Romney the attritionist of Ames—even if he wins, he loses
Reflect upon this apt, descriptive, and fairly typical description of Romney’s overreach at Ames provided by the estimable Marc of Ambinder titled AMES—Inside Romney’s Push, language redolent of a particularly difficult bowel movement.
Review this description of Romney’s strategy at race42008 by the estimable MattC.
No finesse. No maneuver. No imagination. Romney’s approach to Ames has been that of an attritionist as opposed to that of a maneuver warrior. Consider:
… Characteristics of attrition theory include an emphasis on the superiority of competing forces, a focus on technology and equipment, primary attention by all command levels to the tactical level of warfare, and the destruction of the enemy’s forces by impact and superior firepower. Since attrition theory focuses on force relationships and relative measures of technological advance, an attritional military organization views warfare as scientific, measurable, and definable.6 The focus is on the quantifiable, the tangibles of war.7 Warfare is approached systematically.
Attritionist militaries tend to concentrate on their own capabilities in military planning, identifying enemy “targets” but eschewing overmuch consideration of enemy capability or will. As such, they tend to be weak in intelligence support, assessment of enemy performance, and predictions of enemy intent.8 They are usually focused upon their own plans and activities (they like route packages, target sets, and air tasking orders), and they are thus often surprised by the enemy’s actions; when they react, they usually do so late. Attritionist military organizations are usually predictable, because they fight a certain way against a given scenario and threat. Attritional combat tends to be bloodier than maneuver warfare, since there are more frequent incidents of contact with the enemy. Massed assaults, trench warfare, heavy reliance on artillery, and strategic bombing campaigns are all associated with an attritional warfighting style … more
This is consonant with Romney’s own testimony about his leadership and management style. See:
More on Romney’s high-stakes, attritional strategy at Ames:
- Pearson: “Romney, facing high stakes on Saturday, turns up TV”–but TV is less and less effective for the troubled candidate
- we ask about Ames: does Romney fail to plan, or does Romney plan to fail?–whither the storied Romney competence?—because the Romney campaign could sure use some of that Romney turn-around magic about now!
- Romney sees few viable options in early electoral strategy