I’ve just added a new blog to my blogroll: Wanted Dead or Alive. It is run by Benjamin Runkle, who describes himself this way:
A former paratrooper and presidential speechwriter with a Harvard PhD and a Bronze Star from Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has worked in the Department of Defense and on the National Security Council. He is the author of “Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to bin Laden,” forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in July 2011.
That book of his was originally supposed to come out in September, but for some odd reason, the publisher has pushed the date forward and it will now be out in July. I can’t imagine why.
I look forward to reading this book. The idea of achieving quick and decisive results by taking out the enemy’s leader is persistently tempting, though it often rests on unexamined assumptions. Among these are commonly:
- That the leader plays a major role in the command and control of the enemies armed forces;
- That the leader is irreplaceable;
- That his sudden departure will demoralize the enemy’s armed forces and/or population or will cause them to collapse into disorganization.
- That even despite the above, the enemy will retain sufficient unity of command to be able to surrender.
By the way, the book is presently ranked as the 612,070th bestseller on Amazon.com. I rather suspect that ranking will improve. A lot. For crying out loud, he even got “Geronimo” in the title!