Thursday, August 28, 2008


McCain and the OODA Loop

Who would have guessed that Sen. John McCain would be beating the pants off of Sen. Barack Obama on the YouTube centric, political web-enabled battle space?

Anybody who knows anything about John Boyd’s conception of the OODA Loop, and knows that John McCain flew fighter jets.

Here’s the essential primer from the indispensable Bill Whittle:


Then Observe.Orient.Decide.Act.

Then Observe…

It’s a cycle. It’s a loop. It’s called by its inelegant acronym: The OODA loop.

Now here’s what blew my mind, as I am sure it blew John Boyd’s mind on a level I can not and will never fully comprehend:

The winner of these battles is not necessarily the fellow who makes the best decisions. More often than not, it’s the guy who makes the fastest decisions.

Agility. Speed. Precision. Lethality. Fingerspitzengefuhl: fingertip control.
Whittle is the finest of online essayists, and he’s worth your time, but for a shorter reference, see also the OODA Loop Wiki.

McCain has gotten inside Obama’s OODA Loop. Before the worshipful coverage has barely hit its crest, McCain launches the Obama as Shallow Celebrity campaign. Before the Unity Set Piece has played itself out, McCain’s campaign is blasting away at the pounds of flesh the Clinton’s are exacting from Obama.

Biden picked as VP, and without a blink of a news cycle, Team McCain has clips available documenting all the disparaging things Biden said about Obama during his 3 second Presidential Campaign. Georgia, Rezko, Ayers, every news item that at all promises a hold on news attention, and McCain is out in front, Obama lagging and sagging behind.

Not only does the McCain campaign react instantly to every exploitable gaffe, emerging event, or unpleasantness that will damage Obama or enhance McCain, flooding the media space with generally high quality ads and videos, but now McCain plays Obama’s coronation day perfectly: McCain: Job Well Done, Barack.

McCain can afford to let it rest, while seemingly displaying the rarest of qualities: an appreciation of his opponent’s accomplishment. Because he knows he’s already won the OODA Loop.

John McCain is a fighter pilot who certainly knows Boyd’s OODA Loop. Nice to see he found how to apply OODA to running a Presidential Campaign.

(Via The Corner)

(Cross-posted at MILBLOGS)


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