amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics

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pages: 282 words: 82,107

An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, carbon footprint, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

Solar panels and wind turbines are the most obvious examples, but it may also be possible to tinker with the biological mechanism of photosynthesis to produce more efficient solar cells, or to create genetically engineered microbes capable of churning out biofuels. The trade-off between food and fuel has resurfaced in the present, but it belongs in the past. PART V FOOD AS A WEAPON 9 THE FUEL OF WAR Amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics. —ANONYMOUS The fate of Europe and all further calculations depend upon the question of food. If only I have bread, it will be child’s play to beat the Russians. —NAPOLEON BONAPARTE “MORE SAVAGE THAN THE SWORD” What is the most devastating and effective weapon in the history of warfare? It is not the sword, the machine gun, the tank, or the atom bomb.

pages: 379 words: 118,576

On Her Majesty's Nuclear Service by Eric Thompson

amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Parkinson's law, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War, young professional

A few weeks later, the appointment was vetoed by my Director-to-be who thought I would cause trouble because of the Marconi incident with my Thompson Torpedo and for fitting Sub Harpoon in Odin. It was outrageously below-the-belt. I was then appointed to DNLP, which I assumed to be the Directorate of Naval Lost Property but was actually the Directorate of Naval Logistic Planning. As any half-qualified warmonger will tell you: when it comes to war, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics. DNLP was the Planning Directorate for Fleet Support, one of the largest organisations in the entire Defence establishment. The Chief of Fleet Support managed the Royal Dockyards, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (tankers, stores and ammunition ships), naval aircraft, armament depots, the flotilla of marine auxiliary craft such as tugs, aerial farms, telephone exchanges, and the entire supply chain that provided victuals, spare parts, transport, clothing and medical supplies.

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: 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, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, hiring and firing, MITM: man-in-the-middle, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Yom Kippur War

So, like a full-blown counterinsurgency approach, this remains a road not taken, an unknowable theoretical alternative. c. 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. During the American foray in Vietnam, the Pentagon used an approach to personnel that verged on the bizarre, with troops coming and going under a policy of individual one-year rotations and commanders moving on at about the time they began to understand their tactical situation.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 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, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, 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 cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

CHAPTER 8 INFRASTRUCTURE ALLIANCES GETTING GRAND STRATEGY RIGHT Geopolitics has for centuries been synonymous with the conquest of territory, the domination of one’s neighbors and rivals. 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.