S.A. Zobans


To the editor:

How does “the fog of war” affect plans for military action in Syria? When war starts, this fog sets in and truth becomes harder to discern for lack of real-time knowledge about actions.

Prior to a war, officials may act more slowly to make their decisions, while they play golf or poker, or calmly discuss options with TV talking heads. Under the blue skies of peace visibility, may be clear with optimistic hopes, but as action starts, facts can become hazy and elusive.

In the fog of war at Benghazi, Libya, officials were befuddled for many hours about what was happening on the ground, while Americans were being attacked. Things moved too quickly to clarify facts as the fog of uncertainty hindered effective action and response. Modern technology can accelerate events and cause the fog to make timely decisions even harder. The luxury of calm for deciding military action before a war begins is fleeting. When the action starts, the fog may cause some events to spiral out of control.

Hopefully decisions on Syria will be based on solid facts, not just rhetoric, while the weather is still clear.