I’m told that when the US troops landed in Normandy, we quickly moved into the heartland of France, then had to double back to help get all the other Allied troops off their respective beaches. We certainly faced fierce resistance, but we prevailed. Why did we have success where other Allied forces didn’t. I am told that it was our ‘culture’.
All military units need to operate as a coordinated team, but apparently some teams define teamwork differently. The American units in WWII were all given orders by central command, but they were also told something about the objectives.
We fought against an army that had hundreds of thousands of men willing to carry out any command at any cost. In contrast, we had hundreds of thousands of men all thinking about the common objectives, and all trying to figure out a better way to get it done. Our coordinated, but decentralized decision making, made us better.
Jack’s story “Just a Minor Hiccup” about Iraqi students trying to come to the US for an education makes me wonder if we have lost some of that magic. How hard can it be for someone in charge of student visas in Bagdad to figure out a way to solve that problem? You have to wonder if anyone is actually trying to solve it. Perhaps we have lost the urgency of winning, and have fallen into the complacency of surviving.