Recently by Jack D. Douglas: The New Declaration of Independence From the Corrupt and Tyrannical USEmpire
The generals are always fighting the last war, and the one before that, and…..
Military Bureaucracies almost always suffer the SOP Deadly Disease Of Bureaucratic Blindness And Paralysis. A Bureaucracy is a system of “rationalistic” rules for controlling masses of people down the line from the top. In the rare occasions in which the ruler at the top is not merely a Legacy Baby who inherited power in some way, and is open to reality and feedback and can think at least a bit creatively, the bureaucracy he rules can be very effective under him, if it follows his leads. This was true of Alexander and Genghis Khan [who apparently invented or adopted a system of tens to build and run a vast army with vast mobility and flexibility–one man ruled ten, who ruled ten, who ruled ten, so you soon have a vast army with each man burdened mostly by ruling ten, not the whole mass-mess.] But they are quite rare, no once can be taught to become that way, they are irreplaceable, and they eventually arouse growing envy and resentment and back-stabbing from the lower ranked bureaucrats. Adm. Rickover was a techie leader like that of the U.S. nuclear subs, but he was irreplaceable, one of a kind at the top. Sure, there are bright commanders open to reality and creative, but they do not normally become flag officers at the top and, if they do, they get crushed by the standing bureaucracy.
You see over and over again in military history that the dumb-head bureaucrats running a massive, standing army are murderously incompetent. Apparently, all the top brass on all the Allied sides in WWI were like that. The Germans had learned big lessons on this in the losses to Napoleon and in subsequent wars with France they learned more about how to overcome Bureaucratic Blindness And Paralysis. The German staff’s openness at higher levels to officers down the line was important, the “Flying Colonels” who rode across the rear of the lines finding out what was happening and reported directly to the top was another. The cultural dedication to warfare among the Junkers was also important. They were able to defeat the vast Russian armies and hold off the vast Allied forces on the Western Front until the Germans started starving. This led to the superb top staff officers like Manstein and Rommel and to the defeat of the vast French and German forces in WWII when a Sgt. at the front saw the panzers could cross a small bridge [railroad?] and get behind the “impenetrable” Maginot Line and quickly got this plan to the top and it was carried out with gusto, leading quickly to Dunkirk and French Surrender.
But you also see that human beings starting from basic human nature and immediate realities always create Guerrilla Tactics and then strategies, as Young Lions do. That’s what happened at Lexington and Concord and beyond, as the Americans hid behind trees and walls to pick off the far more heavily armed and bureaucratically trained Red Coats marching in line; in New Jersey’s Bergen County, studied by Bill Marina, and other counties where the local guerrillas finally convinced Washington and the Continentals to cross the Delaware secretly in the dead of night and catch the drunk Hessians sleeping; and the locals in the forests cut up Burgoyne marching down from Canada; and the Over The Mountain Boys came over the mountain and crushed the Kings’ men in W. S. C., and on and on. Sun Tzu did it 2500 years ago. Mao redid it. Giap did it and crushed the French and the U.S. Superpower. The tiny Iraqi Sunni in the iron triangle did it. The Taliban are doing it. Hizbollah is doing it. If the Immense U.S.-E.U. Military Bureaucracy attacks Iran, Iran’s Holy Warrior Revolutionary Guards will do it in all directions and crush the U.S. Global Empire Superpower, but the Perfumed Princes at the top of the immense Pentagon Bureaucracy cannot see that clearly even after all this vast history and their defeats over and over again by many swarming, small peasant armies of guerrilla irregulars constantly surveying realities, probing, search for weaknesses and strengths, responding immediately to those, creating new tactics. cooperating with each other at crucial points, then disbanding and disappearing, and reappearing……
Guerrilla warfare is an extreme free market form of warfare in a situation of low and constantly changing information about what works and does not, a creative, swarming, ever changing, seeming-chaos of orderly responses to the vast complexities and inherent uncertainties [“fogs of war”] of many local realities.
Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.