April 14, 2006

A new age....

Dafydd writes interestingly about the retired generals who have been recently castigating Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld...

...Even before the Iraq War, Secretary Rumsfeld embarked upon a revolutionary reformation, not only of how we fight wars but also the entire organization of our military forces. He is pushing towards smaller units, more unit independence (moving command decisions down the ranks), much greater reliance on Special Forces, and a reorganization of units to be self-sufficient rather than specialized.

It's hardly surprising that some men who have invested so much of their lives in one particular way of running a war would be
angry, rebellious, and confused by a completely different way of running a war... or that some of them would lash out at the symbol of that change. They are no different from vice presidents at General Motors or IBM who furiously denounce splitting those companies into self-reliant business units instead of the normal corporate divisions they've had for twenty years...

It's not just the generals, of course, it's all sorts of stasists. And all those people who adored the lardaceous Powell Doctrine because it made it almost impossible use our military for anything. The sort of people who quote General Shinseki as some sort of prophet who foresaw that we would (in their opinion, not mine) need more troops for the occupation of Iraq, conveniently ignoring the fact that Shinseki (and the culture of 90's generals he belonged to) always thought we needed more troops, whatever the mission, and believed that the forces that captured Iraq in a mere 3 weeks were also "insufficient."

Dafydd's comparison to General Motors is apt, because it is exactly the change from the Industrial Age to the Information Age that is the underlying problem in both cases. It is interesting to compare the ways that terrorists are now operating, with modern business conditions where old style companies can suddenly be confronted by competition from "virtual corporations" who aggregate the services of many independent contractors, possibly without any "bricks and mortar" presence at all... And Rumsfeld is that rare and charming sort of person whose ideas and worldview didn't "lock in" after his first big crisis-of-life was overcome. How I admire him.

Rumsfeld is especially appealing to me, embedded as I am among people who are desperate to to believe that nothing has changed since 1973. People especially of my generation, and here's this guy from my father's generation happily upsetting old fogies and outraging stuffed shirts...
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld serves Christmas dinner in Mosul
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
serves plastic turkeys to soldiers in Mosul, Iraq,
December 24, 2005

(thanks to Gateway Pundit)

Posted by John Weidner at April 14, 2006 8:26 AM
Weblog by John Weidner