Military "swift"

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Thu, 27 Mar 2003 12:41:38 -0800


I think some of the problem is that the pedestrian definition of "swift" =
is
not the same as the military definition of "swift".

The pedestrian/media definition of "swift" is the amount of time from =
the
start of a campaign until the end.  Basically an absolute measure of =
time.

The military definition of "swift" is the amount of objectives completed =
per
unit time, which is only loosely related to the absolute time of a =
campaign.
In this sense, "swift" is more about efficiency and effectiveness. =20

Because nobody can predict the battlefield, the sequence of objectives =
that
need to be achieved to complete a campaign is very variable.  The =
military
is mostly concerned with how fast it can churn through the long list of
objectives and not so much how long the list of objectives may currently =
be
to finish a campaign.  From this standpoint, particularly with respect =
to
the ground forces, the military is moving very swiftly by any military
standard.  The length of the overall campaign is unknown, so whether or =
not
it will be "swift" by the standards of the media is unknown.  But using =
the
media standard to measure military progress is like measuring software
progress in "lines of code".  If everyone was forced to abide by that
metric, you may not get the results you were looking for.

Cheers,

-James Rogers
 jamesr@best.com