Friday, November 03, 2006

 

Bush's 'Common Sense' Makes Clausewitz Cringe

George Bush, along with those close to him, has made a career of stating his 'common sense' approach in dealing with the chaos in Iraq. His sense is that we need to "stay the course" even as that road becomes demolished and full of IED craters that lead our armed forces into the immobile, aflexible position they now find themselves.

Carl von Clausewitz, the great military theorist, had some strong words for commanders that use their ideas of 'common sense' to justify failed military theory and its practice in the field. Bush's failed theory and its subsequent practice by Donald Rumsfeld is seen by Clausewitz as defying common sense in that military theory "needs intelligent treatment to make it conform to action, and to end the absurd difference between theory and practice that unreasonable theories have so often evoked. That difference, which defies common sense, has often been used as a pretext by limited and ignorant minds to justify their congenital incompetence." (On War, Book Two, Chapter Two)

Abe couldn't have said it better.

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