- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Steve Biddle of CFR has a good piece analyzing likely scenarios in Iraq that concludes that, “On balance, paying the cost of a slower withdrawal, while expensive, may ultimately be the cheaper approach.” I agree.
By coincidence, I read his comment yesterday just a few minutes after I read this one by B.H. Liddell Hart in Strategy, his classic on the indirect approach:
“In strategy, the longest way round is often the shortest way home.”
It also reminds me of something Col. Bill Rapp, an aide to Gen. Petraeus, said to me in Baghdad, I think in late 2007:
“The violent way is the short way, and the peaceful way is the long way.”
Tom Waits’s tune “The Long Way Home” could be the theme song of the strategically minded counterinsurgent.