GaryGagliardi's blog

The Strategic Weakness of Democracies

Sun Tzu invests are great deal of effort making it clear that we have to keep politicians out of making military decisions. His point is that politicians care more about their personal success than they do the health of the country. This is a particular difficulty of democracies where opposing parties can become the willing allies of a countries enemies in order to get power. For example, it has now come to light that Al Qaeda planned and predicted that the bombings in Madrid would put the Socialists in power and that, in return, the Socialists would pull Spain out of Iraq.

Fighting War in the Courts

The recent court decision on prisoner's at Guantanamo attempt to merge legal and military systems to the benefit of no one but America's enemies. Sun Tzu teaches that the strategy depends on economic realities. If the courts insist that every enemy fighting against the US deserve full legal protection, America's cost of fighting wars will zoom out of control. Not only will we have to pay the war itself but, if we take prisoners, for prosecuting enemy combatants but defending them as

D-Day Reporting from WWII

This blog isn't very active now, because we are in the process of moving site to a new host, but over this weekend, on a long-drive, I had the opportunity to listen to several hours of the NBC report of the D-Day invasion of Europe during WWII. I was impressed by several difference from reporting today. The most noticeable was that the reporters actually had a working knowledge of basic strategic principles and worked to explain them to their audience. For example, during the report, they reported the importance of secrecy and misinformation in war.

America Begins to Recognize the Media's Role in Terror

Fox News has done a number of interesting polls on the Media and its reporting of terror. First, they asked who was reponsible for the problems in Iraq. The Media was number one, with 27%, number two was it Iraqis, at 20%, where Washington was down around 16%. How about what was a bigger story, Berg's beheading or the Abu Ghraib prisoner mistreatment? We know what the Media thought, but the American people thought Berg's beheading was a bigger story by a ratio of 60% to 8%. People defend the Media by saying that they only do stories that generate sales, but this is patently not true.

A Theme is Not a Philosophy

We have been saying since Kerry became the presumptive Democratic nominee that he needed to have a clear philosophy. Well, instead of a philosophy, he picked a "theme." Themes are for amusement parks and high school dances, not for the leader of the world's most powerful nation. Worse, the theme that he has chosen, "Let America be America Again," sends all the wrong messages. It is at once condescending, backward-looking, and permissive with a little bit of nostalgia for the bygone

When Senators Accuse America of Being Evil

As readers know, I believe that any strategic analysis using Sun Tzu's principles teaches us that the real battleground in this War on Terror is the media. As the war on terror progresses, more evidence emerges that most reporters unconsciously believe that the American government is evil. Even though they can't allow themselves to say this directly or maybe even think it, it is apparent in their reactions to the news.
For example, Ted Kennedy said recently, "Shamefully

Who is the Media Cheering For?

I just caught the end of a war report on the television news. The reporter said, "Their forces are down, but not out. Their hope is that they can fall back, reorganize, and come back stronger than ever." Was the reporter talking about American forces or those who oppose them? Because we all know the David-versus-Goliath script that our media reports from, you won't be surprised to learn that the reporter was talking about al Sadr's forces in Karbala. But notice the tone. Instead of cheering their defeat, the reporter's message was that they can, like the fighter Rocky, make a comeback.

Hezbollah and the Media War

The terrorist group Hezbollah condemns the recent beheading of an American, not because of its barbarous nature but because it drives the news of prisoner abuse by Americans off the front pages. Though they say the act is un-Islamic to get the good headline on the article, reading further they reveal their real problem with the act: "The timing of this act that overshadowed the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners..." If Hizbollah really throught that this behavior didn't fit with

An Example of Real Strategy in Iraq

While the press concentrates on manufacturing bad news, they fail to report true strategic victories. Fortunately, the Internet gives us the ability to get the real story. For a great story on the use of strategy in working against al Sadr, read here a letter from a soldier in Iraq to Amy Ridenour's blog. There are a number of great strategic lessons in this letter. Notice how American actions follow exactly Sun Tzu's advice on the best forms of attacks.


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