Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Looks both the Republicans and Democrats are ignoring Von Clausewitz when they talk about Syria

GOP leaders are faulting the President for not being bold and decisive about Syria. I guess their model is Bush with Irag. Some model. Meanwhile the President is talking about a "measured response" to the Syrian dictatorship's ethnicidal efforts using war gases.

Republicans should remember that Von Clausewitz said never go to war until you get the people behind you. And the American people don't want us to get involved in Syria. I'm not saying they're right or wrong--just that if you do want to go to war, first you have to make sure of popular support. You don't have to make the argument after a Pearl Harbor or 9/11. You do when we haven't been attacked.

Democrats should remember that Von Clausewitz said if you do go to war, your first blow should be hard enough to flatten the enemy. War isn't a slap fight. That's why Bush's effort in Afghanistan was such a failure--he went in light, failed to get Bin Ladin, and while he decapitated the enemy regime in the capital, it had plenty of fight left, as the ensuing decade has shown.

I'm not saying a blow hard enough to impress Von Clausewitz would require a full invasion of Syria. But it would have to create "shock and awe" in the enemy.

Oh, and never make public threats you aren't willing to follow up on. Don't say something is unacceptable unless you mean it and act on that. Otherwise say something else.

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