Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wot, No D-Day?

The big news today is the release of a 35 page document entitled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq". This purports to be the Bush war-winning plan which he and his cronies have been working from since 2003.

Now if you know me at all then you know I am going to want to comment in detail rather than go off half-cocked so more later after I've read the document in full. But for now, I want to make two fast observations about phrases in the document.

First, there's this:

"It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power."

This one gives the lie to the idea that this document has been Bush's secret plan all along. Remember the days when the Bush administration thought troops would be greeted as liberators with rose petals strewn in their path? Bush has just admitted that was unrealistic.


"No war has ever been won on a timetable."

Yeah, that's why we have phrases like "D-Day" in the language...

Every war is fought to two conflicting timetables - both flexible. Each side attempts to impose its timetable on the other - a timetable of battle after battle, objective after objective to be reached by a certain date or time. If one side were to fight without a timetable then that would be the side that lost.

Case in point - D Day through to the capture of Berlin. Timetabled all the way by more than two years of prior planning - every milestone with a target date that was flexible but not alterable to the point of never being attained. It was even timetabled at an international level with another (Russian) front.

The truth is that everyone in the military knows timetables and milestones go together, as does anyone who has ever worked in management or run their own business.

With this one phrase Bush again shows his ignorance of history and the military.

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