"Monday Musings” are designed to get quick, insightful thoughts based around three questions from those interested in strategy, from the most experienced and lauded, to our newest thinkers/writers.
Several years ago, during a visit to the U.S. Army War College, I was invited to have lunch with some of its instructors. The school teaches Army officers about strategy and its course offerings (“Civil-Military Relations,” “Peace and Stability Operations,” “Irregular Warfare”) reflect that mandate. So, naturally, the lunch discussion focused on strategy, and how to teach it. While I don’t now recall the exact details of that conversation, a statement by one of the war college’s professors has stayed with me. It brought immediate laughter — and unanimous assent. “Just remember,” he said, “that no matter what the question, the answer is always Clausewitz.”
In Foreign Policy’s National Security Blog, Colonel Scott Gerber (USA) recently attempted to make out the Air Sea Battle (ASB) Concept as foolishness. Personally, I am extremely concerned about building an operational concept around a policy shift known as the “Asia Pivot.” My greatest concern is that the United States has not sufficiently fleshed out the strategic underpinnings of translating the Asia Pivot policy into action, however setting that aside for now, I will revisit that in a follow-on post. What I find striking about Gerber’s offering here is how he insists on building a straw man of mythological proportions in order to knock over the ASB Concept.