February 09, 2009

An Open Letter to Tom Ricks

Dear Tom,

Stop saying the surge worked militarily but failed politically. If it failed politically, it failed militarily. A better way of expressing what I think you are trying to say is that the surge succeeded tactically and operationally (and maybe strategically) but failed politically.

Carl von Clausewitz appeared to me in a vision, Obi Wan Kenobi-style, and told me to correct you on this.


Your Sensei

Update: Ricks responds. This might explain why the "sensei" has about 44.5 million fewer readers than the "student". I've got fnord, though.

Yeah, I know what you mean. The trouble was, when I said "it succeeeded tactically but failed strategically," I could just see people fail to compute. The average person (and the average Washington journalist) doesn't know the difference between the two. That's why I started using the less fashionable, less Clauswitizan formulation.