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Archive for September 3rd, 2014

Iraqi bitzkrieg

Posted by picard578 on September 3, 2014

Slightly East of New

[revised June 23, 2014] Are the ISIS forces using maneuver warfare tactics? Have they read John Boyd?

I don’t know the answer to either of these, but it seems to me that their tactics — multiple thrusts, use of time, ambiguity, deception, terror, propaganda — fit well within either MCDP1 or Patterns of Conflict.

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Is blitzkrieg enough?

Posted by picard578 on September 3, 2014

Slightly East of New

Did the Germans win WW II?

Maneuver warfare, a modern updating of the infiltration tactics that led to the stunning German successes in 1939 through late 1941, is a better way to fight opposing military forces: Create a gap in the enemy defenses, penetrate into his rear areas, cause panic and chaos, and exploit before he can figure out what’s going on. Numbers become irrelevant and can even be a vulnerability once panic sets in.

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Tactics of the Islamic State

Posted by picard578 on September 3, 2014

Another problem is that US following the neoliberal dogma in restructuring Iraq created a perfect seeding ground for all kinds of extremism and funamentalism. Boyd has stressed moral superiority in 4th generation warfare, and indeed it is all about moral superiority – superiority that US, and post-Saddam Iraqi governments, have given away to extremists on a silver platter through extremistic privatiization. More on progress of privatization of Iraq can be read here:

Slightly East of New

In a post on the situation in Iraq today, Pat Lang has suggested that “This has Guderian, Patton, Manstein, et al., written all over it.”

True. Boyd did a nice summary of these tactics:

Message: By exploiting superior leadership, intelligence, communications, and mobility as well as by playing upon adversary’s fears and doubts via propaganda and terror, forces of The Islamic State operated inside adversary observation-orientation-decision-action loops.

Result: Outnumbered IS fighters created impressions of terrifying strength—by seeming to come out of nowhere yet be everywhere.

Hence: Subversive propaganda, clever stratagems, fast breaking maneuvers, and calculated terror not only created vulnerabilities and weaknesses but also played upon moral factors that drain away resolve, produce panic, and bring about collapse.  Patterns of Conflict, chart 28.

OK, I did make a few insignificant changes to bring it up to date.

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