In the Old Testament book of Judges, the Almighty tasks Gideon with leading the Israelites against their oppressor, the Midianites. In assembling an Israelite army, the Almighty commands Gideon to reduce his numbers. Gideon obeys and ultimately triumphs with the remaining force of three hundred men employing an elaborate ruse. Reducing the size of an armed force seems counterintuitive, but, as the story illustrates, organizational design, and not end strength, is critical to military effectiveness.
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Thank you to Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (U.S. Army, ret.), contributor to The National Interest, for his assistance; and to Mr. Dave Majumdar, the Defense Editor of The National Interest, for agreeing to publish the essay.
Thank you to War Is Boring for cross-posting the essay.