On Strategy

…we think strategy and we keep strategy, and our theory of strategy is the linkage of ends, ways, and means, which is how I got here, which is how I’ll do my job tomorrow.

It is pablum; it is a way to avoid making a real choice, so no one in or out of the government ever said to themselves, “Let’s decide what we’re going to do. Are we going to target individuals regardless of space, or are we going to go in there and have space?” No, what we said is, “We need a stable government in Iraq, so therefore, you need a stable government in Iraq.” Deductive logic tells you that you need to control everywhere in Iraq. And then you have to worry about the security forces; you’ve got to make sure they’ve got border patrols. And we never went back to the fundamental choice about what do we really need to do. We hide choices. We never talk about choices because choices are hard and choices mean making a decision. Choices mean taking responsibility for who makes the choice and which choice they take — and that, in my view, is the biggest flaw we have institutionally in this country, is we’ve got very shallow theory and doctrine about what strategy really is.

David Fastabend