CHESTER HAS MOVED!: Quick Thought on Exploiting Seams

Friday, November 19, 2004

Quick Thought on Exploiting Seams

In maneuver warfare, one of the principles is to exploit gaps in the enemy's forces and positioning. This is of course common sense, and you'll probably find similar principles all the way back to Sun Tzu. One way to exploit a gap is to find a seam and widen it, enlarge it, or otherwise create a gap. Seams, though, can exist on many different levels. There are physical seams: -Boundaries between forces on the ground. -Boundaries in the coverage of artillery fans. -Physical boundaries of political systems, where coordination across them is poor or non-existent. Seams can be organizational: If it is unclear which organization is responsible for a certain task, in many cases, none will perform it. This task, or the lack of its performance, can become a gap if exploited. Seams can be in time: -when two units are conducting a relief, there is the potential for a seam when they are exchanging locations, or exchanging information about new surroundings. I bring this up just to point out that we are in the midst of an organizational, time-based seam right now. As Bush picks his new cabinet and there are departures, new agendas, and new ways of doing business, there is uncertainty, and therefore vulnerabilities to be exploited. This could come into play in several areas of foreign policy currently in the news . . . Just a quick thought.


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