Permissible Arms

Down and Dirty

Posted in afghanistan, united states, us defense, us military by Karaka on 5 August 2010

Quick link-dump of stuff I’m reading:

  • Christian Bluer, The Problem With Military Writing on Afghanistan. The problem is NOT because of any ‘unique intellectual flaws’ in the individuals. I’ve studied with enough former military in university to know that they are, on average, better students than their usually younger college counterparts…But that being said, the military is – on average – failing to produce useful quality analysis on Afghanistan for public release (and yes, I’ve heard/read the criticisms of how bad the classified analysis is as well).
  • Pentagon Starts Study of Post-Afghan Marine Corps. “We’re turning our thinking to resetting the Corps – that’s the code word – and it has to do with what do we want the Marine Corps to look like once we’re out of Afghanistan and assuming there are no infantry battalions in sustained combat operations anywhere in the world,” Navy Undersecretary Bob Work told a lunchtime audience in Washington.
  • Casey shares vision of National Guard’s future. “No one wants to go back to the Guard being just a strategic reserve,” Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said during a visit to the 2010 National Guard Family Program Volunteer Workshop. “We have come way too far. Half of the Guard are combat veterans. That’s a fundamentally different force and, as a result, it’s a fundamentally different Army.”
  • Adam Elkus on the above. Defense intellectuals are examining the possibilities of smaller, but more high-performing units able to operate with greater degrees of independence due to emerging technology. This is somewhat of a historical trend as well, since the division in the first Gulf War operated with the autonomy of a corps, and the brigade combat team resulted from the flattening of land forces into the Modular Force. There is also a corresponding focus on using maneuver and swarming to fight the “low-signature enemy.”
  • Canada-Afghan Blog, Afghanistan Today.
  • Marc Lynch, Arab confidence in Obama collapsing. The survey’s findings suggest overwhelmingly that it is the administration’s failures on the Israeli-Palestinian front which drove the collapse in Arab attitudes towards Obama. Sixty-one percent of the respondents say that this is the area in which they are most disappointed (Iraq, at 27 percent, is the only other issue which cracks double digits — only one percent name “spreading democracy”). Only one percent say they are pleased with his policy. Fifty-four percent name an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as one of two things which would most improve their views of the United States (withdrawing from Iraq is second, at 45 percent , and stopping aid to Israel third at 43 percent ).
  • Michael Hancock on dealing with Afghan poppy farming. Still – why doesn’t NATO or the US put together a fund to step in as the new buyer of all this opium. Why not ask Australian or Indian farmers to plant something else, as their contribution to the Coalition war effort? If they don’t want to put their soldiers at risk, that’s fine – they can fight the Taliban so much more effectively with their checkbooks, hurting the insurgents by cutting off a primary source of funding.
  • Via DoDLive, the Forum on Women Veterans.

8 Responses

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  1. Mike Few said, on 6 August 2010 at 02:56


    If you’re interested, I helped Joshua Keating with his latest article in FP “The Expaliners.”

    “What’s the Difference between Combat and Non-Combat Troops?”


  2. Karaka said, on 6 August 2010 at 07:19

    Oh, thanks Mike! I’m definitely going to read that. The tagline–“not much”–is spot on.

  3. Mike Few said, on 6 August 2010 at 17:53

    Hi Karaka,

    I put my extended thoughts on SWJ here.

    Would be curious on your thoughts.

    After I finish up my monograph on “Breaking Through the Static- Small Wars and the Theory of Games,” I may have some time to do a guest blog on your site on highlighting the current issues in Wake County with busing if your interested. After that, I’m teaming up with Crispin Burke and Adam Elkus for a “Wicked Problems for Dummies- coloring outside the lines” essay.

    Have a good weekend.


  4. Karaka said, on 6 August 2010 at 19:51

    Hey, great! I meant to ask you about that, whether you’d still be interested in guest posting.

    I’ll try to respond to council thread over the weekend. And I’m really excited to see what you do with Starbuck and Adam! That’s great.

    Let me know if you want some eyes on your monograph–I’d be happy to offer feedback, if you like.

  5. Mike Few said, on 6 August 2010 at 20:51

    I’ll add you on my final review before publication.

  6. Karaka said, on 6 August 2010 at 20:56

    Great! I look forward to it.

  7. Mike Few said, on 6 August 2010 at 20:57

    And I apologize for not getting back to you on the guest blog. I’m on vacation right now just checking back in on milblogs. I’ll be in touch :).

  8. Karaka said, on 8 August 2010 at 17:39

    Not at all, Mike! I’ve been on vacation too.

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