Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brave New War

My blogging buddy Jason Sigger over at Armchair Generalist has a great review of John Robb's "Brave New War". I read the book a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. I also got to interview Robb for Danger Room. He's an interesting and scary smart guy. I highly recommend checking out the book his blog.

Echoing some of Robb's conclusions in this month's Armed Forces Journal, retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Morrison asks the question: "What if There is No Network?"
Al-Suri's pragmatic doctrine, based on his personal experiences as well as his astute observations concerning the post-Sept. 11 operational environment from a jihadist perspective, borrows heavily from the "leaderless resistance" concept initially promulgated by Col. Ulius Amos. Al-Suri's work, in essence, provides the impetus for a revolution in jihadist affairs by suggesting transition to a highly decentralized autonomous jihad with emphasis on operational security and a de-emphasis on formal structure. Similar to our own doctrine of mission-type orders and mission-type command, which borrows deeply from German auftragstaktik, there is little doubt that individual jihadists are already cognizant of the overarching ideological mission and intent of their global struggle. This universally understood concept forms the framework for strategically complimentary yet operationally unsynchronized offensive terrorist action.

I've been toying with the term WikiWar as a way to describe this emerging phenomena.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Not The Government Storms Los Angeles (Updated)

Want to learn how make somebody's eyes roll, and I mean nearly completely roll over to the back of their heads like the finale of a Blue Angels' show? Here's my secret: Tell them that your baby sister and her husband moved to L.A. with "the band" to chase fame and fortune. Works every time. Hell, I nearly even blinded this dude in my unit. Traumatic eye strain.

But, seriously, It seems that the band aka "Not the Government" has booked their first show in LA after making the trek from Texas to California. It's at some place called the Knitting Factory which I'm guessing is filled with twenty-somethings in ironic clothes. My LA reader(s) should attend the show and tip generously. Buy lots of T-shirts. Worship them like the rock gods that they are.

The good news is that my sister isn't totally assimilating to California. I asked her how she liked living in LA. Her reply: "It would be okay if it weren't for all the Californians." Sounds like Austin.

Update: This post is generating some nasty-grams in the comments sections and my email inbox. Some readers have taken exception to my tone. Yeah, yeah I get it. I'm old. I don't understand. Well, that's all bullshit. I do understand, and I'm a big fan of these guys too. It took a lot of balls to pack up the band and move to LA. And it showed a great deal of initiative and courage on the part of Brian, my brother in law. So regardless of whether or not they make it big, I think the band's display of commitment to their art speaks volumes about them as people. Everybody happy? If not, pound sand.


What Happened to the Civilian Reserve Corps?

Earlier this year, the president proposed the creation of a Civilian Reserve Corps. I blogged about it. I've been eagerly awaiting news about its formation...and waiting...and waiting.

I've done some goggling about it, and it seems that Charles Rangel proposed something like this way back in 2005. I guess that he's still waiting...and waiting...and waiting.

I guess all the delays come down to this fact: our military, not our nation, is at war. Therefore, there is no incentive to create bold programs like this, especially at the end of an unpopular president's term. What short-sighted thinking.

According to the United Nation's Population Fund:
The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion, with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. While mega-cities have captured much public attention, most of the new growth will occur in smaller towns and cities, which have fewer resources to respond to the magnitude of the change.
In other words, all future conflicts will revolve around urban areas, and the ability to keep cities up and running resides almost entirely outside of the military. Unpopular president and unpopular war aside, we ought to give some serious thoughts about how we fight and win the next war because its going to look a hell of a lot like Baghdad whether we like it or not.

Also, John Robb has some interesting things to say about life in the urban jungle.

Labels: , ,

The Laziest Blogger in the World

I have to admit it. The Army's blogging rules/crackdown intimidated me a little bit so I started blogging less and less. I also started working on a couple other blogs including Intel Dump while Phil Carter was in Iraq and Danger Room at WIRED where I do most of my blogging now. It's an honor to be part of both sites, but they really aren't "mine".

The recent revelations that the military itself and not bloggers are responsible for more OPSEC violations, has given me some encouragement. I never really blogged about current operations or anything that remotely resembled them. So, I'm not going to worry about it.

Bottom line: my fan(s) can take heart. I'm going to start post here some more, especially on things that don't fit elsewhere. Big Brother can also take heart. I'm not going to talk about what I do in the military or any operations that I participate in.

I don't think that I'll be able to generate the volume that I was doing in the hey-day of my blogging. (if there was such a thing) But fan(s) might want to stop by from time-to-time and see what I'm ranting about.