Military Theory and yours truly

I haven't written much about military theory recently. This is in part because I reserve same thoughts for another publication, in part because military theory is simply not suited or regular posting. It's most importantly simply ill-suited for quantity production.

Today I'd like to write instead about the background that goes into such military theory thoughts, something about myself.

Over the course of several years, I have learned about certain biases of my own. 
I tend to overestimate my opponent's creativity a lot. I worry about courses of action that my opponents don't take - they usually take much simpler, more straightforward courses of action.
This applies from things such as influencing someone in a discussion up to wargaming. The actions I encountered back during my time in yellow olive were never as elaborate as expected. Most often the other team simply exploited some mistake done by my team elsewhere; they seized opportunities instead of creating them.

I did detect another bias in myself as well: I underestimate others' abilities in techniques. I was never really good or interested at anything rote, and this may contribute to my underestimation of others in this regard.

So whenever I write something detailed about military theory, keep in mind I am striving for creating opportunities knowing that often times just seizing opportunities does the trick as well. I just inherently don't like to depend on other people's mistakes for my success, because quite frankly, those "other" people may be in my team.

Even if somebody would ask me to write an article or a book on seizing opportunities that just happen to pop up and offers to pay up front: I would be the wrong man for it. Totally different story when it's about creating opportunities and then exploiting them (albeit my interest in the latter is lesser)! 

S Ortmann

1 comment:

  1. Historians are slowly getting to a core of ancient warfare, the philoi. Direct translation would be friends, but in the Hellenistic era this meant an informal group that combined capabilities. One known "job description" from these philoi is the tactician (you might be interested in such a job offer ;)). All the outstanding generals like Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Pericles and so on had a team that made them outstanding. These philoi of the ancient aristocracy did often include their former teachers. While certainly not perfect, it did an outstanding job by giving a small group within a population the ability to form themselves a structured(leadership is defined by birth, know how must be acquired and groomed) and trusted group that brings them to the forefront of success. Athens and Rome are a prime examples of what these philoi could achieve as the known leading politicians were from select few families with a long tradition of power and achievements.