Please allow me to explain what the OODA Loop is. It is an acronym for Observe-Orientate-Decide-Act and it is a concept that was developed about 50 years ago by the Late Col. John Boyd.
Col. John Boyd is better known as "40 second Boyd" because as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force he would challenge his fellow fighter pilots to simulated dog fights. He used the concept that he developed, the OODA Loop to defeat every one of them.
Col. Boyd had a standing bet that anyone who could defeat him in a simulated dog fight would win $40.00 dollars. He reportedly never had to pay off any of his fellow pilots.
The most important aspect of the OODA Loop are the orientation and the decision phases. In fact the decision phase is likely the most important phase. It is the ability to make decisions faster than your opponent that causes him to become disorientated and make mistakes, both physical mistakes and mistakes in judgment. Keep in mind that it is more important to make faster decisions rather than the best decision. You still have to make good decisions but it is more important to make good decisions quicker than your opponent.
It has been said that Boyd has developed the most profound change in military tactics since Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War. The most important aspect of the OODA Loop is that it allows those who are skilled enough to practice the concept to attack the mind of their opponent as opposed to attacking the person. In some cases the battle can be won before it even begins, simply by disorientating the opponent.
The U.S. Marine Corps has literally changed the way they go into battle based on what they learned from Col. Boyd. When Boyd died in 1997, Marine Commandant Charles Krulak gave him the highest praise possible by saying that it was Boyd who was one of the major influences on the thinking that led to the Marines victory in the Persian Gulf.
That is a brief background of both Col. Boyd and the OODA Loop. Now fast forward to today and the campaign that is going on for President of the United States.
I can only speculate but I think that John McCain is well schooled in the tactics of the OODA Loop and he is using those tactics to his full advantage in the Presidential campaign. It would be nice if we could find out if John McCain actually knew Col. Boyd and if they crossed paths at some point in their careers.
Go back last week as the democratic convention was unfolding. In the weeks leading up to the convention there was much speculation about the Vice Presidential nominee's for both parties. We obviously know that Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate. That is when McCain began using his skills that he likely learned from Col. Boyd.
He began to float the name of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. There were numerous leaks from the McCain camp that his VP choice would be Pawlenty. There were news reports on the night of Obama's big speech that Pawlenty had canceled all of his appointments and cleared his calendar. There were even reports on numerous limousines at the Minnesota State Capitol, supposedly to pick up the Governor for the big announcement.
Even Rush Limbaugh and numerous local talk radio hosts were convinced that Pawlenty would be the VP pick. This was all occurring on the afternoon of Obama's big speech to the 85,000 people in home of the Denver Bronco's and a stage that caused many people including numerous veteran political reporters to drop their jaws in awe.
At the very peak of all of the hype, John McCain runs a few TV ads directed at Obama saying "Job well done" and then McCain makes an announcement that he will not make the announcement that night. He would defer to Barack Obama because this was his night to be in the spotlight.
Within a little more than 12 hours after the finish of Obama's speech, McCain is out announcing his VP pick and it a complete surprise to almost everyone, especially the Obama campaign. While the Obama campaign was all geared up to attack Pawlenty, McCain got "inside of his loop" by announcing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, almost out of the blue.
When I saw Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Friday morning TV program and they were asked about McCain's VP pick, they both looked like they were completely disorientated and did not know which way was up.
In my opinion, John McCain is deeply inside of the Obama campaign's OODA Loop. He has them very disorientated to the point that they are not sure what they are doing. There minds have turned to mush and they are not capable of thinking straight at this point. This was a brilliant case of mis-direction on the part of John McCain.
This campaign is quickly turning into a contest between the "Fighter Pilot" and the "Rock Star" I am not advocating for the election of John McCain, in fact I may not even vote for him. But from what I have seen so far and now that I have a basic understanding of the OODA Loop, I have a lot more respect for John McCain than I did just a week ago.
I don't know what else McCain has up his sleeve but I'm sure that he has a few more tricks for Barack Obama and I'm sure that Obama will become even more disorientated in the coming weeks than he is right now. If I were betting on this race, I would put my money on the "Fighter Pilot", he is much more experienced, he is making faster and so far better decisions, he has Obama on the defensive and most importantly, he is inside of Obama's Loop and I think he is closing in for the kill.