In the middle of a conflict, good analysis is hard to come by. Because adversaries do not telegraph their plans to one another, plans depend greatly on the fact patterns surrounding their execution, and no human mind can possibly observe, much less comprehend, the movements of all players on the battlefield, the prosecution of wars, no matter how meticulously planned and no matter how eminently credentialed the planners, frequently defies the will of the planners.
This phenomenon is known as the “Fog of War,” a phrase which originated with Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz in his magnum opus, On War:
War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty. A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a skilled intelligence to scent out the truth.
That intelligence is evidently lacking in the U.S. military, diplomatic, and “intelligence” apparatus. A little over a month ago, President Biden – presumably echoing the advice he was getting from the permanent bureaucracy – said the following: