Making Sausage

There are three tasks necessary to making sausage. The first is to have meat. The second is to add flavor, usually in the form of fat and spices. The third to have a casing – not too thick, not too thin – so one can grill the sausage or have it cold. Otto von Bismarck was an expert sausage-maker.

For meat he used his vision for a greater Germany – greater in terms of economic power, political-diplomatic power, industrial power (including access to natural resources to keep industry going), and military power.

For spices, Bismarck used Wilhelmism – that curious fad of men shtepping around in picklehaubes and uniforms with bright glittery medals and ribbons – and promises of more: land, money, prestige using the occasional nice little war here and there to keep the citizens prouder than Kansas City is of the Royals or St. Louis of its Blues.

The casing was strategy. Not too many nice little wars. Just enough land to keep appetites whetted for future acquisitions, and so on. Otto was better than Talleyrand, and Talleyrand was no slouch. At the core of Otto’s being was an intrinsic love of being German: the language, the cultures, land and sea, the intellectualism – all of it.

Many times on these pages and on the pages of our predecessor website the question of National Security Strategy comes up. Generally, the discussion devolve into the same two camps: the Neo-cons messed up the Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and America has been adrift for the past seven-plus years. Okay. Fine. May I have some more please?

What is National Security Strategy and just how do you make it?

Ole Otto never went to Harvard. He never had a #safespace. Were he alive today and accused of racism/sexism/homo-transphobia Otto would likely reply ‘Ja, holen jetzt noch ein Bier für mich Sweetie‘ and his accuser best get a move on.

So the questions remain what are National Security Strategy and just how do you make it? Let’s add two more.

3. How do you get your leaders and your enemies (assuming they are different) to believe in it?

4. What is National Military Strategy, or it that just another name for National Security Strategy?

By the way – this isn’t a real quiz. If you get it wrong you won’t be assessed demerits by Weird.

The National Security Strategy (NSS) is a document prepared periodically by the executive branch of the government of the United States for Congress which outlines the major national security concerns of the United States and how the administration plans to deal with them.

So if we wanted to make sausage like Otto von Bismarck, the very first thing we have to do is accurately identify security concerns without political blinders and rose-colored glasses. That is the single point of failure in the making of this sausage.

How well has that been done? Compare and contrast. Did the people involved in these two documents accurately identify security concerns that did, do or will affect America?

The National Military Strategy (NMS) is issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a deliverable to the Secretary of Defense briefly outlining the strategic aims of the armed services. The NMS’s chief source of guidance is the National Security Strategy document.

A way to look at the NMS is that it is the military’s implementing instructions for the NSS. If the NSS contains mis-identified security concerns, the NMS is going to be inadequate to address actual concerns.

When the NMS is inadequate, what we see is an Army whose top priorities don’t include such imperatives as fighting and winning the Nation’s wars. The absence of focus on that imperative leads to an abandonment of its purpose as the Army turns into a muddled, un-resourced blob of Green without the Machine. I couldn’t tell if I was reading America’s NSS or a political pamphlet published by the Students for a Democratic Society.

Otto von Bismarck was a master sausage maker and was very successful in ways that we can still see his handiwork today. I could say our National Security apparatchiks are the wurst, but considering the 2015 NSS, it is hard to find a more cynical, not-followed document in American history. So the answer to Question 3 is… loving America and sausage in the very core of your being.

 

 

About DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
This entry was posted in Diplomacy, History, Strategy. Bookmark the permalink.

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