Perhaps most important was the idea of focusing one's military efforts against the enemy's "center of gravity" ("Schwerpunkt"), which has become an important concept in American doctrine. Clausewitz's use of this term is problematic, however. He often used it in very general terms to mean something like "the main thing" or "the key point at issue."The Democrats are after President Bush. That’s no secret. These past few weeks, they have focused on the COG of Karl Rove. Good move, they have found a “main thing” without a doubt. If they can topple him, I presume the Democrats believe they will see a major degradation of the Republican’s strategic planning. This could work. If you’re going after a COG, realize the “enemy” will know those pressure points and defend them. Plan a viable strategy to accomplish your mission. This brings up a number of points. First off, many middle grade and senior officers of the armed forces are sent to the various war colleges around the nation, as well as abroad to learn about von Clausewitz and his concepts of warfare. It sure would be nice to have some of those people in your pocket when you wage any type of war, be it business or political. The Democrats have long viewed military members as people who are not intelligent enough to come to the table, and therefore, they don’t seem to be able to attract “the best and the brightest” when they have to hang up their uniforms. That seriously limits the understanding of planning and executing a strategic plan. Add to this a tendency to see Democratic types spending more time getting to understand domestic and social programs. That would be another strike in the score card, because of the lack of exposure to those types of situations where strategic “war fighting” would be experienced and therefore understood better. That being said, and back to my earlier comment regarding reviewing your party membership, the Democrats can identify the Republican COGs, but their assaults are virtual banzai attacks. A few months back, while putting Tom Delay in the cross hairs, it appears the Democrats had somehow forgotten to load their weapons with live ammo, and not just paintballs. How embarrassing to stand up and demand someone’s resignation and find out many members of Congress were also not reporting their paid for travel activities per the regulations. Open mouth, insert foot and chew, then repeat. Notice how quiet it got before many Democrats should have been called out to resign? Same thing just happened with Karl Rove. It seems a journalist made the first move, let alone we find out now Valerie Plame made a point to make sure her neighbors knew about her employment long ago, and that she wasn’t any kind of undercover operative at all. With so many lawyers in Congress, how did they miss checking the “charges” against the “elements of the offense?” I learned that one as a collateral duty legal officer aboard a ship. More paint balls fired, lots of angry voices, but…the republican COG is still alive and well. Actually, I think it’s ironic that the defense of the charge was mostly just done by letting the truth that the journalistic organizations, who also show a marked bias against the sitting president caused their own failure. I say again: It’s tough to fight when you pretty well let people who do know how feel like they are incapable of hanging around with you. Sort of like when the Democrats opened their eyes after last September and proclaimed “We have to find out what these ‘values’ are!” Taking out COGs is a large undertaking, yet it’s rewards are dramatic if you succeed. You have to mount an effective campaign, and match your weapons to the target. Also make sure you know your enemy well. Don’t go at it half baked. Associated with this entire issue is one of the extreme hypocrisy of the Democratic party. John Kerry specifically said Karl Rove should go, even if he is found innocent (funny, he wasn’t even charged with any crime). Extend this as though you just got some insight into the strategic thinking of the man who may have become our President. It never works when your main weapon against your enemy is a microphone used liberally at a press conference, to ask you enemy to just dismantle their COG, because you want them to. I’d argue you can demand they destroy the COGs themselves, but only after you have shown them the capabilities of your armed forces. Peace through superior firepower. It’s been proven across history, that negotiations from a position of strength are exceptionally effective. I’d be inclined to believe John Kerry would have considered the power of words to be his most effective weapon, had he made it into the White House. I submit someone with only junior officer service is ill-equipment by the virtues of that alone, to be considered a strategically minded person. Another extension of this issue is the amount of evidence the Democrats were using to ask a man to end a career. Effectively, they said there didn’t even have to be any evidence at all, that he should just resign. Square this with the fervent calls from the Democrats, led by John Kerry and Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, for the President to beyond a shadow of a doubt, prove explicitly that there were WMDs and that Saddam Hussien had everything to do with terrorists. Hypocrisy in large neon, flashing lights comes to mind. How can lawyers not get one iota of this disconnect? All they are doing is demonstrating outwardly that they have no plans on how to get anything done. If they can’t mount an effective assault to regain the Presidency, I submit they are unable to plan any strategy to defend this nation, let alone taking a stab at leadership in any arena. I suspect some Democratic Party members are thinking, for the Democratic party is losing political seats. If the National Democrats march out on any more campaigns against their last two, all they can hope to win is irrelevance. Thanks, Mudville Gazette!
Friday, July 15, 2005
Von Clausewitz, Centers of Gravity, John Kerry, et al, and Karl Rove
The entire issue of “FIRE KARL ROVE!!!” seemed to evaporate last night. I’ll tell you, if I was a reasonably smart person in the Democratic Party now, I think I’d have to give my party affiliation a serious moment of thought. More on that later. Von Clausewitz brought into the lexicon the concept of “centers of gravity” (hereafter a “COG”). Here’s a comment on his definition found here: