What is a good strategy? First of all, any plan that is not feasible is not a strategy. Pyrrhic victory is a result of very bad strategy. In addition,
- A good strategy is one that will help you achieve your objective(s) with minimum cost
- To be most cost effective one needs to find the largest possible number of allies and smallest number of enemies
- This requires one to clearly define the objective(s), and does not create unnecessary enemy to obstruct the strategy implementation. (Perhaps by narrowing the definition of enemy in some cases)
Common senses, it seems. Unfortunately, this is still hotly discussed issue in the US, 5 years after 9-11, 5 years after the declaration of the GWOT. Fortunately, we are hearing more rational voices now, 3 years after the Iraq War should have ended.
- "We lack a coherent understanding of the Muslim world. Not all Islamists are our enemies (yet) and they’re not all of the same idealogical stripe. Realizing the different motivations and goals of the many strands of Islamists should constitute not a harried fear or overreaction on our part (like treating them all with the same tactics and judgment of intentions) but a serious estimation of “divide and conquer” possibilities, engagement/alliance opportunities and weaknesses for us to exploit through information operations and public diplomacy."
- "There are 1.2 billion Muslims out there, and they are popping out babies like gangbusters. The people at JihadWatch and LGF who are unable to separate the words ‘Islamic’ and ‘Fascists’ offer no solution to the problems we face in the Middle East, only an unending war with no winners."
I cannot agree more. I have always said these young bloggers are a lot smarter than the veteran observer Robert Kaplan.
Let me also generalize this observation, in other areas of our world
- For Chinese/Korean who oppose the militarism/revisionism in Japan, do not confuse the right-wing with the peace-loving public
- For the hardliners in Washington and London, bear in mind that the same analogy applies for North Korea and Iran
- For those who oppose the Bush government, or the terrorists targeting random American, bear in mind that for every 1 in 2 people you kill or hurt, you may kill one who oppose the Bush policy, and turn 10 more of your sympathizers into your enemy
- For those who detest the CCP government in China, there are 1.3bn people in China, only 65M (5%) are CCP members. Of those, perhaps 90%+ do not care about the party line. Any sanction/containment is going to hurt the 99.5%+, not the 0.5% you distrust or detest