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Battleship...

Military strategy as Game Theory. 

Matt over at Blackfive introduces us to Professor Arquilla, writing in Foreign Policy magazine.

Professor Arquilla discusses the game "Battleship" in the context of the last Presidential debate - but really in the context of "what kind of military do you really need?"

Professor Arquilla, on faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School, talks it in terms of ships.

My example? Shermans vs Tigers. 

4 Comments

Indeed.  Anybody who thinks technological superiority is all you need to win should be sentenced to sit alone in a locked room and reread "Superiority" by Arthur C. Clarke until its meaning penetrates his thick skull.
 
 With enough Shermans we beat the Tigers. The Sherman crews, however, shuddered when they head a Tiger cranking. Eben a Sherman vs a Panther was an uneven match. The Sherman really wasn't much of a tank, alas.

Germany was not out generalled, they were overwhelmed because Hitler bit off more than he could chew and exercised bad judgment when it came to allowing production of some technology that could have turned things around for him.
 
The M-26 was fully designed, tested, and ready for production in 1944. It was easily a match for Panthers and Tigers, as was proven when 20 or so of them got into action just before the war was over. We could have had them a year earlier, had it not been for Army Politics. The M-4s were not as good as the Panthers and Tigers, but we had an endless supply of them. Alas, we did not have an endless supply of guys to drive them and fight with them.
 
Unconventional times call for unconventional weapons, tactics and leadership.

Roland saved Europe with a trumpet.
Eight Frenchmen with three fowling pieces sent the entire Iroquois Nation screaming back to upstate New York from Starved Rock, IL.
The sun never set on the British Empire.

We do NOT need more ships. We need better ships, better crews, better leaders, and better ROE. THAT is where the discussion should focus, not on how many floaty thingies we have.

Because we're broke, and simply because the role of the US Navy is to defend the United States, not the Straits of Hormuz or the Spratly Islands. The vast majority of people from both sides of the aisle are VERY tired of the USA being the police force of the world, and that role is going to end sooner or later. Let Halliburton and Maersk form their own merchant navy combat forces.