Hugh Hewitt (And Josh) Apply OODA to Politics

Via Instapundit we find Hugh Hewitt writing about the application of OODA loops to the current political campaigns. OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) Loops were developed by fighter pilots as a model of quick thinking and action. Much emphasis is made on getting “inside” your opponent's OODA loop in order to disrupt it.

While Bush-Cheney 2004 is not coordinating with Swift Boat Vets for Truth, is not sending out talking points to the talkers on radio row, is not hard-wired into Brit Hume's head, and most certainly does not run the center-right of the blogosphere, all of these forces are swarming around Kerry and delivering many serious blows to his credibility and his strategic plan. They are “inside the Kerry campaign's OODA loop,” and the result is paralysis and recrimination within Kerry's staff.

I certainly am doing nothing coordinated with anyone except writing what I feel in this blog. Some folks have linked to me on occasion. I have not gone out of my way to link to other folks unless I find them interesting. Some of my friends read this blog. Many infrequently. I have no idea if my familiy reads it at all except I harass me wife about it.

However, when a news item (and the blogosphere decides what's news, not the Mainstream Media) comes out, it circulates around the blogosphere and gets progressively refined by more and more blogs. Centers of comptency like Captain's Quarters create the high notes and quality-filtering high-volume item aggregators like Instapundit accelerate them towards the heart of the Kerry campaign as every blog picks up the “good ones” and echoes them.

The Kerry campaign then spends more of its time attacking the source than addressing the message. But the source often has very little dog in the fight. Will the Swift Vets be devastated by being attacked? Hardly. They don't want public office. They won't lose any business over this (although a local Oregon prosecutor got some scrutiny over what he said). Most of them just want to retire in peace. Ultimately attacks on these messengers will fail because even claims that they want Bush to win sound weak. Actually, they want “anyone but Kerry.”

Kerry wants to wave his hands and have it stop. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, writes

Do not fail
To learn from
The pure voice of an
Ever-flowing mountain stream
Splashing over the rocks.

I interpret this to mean, “It doesn't do you much good to try to hold back a flood by waving your hands. It is ever-flowing. It will wear away the rocks in time. It must be dealt with. Move out of the way permanently, direct an effective effort to contain the flood with your tools and abilities, or find some way to make the flood go somewhere else by draining away its power.”

Aikido certainly taught me it was better to let a punch land somewhere ineffectively than to face it head on. I think Kerry's attacks on the messengers have done nothing to absorb the blow of the message, instead it multiplies it by giving it credibility. And since Mainstream Media is no longer the conduit of the message, it cannot be trusted or manipulated to drain the flood.

So, how is the online media inside Kerry's OODA loop? Simple because Kerry does not appear to be set up to orient on the attacks. Without orientation his decisions are ineffective and his actions even less so. If Kerry was delivering a message instead of reacting he would be far more effective. Instead he has been lost for a month. His message was, “I am a war hero.” and the Swift Vets knew where the attack would come and had an effective counter in place (Ayoob's first law of human conflict).

Hewitt goes on to talk about swarming as a new method of conflict. It's hardly new as guerillas and terrorists have undersood it for a long time. However, what's new is the latest technologies that enable it and the efforts of some at engineering it.

Ueshiba offers us a lasting piece of advice,

Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Sep 2 2004 03:10 PM

Adjacent entries


« Never Let Your Opponent Define You
September 8th ASLET Update »





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