In Maneuver Warfare or a culture of 3rd Generation Warfare, one of the principles is to reinforce success vice what many 2nd Generation militaries do, which is reinforce failure. The old adage is using the reserve to avoid defeat by attacking enemy success head on. A commander in a maneuver warfare force views warfare as biology instead of a engineering project. His plan is prepared to deal with unexpected changes while always looking for ways to reinforce success by pushing reserves to his subordinates that are being success based on the commander’s intent three levels up.
I was watching my University of Tennessee football team get beat by Georgia by reinforcing failure with its attempt to run old style smash mouth football and its defense playing soft on receivers. I was at one of my best friend’s house Allen Gill. Al and always have great conversations about the state of the nation, leadership, military and otherwise. He has given me some great ideas that I have translated in books Raising the Bar and well as my forthcoming book, Manning the Legions of the United States and Finding Tomorrow’s Centurions. I trust Al not only because he has become one of my good friends, but because I got to view his leadership of Georgetown ROTC over four years, and he did an outstanding job making it into an outstanding program.
Of course, I had to ask Al what he thought of the current economic turmoil and our government’s reaction to it. He, like myself, are very angry at our government and the people that made bad decisions based on greed that got us into this mess. Worse, as I have said before, there has been ample evidence indicating that we were heading for a “train wreck” but was ignored as long as those at the top were getting rich. “Screw everyone else” was their likely remark to their fellow CEOs, lobbyists, and politicians in closed door sessions.
So, Al suggested his plan to fix it, which was why reinforce failure, giving our billions (it is our money by the way, and we are the one’s paying the credit card debt when it comes due) to people that have already proven they care nothing for our nation’s strength, only how to make themselves wealthier (already wealthy, but they want more-Al calls this process “strip mining” our nation), and the government, influenced by the wealthiest lobbyists is only going to “reinforce failure.”
I am paraphrasing Al’s idea here, and I am going to try to talk him into writing an article on it (he is an excellent writer).
The current bailout by our government is doing exactly that, reinforcing failure. And what is worse, it is punishing the majority of use citizens who have been doing the right thing-paying our mortgages on time, paying for the house we can afford, taking responsibility for our action; while it is rewarding irresponsibility.
AIG executives going on their big expensive retreat while their ship is sinking, CEOs of Wall Street investment banks keeping their jobs and golden parachutes for millions for acting irresponsibly and politicians getting reelected based on false promises (lies) and contributions from these very same people whose greed is shameless. These are all great examples for our children future generations. Make poor decisions and act unethically, while millions of the middle class work hard to do what is right, so reward the bad–exploit failure!
Also, many of the people who are doing the right thing are getting punished not once, but twice. Not only are they paying their bills, but they have lost a lot in their retirement accounts, and it is they who are going to have to pay the tax bill on reinforcing failure when it comes due.
Why not give the billions to homeowners who pay their mortgages on time? Or at least pay them down a lot more. Give the majority of the middle class who made the right decisions, or if they did not, but are taking responsibility for it by still making their mortgages on time vice those homeowners who bought more house than they could afford (while there was much shady business practices going on by lending institutions, we must also begin holding those responsible for not reading the fine print or just realizing they could not afford that big home they bought). The key is to reward responsibility, exploiting success, put our money into the hands of people who are doing the right thing not only for themselves, but for their fellow citizens by paying their bills and taxes on time.
Then, this would allow responsible people to go out and buy the homes that are on auction at the reduced prices the banks are trying to sell them for. In turn, the new owners, would then rent them out to the people who do not have a home, could not afford the mortgage, but could rent, at a fair rent of course, and managed by people who are responsible.
Now, instead of the government reinforcing failure, we strengthen success, the middle class who have been doing the right thing. We also put strengthening the housing market in the hands of those who will be responsible for its success-the middle class. We use our own money to strengthen the segment of the society that needs to be strengthened-the middle class, and not the wealthy class (trickle down economics has proven it does not work). We would also regenerate jobs for people when the owners would have to fix up their new properties prior to anyone moving in. A bottom up solution to a problem is always better than a top down, big government solution, but in this case, the government, using our tax dollars on credit, would be exploiting success, or at least putting it in the hands of people that have been doing the right thing.
More on this in later columns as I continue to try to convince Al to write his article.