia perception of it. It's just kicking the shit out of the other guy, but you have to draw back your leg between kicks. The pause was just a part of the normal operational and logistical flow of things. You only have so many trucks, which can only carry so much stuff, and at some point, those same trucks have to stop, unload, and go back in the other direction for more stuff.

Multiply this because of the operational planning cycles (what did we use up? What do we need?), the strategic planning cycles (OK that went well -- now what?) the need to protect the supply lines (which means hauling troops and ammo in six directions for a while) etc. and a pause of a week seems perfectly reasonable. Patton, a man known for rapid advance, had plenty of pauses in his "dash" across France in 1944; he didn't have to deal with media backwash while he built up his forces and planned his next move, because in those days, everyone was still comparing him to how fast Napoleon had moved. (plus that fact that in WWI, *no one* had moved).

Much as I dislike Donald Rumsfeld, I have a lot of sympathy for his bewilderment at the media lashing he received after less than two weeks of war, when the worst thing that had happened was a few bullet holes in some helicopters.

At least we sort-of got rid of Richard Perle. While he stepped down as chairman, he's still on the DIA board; a fact which everyone in the media seems to be conveniently ignoring or significantly under-playing.

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