5.6.17

THE VANITY OF CONSENSUS.

"A devil’s advocate is a precious commodity," notes James Holmes in Real Clear Defense. "That has to be one of the takeaways from revisiting the Battle of Midway seventy-five years on, and it should be etched on the internal workings of any martial institution that wants to survive and thrive amid the rigors, danger, and sheer orneriness of combat. Despite Japanese mariners’ tactical brilliance and élan, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) leadership was prone to such ills as groupthink and strategic doublethink."  It got so bad that when one simulation went bad (the Opposition hit the First Carrier Striking Force when the carrier's planes were off bombing Midway) the umpires reversed the outcome, reclaiming one, than both, carriers from Davy Jones.  "Hence the need for contrarians."  Indeed.

And yet, temper principle with practicality.  Raising objections as a way of showing off doesn't work so well either.

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