Blink - The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink - The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

Author:Malcolm Gladwell [personal development]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: personal development
Published: 2011-01-20T01:43:50.810000+00:00

6. Millennium Challenge, Part Two

For a day and a half after Red Team’s surprise attack on Blue Team in the Persian Gulf, an uncomfortable silence fell over the JFCOM facility. Then the JFCOM staff stepped in. They turned back the clock. Blue Team’s sixteen lost ships, which were lying at the bottom of the Persian Gulf, were refloated. In the first wave of his attack, Van Riper had fired twelve theater ballistic missiles at various ports in the Gulf region where Blue Team troops were landing. Now, JFCOM told him, all twelve of those missiles had been shot down, miraculously and mysteriously, with a new kind of missile defense. Van Riper had assassinated the leaders of the pro-U.S. countries in the region. Now, he was told, those assassinations had no effect.

“The day after the attack, I walked into the command room and saw the gentleman who was my number two giving my team a completely different set of instructions,” Van Riper said. “It was things like—shut off the radar so Blue force are not interfered with. Move ground forces so marines can land without any interference. I asked, ‘Can I shoot down one V-twenty-two?’ and he said, ‘No, you can’t shoot down any V-twenty-two’s.’ I said, ‘What the hell’s going on in here?’ He said, ‘Sir, I’ve been given guidance by the program director to give completely different directions.’ The second round was all scripted, and if they didn’t get what they liked, they would just run it again.”

Millennium Challenge, the sequel, was won by Blue Team in a rout. There were no surprises the second time around, no insight puzzles, no opportunities for the complexities and confusion of the real world to intrude on the Pentagon’s experiment. And when the sequel was over, the analysts at JFCOM and the Pentagon were jubilant. The fog of war had been lifted. The military had been transformed, and with that, the Pentagon confidently turned its attention to the real Persian Gulf. A rogue dictator was threatening the stability of the region. He was virulently anti-American. He had a considerable power base from strong religious and ethnic loyalties and was thought to be harboring terrorist organizations. He needed to be replaced and his country restored to stability, and if they did it right—if they had CROP and PMESI and DIME—how hard could that be?


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