Monday, August 3, 2015

Don't Fight Until You're Like, Totally, Totally Sure

Concerned that Christians are getting distracted in this suddenly target-rich environment? That we're not sufficiently focused on cutting off the head of Planned Parenthood? That all of us aren't concentrated on the main objective?

Then you might be a terrible basketball player. No, seriously. This ain't chess, son. This is fighting. These dudes move in real time, and so must you. It is not all préparation, my friend, sometimes you are at the point of engagement. That's in italics because I'm talking about fencing, y'all. Otherwise it would be simply preparation and engagement, without the sharp pointy things that kill.

Look at this guy to our left. This man is elegant. He's not a slasher or a hacker. He fights with the point. He is judicious in his target selection. But when the blast of war blows in his ear, then he imitates the action of the tiger. He sets his teeth and stretches his nostrils wide.

He rushes into the fray when the walls collapse. He goes looking for a fight.

Allow me to quote Wikipedia as if it were Sun Tzu himself: "Maneuver warfare is a military strategy that advocates attempting to defeat the enemy by incapacitating their decision-making through shock and disruption."

Pour in through the gap, look for the enemy wherever he is. Don't give them any time to poke their heads up or maneuver. There are millions of us here, all pouring through this one breach in the enemy's defenses. Volume of fire is important, both to destroy Planned Parenthood and our murderous laws, and to limit their possibilities of counter-attack.

Will our fine, tigerish warrior friend pictured above hesitate to grab a few nearby companions and go after the team of spotters or sappers he has seen setting up nearby? Will he be loath to take the cavalry after a supply train to put it to the torch? Of course not. He wants only to fight. He is looking for the enemy, and he sees the crowded press of his fellows all pushing at the same gate. They are needed there, but he can make himself useful elsewhere.

It is possible to stretch your forces too thin in a fight. In recent years we have been on the back foot, beating constant tactical retreats, and have had to treasure our resources. But now is the time to be profligate in the joy of battle. We are on the front foot now, and should be less concerned about being stretched too thin than we should be about getting bogged down.

Speed is life.


In the Napoleonic Wars the French and British had two very different main infantry tactics. The British spread into lines only two men deep, and could therefore bring every musket to bear on enemy formations, often outflanking forces that might outnumber them simply because they had spread out a longer line. The enemy was under such a volume of fire for so long that they would break when the bayonets came out. The French, on the other hand, usually fought in a marching formation, in a column. This meant that they couldn't bring much fire to bear at all, but if and when they arrived at your line (under excellent artillery support), they were all but guaranteed to break through.

For the record, the British beat the French. Again and again. But the thin red line only works with iron discipline, a high rate of fire, and the training and willingness it takes to maneuver under fire.

It is better not to get pinned at all then to have to get yourself unstuck.

The last couple of paragraphs have been a bit of an excursus urging the Christian soldier not to fear spreading out. But the truth is that we're in the final phases of a siege (just one, to be sure, in a millenia-long war; and I do not forget that we could yet be expulsed). When the wall is breached, there is but one tactic: pour in and kill everything in uniform.

There's nothing wrong with grabbing a fellow soldier by the collar and pointing him at a better target. In fact, this should be done. But consider that you are as unsighted and limited as he is in this great fight.

You and I are simple private soldiers. So pour it on. Fight. Fight smart, fight making decisions, but above all, fight. Soon the intact units will be here, and the sergeants, and the officers close behind. Let them set up the rally points, let them beat the units back into order, let them lead us to the next objective. For now we have the breach, and we have the momentum. Join the melee. Find a door to kick at. Find a cannon to spike.

The battle is the Lord's.

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