Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Decision Making Cycle

When I was still in the military, back in the late 80s and early 90s, planning for military operations revolved around "getting inside the enemy's decision making cycle." What that meant was we would understand their strategies and tactics and that we would plan several steps ahead so that we could disrupt their usual decision making timing. They could not execute their plans because we'd always be a step ahead.

It was a great way to think about the planning process. It forced us to plan as far ahead as we could possibly manage, knowing that the situation would almost always have us adjusting our plan. It is axiomatic in war that "no plan ever survives first contact (with the enemy)." But we had a base plan to work from.

Contrast that with how BushCo. has lurched from day to day - at times from moment to moment in the execution of the Iraq war. In contrast to how I used to help plan operations for a brigade-sized aviation unit, this war has had no plan. In fact, it's only just now that Bush is pushing his "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq."

Years after the invasion the Worst President Ever is only just now trying to lay out a plan for post-invasion Iraq. And rather than presenting this plan to Congress and the American people Bush, inside his ever shrinking "comfort zone," will make his speech at the US Naval Academy, before a young, captive audience; where boos and catcalls would be considered disrespect towards the commander-in-chief and punishable under the UCMJ. This plan, this "strategy," in order to get inside the enemy's decision making cycle, should have been complete through the handover of authority to a sovereign Iraqi government and redeployment of US troops to bases in Europe and the US; with a tentative timetable.

What does this say about the planning for this ill begotten war? Worse, what does it say about those who "planned" it?

No comments: