INTUITIVE STRATEGIC THINKING: INSIGHT, “FINGERTIP FEELING” AND WAR
A provocative article by Dr.William Duggan from the Strategic Studies Institute entitled
” Coup D’Oeil:Strategic Intuition in Army Planning” contrasts the generation and use of insight vs. tradtional Army analytical methodology.
There are some very Zen-like qualities to the mental state the author is encouraging experienced military commanders to habituate. Great commanders and strategists, I would hypothesize, arrive at this kind of ” flow” state because they had developed into horizontal thinkers out of a need to make greater use of a natural bias toward nonverbal thinking – particularly mathematical and spatial reasoning. Consider a few examples:
John Boyd —————————>Fighter pilot, engineer
Stonewall Jackson ——————>Physics, Artillery
Napoleon Bonaparte—————->Artillery, mathematics
Peter the Great———————–> Artillery, shipbuilding,
Alexander the Great—————–>Philosophy, medicine, science
Herman Kahn————————->Physics and mathematics
Now, this most likely would not hold true for every great commander or strategist but I would wager, on average, you will see considerable abilities in fields that correlate with high levels of nonverbal reasoning.
Hat tip to Dave Dilegge of The Small Wars Council.