Skip the ISG report. It’s full of bromides and nonsense about what Iran and Syria “should” do and “should” want to happen in Iraq–not about what they are doing and what they are working toward in Iraq, in Lebanon and the broader Middle East. It’s useless, Mr. President. Skip it.
Instead, if you have a little time to do a little reading during the holiday season, I’d suggest the following titles.
The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. It’s pretty clear that the basic principles Sun Tzu outlined centuries ago still apply, and it’s also clear that we’re not applying them. We’re governing by the selective leak and counter leak, and we’re debating war strategy in the headlines as if we’re discussing education policy. We’re idiots to keep running the war this way, and we’ll lose if it keeps up. Read Sun Tzu, Mr. President. And look for generals who have also read him.
The Personal Memoirs of US Grant. After firing a succession of failed generals, President Lincoln ignored press criticism and settled on Grant. Grant was a fighting general, not a dinner party general. I don’t know if there’s another Grant in today’s generation of generals, but if there is, find him and put him in charge of war policy. Grant won the civil war ugly, but he won.
Invasion, by our esteemed boss. The day labor site she highlights in chapter one that played a major role in 9-11? Still there. It’s down the street from one of your favorite restaurants, Mr. President. Nothing’s changed. Fix that and the border that makes the illegal immigrant-to-terrorist fake ID industry viable.
Warlord, by Illario Pantano. Your military, Mr. President, drummed out a fine officer on the word of insurgents. Your military, Mr. President, is too politically correct to win this war. Absorb the lessons of Pantano’s life and drum politically correct military prosecutors out of the service. I’m sure the ACLU will be glad to employ them.
Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches. Churchill was a leader who understood the stakes of the conflict in his time. Maybe you’ll find something in there to inspire you and get you back to the 2001 and 2002 Bush that seemed capable of leading the world to victory over the threat we face now.
America Alone, by Mark Steyn, and The Truth About Muhammad, by Robert Spencer. They describe the world we’re in and the threats we face. They put the ISG report in its proper context and will help you, Mr. President, put the report where it belongs.
Daily read: Read MEMRI. Every day. Or at least have a summary of its blog incorporated into your PDB. (nod to Defector for the idea)