Three 800-pound Guerillas
With liquid cash reserves of $45 billion, GM isn’t going anywhere soon. But it has acknowledged serious problems and announced tectonic changes to its business model—massive cuts in employee benefits, layoffs, plant closings and the marketing of car models that cost less to run.
Meanwhile last month Toyota—with its slick little Scion, Lexus and Prius hybrid models—sold 426 units more than Ford, catapulting it into second place. “Toyota Drove to the Bank in a Ford,” proclaimed Michelle Maynard’s headline in this past Sunday’s New York Times.
The War on Terror as a Failing Business Model
The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was the modern-day equivalent to the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. That means as of today our military involvement in the Middle East has gone on for one year, 10 weeks and three days longer than that of World War II.
In the 3-1/2 years of World War II, the Allies subdued the most powerful, vicious military machines in world history and liberated a vast swath of the globe—Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Far East.
For 3-1/2 years, the Allies dropped everything and committed their entire resources to quashing this horrific threat. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin realized that there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant.
After 4-1/2 years in the Middle East, Americans are still being blown to bits inside two small, fourth-rate powers that are consumed by sectarian violence.
“It is now obvious that we are not midwifing democracy in Iraq,” Tom Friedman wrote last Friday in the Times. “We are baby-sitting a civil war.”
Something is seriously wrong with the Pentagon’s business model
The Lessons of Dien Bien Phu
Starting in March 2003 the United States and Britain executed a dagger thrust to Baghdad with a highly mobile, skeleton force. Instead of putting up a fight, the trained and brutal Iraqi fighters melted into the countryside, taking their weapons and ammunition with them, and looted the arms depots that were never secured by the coalition troops.