Originally Posted by revefsreleets
That's a great point. The problem is that every conflict is different. Because we had tons of assets on the ground, the War in Afghanistan was fought with a few SOF troops who recruited and used existing anti-Taliban forces, and things went remarkably well. Rummy assumed the same scenario would repeat in Iraq, and the intelligence was so awful thet they quite literally had the almost opposite plan that they needed. It's actually incredible to read how adaptable our military actually is, and how they were able to overcome massive incompetence at the top in planning to overcome that terrible planning. The lesson? On the ground intelligence is worth a few hundred thousand troops, and if you don't have the former, you damned well better have the latter.
what is the other thing we learn? That war is ALWAYS a measure of who makes less mistakes, not whether mistakes are made. The other problem we have which is way out of perspective right now is the zero tolerance policy. If an officer makes a mistake... he is gone. He gets graded just a little lower in his fitreps, and that is death to an officer. WHy is that wrong? Two reasons. 1. Because it creates managers, not warriors in the top positions. 2. Because these managers in the top military positions have never made a mistake, they don't know what to do when they do make a mistake.
In my mind, zero tolerance has to go. For a great discussion of this issue and Spec. forces, terrorism, etc. Read the autobiography "Rogue Warrior," by Dick Marcinko. Yeah, the book is a testosterone driven book. However, he has a lot of inside information.