Thursday, June 30, 2005

Everything I Know about Strategy I Learned from the Movies

Happiness is found in simplicity. In Italian cooking, the best recipes often have no more than seven ingredients. Simplicity in life is a prescription for a healthier life. Cell phones, computers, rush hour commutes, all of that is complicated. Summer evenings are simple. Which would you prefer?

One of the constant calls put forth about the war in Iraq is the question of "exit strategy". I am not sure what that term means, but I assume it means in what fashion does the military plan to finish their activities in Iraq. Taking Italian cooking as a guide, I suggest the simplest strategy possible: victory.

But what is victory? I have no experience in the military, I have no training in strategy and tactics, so I turn to the only expert source to which I have recourse: the movies.

In Patton, General Patton explains how wars are won: making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. In fact, his simple strategy is echoed by Rommel, when asked how he would defeat Patton: "I will attack and destroy him". Full Metal Jacket also tells us what makes the US Marines victors on the battlefield: "We kill everything we see."

So, the way out of Iraq is victory. We achieve victory in a simple way: we kill all of our enemies and the enemies of the legitimate government of Iraq. How we do that can be handled by the detail men. I'm more of a big idea guy.

Now I appreciate the fact that some in the Senate are worried. Notable among them is Ted Kennedy, concerned that our Iraqi policy is careening drunkenly out of control, in danger of plunging off a bridge, and the nascent Iraqi government may end up abandoned like a young girl in the back of a car, as it slowly sinks beneath the surface of the water. Therefore, I offer up this solution: if we achieve victory, Senator, Iraq won't be abandoned. Of course, you will do your part, I am sure, by shutting your pie-hole and letting the professionals do their jobs.