Sunday, October 18, 2015

A fan writes:

Dr. Macgregor,

I saw the AHC Greatest Tank Battles episode with your comments and ordered Warrior's Rage. I am filled with admiration for your leadership. I have coached high school basketball for over thirty years and one coach's cliche kept occurring to me: Players win games. Coaches lose them. I guess in the Army it would be: Shooters win wars. Generals screw up the end game. Reading your book it seeded to me that over-coaching is not confined to sports. I was an Air National Guard comm officer for thirteen years and, although we never saw combat, I saw enough of the politics to find myself nodding in agreement with your description of the cronyism at the top. I've ordered two more of your books and am awaiting delivery with high expectations. Thank you for your service and your humble heroism.

 Macgregor responds:

Thanks for the kind note.  You are absolutely right. Warrior’s Rage confirms your thesis. The battle of 73 Easting is another reminder that without effective strategic direction, capable soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains can win battles like 73 Easting, but wars can still be lost.  

The role of human capital—the native intelligence and cultural orientation to discipline, organization and action—is decisive.  Generals think they win battles.  They rarely do.  It’s the quality of the force in profoundly human terms; soldiers inside the right organization with the right technology that wins battles. In my new book, Margin of Victory (out in 2016 from NIP) I argue that wars are decided in the decades before they begin, not by the sudden appearance of a new, technological “Silver Bullet” or the presence of a few strong personalities in the senior ranks during a single battle.

How effectively national political and military leaders adjust the framework of organization, technology and human capital to relentless change in society, technology, and world affairs determines whether the nation-state prevails or perishes in defeat. For the moment, the senior military leadership is failing to adjust and the political leadership is disengaged.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I wish you all the best.

Doug Macgregor

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