Sunday, August 31, 2008

The "OODA Loop" Analysis

Orv Seymer makes a good case for this.

Please allow me to explain what the OODA Loop is. It is an acronym for Observe-Orientate-Decide-Act and it is a concept that was developed about 50 years ago by the Late Col. John Boyd.

...The most important aspect of the OODA Loop are the orientation and the decision phases. In fact the decision phase is likely the most important phase. It is the ability to make decisions faster than your opponent that causes him to become disorientated and make mistakes, both physical mistakes and mistakes in judgment. Keep in mind that it is more important to make faster decisions rather than the best decision. You still have to make good decisions but it is more important to make good decisions quicker than your opponent.

It has been said that Boyd has developed the most profound change in military tactics since Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War.

...I can only speculate but I think that John McCain is well schooled in the tactics of the OODA Loop and he is using those tactics to his full advantage

...Within a little more than 12 hours after the finish of Obama's speech, McCain is out announcing his VP pick and it a complete surprise to almost everyone, especially the Obama campaign. While the Obama campaign was all geared up to attack Pawlenty, McCain got "inside of his loop" by announcing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, almost out of the blue.

When I saw Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Friday morning TV program and they were asked about McCain's VP pick, they both looked like they were completely disorientated and did not know which way was up.


Clearly, the McCain campaign views a campaign as war by different means. It's the reverse-plus-one-step-removed of Klausewitz' observation, but it fits.

And clearly the Obama campaign is thinking in a much more 'conventional' sense: "It's all jolly well fun between us boys, and we'll use the same old/same old and get the same old, plus a few, and we win!"

(If you don't think "same old/same old" applies, folks, look how the Dems are desperately trying to tie McCain to Bush--which (I remind you) was LAST campaign's "war." Or look at the Biden pick. Talk about same-old/same-old!)

McCain's not playing that game. He's using the IntertubeWeblogthingie to MUCH greater effect than Obama's boyzzz. He's using graciousness (as Orv points out.) He's NOT using GWB to any degree worth noticing. And he dropped a bag of sand into their oilpan with the Palin nomination.

In short, he's fighting an un-conventional war against a hoary formula-politics which is best identified with (surprise!!) Mayor Daley and the Ward-Heeler gang.

The penultimate strategic 'tell' will be whether or not McCain pulls out the Rovian GOTV battleship. (And by the way, Rove's GOTV was just like the Chinese Army's approach to war: "keep sending men until the other guy gives up." It wore out staffers AND volunteers.) Obviously, some GOTV will be in play. But will it be special-ops? or infantry?

Damn! This is fun!

HT: McMahon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
Forty Second Boyd - The History.