THE BLOG
10/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Who Knows Strategy v. Tactics? McCain or Obama? And Where is McCain's Flag Lapel Pin?

Just now in the presidential debates, McCain said that Obama doesn't know strategy. I blogged on this a few weeks ago. McCain is wrong.

In Senator Obama's speech on foreign policy today in Washington D.C. called "A New Strategy for a New World", he demonstrated that he understands the role of strategy vs. tactics. But does McCain? Under fire from McCain for talking about Iraq before he visits there next week, Obama also demonstrated the he understands the role of a leader -- to lay out a strategy in broad principles and let the generals fill in the tactics to achieve that strategy.

The great Chinese General Sun Tzu knew the difference in 500 B.C. when he declared, "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

In addition, back when the discussion of strategy v. tactics in Iraq was highlighted in the media, I noted the following:

McCain, on the other hand, responded mainly in tactical terms -- "I know how to win a war" he said. Yes, the "how to" is important. But the "what to do" is even more important. Americans may not be too familiar with the differences between strategy and tactics, subjected as we have been for the past eight years to the "strategery" of George Bush's administration, which has been a series of actions taken without a greater strategy in mind. The Surge itself was a tactic, not a strategy, and as a tactic it appears to have reduced violence. What Obama did today was to put the Surge into the wider context of a foreign policy strategy American desperately needs to implement.

Who do you trust to know more about real strategy? McCain and (Palin)?? Or Obama, who was right on the war in the first place.

And by the way -- why isn't McCain wearing a FLAG PIN tonight? Come on, folks. This is a travesty! Obama has a flag pin. Where is McCain's?