Thursday, August 28, 2014

Objectives, Strategy, and Tactics

The TV newsies are babbling on about Obama's strategy.  It seems to be in flux, I think I heard Obama confess that he was still working on his strategy.
   That's perverse.  Obama's job is define objectives, what we want to achieve.  In regards to ISIS there are a number of objectives we could pursue.  We could attempt to just stay out of it, avoid getting sucked back into a middle east war. We could attempt to prevent ISIS from grabbing any more land.  We could attempt to destroy ISIS and hand control back to the new Baghdad government.  We could attempt to destroy ISIS and set up three states, Sunni, Shia and Kurd.   Those are all the possibilities that occur to me, although I daresay someone might think of others.  But to have any effect, the US has to define it's objectives.  We have to decide what we want to do. And Obama then has to sell the objectives to the Congress and the voters.  Selling is not Obama's strong point.  The Congress is split.  The leftie greenies  want to stay out completely.  Some hawks want to destroy ISIS.  Nobody has thought about what we want after ISIS is gone.  The vast bulk of Congress (and their constituents) don't know what they want. 
   Only after we have settled upon an objective does it make sense to discuss "strategy".  Strategy is concerned with means to obtain our objectives.  Strategy  picks options,  such as invade the place from the sea, nuke 'em from the air, subvert their government by aiding domestic dissenters, blockade 'em, crash their infrastructure by cyber attack,  cut off their access to the international banking system and credit, crash their currency, and doubtless many other things.  But until you have decided upon your objectives,  discussion of methods and means is worthless. 
   And Obama (or any administration) should not making strategy.  Leave that to experts, the Joint Chiefs, with maybe CIA.  Leave the State Department out of strategic discussions, they are just messengers, and they ought to carry the message, not make it up.
  Way down at the bottom, is tactics.  Tactics are methods of winning battles, after strategy has decided where to fight.  Most of the talk I hear on the TV is really about tactics, specifically air strikes. 
   So far I haven't heard a peep out of the Obama administration about objectives.  They don't have a clue.

Good thing my sons have survived college

It's getting harder.  They have invented a new crime "Sexual Assault" which can be anything the girl says it is, and the college bureaucrats have the right to punish the guy, anyway they see fit.  The guy doesn't even get a kangaroo court, he is guilty as soon as the girl complains about him.  
   Bunch of guys are gonna get zapped badly  for attending college.
   I'm glad my boys managed to graduate before things got this bad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Soldiering is easier than Policing

When soldiers encounter resistance, they get on the horn and call in the artillery or an air strike and level the place.  Easy. 
  When police encounter resistance, they are required to negotiate, preserve evidence, and arrest the perps, alive, for trial.  Citizens demand strict limits to what cops may do to them.  Professional police forces prevent rioting by maintaining communications with all segments of their town/city and try to head off trouble by appealing to various community leaders to cool it for a while.  This works best if someone of the force has a personal relationship with community leadership.  Such as they both did high school together. 
   All this is hard. 
   When we offer the cops the opportunity to turn into soldiers, they are all in favor.  Blowing the perps away is SO much easier than taking 'em alive.  So handing out surplus automatic weapons, body armor, grenades, helicopters and armored vehicles to police forces encourages the cops to turn into soldiers. 

Tim Horton Burger King Tax deal

According to the TV news Burger King is doing some kind of deal with Canadian fast food operator Tim Horton which will turn Burger Kind into a Canadian company, and lower their tax rate from the American 35% to the Canadian 15%.  Obama is outraged.
   Tough cookies Obama.  If you want to keep companies home in the US of A,  you can lower the corporate tax rate to 15%.  While you are at it, you can close a zillion loopholes and wind up collecting the same amount of money. 
   Despite Obama's efforts to the contrary, it's still a free country.  Corporations are free to leave any time.  So are citizens. 
   Are Burger King and Tim Horton's gonna change their signage?  Horton Burger anyone?  Timmy King?  The Tim Horton name is well known and wide spread in Canada,  changing it  would probably loose them business, especially as Canadians always hate to see Americans taking over anything up there. 
   Just what kind of deal did they do?  A buyout? a merger?  a paperwash?  And what is Warren Buffet doing in the deal?  Newsies say that Buffet will be making 9% on his "investment".  That's darn high.  Burger King could have sold bonds or printed stock or gone to a bank, which surely would have done a loan for about 5%.  And, was it a merger?  Mergers don't require the kind of money that buyouts do. 
  Was it a paperwash?  Those don't require much money either.  The newsies say that the Burger King headquarters in Florida will stay put.  Are they just doing something akin to incorporating in Delaware? 
   The TV newsies aren't saying.  Probably 'cause they don't understand what's going down. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Airpower can turn things around

Example, Afghanistan before 9/11.  The Taliban was beating the Northern Alliance at every turn.  Their territory was squeezed down to a small patch on the northern border.  Immediately after 9/11 the Northern Alliance received American air support.  It was decisive.  The Alliance won every battle now that a radio call would bring a smart bomb down on any obstacle.  The Taliban was driven out of the country.
    This could work against ISIS.  The Kurds are tough fighters, willing to sign up with America.  Give them the kind of air support we gave the Northern Alliance and great things might be accomplished.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

NH Primary is coming. Sept 9

The long awaited state primary is almost here.  NH runs two primaries, the well known presidential primary, presidential years only, in January.  First in the nation, and we're gonna keep it that way.  January is way too early considering the election isn't until November, nearly a year in the future.  Then we have the real primary to select US Senate, US house, governor, state reps, and state senators coming up second week in September.  Way too late IMHO.  That only gives 7 weeks to patch up relations with the defeated candidate's supporters, raise some money, run some ads.  We would be better off holding the state primary in June. 
   Anyhow we have a real crop of candidates to choose from.  For US senate we have Scott Brown, front runner, Jim Reubin, and Bob Smith, and a couple of minor candidates so obscure I can' remember who they are.  Scott Brown is 15 points ahead of everyone, and the polls show him in a dead heat with the democratic incumbent, Jeanne Shaheen.   Scott seems to be overcoming the "carpetbagger" tag, and his opponents, although of purer NH lineage than Scott, have demonstrated some flaky views that ought to turn off voters.  It would be very nice to send a Republican senator to DC, and Scott looks like the best chance.  Polls show Jeanne Shaheen beating every republican EXCEPT Scott Brown.
   My house race, Annie Kuster (incumbent Dem) is less clear.  Gary Lambert is the leading Republican challenger, but the polls don't show him beating Kuster, yet.  The other house race is out of my territory and I know less about it. 
   For governor, the democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan will be hard to beat.  She is a nice person, not particularly competent, but likeable, and except for a desire to raise taxes and spend money, she is OK.  We have Walt Havenstein, an experienced business man, and Andrew Hemmingway, a real young guy with some entrepreneurial experience.  I think Walt can beat Andrew in the primary.  Maybe he can beat Maggie in the general. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Presidential leadership

Or lack thereof.  The TV news is calling for "presidential leadership" on the matter of ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State. By which they mean Obama coming on TV and explaining to the voters why we need to kick some ass in ISIS.
    The newsies have a point.  The voters are anti war, and won't change their minds without the president  expressing a need and a reason for going back to Iraq.  Until he does, the electorate isn't going to go along. 
    And, I think it is safe to predict that Obama is never going to call for military action in Iraq.  Neither is the Congress.  The Republicans and Democrats in Congress are having so much fun trashing each other, they couldn't get behind a single resolution on Iraq or on anything else for that matter. 
   Even worse, there is some doubt in my mind that the voters would  follow Obama's leadership.  His standing in the polls is abysmal.  He has given so many speeches full of motherhood and apple pie, but totally lacking in substance, that few people bother to listen to him anymore.  His constant output of  Pablum is boring.