amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics

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pages: 509 words: 153,061

The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 by Thomas E. Ricks


amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Berlin Wall, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, interchangeable parts, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, traveling salesman

Stone commented: “History has shown us that leaders often rise from the most difficult of times and circumstances, and we should not be surprised if Iraq’s future leaders are today being held in coalition force custody.” The way they were treated today might shape the country’s policies in the future, he warned. SURGING THE IRAQIS An old military aphorism holds that amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics. In fact, real military insiders often focus on larger personnel issues—raising, training, and equipping the force—because that is the key to long-term, sustainable success. The U.S. effort to create a new Iraqi military had never gone particularly well. Part of that grew out of the political obstacles facing Iraq: A member of the Mahdi Army, for example, might not be well equipped or trained, but he knew what he was fighting for.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Today the principle could simply be called competitive connectivity: The most connected power wins. States must protect their borders, but what matters are which lines they control: trade routes and cross-border infrastructures. All great strategists know the importance of the saying “Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics.” Empires have always focused on infrastructure as a tool of extending influence. The Romans and the Ottomans built sturdy roads stretching far from their capitals and placed these on maps used by armies and traders. From the fifteenth century onward, European colonial empires built standing supply lines and overseas administrative capitals across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.


pages: 812 words: 180,057

The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks


affirmative action, airport security, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, cuban missile crisis, hiring and firing, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Yom Kippur War

In personnel policy In Colorado Springs, one evening in March 1976, four military officers were discussing American personnel policies in the Vietnam War. “If you attempted to run a business like that, it would go under,” commented an Air Force officer. “Ours did,” an Army infantry major responded. There is an old military saying that amateurs talk tactics, while professionals talk logistics. In fact, real insiders talk about personnel policy, which as they know shapes the American military to a surprising extent. Even had the Vietnam War been better conducted by American generals in the field, the personnel policies put in place by generals back at the Pentagon still might have undercut the American effort.