April 12, 2004

Understanding Serialization

Ralph Peter's, though I often agree with him, doesn't understand US strategy. One level of the struggle in the War on Terror is the struggle between serialization and parallelization. The US wants to serialize the conflict, to engage on no more fronts than it can be confident of winning. The key insight to this strategy is that we will bow, scrape, and drop our trousers and bend over on problems that exceed our capability to handle them at that moment in time.

Our enemy knows that they cannot win on any one front. Their goal is parallelization. They want to force us to go one bridge too far, one crisis too many, so we pull enough forces from all fronts so we become beatable on any front they choose to concentrate their forces on.

Thus there is a deadly serious need to constructively ignore certain realities. We ignore Saudi financing of terror because taking out Saudi Arabia is too big a fish to gulp right now. And we ignore insanity in Turkmenistan because we would get too little bang for the buck. In fact, we're ignoring the majority of the fronts that would be on any rational list to address in order to shrink and eliminate the Non-Integrating Gap and we will continue to do so if we are smartt. We need to ruthlessly prioritize the list and stubbornly refuse to be drawn into conflicts that would create parallelization induced weakness so that we can be defeated.

Thus Iran's mullahs and Syria's socialists get free shots at us without us declaring war... for the time being. Peters can be completely correct in his characterization of what's going on in Iraq, but when he doesn't set it in the proper context of serialization/parallelization he does our enemy's work for them.

Posted by TMLutas at April 12, 2004 10:32 AM