Veni, vidi, vici.
Shortest OODA cycle ever.As the theories of other influential military thinkers, the thoughts of John Boyd are commonly summed up in a short catch word or phrase. In this case, the OODA loop. Not much of a loop but rather a cycle, OODA cycles are the central piece of Boyd's theory and the very foundation stone of the maneuver warfare school of thought.
OODA is an acronym for:
The OODA cycle is a deep and far reaching concept. In the present day is used in almost every competitive environment, including business. Unfortunately is often trivialized and misinterpreted. I already mentioned the popular interpretation of it as a "loop" rather than a cycle. For a complete discussion please check Science, Strategy and War by Frans Osinga (the most complete study of Boyd's military theories). A link to this book is provided below.
No less important than the ideas themselves are the ways these come to life. John Boyd's life and the origin of his ideas are described in Robert Coram's biography (link provided below). Boyd's intellectual pursuit on land warfare originated from the following observation about the kill ratios during the air war over Korea: the Mig-15's specifications (ceiling, max speed, thrust, climb rate, etc) toped the ones of the F-86 Sabre, yet the Sabres shot down more Migs.
The quest for the answer to this question is really fascinating. By this time, Boyd was perfecting his energy maneuverability theory (a theory about air combat that is another outstanding contribution) but the numbers from that theory favored the Migs. It had to be the men flying those aircrafts. Training? Nah, the North-Koreans were not bad fighter pilots and their training was almost identical to the one of the Soviets. Boyd's interpretation of the kill ratios was that the F-86 pilots could see better (the F-86 canopy had a better field of view) and change maneuvers faster because of the hydraulic controls of the aircraft (the Mig-15 had sluggish controls that resulted in a delayed aircraft response). In short, the F-86 pilots could see better (observe, orient, decide) and have their aircraft to respond faster to their decisions (action). A shorter OODA cycle.
These ideas are so deep that a whole dedicated blog would just scratch the surface. For the sake of brevity, I will just leave to you the task of exploring them. But please comment for inaccuracies above, ideas that you want to add just plain fun of discussion.
And now, let's go for some fun themed along the lines of the paragraphs above. Stay tuned.