Sunday, October 12, 2008

Strategy vs Tactic

In the first debate, John McCain called BO on his misunderstanding of the term "Tactic" as opposed to "Strategy". It is a distinction that a commander in Chief ought to understand.

A Tactic is a small objective which must be accomplished to support the accomplishment of a larger plan.

A Strategy is an end game, built on where we are, where we want to be, and what it takes to get there.

A Tactical Fighter, like an F-16, makes small, precise strikes on specific targets. A Strategic Bomber like a B-2 carries nuclear weapons for long-range bombing runs, with the purpose of winning the war by inflicting widespread damage and killing huge numbers of citizens.

The Strategy behind the Surge was to weaken the insurgents to the point where they would be willing to sit down and negotiate a political agreement to end the war. Right now, the insurgents, mainly Sunnis who were used to being in power under Saddam, plan to wait until the United States leaves and then overrun the country and take control of the government. They don't want to settle for the minority control in the Iraqi Legislature that they would get based on a vote, so they plan to take total control for themselves. In America when you are the minority party, you make the case to the voters that you should be in charge, and if they agree, you become the majority. In Iraq, if you are the minority party, you kill enough of the majority party to become the majority. We are hoping that they will do it our way rather than their way.

Both Obama and McCain hope that the newly created Democratic government will survive after we leave. BO's plan to make that happen is to tell the insurgents when we are going and then leave the Iraqi government to their mercy. McCain's "Strategy" (yes BO, Strategy, not Tactic) is to use the reinforcements of the troop surge in an anti-insurgent role to weaken the insurgency. Then, when it becomes clear that they no longer are powerful enough to overrun the Iraqi Government, they will be willing to negotiate a political deal which gives them some representation in the Legislature, provided they stop killing people, identify the foreign fighters in Iraq, turn in the insurgents who were planting bombs to be tried for war crimes, and hand over their safe houses and weapons stashes. That is a Strategy for Victory. All BO has is a plan to leave.

Winning makes our country safer and stronger and advances our goals to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East. Leaving makes Iraq the next Afghanistan.

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