April 25, 2006, on this blog: Red leader
By all accounts, Van Riper is a wily general, but his approach to the Millennium Challenge shouldn’t have been all that surprising to people in Washington — a city that is, after all, named after a general who defeated a superpower by fighting asymmetrically. (“Asymmetric” is the current buzzword for the no-duh realization, as old at least as the Book of Judges, that it doesn’t make much sense to go toe-to-toe in open battle with an obviously superior army.) But not only was the Pentagon braintrust flummoxed by Van Riper in the war game, they were just as surprised, months later during the actual invasion, when Iraqi insurgents began employing many of these same tactics. This was, they said, just another one of those calamities that “no one could have predicted.” Except that everybody had.