Friday, January 23, 2009

Shacked up by one of our brothers on Team Spitfire. Totally apt.

I'm Not Proud, But...

...I'm thinkin' that, were it me, I'd pretty much keep this under wraps.

1. Sorry about the whole "depression" thing, Fifi, now sit and stay while I go get my shotgun.

2. The Dog Breed encyclopedia says that the standard poodle can get up to 80 pounds, so maybe Fifi is getting a bad wrap as an absurb French lapdog; apparently a "real" (standard) French Poodle can kick some ass when it wants to.

Oops, 80-pound poodle Fifi is not. Instead Fifi is a Maltese Bichon. You can see Cujo's little cousin here. "Mauled" is a physically impossible descriptor.

Like I said, I'd've kept this one out of the papers & made up a story about a Grizzly Bear or something.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Functionality as Art

When form follows function, what would otherwise be an ugly, bronze-plated buffalo chip becomes an invaluable piece of art. And thus it is with the Air Force's A-10 Warthog.
This story narrates how, as the A-10 fleet is upgraded, the F-16 is viewed as an acceptable "replacement platform" for ground support. The F-16 is a beautiful machine, flying at something like Mach-73 while it destroys everything in sight. But I'm not sure it can truly "replace" the Warthog.
The Warthog is an ugly machine, but it was designed specifically to provide support to troops on the ground. It comes in low and slow, and there are few sights as beautiful as an A-10 "shaking off the dirt" as it lines up for a gun run. The pilot sees what you see, and has the time to "dialogue" with you to ensure that he's firing up the right target and not, say, you. The F-16 can't replicate that; it flashes by at 400+ mph and if the pilot blinks, he'll miss the show. Plus, the A-10 is a hardy vehicle. Because its speed makes it a target to the ground forces it's engaging, the pilot sits in basically a titanium bathtub, so he can trade punches as he comes in to line up his 30mm thundersticks. The F-16s speed is its security, and so it probably wouldn't move any slower even if it could.
So the F-16 is the blow-dried pretty boy, employing all the latest gizmos and gadgets to get the job done with style and aplomb, while the A-10 is cauliflower-eared, scarred-knuckle brawler who believes that any mission can be accomplished with the liberal application of brute force and ignorance.
The A-10 Warthog, a work of art.

And Speaking of "Warrior Intellectuals"

Can't wait to see how this works out. A philosopher-cum-government minister is re-designing the Brazilian military. I don't want to sound like a pessimist, but I'm thinking the Brazilian military will come out the worse for the deal.
I had a chance to visit the Brazilian SOF Brigade a couple of years ago. Outstanding unit, outstanding troops. The Brazilian SOF Brigade is located near the city of Goiania (sorry, my keyboard is not set up for using all those Portuguese soupcons) and is comprised of a commando battalion (think ranger battalion), a special forces battalion, two support battalions, and civil affairs and PSYOPs detachments.
Since Brazil has nothing akin to our Posse Comitatus Act, and since the Brazilian constitution charges the armed forces to "help maintain the rule of law," the Brazilian military (especially the SOF) sees a lot of action on the interior. The linked article above notes that the Brazilians have had remarkable success running the military arm of the UN relief effort in Haiti. That's because the (SOF) Brazilian commander promptly adopted a policy of "badass-itude" and the usual cast of Haitian ne'er-do-wells got the message that they could, not to put too fine a point on it, shape up or die.
One of the things that impressed me about the Brazilian SOF is that their company grade officers have four basic responsibilities: Training their men, doing PT, reading, and writing. In Goiania, I had a better discussion with these young officers about Bob Woodward's book The Commanders and how it reflects US policy formulation than I did at the US Army Command and Staff College. These guys are sharp, they've built a sharp organization, and it'd be a shame to see someone muck it up.
Still, if Mr. Philosophy Guy is the right guy, Brazil could win in the long term. Brazil views itself (rightfully so, in my opinion) as an up-and-coming Superpower, and configuring the Armed Forces to grow with Brazilian influence and interests will be a key to its success. The limited view of the Brazilian military that I saw revealed an organization that knew exactly how it needed to grow and reform in order to maintain relevance. The only question is whether Mr. Unger is smart enough to listen to them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Degree and $1.47 Will Get You a Cup of Coffee

This notable article in the Small Wars Journal, Courageous Colonels, prompted this blog post, Warrior Intellectuals, by a young Air Force Captain.
A couple of quick thoughts on both.
First, leave it to an Air Force guy to 'gin up a blog called "Building Peace." Curtis LeMay is rolling over in his grave right now. Peace is having your enemies capitulate to your will and your competitors prudently avoiding confrontations.
Second, I would be very, very careful in proclaiming that the Army (or really any of our military departments) is now a learning organization. It's not; it's a bureaucracy. And like any bureaucracy, it's hallmarks are stratification, ossification, resistance to change, and risk aversion. Anyone thinking that we've reached an age of enlightened reason and intellectual exchange is in for a harsh awakening. We in the Army are, at best, a marginally effective bureaucracy.
The reason we are effective is because we train young officers for the first two to four years of their budding careers that mission failure is unacceptable because their nation's defense and interests, and their soldier's lives, are at stake. Then we pull them away from troops and have them toil for years as "staff officers"--i.e., mid-level bureaucrats. They bring this sense of mission with them when they are sent to the salt mines.
Few people are more pro-Army than I, and here is my considered opinion:
Our Army doesn't win because we are so great, our Army wins because it is less fucked up than everybody else's.
The fact that the Army adapted its strategy is as much a product of successful bureaucratic infighting and luck as it is the intellectual prowess of the officers who identified and matriculated the new strategy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way downplaying the importance of nor denigrating the need for their intellectual firepower. I'm just saying that in a bureaucracy, talent and ability are just one (small) component of success.

Finally, I'm a little ambivalent about the whole "warrior intellectual" meme. I think that we need to discriminate first between intellectuals and Soldiers holding advanced degrees. [NOTE: I'm speaking in general here, and I'm definitely NOT decrying the cerebral proficiency of any of the "Courageous Colonels." Case in point: John Nagl is a true blue fifty-pound brain. In a battle of brains he'd have me tapping fast and hard. Battle of brawn, not so much. Heh] Most professional military officers have the grey-matter wherewithal to earn an advanced degree, it's the opportunity to do so that is elusive.
I think that the most valuable facet of an advanced degree (read PhD) is that it credentials one for partaking in the dialogue outside of the Army. Oh, he's got a PhD? He must know what he's talking about. That other schmuck over there? Knuckledragger. If there is a delinquency that time provided for the acquisition of an advanced degree ameliorates, it's the use of the time to slow down, read, and then to kick back in the chair, feet on the desk & hands behind the head, and actually think. Process rather than product. I've had a couple of academic types tell me that the importance of the PhD is not that the knowledge gained is exclusive to a doctorate, but because getting the doctorate shows the discipline to apply the knowledge to a process that leads to the degree. Really? Y'know what active duty officers sent exclusively to study for a degree call the process? Down time.

More Bunk

Fox news is proclaiming that not only are we Americans all getting fatter, but now the percentage of obese Americans is greater than the percentage of overweight Americans.

This is crap.

The article relies on the sample population being measured according to the Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is fundamentally unsound. The BMI is a strict height-weight ratio, so percentage of body fat vice muscle mass is not accounted for. Nor is ratio of waist-to-neck (which is what the Army uses). Nor is any other assessment tool used to discriminate as to whether you're a stud or a lardass.

So if one posits that muscle weighs more than fat, the aggregate numbers of any given population will be skewed towards being too heavy. In fact, one could reasonably hypothesize that, were the American population to suffer one of its periodic throes of fitness mania, similar studies would indicate that we are getting fatter and more out of shape because people were shedding fat and putting on heavier muscle.

I get the ass at these types of articles because 1) they're bad science, and 2) they're calling me fat. Actually, I found a BMI calculater on the 'net and determined that I'm obese.

I'm not going to generate a vanity-based laundry list of my fitness bona fides; let's just say that the mesomorphic mass of twisted steel and sex appeal that is Mongo is not obese.

I'm a Super-Predator, dammit.

Super Cool

Hey, baby, I'm not just a predator--I'm a super predator...

About five minutes of analysis is enough to convince one that this article is bunk. Show me the numbers, show me the methodology used to assess these numbers, and I might come close to almost possibly thinking that it could be the result of sound employment of the scientific method. But I doubt it.

This is one of those fanciful opinions wrapped in pseudo-science. Still, it says super-predator, which is cool.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ace of Spades Concurs

Looks like Gabriel Malor won't be sending his kid to Hastings College of Law, either. I think he got the description of Prof Bisharat right in the title of his post.
On the article itself:
This was the best they could come up with? Somebody gets the bright idea to present the Hamas side of things, but the best op ed they got was from Professor Laughingstock who had to make up his own facts and his own law? Sheesh. You're entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts, Doc.

Sorry, kid, I want you to get a real law degree...

Can you imagine being a hard-working parent who is not looking for a handout--I mean a bail out--who scrimps, saves, sacrifices, and takes out loans up the yinyang (that, something new and different, you fully intend to repay on schedule) in order to help your kid achieve his dream of getting his law degree, and opening up the newspaper to find that one of the kid's professors had written this piece of excrement? I'd be a wee bit disheartened.

I'm not a lawyer (al'humdulelah), nor am I recognized expert in military law. But I am the guy who goes to jail if I make a fundamentally unsound decision on the battlefield, so I know a little bit. I apparently know way, way more than Professor Bisharat. This essay is so unbelievably wrong, it is hard to critique. It has its facts wrong, is has its history wrong, and it has its interpretation of the Law of War wrong. Other than that, I guess it's not too bad.

If one follows the article to its logical conclusion, then almost any act of war constitutes a war crime. Parents busting hump to get Junior through the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco must be so proud. It's okay to be anti-war and/or anti-Israel, but at least make your arguments honest. I've got to wonder if this guy wrote the essay in crayon on that big-lined paper with the dashed line down the middle.

Next up, Law of War fingerpainting!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good Enough for the Bad Guys, Apparently

I was going to write a series of posts on the Mumbai atrocities and haven't gotten around to it (not making effective use of my copious amounts of leisure time). However, this article offered some perspective on one of my yet-to-be-written posts.

Apparently, the ol' faithful Lee-Enfield is making a come-back amongst the Taliban. This was the WWI-era weapon that was disparaged by Indian authorities trying to justify why their police in Mumbai were too scared--I mean outgunned--to actually try to, you know, protect and serve.

There is nothing wrong with a bolt action rifle. The shooter has a much better chance of winning an engagement at any type of distance against someone with an AK that's on full auto. The bullet will put a man down hard, even if the shot doesn't hit a lethal area of the target. The "outgunned" excuse is one of the most pathetic rationalizations I've seen for police inaction in Mumbai.


I totally, thoroughly, enthusiastically agree with this.


Yesterday was Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram. This is an optional day of fasting for Sunnis. For Shi'i, though, Ashura commemorates the massacre of Husayn ibn Ali on the plains of Karbala in 680 AD. Husayn was Mohammed's grandson, and his martyrdom denotes the formal schism in Islam between Sunnis and Shi'i.

I've seen on the news, as have many Americans, the spectacle of Shi'i beating themselves on the heads with stones or scourging their backs with chains on Ashura, but I've never been in the company of Shi'i during Ashura.

Our counterpart unit is 80-90% Shi'a. Groups of policemen were quietly gathered around the compound, listening to services on radios. The limited number of TVs in offices in the compound were also tuned to Ashure commemorations.

In the Commander's office, the CDR and some of his senior officers were watching an Ashura service on TV. When I came in, all of them had red-rimmed eyes and were all clutching and using copious amounts of Kleenex. As the service progressed, the emotions of both the people in the office and the crowd on TV grew more and more intense. Ashura services consist primarily of reading the epic of the martyrdom of Husayn and the massacre of his family. At the part of the recitation where Husayn dies, the Imam choked up and couldn't go on. The crowd (real and virtual) was sobbing.

When I've noted Ashura before, on TV, the grief of the congregations or crowds always seemed melodramatic to the point of absurdity. It must, I thought, be a put-on. Now I've definitely got a different opinion. The emotional anguish of the Shi'i on Ashura is as real as it gets. These people were in agony. I've seen people that have lost family members the day before (or even that day) to terrorism or criminality that weren't as grief-stricken as my brothers in the office.

Imagine Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving all roled into one. Conjure your warmest Christmas memory, slipping down the stairs in your footie pajamas to recon the treasures under the tree on Christmas morning before waking up Mom and Dad. Now invert all those feelings and imagine a day that evokes rage, grief and betrayal and is as formulative and evocative as those Christmas memories.

These guys aren't emotional pushovers, either. The day before yesterday, my counterpart unit was hit with a complex VBIED attack. The cement truck bearing the IED was vaporized. Some of the Shurta (police) were scuffed up and had some minor wounds. Because the VBIED "charged" the third vehicle in the formation, it's a safe assumption that the attack was targeting the CDR. That didn't even cause a blip on his emotional radar.

Needless to say, I felt more than a little awkward. I don't think an American, with a worldview focused on the future, not the past, can commiserate. *

And, after awhile I thought about a religion that could hold on to its unsettled scores this dearly. And how Iran, now developing nuclear weapons, is overwhelmingly Shi'a.

*Got it, there are Shi'i Americans who probably suffer horribly on Ashura. Not what I'm saying. Don't be so literal.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Black Belt Magazine Meditations

Rolled through the PX today (looking for Copenhagen, of which there was none; go figure) and picked up the new issue of Black Belt Magazine. Lyoto Machida is on the cover, so I’m looking forward to reading the article on him. Machida is a joy to watch, as he employs his classical karate in the MMA game. His kicks are surgical in their precision, and his strategic skills match his tactical ability. He demonstrates the best fusion today of classical martial arts and mixed martial arts.

By design or accident, the “mailbox section” of the magazine (the only part I’ve had the chance to read) is chock-full of the usual debates between classicists and MMA enthusiasts. I think this is one of those unwinnable debates, as you’ll never be able to have all the debaters divest themselves of their personal prejudices and preferences in order to look at the evidence objectively. Each side seizes on those pieces of evidence that reinforce its own point of view, while casually disregarding (often substantive) claims on the other side.

MMA enthusiasts argue that Mixed Martial Arts competitions are the “real deal,” and that they are as close a simulation of real combat as one can get. Yuh, I frequently find myself “really” fighting sweaty, spandex-clad gloved opponents in the real world. Happens all the time. I think though, that it is a good point that one should cross-train enough to have at least some baseline capability at all ranges of the fight. Few classical systems bequeath the practitioner skills that are applicable across the entire spectrum of personal combat. You Tube is replete with examples of the Gracies getting classicists out of their usual engagement area and then demolishing them. A good parallel to combat sports is no shit combat: I expect the Mungadai to be proficient with every weapon system on the team. We train with crew-served weapons, carbines, and side arms at every opportunity, because the Mungadai need to be able to employ whichever system is best suited to accomplishing the mission—and it is frequently the enemy who engages at a time and place of his choosing. I think the MMA paradigm is a great template for cross-training, but would caution its advocates who think that it is the comprehensive “real deal.” The gloves, the lack of significant clothing (or equipment), and the competition rules all impose an artificiality that can be dangerous to the practitioner who thinks that he has an all-encompassing capability because of his MMA training.

The classicists argue that MMA training produces a thugocracy of ground’n’pounders who are jacks of all trades, masters of none. There is some validity to this argument, that the MMA guys have the exact opposite problem of one-dimensional classicists. Also, when viewing classic martial arts, one should realize that part of the reason that they are valuable is because they are old. Back in the old days, when “Bob” figured out that he had invented a groovy new technique (or a groovy new way to apply said technique) to try in the next battle, there was a pretty objective means of assessing the efficacy of Bob’s new toy. If Bob didn’t come back, one could reasonably assume that his theory was (fatally) flawed. [Note: this illustration using Bob was blatantly lifted from a lecture by Hanshi Ron Donvito] Also, classical martial arts instruction will usually include, as a healthy aside, values instruction. I’ve yet to walk into a classical dojo and not see Black Belt Principles prominently displayed on the walls somewhere. While not uniform, these principles help accomplish three objectives. First, they provide the student with a template that will help them mentally and emotionally conquer their physical limitations. Second, they provide values to someone receiving (possibly lethal) combat skills. Finally, “martial” arts are combat systems, originally intended for military use. Martial arts principles help individual students integrate into military organizations (which, when you think about it, also help today’s students integrate into society; good soldiers make good citizens). Even insurgent martial arts, such as Karate and Capoeira, were designed to allow individuals to contribute to group endeavors. Single-point classical systems work great for fighting and self defense—as long as the opponent uses the same system.

One recurring theme that I’ve seen (not just in BBM, but in a lot of classics vs MMA literature) is that classicists, particularly masters in the classic arts, don’t compete. I personally don’t agree with this philosophy, with caveats. Competition is probably the best skills assessment available to the martial artist. This is because the stress of competition replicates to a lesser degree the stress of combat. Dojo proficiency does not equal competition proficiency does not equal street proficiency. One finds ones skills attenuated in a competition environment. Suddenly, techniques and tactics one applies readily and with a great expectation of success in the dojo seem too risky for competition. That is because now the opponent is not a training partner, but a stranger who wants to defeat you and will exploit any weakness he can find. Your “game” necessarily constricts and becomes more conservative when you have to honestly assess your vulnerabilities against a determined opponent. Imagine how much more skill constriction takes place in an actual combat situation. If you cannot confidently employ a technique in competition, then you are not really good at it, and that particular skill is not fundamentally sound and reliable.

Also, competition helps to assess fitness. As you get older, it’s easy to become a legend in your own mind. Tough guys that have been there, done it, know that achieving most difficult goals is a matter of mental, vice physical, strength. However, substituting the attitude of “I’ve done it before, I can do it again, it’s all mental” is a siren song of disaster if one substitutes it for grueling workouts. At least in Judo/Jiu-Jitsu competition, the mats don’t lie. Fitness is a binary option. You either are, or you aren’t. A storied history of kicking ass and taking names, though, can seduce the warrior into self-deception. Just ‘cause you did it before don’t mean you can do it now. Nothing provides a safe means of self-assessment like competition.

The caveat mentioned above is for practitioners of lethal arts. Winning a no-holds-barred competition in, say, Kobushi Sesson Jitsu will earn you a nice little cell in death row. Also, the term martial artist is relative. Artsy artists span the gamut from Michelangelo to the crazy chick that smears her naked body in chocolate sauce and bean sprouts while screaming about the evils of the patrimony. Same concept. If your “martial art” was never intended to be applied to real or simulated (competition) violence, don’t compete. But don’t belittle those guys in the cage, either, Mr. “Artist.”

When Good MILFs Go Bad

So, who's up for some hot MILF action? Apparently, they're ugly and out of control.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rocks, Glass Houses, etc

Hmm. Could be awkward. Not that I've seen this fact curtail any finger pointing. I mean, after all...nope, stop typing now, Mongo, you're about to get political.

Well, I guess it's a...creative pick

As someone who could accurately be described as an end-user for intelligence (albeit right now in a very limited, very tactical sense), I found the selection of Leon Panetta to head up the CIA to be interesting. No intelligence background that I can find, although the guy is
a nine-term California congressman and accomplished deal-maker

so who knows, maybe he can squeeze more bang-for-the-buck out of those little blue pills. Heh.

COIN: So you want us to think "out of the box?"

How 'bout we help them get back into some box?

Aside from the little blue pills, note how all the "unconventional" items we're bribing with are things that these guys would get easy access to (schools, wells, medical care) if they'd just get with the program.

h/t llamabutcher

I've heard of Judicial Activisim; Is this Judicial Imperialism?

I said here that our system of handling detainees is insane.

I stand by my remarks.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fool Me Once...

Okay, "fool" is probably inappropriate and makes light of a terrible situation.
At least she armed herself prior to round two.
Mongo Rule #1: If you don't have a gun, you're chum.

Come Discover Your Soul's Treasures

Yeah! No, really. Who'd've thought, they've got a travel agency for the totally fucking insane!
Tell you what, if this looks good to you, get a price quote from them. Then, for half of that, I'll kick you in the Jimmy, steal all your stuff, and burn whatever's left. And, I'll come to you, so that you don't have to put up with air fare and that pesky Iraqi customs search.
Extra points:
Um Al-Rabi'ain translates as "Mother of Two Springs" not "City of Two Springs."
Imagine searching the area in the first picture. Welcome to Mungadai World.
If you follow the other blog, you might have seen that leaning minaret before.

You cannot earmark bravery or budget patriotism

This is why our country is simply the best.

Using Precise Terms Precisely (II)

This morning's activities got me thinking: what exactly is a Mounted Combat Patrol? One will see or hear fellow soldiers claiming outrageous amounts of MCPs, or just CPs. As in, "I've been in Iraq for six months now and I've done 279 combat patrols."
Well, that's awesome, troop. So out of that 279, how many times did you make contact? How many rounds have you fired (actually aiming at a positively identified target)?
Any time one rolls out the wire via vehicle, it is classified--I think officially--as a Mounted Combat Patrol. Even if the patrol is just rolling out to drink some chai with an Iraqi counterpart (which was the Mungadai reason-for-roll this morning). Granted, one must make the same preparations, contingency plans, and conduct the same pre-combat inspections as if one were actually rolling out expecting to make contact and then close with the enemy and destroy him using fire, maneuver, and overwhelming violence of action, but all of those preparations occur prior to moving out the wire. So, is it not a little disingenuous to claim (yet another) Combat Patrol when one rolled out with no expectation or hope of getting in a firefight? Granted, you could bump into the enemy anyway (thus all the prep), but it's not the main intent of the mission. You can just as easily--and definitely more tragically--get killed while sleeping in your rack.
This morning, the Mungadai were just planning on drinking chai. I have a hard time equating these missions with those in which we roll out, link up with our counterparts, and go looking for a fight. I guess I'm just observing that at this point, I'm more than a little skeptical when a hardened "combat vet" throws out his triple-digit number of combat patrols right at the beginning of a conversation in order to establish his creds.
Dude, you were just drinking chai.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Commenting on Maneuver

Saw this over at the indispensable Small Wars Journal. A conference in Israel, by and for military professionals, on the meaning and future of maneuver. Dr. Russell Glen had a tough job writing this paper. This was obviously one of those rare jewels in military endeavors: a conference from which one emerges smarter for having attended. Usually, one emerges from conferences 1) lamenting the expended hours of life one can never get back and 2) mourning the loss of several points off of the ol' IQ.
Amalgamating the discussions of a conference like this into a coherent paper that imparts, to at least some extent, some of the wisdom shared and developed to those who could not attend is a daunting task. This article helped me get smarter (which is, indeed, testament to Dr. Glen's abilities). Couple of thoughts:
1. In the brief historical overview of maneuver, Dr. Glen mentions some of the rock-stars of maneuver warfare. But when touching on the American Civil War, he didn't mention Sherman. Sure, Lee and Jackson were mentioned, and Grant (as usual in this type of discussion) was the foil, embodying attrition, but how can one not mention Sherman? Talking about maneuver in the Civil War and not mentioning Sherman is like talking about Rock'n'Roll and not mentioning Elvis.
2. Later in the article, the "new" requirement to consider civilian populations in the application of maneuver in today's predominately COIN environment:
Now a planner or commander must instead incorporate concerns regarding how his organization’s maneuver will influence populations, an indigenous government, and other relevant parties so as not to alienate individuals or groups vital to objective accomplishment. The basic nature of maneuver remains unchanged; how it is applied and the influences that impact the employment of fire and movement to gain an advantage over the enemy have expanded considerably given such context.

But is this really new? Or just reemerging as the wheel turns? One could argue it was Napoleon's (portrayed here, accurately I think, as one of the founding fathers of maneuver) failure to plan for the reactions of the population to his maneuvering that laid him low in Spain. It was, after all, Napoleon's Spanish campaign that gave us the term guerrilla, a term that is not inconsequential today, although overtaken by "insurgent" and "militant."

3. One of the conference's objectives was to determine whether the doctrinal definition of maneuver can stand pat or needs to evolve, to expand in order to cover not just the movement and array of physical forces on the battlefield, but also all of the capabilities of a nation-state trying to reach its objectives. I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think that a word of caution is in order. Expand the term too much, and it becomes meaningless. The best example of this is the recent expansion of "Information Operations." Pretty much every instructor in every US military school right now will expound on how everything is Information Operations. Consequently, we suck at it. I would hate to see so sound and storied a Principle of War as maneuver suffer the same sort of dissolution, or diluted to the point--as with Info Ops now--where any moron can use it to justify his actions, no matter how retarded (or more likely, to justify inaction).

Personally, I'd keep the doctrinal definition as is, and use it as an organizing principle for contemplating the application of state power to a problem set (as the author does admirably in the article).

Good Times Comin'

This is so going to be a blast. No pun intended.