Major Michael Few had a short theoretical post that sparked an important discussion at SWJ Blog and other social networking sites. He’s wrestling with the military-tactical effects of diminishing returns. Well worth your time to read through:
This is a post that I never would have written while practicing the art in Iraq. On the ground level, every commander wants more forces. In fact, one of the unstated prerequisites for command is that you must conduct at least one daily bitching session where you emphatically describe how much more effective you could be if you were given another platoon, company, battalion, etc…
– More forces equal more villages and more neighborhoods you can clear and occupy.
– More forces equal more visible power and control.
– More resources equal more money to bribe your enemies.
But, sometimes more is actually less:
– More forces mean that you can act unilaterally and just ignore the impotent host nation security forces.
– More forces mean that you can coerce and bully the corrupt political leaders.
– More resources mean that you may waste money building elaborate schools and medical clinics and digging canals rather than repairing the existing suitable structures.
Sometimes with more, we merely attack the symptoms creating short-term visible gains rather than attacking the root problems. Doctrinally, we would call this creating maneuver space on the human and physical terrain.
Read the rest here.