Posted by Bob's World

I take a unique perspective on strategy (I find how unique this is as I deal with others who blend the word into their job titles with no apparent impact on it actually affecting the jobs they do, or with no particular training, experience or aptitude for strategic thought)
This statement comes across as extremely arrogant. All struggle with both strategy and planning for a wide range of reasons. Plans are flawed largely due to our doctrinal process for writing them and the expected formats driven by JOPES. Furthermore commanders are seldom engaged in the planning process, so their impact are often nil or at best minimal. The fact is DOD is more focused on fill in the blank products that add up to a plan (product) they can put on a shelf than a plan they can actually operationalize. I think an argument can be made that those trained to do planning/strategy or actually handicapped by their training.

As for strategy, our nation will continue to struggle with it until we have a functional interagency process; however, you assume incorrectly in my view that you have unique insights that others don't, and you assume some things aren't happening because you're not aware of it. In our system the military doesn't do what you often recommend, but it is being done by others (admittedly often executed poorly and rarely synched, and military activities often don't support strategic objectives, etc.). More people get strategy than you give credit for, but the system doesn't facilitate its execution. If you want to see our nation blossom strategically, then direct your energies at fixing the broken system. Until then good ideas will be nothing more than good ideas.

1. on "Root Causes" vs. "Energy Sources": Most things have roots of some sort, and many things have common aspects in their roots. But roots are below the surface and therefore impossible to see and hard to assess. Better, perhaps, to think in terms of "energy sources." Do not ask "what are the root causes" as this will spark knee jerk responses on complexity, impossibility, difference of opinion, etc. Instead look for and discuss what energy sources might be at work driving the particular activity one is concerned about.
Root causes are generally readily apparent in my opinion, but can't be fixed. Causes are often just that, causes, and are something that can be repaired with our current level of knowledge. I surfaced the energy concept years ago on SWJ, and argued when we put more energy into a system we'll get an equal reaction (unless we apply overwhelming energy to a military problem), which is why small footprints for enduring operations, and short duration for large operations are generally best. "When" the root cause can't be addressed we scope the mission to address the threat and minimize the potential of creating other problems. A strategist addresses the problems that can be solved and is wise enough not to waste national resources on the problems that can be solved.

2. One key way Strategy and Planning are the same: Like planning, it is not having a strategy that is important (most strategies are, IMO, vague, highly biased documents of questionable value; while most plans are overly detailed guidelines for some program of tactics with little connection to truly solving a problem in any kind of enduring way); but rather it is the process of thinking about a problem in holistic and fundamental ways to better understand the energy sources behind it that is important. Too often we skip this step, and either just go with what the boss or some "expert" feels, or we take a doctrinal answer off the shelf and dive straight into a hasty plan followed by a long, frustrating program of engagement.
Select text, right click, hit paste repeatedly, and you effectively captured the history of both our foreign and domestic policies. It just isn't the boss, but often what the media drives the boss to focus on, because the media (gun violence) will describe the problem to the public and the public will want that problem (even if it is defined incorrectly) solved.

3. Thinking about questions is often more important than knowledge of answers. I admit, I sometimes state what I currently think in far too certain of terms. That is a flaw I am working on. But I also abandon concepts when necessary and evolve them continuously as this is all part of thinking. Once one "knows" the answer they are almost certainly wrong. The military is a culture that prioritizes knowledge and action far more highly than understanding and thought. Nature of the beast. There is a time when action is critical, but most times we could use a lot less smoke and noise and a little more pause and think.
So, do not presume one can find the "root cause" of excessive gun violence and mass murder such as this recent event. But do resist the urge to knee-jerk action and pause to think about it holistically and in ways that force one to step outside their particular paradigm to do so. Identify some energy sources and considers ways to disconnect from or to turn down those sources. To just put armed guards in every school and to put greater restrictions on guns is the same type of senseless, symptomatic approach we applied to 9/11. Have we learned nothing? We cannot simply cling to things we do not want to change while generating powerful programs to guard against and attack the products of those things. We must evolve. But first we must think.
Again this comes across as arrogant and misinformed. You are confusing a public statement by the NRA with government strategy. The government TF groups working this now at the national level emphasized the importance of a fresh and holistic look. Once again you are pointing to yourself as the only one who gets this, yet the reality is the vast majority of our government officials get this. They also get the real world limitations that will limit their courses of action. You already demonstrated bias by writting off the potential value of putting an armed guard in schools as a temporary or enduring tactic to help mitigate future attacks, which surely are coming. Very opinionated, but not supported by any facts. All options need to be on the table, as you said above there are times to take action and this may be one of them, on the other hand it may not.

You would be more convincing if you toned down the I'm smartest cat in the world language, and it wouldn't be that hard to do if you actually listened to what others are saying. All of us have the same struggles.