Strategy rears its ugly head

Interesting to see a presidential candidate promise the country a military strategy.

If Lincoln and Davis taught us one thing it is that presidents will at all costs avoid strategy and the associated commitments, timetables, benchmarks, etc. It would be quite rare today to even find a general in uniform who would commit to a strategy, so attuned to the political leadership are they. (Petraeus may be one-of-a-kind.)

Roosevelt had an evolving strategy and he kept it top secret; Nixon campaigned on a "secret strategy" that he would not disclose; Wilson fought a war without even a whiff of strategy; Johnson's "strategy" was body count; and Truman gave up strategy with the Chinese intervention.

On the other hand, Lincoln and Davis were happy to talk about strategy anytime, anywhere and this news story may be closer to that activity than to a real commitment.