Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Planner vs the Slogger

This election will offer a true contrast of styles on how to fight the War on Terror. John "I have a plan" Kerry, the favorite of technocrats everywhere, believes that our success depends on careful planning of every phase of the war. His criticisms of George Bush as war leader recount all of the unexpected setbacks in the war, from the escape of Osama Bin Laden from Tora Bora, or the widespread looting after the liberation of Bagdhad, to the insurgency that has continued in Iraq since "Mission Accomplished" was declared in 2003, and chalk it all up to poor planning. If we are to believe him, a Kerry administration would have planned for all of these setbacks, and negated them through contingency actions. He is a man who never makes mistakes, never falls off a snowboard or crashes a bike. Can we trust such a man with our foreign policy?
To paraphrase Dwight D. Eisenhower, a man who knew a little something about war, "plans are useless, but planning is essential". The twists and turns of war cannot be predicted beforehand and slotted into a battle plan. Wars are won by gaining and retaining the initiative, remaining flexible in the face of changing circumstances, adapting to the situation on the ground as it develops, and doggedly pursuing victory until it is acheived. Guerilla insurgencies such as the battle for Iraq are won by the unit commanders on the ground, the platoon commanders and squad leaders who get to know their enemy face to face, and through their own initiative devise the tactics to beat him. It is not won by the planners in Washington.
Kerry's fixation on planning appeals to a good many highly educated academics and professionals who take it for granted that brainpower alone can manage and control wars and economies. It is the "Fatal Conceit" written about by Hayek, the deadly flaw hiding within any bureacratic endeavor to control large scale, complex social systems. To Kerry's supporters, George Bush is a failure due to his limited intelligence, his lack of advanced degrees, and his obvious inability to structure a proper war plan. They have learned nothing from the "Best and the Brightest", the cadre of intellectual luminaries, that came to power under John Kennedy, and set about to win the Vietnam War by superior brainpower. Vietnam was not lost by the planning, but by the lack of slogging.
When plans fail, its the slogging that will win the day. George Bush is the slogger's candidate, that group of people from varied backgrounds who have a personal relationship with the real world, and who know that success goes to the steadfast, the enduring, the one who will work hardest and longest to acheive his goal. There is only one candidate in this election that understands this, and has the courage to stay the course in the face of uncertainty. His name is George W Bush.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Unsomnambulist said...

"He is a man who never makes mistakes, never falls off a snowboard or crashes a bike."

Uh... Bush is the one who can't remember his mistakes, let alone acknowledge one.

And remember, Eisenhower knew about war because he fought in one, which W. never did... unlike Kerry.

Slogging is what you do to take care of messes, and Kerry will do just fine cleaning up Bush's mess.

October 25, 2004 7:10 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

Unsomnambulist, welcome! Thanks for the comments. You forget that Eisenhower never fought in a war until he was promoted to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Kerry's problem is that he is still fighting and losing Vietnam. Vietnam was winnable, we just didn't have the nerve to slog it through to the end, thanks to quitters like Kerry.

Freedom can be a messy business, but it is worth it.

October 25, 2004 8:05 PM  

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