Monday, March 14, 2011
The single biggest strategic failure of Germany's WWII campaigns was the siege of Stalingrad. Germany was running out of oil and needed to capture the Russian oil fields around the Black and Caspian seas. Stalingrad was a major Russian city that the Germans had to deal with on their march to the Black/Caspian region. All the German generals were urging that the armies bypass the city, only leaving a nominal force behind to keep the Russian armies tied up in the city, and send the bulk of their forces forward to capture the oil fields. But Hitler was obsessed, to the point of insanity, with capturing and destroying Stalingrad. Some historians have attributed Hitler's obsession to the fact that Stalingrad was named after the Russian leader, Stalin, who was one of Hitler's biggest rivals for world power.
Hitler got his way and the German armies laid siege to Stalingrad with the objective being to capture the city and destroy the Russian forces there. The German army captured most of the city and occupied it, but was outmaneuvered by a Russian counteroffensive which surrounded the city, trapping the Germans inside the city. The Russians laid siege to the city during the winter. The Germans had committed a force of slightly more than one million to this battle. By the time they were forced to surrender they had lost between 500,000-850,000 troops. This battle was likely the turning point for the Germans, the battle that ultimately cost them the war.
In the here and now, our country is facing insolvency. Debt/spending is to the US as oil reserves were to Germany. If we can't conquer our debt/spending, we will lose our nation.
Along comes one of the best strategic minds the GOP has to offer, Mitch Daniels, who sees what prize must be captured in order to stave off disaster...to reign in spending and debt. He knows that if we are distracted by secondary targets of dubious strategic values, we will lose focus and not win the most important battle. So he calls for a truce on social issues, even though he is a bona fide pro lifer with sterling credentials. He knows how important life is, and has worked throughout his career to protect it. But he also is astute enough to see that making life the primary campaign or governance issue will be a strategic failure of Stalingrad proportions. It should be noted that other GOP strategists also are focusing on debt and spending instead of SoCon issues. Such as Christie, Palin, and Romney.
But the SoCons, led by the grossly inept strategists like Steve Deace, Bob Vander Plats, and Mike Huckabee, want to double down on this battle. They want to make life and gay marriage THE defining issues from now until the end of this nation. Will they doom our nation, make the failure of the US be one of the great failures of history? Will republicans let them doom us, or will they reject this doomed strategy and get behind the better strategists whose view remains fixed on the target that is most important?
Sources: 1, 2, 3