Shades of Stanton

The biggest laugh you could raise among Civil War politicians of a certain stripe was to say of a general, "He means to win the war by strategy!" Secretary of War Stanton was especially free with this kind of ridicule, denigrating his own commanders in front of reporters, congressmen, and others outside the Administration.

Lincoln himself showed more than a strain of this thinking, opting at one point to employ "the terrible arithmetic" of attrition against the Rebellion. (It was a short-lived decision - in his memoirs, Grant says Lincon asked him to suspend offensive operations after casualties became a political liability.) Lincoln was also party to the sophistry that the Union commander must make the enemy army his objective; in fact you see this error endorsed by pop historians who have not considered that armies need food, water, ammunition, animals, recruits, pay, and camps or bases; and they need open communications with their government, paymasters, and families.

I thought we had come far enough in our understanding of war that the laugh was now on Stanton and friends. Apparently not.

Here is an anti-reform author arguing for attrition warfare. Explicitly. In Praise of Attrition.

Having just won a conventional war against Iraq without an attrition model, this author argues for one, and the argument is as emotional and incoherent as the Civil War critics who despised maneuver and "strategy."

Moral: these people will always be with us.