Monday, April 20, 2009
Mass has an effect beyond lethality. If the purpose of the combat is to compel compliance with some desired goal on the part of a population then what is desired is a psychological impact. For tactical operations the ability to destroy any single target with precision is helpful. It can certainly impress the observer by convincing them that no location is safe. It can vastly complicate the targets defensive measures and inhibit their ability to plan and launch offensive operations. However to actually win a war you need to convince a target population that resistance is not only futile but that submission is logical. That means that you must conform to their expectations of what a victorious power is. Otherwise the war will never end. So in order to conquer you need boots on the ground and in order to break an enemies will to resist you need to have mass available.
If you want to kill one enemy commander or one fuel depot then 2 cruise missiles launched by an over the horizon destroyer or a drone are sufficient. If you want to destroy an army or break a nation then it does more good to use 16" shells from a battleship that they can see or fly 100 B-52s over them raining dumb bombs. Is that technique crude, destructive and expensive? Yes it is but it is more likely to end a war then an unending series of surgical strikes.
For this reason I wish the US Army still had 8" artillery tubes and I wish that we had destroyed Fallujah in a way that the Soviet trained arab armies would understand, Zhukhov style. We could have lined up 200 tubes at one end of the city and eaten our way from North to South. Unlike the Russians I would provide for routes for civilians to escape and humanitarian aide.
(who noted that Clinton is in the Presidential succession line after Pelosi)
But she's the Smartest Woman in the World, also you forgot the President pro tempore of the Senate.
Remember how the Republicans put Tip O'Neill's face up on TV and won in 1980? There should be a series of huge billboard posters hanging from overpasses across America;
Biden, Boxer, Pelosi "The Stupid Party"
The Democrats prosper on sizzle not substance so the Republicans should relentlessly attack them and ridicule them as uncool. We must make it embarrassing to be seen as a Democrat. Once that happens they will vanish like 3 day old fish.