Saturday, September 13, 2008

OODA Thunk It?

Who would have thought that John McCain could use skills learned as a fighter pilot to undermine the Obama campaign? Michael Barone explains the OODA strategy here.

That term was the invention of the great fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd. It's an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

"The key to victory is operating at a faster tempo than the enemy," Boyd's biographer Robert Coram writes. "The key thing to understand about Boyd's version is not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such a fashion as to get inside the mind and decision cycle of the adversary."

For a fighter pilot, that means honing in above and behind the adversary so you can shoot him out of the sky. For a political candidate, it means acting in such a way that the opponent's responses again and again reinforce the points you are trying to make and undermine his own position.

The whole thing is short; I highly recommend reading. The election isn't over, Obama hasn't been "shot out of the sky", but it's hard to see how all his George Bush talk is going to help him. I suppose I'm not one to ask since I don't loathe Bush like so many, and I can't shake the contrast between Cheney and Palin out of my head. I stand by my earlier remark, that I'd rather go fishing with Sarah Palin than hunting with Dick Cheney.

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