military views

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military views

Post by guardienne on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 6:05 pm

not sure where to stick this or if it's even interesting to anyone here ...  there's some interesting military analysis from some bloggers (who understand military history a lot better than i do)

https://angrystaffofficer.com/2017/12/18/a-leadership-vacuum-the-last-jedi-and-mission-failure/

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-the-last-jedi-teaches-us-the-battleship-truly-dead-23765

i also dimly recall that johnson was heavily influenced by some WW2 movies, not sure which.

anyway, just leaving it here for your consideration  Ninja
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Re: military views

Post by MeadowofAshes on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 7:15 pm

@guardienne I love Angry Staff Officer! Thanks for posting these.
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Re: military views

Post by Kylo Men on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 8:32 pm

So the big thing I took away from it with my layman knowledge of American history is that retreating successfully is really how revolts are won. It's certainly how the American Revolution was won in the South. Daniel Morgan's forces just kept retreating faster than the heavy British army could pursue, and Cornwallis kept having to burn supplies. Which eventually led to him being cornered in Yorktown.

I'm kind of fascinated with overanalyzing military tactics of Star Wars. There's a great article about the Empire failure at Hoth.

I'm also kind of weirded out by the way that Holdo basically does the same thing they were giving Poe hell for. Did her sacrifice of the last Resistance capital ship achieve a significant military gain? Maybe. But maybe not.


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Re: military views

Post by snufkin on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 8:52 pm

@MeadowofAshes Dunno if you read War on the Rocks, but they've weighed in

CLAUSEWITZ AS THE LAST JEDI? CULMINATING POINTS OF VICTORY, CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS, AND STRATEGY IN STAR WARS

The Last Jedi illustrates how defiant military officers, emboldened by early operational successes, can undermine broader strategic objectives set by political leaders at a campaign’s outset. This is precisely the fate that befalls Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), the Resistance’s top starfighter pilot, who disobeys the orders of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) to pull back and instead directs a squadron of glacially slow Resistance bombers to take out a fearsome First Order dreadnought. Emboldened by the success they initially deliver during an evacuation of the Resistance base on D’Qar, Dameron’s starfighters ultimately destroy the dreadnought, but not before the First Order wipes out the entire Resistance bomber fleet and several escort vessels.

By pursuing tactical gains that extend beyond the operational objective at hand, Dameron proves himself susceptible to the same “victory disease” that Clausewitz diagnoses in 19th century military commanders. By insisting on the subordination of military means to the policy objectives they serve — and, by extension, the subordination of operational and tactical elements to overall military strategy — Clausewitz cautions in On War against the temptation of soldiers to pursue success in operational art at the expense of broader strategic imperatives.

In Dameron’s case, he trades the entire Resistance bombing fleet for the destruction of a single, replaceable First Order warship (albeit one with massive firepower). Doing so proves both operationally unnecessary in facilitating the Resistance evacuation and excessively costly through the mass slaughter of trained starfighter pilots needed for the Resistance’s survival.

By taking on the dreadnought, Dameron overshoots what Clausewitz (Book VII, Ch. 22) calls the “culminating point of victory,” the moment in battle that an attacking force, having achieved superiority over its adversary, ought to halt its advance and consolidate its gains rather than continue fighting. Clausewitz writes,

If one were to go beyond that point it would not merely be a useless effort which could not add to success. It would in fact be a damaging one, which would lead to a reaction; and experience goes to show that such reactions usually have completely disproportionate effects.

By fortifying one’s current position rather than extending it for some greater advantage, Clausewitz argues the attacker will be able to translate this battlefield superiority into strategic success in the larger engagement. “But one must know the point to which it can be carried in order not to overshoot the target,” Clausewitz cautions, “otherwise instead of gaining new advantages, one will disgrace oneself.”

Ironically, Dameron learns this lesson almost too well, because he undershoots this culminating point later during the Battle of Crait. Staging a last stand to protect the handful of surviving Resistance fighters who have taken refuge on the salt planet, Dameron leads a squadron of clunky land speeders to destroy the latest First Order superweapon: a powerful siege cannon with lasers that can obliterate hardened defenses. As the Resistance suffers heavy losses against the First Order’s AT-M6 walkers, Dameron orders the remaining fighters to fall back rather than continue in what amounts to a suicide mission against the First Order’s ground forces.

Although this restraint is induced by Dameron’s earlier losses, the retreat he orders once again appears divorced from the broader strategic realities at play. When Gen. Organa ordered Dameron to fall back when he took on the dreadnought, she did so because she wanted to preserve the Resistance starfighter fleet for future, more strategically significant operations.
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