Friday, December 30, 2011

Plot Centric Warfare, Dealing with Conspiracies

No better excuse for war has been the existence of an overarching plot by a fiendish, manipulative, and vicious conspiracy, plot, class, race or collective interest, often personalized by a single villain such as Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Togo, or the Devil himself.
The Neo-Marxist Left rails against a Corporate-Media Fascist plot to steal the excess labor value from the unworking class to establish a Fascist corporate global state. Lou Dobbs railed against a corporate-media GOP-Dem plot to steal the hard earned wages of the Middle Class and establish a globalized corporate elitist class of the super wealthy. Hitler, likewise, railed against a Socialist-Capitalist Jewish global plot to steal the hard earned wages of honest Aryans.

Each of these plots is described by their critics as bound by central direction, often represented by an identifiable creed or game plan known to all as their Conspiracy Theory. Such include the Elders and Protocols of Zion, Das Kapital, the Communist Manifesto, the Bilderbergs, etc. It helps if these various conspiracies are seen as omniscient, omnipresent, devious, and unrelenting.

The problem with conspiracy theories is that no one is that smart. Anyone who has organized a company picnic, a festival, or family reunion knows that even what takes a couple of hours needs weeks of preparation in which everyone is at everyone else’s throat.
The military decision making process, done properly, is an organized method of covering the bases, done under pressure, and against a lot of uncertainty, largely caused by an uncertain knowledge of what the enemy is up to who is also under the same pressures. As an intelligence officer for over twenty years, I expected to predict what the enemy was going to do, while my counterparts on the other side were trying to figure out what my boss was going to do after I figured out what he was going to. I’m not that smart.

The problem with conspiracy theories is that the conspirators are too busy conspiring against each other in order to determine who is in charge of what. And the focus of interest is not what, but who. The histories of bona fide conspiracies such as Hitler’s Chancellery or Stalin’s Kremlin are monuments of in-fighting fostered deliberately by El Supremo to maintain control. Hitler’s principle of survival of the fittest meant that he gave the same job to different subordinates or gave different orders to people with identical responsibilities, the survivor was the most fit. In fact, even democratic or corporate leaders stay in power by divide and control by acting as the instigator of strife than the decider of them. FDR was famous for this. Abraham Lincoln couldn’t reveal his long term plans without risking them and instituted what he wanted as time and circumstance allowed.
NAZI Poster justifying the euthanasia of the handicapped on the basis of cost saving

The net effect is in real conspiracies chaos is the normative state, often with comic-tragic effects such as the late ludicrous Coalition Provision Authority in the Emerald City of the Green Zone. Or the workers paradises in North Korea and Cuba.

It is equally tragic to go to war against a true conspiracy with the notion that said conspiracy is in fact a conspiracy and not a bunch of clowns clawing at each other for control of increasingly rare resources. By treating a conspiracy as cohesive, we create cohesion. Strategic bombing assumed that a rational leader operating in the best interests of his conspiracy would cut a deal when the means of waging war were threatened with extinction. The central issue of the dictator is to remain dictator even of a pile of rubble.

The Romans and Imperial British were masters of the art of dividing and conquering their enemies, while it appears that the US has got it backwards.