In any military strategy session, from the Pentagon's E-Ring to a game of capture the flag, the practicing intellectuals (eggheads) are given a polite hearing and then with some subtle eye-rolling, shown the door, so the brass tacks of real warriors can be displayed.
Cautionary lessons learned from military intellectuals are often rightly suspect, as their over-application can cause what should be forward-looking, innovative problem solving to be mired in the inapplicable past. The elegant historical stylist Barbara Tuchman once quipped: "nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general." True enough. But in the current military morass in Iraq that continues to consume American blood and treasure in a zero-sum game, we might do well to consider a classical focus. Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian intellectual godfather of all matters military, coined the phrase "centers of gravity" to describe people, places, and capabilities of your opponent that, when threatened, attacked, damaged, or displaced, compel your enemy to bend to your will (war as an extension of national policy).