Syria as Obama’s Bay of Pigs

| September 8, 2013


Once again, I link to the excellent Diplomad, a retired Foreign Service official, who makes the comparison:

Obama is going for another Bay of Pigs, to wit, a half-baked operation lacking in the essential resources needed to produce a favorable outcome for the United States. JFK sabotaged Eisenhower’s stright-forward plan for eliminating Castro in favor of a convoluted, ill-supplied invasion by exiles that would not require American boots on the ground until victory was nearly assured. The Democrats seem to love these sort of half-measures because they look sophisticated. Some years ago, it was fashionable to read David Halberstram’s classic 1972 The Best and The Brightest. His book, of course, told how the “smartest guys in the room” led the United States into disaster in Southeast Asia. They were convinced that they were, in Tom Wolfe’s subsequent phrase, Masters of the Universe; that thanks to their Harvard degrees, and fluency with tecno jargon, they could wage modern limited war as though military conflict were an orchestra responding to the subtleties and delicate nuances of a brilliant conductor. A little more bombing here; a pause there; talk a little; increase the pressure as needed, etc., and that the opposition would come to the rational conclusion that there was no point in trying to match the resources and sheer brilliance of The Best and The Brightest. Didn’t work. The subtleties and nuances were lost on a foe who wanted to win regardless of cost, and who knew that eventually the Americans and their Wiz Kids leaders would have to go home. They simply forgot or ignored Von Moltke’s observation, adapted from Von Clausewitz, to the effect that, “No plan survives first contact.”

As always, go read the whole thing.  ..bruce w..


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Category: Cult of personality, Geopolitics, Main, Military, Obama Administration

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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