Note: This is part of an article I wrote for Townhall.com this week.When I was commissioned as an Army officer in 1982, one of the books listed on our mandatory reading was Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.” I willed my original copy to a young subordinate officer years ago. However, I still maintain a copy in my office at the NCPA.
One of the memorable quotes from that seminal strategic work is, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”If the venerable Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu were alive, his counsel to President Obama would be simple: you know neither yourself nor the enemy; hence you are not victorious.
Strategy is about getting inside the head of your enemy and knowing his thoughts. It is not about trying to conform the enemy to your desired understanding.Strategy is about knowing your own capacity and capability – and especially your own warriors. That is, if you see them as warriors and not pawns in your own game of thrones and political agenda – in my assessment after last week’s Coast Guard Academy address, that’s how President Obama views our military.
I recently wrote for Townhall.com how one should never base national security strategy on campaign agendas. As well, one should never be so intransigent as to deny the truth of the enemy. That simply results in conceding to the enemy the initiative and their ability to outmaneuver you strategically – which if you haven’t paid attention is exactly what Iran is doing.
This week, five senior members of the Taliban will be free to return to Afghanistan from Qatar, which also happens to be the home of the leader of Hamas.The delusional belief by the progressive socialist left and the Obama administration is that the existence of Guantanamo Bay is a recruiting tool for the enemy – or perhaps the climate at GITMO is not to their liking.