Washington DC (Storch Report) — Lessons learned is a common focal point of corporate, White House, Pentagon and State Department meetings these days, as it has been in the recent past, but it is more likely a misguided focus of the paradox it should be, but is not.
Lessons not learned perhaps should be the focus because it drives the thinkers to reflect upon history. History for some reason is thought about by some thinkers as being the past and they consider that to be prologue.
Lessons learned therefore is a more forward thinking process about recently failed actions and that is a more optimistic approach to moving forward in a process that is more often than not described by as being paralysis by analysis. Have you ever been part of meeting that has not been described by the leader as being ‘successful?’ Never had a bad meeting in these venues, nor few that made any significant decisions.
We don’t have to think back too far in history to now realize that we pulled our troops out of Iraq, President Obama’s goal and objective, which he proudly takes credit for. He is now about to make the same move in Afghanistan.
But now, in effect, war has been once again declared in Iraq. A war with Obama’s stated public objectives being to ‘degrade and destroy’ ISIS and it is not contained to Iraq, it is morphing into Syria. And what is ‘degrade’ v ‘destroy’ aren’t these two different strategies, or are we politically hedging our bet, or does Obama really care one way or the other? I think stating your objectives to the enemy is more than a fair and gracious move, it shows sportsmanship, but from the perspective of ‘lessons not learned,’ it is strategically catastrophic.
Reflecting on World War II, more than 70 years ago, there was a slogan we warned all citizens about, and it was, “Loose lips sink ships.”
I think this is a ‘lesson not learned’ for the airways of communications are so open and the enemy is so sophisticated today, in comparison to 1941, ISIS is recruiting American females, who they treat as slaves, to join their cause.
But now the Commander in Chief openly tells ISIS, the beheading terrorists with no sense of fair play, that we are going to conduct airstrikes against them, but there will be no ‘boots on the ground.’ Once again ‘lessons not learned’ no war in the history of US wars have been won without ‘boots on the ground.’
Obama is now forming and leading a collation of allies to join us in the fight against ISIS for which Obama claims some 40 members, but no one seems to know what they are going to do other than for the French who declared they would participate in airstrikes on Iraq, but not Syria. And so we again told the enemy what we were and were not going to do, but no boots on the ground.
It sounds like a Chinese fire drill, but you can be sure they won’t participate.