No strategies please, we're politicians

The irritation of this political blogger reminds me of my reaction to Lincoln in the Civil War:
I continue to find myself frustrated by lack of understanding of the reach of the War on Terror. I have yet to hear any offical explain the stragety of the war, and unfortunately the Administration has been reluctant to lay it out as they are afraid of being labeled "War Mongers".

He runs off the rails with "War Mongers," but this pretty well captures how I felt first reading through the cycle "General X submits plan" + "Lincoln fails to comment on plan." I'm not talking about battle plans or campaign plans, I'm talking war-winning strategy.

However, it's not entirely a Lincoln thing. Any administration has ample disincentive to "lay it out." Aside from "security" matters, we can count the inhibitors by analyzing the Civil War experience:

* You don't want the public measuring and judging your progress.

* You don't want commit in advance to a multi-election-cycle plan.

* You don't want to relinquish the freedom to make a large number of ad hoc decisions.

* You don't want people analyzing inevitable political tampering with what they perceive as a purely military plan.

* You don't want your political opponents proposing a concrete and better overall plan.

* You don't want your generals managing you by holding results hostage to men, supplies, etc.

* You don't want anything that smacks of timetable - not in any form, direct or implied, ever.

Those are seven unlucky breaks for national strategists.

Lincoln's aversion to strategy was a function of his political sense.