Terminology lesson
Posted by aogWednesday, 26 March 2003 at 22:44 TrackBack Ping URL
I forgot to abuse Thomas Ricks, the author of the following statement:
“I think you need to defeat them in detail,” said the general, using the military term for destroying a unit.
Uh, no, that's the military term for ganging up on small bits of the enemy (“details”) one at a time. It's something where you don't want to be on the receiving end. Saddam Hussein, however, by dividing his forces among multiple towns and locations is setting himself up for exactly that. Because the US owns the air, we can split up and avoid that problem because we retain mobility (and this is a primary reason why modern US army doctrine puts so much emphasis on mobility). The Iraqis can't because units that move get brutalized by air strikes. We can find these groups, hit them with locally overwhelming force and move on to the next. That's classic “defeat in detail”. It sounds like the general grasps this concept even if Ricks doesn't.