Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inside Obama's OODA Loop

Only days after John Boyd comes up in comments, "big-brain" political analysist Michael Barone applies Boyd's approach to the election (hyperlinks added):
John McCain was trained as a fighter pilot. In his selection of Sarah Palin, and in his convention and campaigning since, he has shown that he learned an important lesson from his fighter pilot days: He has gotten inside Barack Obama's OODA loop.

That term was the invention of the great fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd. It's an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

"The key to victory is operating at a faster tempo than the enemy," Boyd's biographer Robert Coram writes. "The key thing to understand about Boyd's version is not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such a fashion as to get inside the mind and decision cycle of the adversary."

For a fighter pilot, that means honing in above and behind the adversary so you can shoot him out of the sky. For a political candidate, it means acting in such a way that the opponent's responses again and again reinforce the points you are trying to make and undermine his own position.

The Palin selection -- and her performance at the convention and on the stump -- seems to be having that effect.
Barone's not the first to make the connection: Charles Martin--the writer/blogger behind the Sarah Palin rumor list--made the same point back on August 30th. Whether or not a Boyd fan--I am--read both pieces.

(via reader Doug J.)

1 comment:

Geoffrey Britain said...

In an aerial dogfight, to ignore Boyd's insights is to place oneself in peril.

Obama hasn't a clue. They don' need no stinkin' 'insights'!