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Rumsfeld's Power Point Plan for Victory in Iraq

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:33 PM
Original message
Rumsfeld's Power Point Plan for Victory in Iraq
From Crooked Timber:

http://crookedtimber.org/2006/08/11/powerpoint-corrupts... /

PowerPoint Corrupts the Point Absolutely
Posted by John Holbo

Via Arms & Influence, a passage from that Thomas Ricks book everyone has been reading (my copy isnt here yet):

<Army Lt. General David> McKiernan had another, smaller but nagging issue: He couldnt get Franks to issue clear orders that stated explicitly what he wanted done, how he wanted to do it, and why. Rather, Franks passed along PowerPoint briefing slides that he had shown to Rumsfeld: "Its quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of DefenseIn lieu of an order, or a frag <fragmentary order>, or plan, you get a bunch of PowerPoint slides<T>hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan against PowerPoint slides."

That reliance on slides rather than formal written orders seemed to some military professionals to capture the essence of Rumsfelds amateurish approach to war planning. "Here may be the clearest manifestation of OSDs contempt for the accumulated wisdom of the military profession and of the assumption among forward thinkers that technologyabove all information technologyhas rendered obsolete the conventions traditionally governing the preparation and conduct of war," commented retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich, a former commander of an armored cavalry regiment. "To imagine that PowerPoint slides can substitute for such means is really the height of recklessness." It was like telling an automobile mechanic to use a manufacturers glossy sales brochure to figure out how to repair an engine.


He reproduces one of the slidestruly a depth-defying plunge into Phase IV, i.e, reconstruction of all Iraq.





The next stage in the evolution of thought is, of course, the production of glossy brochures, selling contempt for the very notion of a working engine. Hence this William Kristol Weekly Standard piece:

Its become clear, by contrast, that the Democratic party doesnt really want to fight jihadism. Its just too difficult. Last week the entire Democratic congressional leadership sent President Bush a letter on Iraq. The Democrats didnt chastise the administration for failing to do what it takes to achieve victory there. They didnt call for a larger military, or for more troops in Iraq, or for new tactics. Rather, they seemed to criticize the (belated) redeployment of troops "into an urban war zone in Baghdad." And they complained that "there has been virtually no diplomatic effort to resolve sectarian differences, no regional effort to establish a broader security framework, and no attempt to revive a struggling reconstruction effort" as if these are the keys to success.


So this would be the aimed pressure to not achieve end-state over time plan?
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. That should dazzle the ignorant.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Isn't it wonderful how it all works by the time you get to the right side
of the slide? :eyes:
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. To be accurate, it should be flipped.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I see what you mean.
:thumbsup:
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theoldman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Read "The Guns of August".
It will show how all of the great plans of different nations failed once the war started. Staying the course was the biggest mistake that they made. You have to adapt to the situation as it changes.
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smaug Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Almost perfect analogy -
One of the things that strikes me about King-in-his-teeny-tiny-mind Georgie is his seeming to channel the German Kaiser of WWI. When you read Tuchman's "The Guns of August" on the lead in to WWI, the missteps and arrogance of Wilhelm Hohenzollern seems very familiar. I had read the book back in my college days, and came across a copy earlier this year at a garage sale. Bought it, and remembered as I read it why all these foreign mis-adventures seemed so familiar. Georgie is Wilhelm II, not Hitler (not competent enough, really - Tony Snow is no Goebbels).
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Richard Holbrooke just wrote an essay for WaPo with that title.
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 04:34 PM by BurtWorm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

The Guns Of August

By Richard Holbrooke
Thursday, August 10, 2006; Page A23

Two full-blown crises, in Lebanon and Iraq, are merging into a single emergency. A chain reaction could spread quickly almost anywhere between Cairo and Bombay. Turkey is talking openly of invading northern Iraq to deal with Kurdish terrorists based there. Syria could easily get pulled into the war in southern Lebanon. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are under pressure from jihadists to support Hezbollah, even though the governments in Cairo and Riyadh hate that organization. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of giving shelter to al-Qaeda and the Taliban; there is constant fighting on both sides of that border. NATO's own war in Afghanistan is not going well. India talks of taking punitive action against Pakistan for allegedly being behind the Bombay bombings. Uzbekistan is a repressive dictatorship with a growing Islamic resistance.

The only beneficiaries of this chaos are Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who last week held the largest anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration in the world in the very heart of Baghdad, even as 6,000 additional U.S. troops were rushing into the city to "prevent" a civil war that has already begun....
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. Don't worry, Burtw..
None of this will come to pass. It's all just smoke and mirrors....total and complete incompetence that is just waiting to get thrown out.

I must admit I shuddered a little when I saw those little Pie Charts of "Tribal" and "Religious" I thought, oh crap what have those imbeciles planned for these poor people now?

But then I realized, it's all just stupidity. As long as Rumsfailed is behind it, no need to worry.
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Amonester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. That's what they (RumsfailedChenious&Co) want? Endless...
chaos everywhere, so their buddie$ never end profiteering as they endlessly provide arms & oil to all fighting sides, no matter how many poors get slaughtered in the middle...

Their "plans" R so ovbious: They want more terra to gain from, not less!! It's their repugnant "principle." :grr:
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. You have to be kidding me. I cannot believe this is how these assholes...
fucking plan. NO WONDER we having so much trouble in Iraq. HOW THE HELL DO THEY EVER EXPECT TO DO ANY GOOD?
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Amonester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hint: They don't WANT to do any good.
They just LIE about wanting to do any good.

OTOH, the only "any good" they really want is for their buddies (MIC & BigOil's CEOs & VEEPs) exclusively.
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