Saturday, August 25, 2007

It Didn't Happen

Re(1): "It Didn't Happen", The OpinionJournal, James Taranto
Re(2): “History Proves Vietnam Victors Wrong”, Wall Street Journal, Senator James Webb
Re(3): “The Approach Of The Arab Pol Pot”,, Hugh Hewitt
Re(4): “Vietnam Analogies”,, Dean Barnett

Because of articles like these - and the long memories of an educated citizenry - I think it will be impossible to bail from a conflict without addressing the consequences.

It was possible in 1975:

  • To run and hide.
  • To cut and run and redeploy.
  • To have a compliant media ignore the facts.

There is simply too much information, too much history, and too many sources to ignore the circumstances of a run and hide strategy.

I am including Taranto's article on the 'My Favorite Posts' link list.

I would have included Webb's as well - but, me thinks politics may add, shall we say, nuance to his writings in the near future. I want to keep the 'My Flameouts' link list as clean as possible. What Webb writes in 2000 is now open to interpretation by Webb in 2007 and beyond!!!

Measurement and Change...

Re(1): ‘Process’, The Belmont Club, Wretchard

Process and initiative are both basic cogs in an ever improving and competitive enterprise. There is a balance. You need both.

The Clinton Legacy was one that neither respected the military nor the intelligence services. Hence, they would not accept failure and could not accept results unless ‘process was followed’ and ‘accountability could be ascertained’. Both the military and the intelligence services were not critically important assets since they were not immediately aligned to Liberal goals. Basically, these entities never adapted to the peace dividend!!!

Therefore, the view was that they must change incrementally. Thus, process improvement techniques where implemented (TQL) to build a ‘stronger’ military and ‘revamped’ intelligence service. However, under Clinton ‘stronger’ was ‘more streamlined’ and cheaper - and ‘revamped’ was a re-tasking to economic and social research. We were, of course, talking about ‘Peace in Our Time!!!’.

Conversely, after 9/11 we went straight to change and initiative without much regard to process. To me, this was necessary. The processes were not set up to redevelop and restructure the entity. They were there to make it manageable and cheaper in peacetime. However, we are now dealing with the excesses and failures of initiative without measurement. America is now restructuring its processes to match its reality. Hence, the hue and cry about surveillance and counter insurgency surges. The Left is still unconvinced that the military and intelligence services have adapted to the modern world, and the Right cannot prove that they have. We are now readdressing process. It is ugly, but it is necessary.

Here is a very strong positive of the Clinton starvation by process and the ‘W’ process be damned just give me progress initiatives. Now, the military has a much lighter support footprint and understands process improvement techniques. The best example is Rumsfeld’s water spiquet references. Even during wartime he wanted to measure effectiveness and make incremental changes based on those facts. Another example is the recent review of NSA surveillance techniques – and, the reasonable adjustment to the wild-wild west changes that occurred in October of 2001. Why is that important? It is important because we can now change tactics and equipment and training and recruiting and retention – and still measure how the changes affect the whole.

We have changed, We are changing, And, we are improving.

I would hate to be the other guy!!!