Rattatattatat…


The thud of my fingers (all both of them) on the keyboard is accompanied by the staccato of two sparrows tapping away at their reflections in the stainless rubbish bin in the kitchen. Both the big bi-folds are open so these two have quite happily hopped into the house, oblivious of the two very large dogs stretched on the floor following their every move…obviously the two little sparrows are keener on challenging their reflections in the stainless steel than the potential consequences of their action – quite brave really…

Courage is something I have been thinking about recently; not so much the Victoria Cross/Medal of Honor kind of courage but the simple courage to stand by your beliefs when the going gets tough and to do the right thing.  In Lucifer’s Hammer, Jerry Pournelle says “…it was the right thing to do – in any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action…” What brought this on was a post on The Strategist quoting another blog proposing that COIN techniques could be successfully employed to counter urban crime…I tend to agree because the bottom line in COIN is still to address, one way or another, the core issues behind the problem. What really caught my eye in this post was the quote from the Naval Postgraduate School study regarding the mindset of the local law enforcement “..But Fetherolf, who took office this year, also blamed a tradition of police officers who “love the chase. They get into this business to kick ass and take names, by and large. We’re at odds with ourselves because of the people we hire...”

Police officers operate as individuals and are a great example of the Strategic Private, that one individual who by a single callous or careless word or action can inflame an environment, who in the space of seconds, can undo years of relationship building. Michael Scheiern’s shift from platform-based tracking to tracking individuals works both ways; in the good old days of the Fulda Gap, we were interested in creating effect with mass: brigades, battalions, squadrons and fleets. In these massed forces, one or two bad eggs would really do little or no damage in the big scheme of this. In today’s complex conflict, amongst ‘the people’, just ONE individual who fails to uphold generally accepted ethos and values can lose the war…and the only way to ensure that those ethos and values will be there on the day, is to live by and apply them EVERY day…

“If a Marine fails to uphold our standards and dishonours oneself or the Corps in peacetime, by failing to do his or her best to accomplish the task at hand, or by failing to follow ethical standards in daily life, how can we expect that same Marine to uphold these critical foundations of our Corps in the searing cauldron of combat?” – FMFM 1-0

3 thoughts on “Rattatattatat…

  1. Pingback: The mist and rain… « The World According to Me…

  2. Pingback: So what if… « The World According to Me…

  3. Pingback: Circles, triangles and squares… « The World According to Me…

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