Excellent essay posted over at MDK today, lifted from a powerpoint piece by Angry Staff Officer:
"We’re far more comfortable talking about potential victory than we are discussing the possibility and – let’s be honest – very strong likelihood of loss. And even when we are discussing loss, we spend more time talking about mitigating risks than we do how to react should the adverse occur. This means that we have a generation of young leaders who learn about loss only when it actually happens. This is decisively the opposite of how we treat everything else in the Army as regards training. We don’t send soldiers into battle without ever having fired their weapon; why should we send commanders to war without at least having some training on how to deal with loss and defeat?
And yes, we do train for some loss: vehicle recovery, casualty evacuation, and breaking contact come to mind. But how well do those test a unit for a full and total breakdown? Or is it perhaps better to not even put that idea into soldiers’ heads? These are the questions we should at least be asking, as leaders."
If you haven't war-gamed every eventuality in your head beforehand, you'll lose yours when Reality happens to your Cunning Plan.
Like it will.
"Plans are worthless, but the planning process is invaluable." - Eisenhower
Said the guy who launched the Normandy invasion, liberated half of Europe, and beat the Wermacht and Luftwaffe all the way back across the Rhine.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
And if you failed to plan to fail, you'll turn a setback into a rout, possibly in a Darwin Award-winning manner.
Go read the essay, learn the lesson, and take it to heart.
You say you want a revolution...
What's your Plan B?
(P-A-C-E. Not just a thing. Everything.)
What will it take to regroup and counter-attack?
What provisions have you made for that? Not then, but now?
(Two is one, and one is none. But seven to seventeen is options. - Aesop)
What tactics will you use to become the inflictor of grand strategy on your enemies, instead of the inflictee??
If you have no bench, and no fallback, you have no resiliency, no longevity, and ultimately, no future. Might as well kill yourself now, and save a lot of needless suffering.
Or else, crack the books, think the thoughts, and start planning for how to rebound from not just the enemy's Most Likely Course of Action, but also from his Most Disastrous Course Of Action, for you.
You will not pull this out of your hip pocket, nor from between your butt cheeks, on the day.
Telling yourself "The dog ate my homework, and my head is up my @$$" will not get you a pass, or any sympathy when tragedy befalls you. If you're lucky, you'll just die a quick death, instead of suffering slow, lingering torture. Like watching all your people go first, slowly, and screaming at your epic failure.
And resolving merely to taste bad when they turn the lions loose on you is no way to die.
Some names and campaigns you'd better get damned familiar with:
Washington: New Jersey campaigns
Fertig: after the fall of Corregidor
Hackworth: Steel My Soldiers' Hearts
Being an insurgent is as easy as being the prop master on a movie:
"You just have to have everything!"
You want easy, get a Che t-shirt, loath yourself, cut off your testicles, pull on a pink pussy hat, and flagellate yourself in public, with a barbed wire cat o' nine tails, you hetero-cis-white patriarchal toxic male mouth-breathing evil bitter bible-clinging and gun-toting fascist pig.
Otherwise, assuming that doesn't sound fun to you, you've got some work to do.
And if you're the guy (or gal) who's too old, beat up, beat down, and broke-dick to kick ass and take names any more, or never could, but you can be One Shot Paddy, or can spy, move contraband supplies, squirrel away food for others, acquire and launder funds (hint: armies don't march on their bellies; even Corporal Nappy got that one wrong. They march on their wallets), run a guerrilla hospital or clinic, or hide people in plain sight, to rest, refit, and regroup, you may be the most vital link in the entire chain.
Do you really think the enemy cares if their battalion gets wiped out in one go by Audie Murphy in an hour, or at 5 guys a day by Simo Häyhä over 100 days??
Those guys are just as dead either way. Don't believe me, ask the victims.
"Welcome to Pineland.
Tag! You're the new Guerrilla Chieftain.
Nobody ever found out from Giap how many people pushing 300# bicycles it took to win at Dien Bien Phu, or what the ratio was between handlebar-pushers and trigger-pullers (and to be fair, a lot of them played both ways), but the fact is, those guys on the handlebars won that 34-year-long war, from 1941-1975.
"America won on every battlefield in Vietnam from 1965-1973."And if you can't learn from other people's victories, and turn that around to help yourself, you'll just be another brief chapter in their exploits. Your tale will end on a headstone.
"Yes, you did. But that is irrelevant." - press interview with NVA general post-1975
Or in a ditch.
Surrender is not an option. Ask Solzhenitsyn how that works out for you.
But retreat damned well better be.
Because if you can't learn to rebound, you're never going to get to dunk.