Note: Denny Hatch responds to all correspondence.
Readers respond to “Three 800-Pound Guerrillas” published Aug. 8, 2006, which compared the war in Iraq to the General Motors business model.
I enjoyed the “800 Pound Guerilla” piece today and I feel compelled to comment. The unfortunate truth of our current situation is that almost everybody knew it would turn out this way, but nobody had the guts to admit it. Ego and greed have always been, and will always be man’s downfall and those are the two key reasons for our involvement. I appreciate you having the courage to discuss the war in your newsletter. As you know, you are now officially a non-patriot. There is little solace for those that predicted this outcome prior to the war. Nobody wants to hear that.
Unfortunately, our track record indicates that it will be many more years until we can admit our early failures and accept defeat on this agenda, or that we will organize the world to wage the level of war required to win. Every day we engage on our current agenda is not only a day we have lost, but also more fuel for increased hate and trouble down the road. Regarding your discussion of tactics, the following quote has always been one of my favorites: “Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.” —General George S. Patton Jr.
I wrote to you once before (about issues surrounding computer security), still read your every word and am blessed with new knowledge every time I do. You asked:
P.S. If a reader can describe a successful military campaign at any time in history where the occupying forces were completely surrounded by a hostile, heavily armed enemy that was continually increasing in size and ferocity, please e-mail me.
I think it was 2002 or 2003. The occasion I recall was US Navy war games, and the guys with all the clout were the U.S. Navy. “David” was a retired US Admiral who was brought back into service to form a guerilla flotilla, and promptly obliterated the Navy.
The event hit the media at the time, but was promptly pushed aside. I don’t remember the Admiral’s name. I have searched for this several times, but cannot find a record of it. Your resources are much greater than mine, so you may be able to locate it.
I have learned many times over that (1) the patient knows his problem better than the doctor does, (2) my clients (I am an independent Management Consultant) know their problems much better than I can, (3) the overriding problem confronting the world is “over-specialization”, and (4) (after living 13 years in a country neighboring Iraq) anyone who though that the outcome in Iraq would be different than it is has never lived in the Middle East.
As an Army Vet (8 Aug 66 - 7 Aug 72) D-6-2, 101st Airborne and former instructor at Ft. Lewis WA whose specialty was Techniques of Guerrilla Warfare, I can tell you that your reference to Dien Bien Phu is at best a poor analogy. For more accurate analogies I suggest you think Bataan or, better yet, Stalingrad.
It takes 14 lbs. of supplies (Water, Food, Ammo, Fuel, etc.) to sustain 1 trooper for 1 day in static DEFENSIVE MODE and THREE to FIVE times that in an attack mode. Static defensive mode is just sitting there dealing with little or no enemy aggression. Attack mode is defending against concerted enemy assaults (3x) or launching assaults and/or breakouts (5x).
Do the math—we have 150,000+ personnel on the ground 450+ miles (linear distance not as the crow flies) from our nearest supply port and are surrounded by 60 million+ people who would love to slit their throats. IF the Strait of Hormuz is blocked (one sunburn missile into a carrier group would do it) our guys will be cut off with little or no chance to exit and just waiting to run out of supplies. Their options will be death or surrender.
There is NOT enough air transport capacity to supply them. As the Germans learned to their sorrow, supply by air depreciates in short order as transport suffers the strain of constant use as well as enemy action. Airfields will probably be overrun or rendered unusable in the first 48 hours AND combat supply drops are typically only 40% effective.
Assume also coordinated attacks and incursions by North Korea on South Korea and the Chinese on Taiwan once our guys are cut off. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been reactivated and re-armed—blocking a Mediterranean supply and exit. The Turks are NO friends of ours and are biding their time to reestablish their Ottoman Empire. Iran holds positions all along our right flank AND has experienced combat troops who fought Saddam in that same area for a generation. The Saudi’s would love to see us stumble and would jump at the chance to extend their influence.
IF we go nuclear prevailing wind patterns will carry fall-out into Europe and Eurasia—no one talks about the political implications of that; but we will immediately lose whatever European support we have. We will also be confronting Russian and Chinese nuke capacities both from a fall-out standpoint and because they too have ambitions in this oil rich area.
Putin has NOT been sitting on his hands—under the guise of subduing Chechnya, he has been moving troops south and establishing supply points, bases AND, most importantly, air fields loaded with first line Fighters and Air to Ground support aircraft.
The Chinese have been setting up strategic alliances throughout the area and securing their access corridor to the Middle East via Tibet. They are allied with Iran and have been supplying Sunburn missiles in quantity AND expanding their attack submarine fleet. Their strategy is to eliminate or neutralize our Naval Carrier groups.
Strategically, our guys are up a tree. The Russians and Chinese are old hands at trading land for advantage and waiting until their enemy is overextended. Only a map pin moving Pentagon politician armchair general could fail to see that. Notice, NO REAL COMBAT flag officer is EVER heard from. Powell has been marginalized and silenced.
Considering virtually ALL of our front line troops and even our reserves are located in this single untenable situation; Iraq has to be the equivalent of betting both our house and car on a single roll of the dice in a crooked casino! IMHOP we will be damn lucky to get out of this one without catastrophic losses. Shades of Lyndon Johnson—why are all the idiot wannabee generals from Texas?
General Direct Marketing Question
If the list is 40% of the equation, how do you determine the right list? Are there questions you ask the list supplier? Our customer base is very diversified. Business professionals from all industries and backgrounds. Real estate agents, loan brokers, insurance agents, attorneys, doctors, just about every profession. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
It’s imperative to go back to the original sources of the name. Where did this name come from? What was the mailing package that brought the person in? What was the offer? Premium? Price of the product or service?
In the list business, the promotional effort that got the person on the list—the thing that caused that person to respond—is more important than the product or service the person bought.
Does your package look anything like this or is it a polar opposite in terms of price, offer, design and copy approach?
Finally, I hate touting my own books, but Don Jackson’s and my “2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success” devotes nearly 20,000 words to lists written by some of the greatest names in the business. Among them: Andrew Harwin, Brian Kurtz, Annette Brodsky, Don Chilcutt, Jerry Gould, Bob Foehl, Mike Manzari, Dick Benson, Mal McCluskey, Fran Green, Paul Goldberg, Rose Harper and others.
As Dick Benson said, “I know of no direct marketers that spend enough time on lists.”
Put another way, if a mailing cost $500/M—or 50 cents a shot—it doesn’t take many of them going to the wrong person before you start looking at red ink.
Finally, heed Brian Kurtz’s dictum: “All datacards are guilty until proven otherwise.