Die Schwerpunkt

In a battle of movement, a blitzkrieg, there is always a point that has the opportunity to be decisive in the final outcome.  It is at this point the opponents should marshal their effort even at the expense of less vital areas.

Successful Commanders are usually those who are able to swiftly shift their resources from point to point responding to changes in the situation and assemble a correlation of forces sufficient to thwart the ambitions of their adversary and (hopefully) reserve enough to move against newly exposed vulnerabilities.  Napoleon and Lee are good examples.

The significance of the metaphor is that fluid situations are… well, fluid frankly and a Revolutionary (no leaders or followers here, thank you) engaged in an asymetrical struggle against an overwhelmingly powerful adversary must be prepared to shift focus quickly, minimizing the inevitable and numerous setbacks

T.E. Lawrence

The Arabs might be a vapour, blowing where they listed. It seemed that a regular soldier might be helpless without a target. He would own the ground he sat on, and what he could poke his rifle at. The next step was to estimate how many posts they would need to contain this attack in depth, sedition putting up her head in every unoccupied one of these 100,000 square miles. They would have need of a fortified post every four square miles, and a post could not be less than 20 men. The Turks would need 600,000 men to meet the combined ill wills of all the local Arab people. They had 100,000 men available.

Most wars are wars of contact, both forces striving to keep in touch to avoid tactical surprise. The Arab war should be a war of detachment: to contain the enemy by the silent threat of a vast unknown desert, not disclosing themselves till the moment of attack. This attack need be only nominal, directed not against his men, but against his materials: so it should not seek for his main strength or his weaknesses, but for his most accessible material. In railway cutting this would be usually an empty stretch of rail. This was a tactical success. From this theory came to be developed ultimately an unconscious habit of never engaging the enemy at all. This chimed with the numerical plea of never giving the enemy’s soldier a target. Many Turks on the Arab front had no chance all the war to fire a shot, and correspondingly the Arabs were never on the defensive, except by rare accident.

(T)he Arab army was so weak physically that it could not let the metaphysical weapon rust unused. It had won a province when the civilians in it had been taught to die for the ideal of freedom: the presence or absence of the enemy was a secondary matter.

Battles are impositions on the side which believes itself weaker, made unavoidable either by lack of land-room, or by the need to defend a material property dearer than the lives of soldiers. The Arabs had nothing material to lose, so they were to defend nothing and to shoot nothing. Their cards were speed and time, not hitting power, and these gave them strategical rather than tactical strength.

The tactics were always tip and run; not pushes, but strokes. The Arab army never tried to maintain or improve an advantage, but to move off and strike again somewhere else. It used the smallest force in the quickest time at the farthest place. To continue the action till the enemy had changed his dispositions to resist it would have been to break the spirit of the fundamental rule of denying him targets.

With that in mind-

Coming Down The Pipeline

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Magazine

4/23/13 at 11:00AM

It really is remarkable at this point how completely tattered the case for building the pipeline actually is. The jobs claims have been debunked time and again as inflated. The public-safety promises from TransCanada, the corporation seeking to completely the pipeline, have collapsed as badly as that pipeline in Arkansas did. And, in a country that prizes bipartisanship as much as this one allegedly does, the coalition against the pipeline is as diverse as could ever be expected – ranchers and tree-huggers, scientists and Native American activists. On the other side is money and power, and a simple brute desire not to be frustrated by the lines of ranchers, tree-huggers, scientists, and Native American activists. That’s the whole fight now. One side wants what it wants because it wants it. Period. The president has to decide where he’s lining up.

1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

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