The answer for a whole generation of Western military officers is to cycle through a decision-action framework quicker than the adversary, orienting to situations and acting faster than they can adapt. The reality is that speed is only one component of a fight. What is lost in a focus on faster decision-making is another equally important component, timing. Colonel John Boyd, U. Air Force, developed an iterative feedback model, what is now known as the OODA loop, after his experiences dogfighting in the Korean War.
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John Boyd. Atlantic readers should love talk about the OODA loop, because I believe it got its first general-media discussion in our pages, 36 years ago. In that earlier story, I described how I had happened upon a group of original thinkers with wholly new concepts about how to sustain a more effective military at a much lower overall cost. One member of this group was a budget analyst named Chuck Spinney, who has remained a friend and advisor over the years.
Similarly with the aircraft designer Pierre Sprey and a number of their other friends. A military historian named William Lind, then working as a staff assistant to then-Senator Gary Hart, was the person who initially connected me with the rest of the group.
But the figure who through flamboyance of personality and relentless rigor of thought loomed largest to all of us was John Boyd, whom you see at right in his Korean War-era fighter pilot mode.
Over the 18 years between my first meeting with Boyd in , and his death from cancer in , I was in what felt like nonstop touch with him, because I was one of the huge number of people he would call at home at random times, like 7pm Saturday night or 10am Sunday morning, in hopes of talking for a few hours on the phone.
This is all by way of saying: John Boyd is a person worth paying attention to. Each of these items has links to many more leads. In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one another.
But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.
This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind.
We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?
On a cold March afternoon in , Wolfgang Leonhard slipped out of the East German Communist Party Secretariat, hurried home, packed what few warm clothes he could fit into a small briefcase, and then walked to a telephone box to call his mother.
That was the code they had agreed on in advance. It meant that he was escaping the country, at great risk to his life. Though only 28 years old at the time, Leonhard stood at the pinnacle of the new East German elite. The son of German Communists, he had been educated in the Soviet Union, trained in special schools during the war, and brought back to Berlin from Moscow in May , on the same airplane that carried Walter Ulbricht, the leader of what would soon become the East German Communist Party.
F or Vonny LeClerc , day one was March Over the next few days, she developed a cough, chest pain, aching joints, and a prickling sensation on her skin.
After a week of bed rest, she started improving. But on day 12, every old symptom returned, amplified and with reinforcements: She spiked an intermittent fever, lost her sense of taste and smell, and struggled to breathe. When I spoke with LeClerc on day 66, she was still experiencing waves of symptoms. Today is day In the time that U. On Friday, the Commerce Department reported that GDP plummeted nearly 5 percent in the first three months of the year, and stocks rose. Over the weekend, Americans took to the streets of large cities and small towns to protest the killing of George Floyd and call for an end to years of police brutality and systemic racism against black Americans, as their mostly peaceful movements were often attacked by police and beset by chaos tourists smashing the windows of local stores.
And stocks rose. President Donald Trump is trapped inside the White House, as a tall and imposing wall is erected around him, and prison guards stand watch. The fencing is intended to keep other people out, of course, and to provide security for the White House. Unlike a true prisoner, Trump can get out, but on Monday, a simple walk down the block from his house required a massive deployment of riot police and pepper balls. It makes sense that Trump, who won the presidency in part on his promise to build a wall at the southern United States border, would gravitate to the same solution for the White House.
During the presidential campaign, he warned of chaos seeping into the country from Mexico; now he sees the chaos creeping toward his own lawn. It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president's visit outside St.
John's Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent. Whatever Trump's goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. Clyde Ross was born in , the seventh of 13 children, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the blues. The family owned another horse, with a red coat, which they gave to Clyde.
The Ross family wanted for little, save that which all black families in the Deep South then desperately desired—the protection of the law. In the s, Jim Crow Mississippi was, in all facets of society, a kleptocracy. The majority of the people in the state were perpetually robbed of the vote—a hijacking engineered through the trickery of the poll tax and the muscle of the lynch mob.
Between and , more black people were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state. Begin with the Declaration of Independence. The president strategically invokes the group in his speeches to stoke fear and shift discourse away from systemic racism. This nation has been roiled with anguish and anger this past week over the police and extrajudicial killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and yet the White House is engaging in the same old rhetorical tactics of divisive scapegoating.
Now he is manufacturing bogeymen. He never wants to be seen as speaking for all black Americans. The essay he published on Monday , urging reforms? It has , likes and counting. He still had more to say, and his closest advisers believed that he needed to say it. Tuesday morning, the former president and his aides started scrambling to set up an event for him to host yesterday afternoon—and to arrange the sit-down Zoom speech that CNN and MSNBC carried live.
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James Fallows. John Boyd as fighter pilot, AF photo One member of this group was a budget analyst named Chuck Spinney, who has remained a friend and advisor over the years. More Notes From The Atlantic.
Most Popular On The Atlantic. The president is trying to project strength, but instead is betraying weakness. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so. A president cannot just make Congress disappear when he wishes. Updated at a. ET on June 4, More Popular Stories.
OODA LOOP: What You Can Learn from Fighter Pilots About Making Fast and Accurate Decisions
His theories have been highly influential in the military, sports, business , and litigation fields. Boyd was born on January 23, , in Erie, Pennsylvania. Boyd enlisted in the Army Air Corps on October 30, , while still a junior in high school. After graduation, he completed his basic training and skill training as an aircraft turret mechanic during the waning months of World War II. From January to January Boyd served as a swimming instructor in Japan. He attained the rank of sergeant, and served in the Air Force Reserve until graduating from college. He graduated from the University of Iowa in with a Bachelor's degree in economics  and later earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech.
John Boyd (military strategist)
John Boyd. Atlantic readers should love talk about the OODA loop, because I believe it got its first general-media discussion in our pages, 36 years ago. In that earlier story, I described how I had happened upon a group of original thinkers with wholly new concepts about how to sustain a more effective military at a much lower overall cost. One member of this group was a budget analyst named Chuck Spinney, who has remained a friend and advisor over the years. Similarly with the aircraft designer Pierre Sprey and a number of their other friends. A military historian named William Lind, then working as a staff assistant to then-Senator Gary Hart, was the person who initially connected me with the rest of the group.