Friday, March 21, 2003

Clausewitz (and Powell) challenged. The Washington Post has an interesting military analysis here by Thomas Ricks, where he notes:

Since the American policy of gradual "escalation" of military force ended in failure in Vietnam, a generation of officers has been shaped by the notion that when the nation goes to war, it must use its overwhelming power to decisively defeat enemies. But the opening phase of the latest Persian Gulf war has been marked instead by a few sharp, narrowly focused blows aimed at bringing down the government of Saddam Hussein without having to resort to a conventional, all-out attack.

As an "insider" put it:

What they're trying to do right now is to punish the regime and give forces a chance to capitulate," this insider said. "It's a selective use of force to see if you can separate the people from the regime.

What it apparently is is Donald Rumsfeld ridding the Pentagon of the last remnants of Colin Powell--whose Powell Doctrine decreed using overwhelming force against an enemy.

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