View Full Version : "Fighting by Minutes" by Robert R. Leonhard (1994)

09-16-2012, 11:30 PM
I'm finally reading the third (intermediate) book of Mr. Leonhard (http://www.jhuapl.edu/ourwork/nsa/staff/leonhard.asp) and I'm quite astonished by it.
It's thoughtful (yet still not outstanding in regard to the art of war in general) and the man was a prophet for the Iraq and Afghanistan occupation conflicts.

It' most astonishing that he isn't among the many celebrities that these conflicts pushed into the spotlight - he would at least deserve it.

Quotes from this 1994 book (http://books.google.de/books/about/Fighting_by_minutes.html?id=hBLcAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y):

The intricate and highly successful planning that went into the preemptive [in a tactical sense] attack on Noriega's army was a superb example of sequential theory in action. But following this protective phase [a term defined earlier in the book] of the operation, the U.S. military had to rapidly shift and take control of the Panamanian government, people, and economy. This phase - the dislocating phase [same] - was not as well planned. As a result, the military victory gained over the enemy army was followed not by a highly successful exploitation to attain the political objective, but instead by delay and what we might term further preparation. The lesson learned - and the services have assimilated it well [lol]- is that long before the shooting war is concluded, staffs must thoroughly plan for postwar operations.

We can conclude, then, that generally, the stronger side in a war seeks to shorten the duration of the conflict, while the weaker side generally tries to lengthen it in order to increase opportunities for a favorable outcome. [...] The stronger side is more apt to seek a clear beginning and ending to a war as well. The stronger side, not necessarily always the aggressor, usually wants to limit the expenditure of means (including time) in the accomplishment of its ends. [...] as a result, we must be careful when we make assumptions about duration in war.

There are a couple more such thoughts in the book, but I made my notes for a different purpose than the small war context and can't find the other good passages right now.

He easily deserves more attention for his quite predictive remarks than at least two thirds of the pundits, advisers and empty (camo) suits that have gained fame through involvement in either disaster deserve it.

05-28-2013, 07:23 AM
Late to this - I can't find a copy under $80, anyone know a good place to get it? The kindle version on Amazon is nearly $100!

05-28-2013, 10:33 AM
I used interlibrary lending. It did cost me 2.50 bucks in Germany.