Friday, July 15, 2011

Objective, Strategy and Tactics

How often are these three concepts confused?

The best and clearest example of which I can think was enunciated by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt after their Casablanca conference in early 1943

The Objective:

‘The unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany’

Later shortened to ‘Unconditional Surrender.’

The Strategy

Use of the industrial might of the USA and Soviet Union to overpower Germany through sheer weight of resources, people and machinery.

The Tactics

Relegation of the Pacific and S.E Asia to the status of secondary theatre, allowing concentration of maximum force on Europe with fronts on first the south (North Africa) and east (Russia) and later the west (France.)


When I think about politics in New Zealand, I try to understand how the various political parties perceive their own respective Objectives, Strategies and Tactics – if they have any.

So here, for what it’s worth, is my small attempt to bring clarity where others try to confuse. These are no more than my personal assessments made after observation.

I don’t have too much difficulty reading my own National Party. (And no, I haven’t been talking to anybody in the party hierarchy nor have I read any of the party propaganda from their website, nor do I read ‘Keynotes’. I’m taking note of public pronouncements, readily available to all with ears and observing people’s actions.)

National Party

National Party Objective

To remain in power long enough to bring the NZ economy back into regular and sustained productive economic annual surplus for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

National Party Strategy

Take and hold a large block of the centre left and centre right vote.

National Party Tactics

Ensure all major policy changes are signaled to and pretty much accepted by the electorate, well ahead of implementation.

Strive to maintain reliable and stable coalition partners on either side of the spectrum.

Act Party

ACT Party Objective

Regrettably I find some difficulty in discerning a clear political objective of the ACT Party just at the moment. For all his sins of commission and omission, Rodney Hide did demonstrate a pretty clear objective which was:-

To maximise the uptake of ACT Party policy into legislation through negotiation with the National Party and the Maori Party.

(In this regard Rodney Hide was supremely successful – far beyond the level one would normally expect from a little tail on a big dog. Of course it didn’t matter how successful he was in the eyes of the flat headed shouters from the ‘uber right’ who wanted and still want the whole nine yards implemented tomorrow or earlier.)

It will be helpful if Dr Brash finds the time some day before November to let the public know what the Party’s objective is under his leadership, if indeed that objective has changed.

ACT Party Strategy

There does not appear to be one.

In my view a sensible short term strategy might be the achievement of more than 5% party vote in November.

ACT Party Tactics

From whom will they pinch votes? And on which issues will they focus?

Thus far, the tactics appear to have been confined to reopening the Maori Wars.

(For what it’s worth, Adolf believes there is a significant and fast growing number of disaffected National, Labour and NZ First voters amongst those who reject the Climate Change scam and its fraudulent pseudoscience. Yet, when one visits the ACT website one is confronted with the bland statement that the party disapproves of an ETS but thinks a carbon tax would be better for God’s sake.)

Maori Party

To maximise the uptake of Maori Party Party policy into legislation through negotiation with the National Party and the ACT Party.

(In this regard Tariana Turis and Dr Sharples have been supremely successful – far beyond the level one would normally expect from a little tail on a big dog and far more significant than anything achieved by the Maori caucus of Labour when in power. Of course it didn’t matter how successful they were in the eyes of the flat headed shouters from the ‘foetid swamps of Awanui’ who wanted and still want the whole nine yards and a few more to boot, implemented tomorrow or earlier.)

Maori Party Strategy

Take and hold four Maori electorates.

Maori Party Tactics

Appeal to the ever growing number of well educated and successful Maori people who want to see their people liberated from the fatal disease of welfare dependency.

Reject the ‘we want ownership of everything on a plate’ mentality of the radical grievance mongers.

Labour Party

Labour Party Objective

Electoral victory in 2014

Labour Party Strategy

Hope like hell that somehow, between now and 2013, National cocks something up so badly that Labour tumbles back into the government benches, in spite of itself

Labour Party Tactics

Appoint Mallard as chief strategist and campaign director.

Install one of its least liked , most conceited and ill informed front benchers as leader.

(You really need to watch this guy getting done over in the House, day after day by the Speaker.)

Green Party

Green Party Objective

The destruction of the New Zealand economy.

Green Party Strategy and Tactics

Who cares? See Australia for the whole sorry saga.


Rimu said...

Green Party Long Term Goals

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thank you Rimu.

You have demonstrated for all to see, the folly of visiting political party web sites.

What a truck load of drivel! And it goes on, and on, and on in its inanity.

Now, perhaps you might have a go at expressing your party's current objective in one sentence of no more than ten words?

Rimu said...

I does go on a bit, doesn't it?

How about: "Protect people, planet and place"

Anonymous said...

Its easy to write stuff down and make it look cool and nice with fluffy concepts about inclusion, Maori values, dolphins and sustainability while saying quietly we need to kill 5 billion (others of course) to make it all good. Abortion will do for a start.

Its not reality any more than rape the planet for every last $ or tax everything until its bled dry is.

I think we are stuffed unless personal ethics, real ethics not smarmy superficail bullshit like Murdoch prints and people buy, return.

Flashman said...

O-S-T is fine in theory and makes for great reading in textbooks and military history primers.

However in practice all three are arranged in random order since their options and outcomes are based on three things:

1. Resources available at the time and subsequently. [E.g. a nuke capability in 1943 would have changed WW2 O-S-T out of sight.]

2. Limiting commitments [i.e. resources that are locked into predetermined positions].

3. Negotiating power of the various competing factions/allies at the time the ostensible O & S are worked out. [Casablanca again.]

No sir. O-S-T is not the neat wee whiteboard diagram depicted in military and business strategy "planning sessions". But they can be made to appear that way with great and misleading ease.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Flashman, You are wrong. Nowhere can you have a strategy without an objective. A strategy by definition is the mean by which an objective is achieved. Most certainly the tactics can change frequently and the strategy be revised from time to time BUT the overall objective does not change much at all, in war or in business.

That's the trouble with Afgahnistan and Libya. There seems to be no clear overall objective.