The Center Of Gravity

War consists of the destruction of the enemy’s center of gravity. When the Japanese government decided on war with the United States, the first order of business was the destruction of the United States Pacific Fleet, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  To the Japanese, the US Pacific Fleet was the center of gravity, and had to be destroyed if Japan was to move south, to Indo-China, to the Philippines, Borneo and the Dutch East Indies, all areas Japan would need to conquer and control if Japan was to continue the war. And yet we seem not to understand the concept of center of gravity in the war on radical Islam. The center of gravity is Iran, not Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a side-show. Nothing important can be accomplished there, no matter how many Taliban we kill, or how many of our soldiers are sacrificed in an unnecessary theater. 


0600 hours, Sunday, 7 December 1941


Dawn in the Pacific can be inexpressibly beautiful, but this dawn wasn’t.  Overcast, a fresh northeast trade wind, moderate sea.  But it was beautiful indeed to Admiral Nagumo.  His Pearl Harbor Striking Force had sailed for ten days, through waters where at any moment he might chance upon a ship, and had reached the launching point, miraculously unseen and unheard, 275 miles north of Pearl Harbor.


Gray dawn lights the darkened ships

Gray-green seas dash ‘gainst the bows

Bugles rise to moistened lips

Sailors think on sacred vows

On Akagi Nagumo waits

And then it comes, a distant speck

The signal flag to tempt the fates

And airplanes roll the sea-stained deck

Into the air as one by one

Into the wind they wag their wings

Rising, they begin their run

Living, breathing, deadly things

Shipmates cheer Banzai! Banzai!

As noise filled decks come quiet strange

Kates and Zeros fill the sky

And Vals bring Pearl in bomber range

The Afghan hills stand silent, still

No carriers, no Vals, no Zekes

The Taliban knows every hill

The valleys, trails and mountain peaks

There’s nothing there worth dying for

The enemy is in Teheran

Who still insist on trying for

The weapon that will make Iran

The center of the world wide fight

As Islam storms our very gates

While we sleep soundly through the night

Unseeing Islam’s Zekes and Kates



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