Learn from WWI: do not be a control freak

Over at Foreign Policy, a reminder that winning too big and being granted a long peace is a dual-edged sword: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/11/13/the-u-s-navy-has-forgotten-what-its-like-to-fight/


A Nelsonian triumph is good, but it lets commanders and officials slip into bad habits such as obsessing over paperwork and spit and polish at the expense of battle readiness. It also deludes senior leaders into thinking they can choreograph fleet maneuvers. Which may be true . . . until the first shock when the fleet collides with the enemy. Then a melee ensues, ruining elaborate choreography. The force that excels at improv rather than scripted movements boasts the advantage during that decisive phase. Hence the imperative to liberate and empower more junior folk, unlocking their ingenuity.

Spinoff of my presentation from the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City.