An interesting tactical question Michael Young has been following: To what degree are we seeing the final stage of the argument between the Powell Doctrine and the familiar but never formally announced Rumsfeld Doctrine? That is, the theory of overwhelming force for specific goals against the theory of a future-oriented, flexible military that applies selective pressure and works with local proxies to make the enemy collapse without ever fully committing your force. That would explain the seemingly premature "decapitation strikes" on Wednesday—as an attempt to deflate the Iraqi leadership and spark a chain reaction of defections, in the manner of Afghanistan. If so, the apparent escalation since then, and General Abizaid's strong indication that the plan is being reconsidered, would indicate Powell's school is resurgent (not that it's going to help Powell, who will almost certainly take the fall for the prewar diplomatic fiasco).
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