View Full Version : Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio Interview

04-15-2007, 07:22 AM
15 April Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Background Briefing Radio Show - Iraq: New Team, New Strategy, New Tensions (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2007/1893158.htm) by Stan Correy.

50 minute broadcast - you can hear Bill and I talk about the Small Wars Journal and Small Wars Council at about the 27:30 mark. Also note the discussion on Dave Kilcullen's 28 Articles and his post on the Guardian news article...

04-15-2007, 05:37 PM
Outstanding. This is a very important piece of information. Well worth listening to and a very important endorsement for the Small Wars Council et al. I took away from this broadcast three things. (1) a primer to today's counterinsurgency or COIN101, (2) the importance of information clearinghouses, such as the Small Wars Journal in the overall effort of counterinsurgency, as well, as the insurgency itself, and (3) the pros and cons of information technology on what is today's FEBA to include, the "vertigo inducing" use of information technology from watching "Apocalypse Now" before going out on patrol, the use of drones to spot a van being loaded with weapons by bad guys, and even those of us sitting safely at home posting on the SWC. This should be a prerequisite for all SWC members. It shows how important this site is in the effort and it does contribute to that effort. That this platform is more than a social room to visit, smoke cigars, and try to outwit one another. You guys have come a long way and should be proud of your accomplishments. Thanks for providing this platform for all us.

04-17-2007, 04:25 PM
I just finished listening to it for the second time and I have to agree with Culpepper - this is a fantastic piece. In fact, I think I will be using it in some of my classes as an excellent example of how technology can cause changes in society.

If we just look at the role played by SWJ / SWC in the piece, I truly find it astonishing. In order to get at that a little more, let me toss out some site statistics:

SWJ/SWC Visitor sessions per month

Month Total Repeat First Time
March 06 8740 41% 59%
June 06 8701 44% 56%
Sept 06 13540 43% 57%
Dec 06 14280 50% 50%
March 07 36136 41% 59%
A 450% increase in site visits is quite impressive, to say the least! A quick note about the "First Time" category - if someone doesn't log in or they are accessing the site from a different computer (actually a different IP address), then they will appear in the "First Time" category. Enough of the stats - something I really do try to shy away from as an Anthropologist :D!

What can this tell us? Well, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Bill and Dave's comments on the value of a "non-official" venue both for the help it can give people on the ground and for its value and role in the global media battlefield. I've also noted that we have had more people from the "media" (loosely construed) joining the council recently (e.g. Menning, JWKelly, Cori, etc.), and I think that is all to the good.


Steve Blair
04-17-2007, 05:11 PM
I've got this downloaded and plan to listen to it this evening after work (...yes, my life's that exciting;) ).

I can only second and third the comments about the value of informed, unofficial discussion platforms.

Tom Odom
04-17-2007, 05:35 PM
Overall I would rate the program as quite good in exploring COIN, information, information technology, and the human dimensions that cannot be rendered in some form of technology or software. The comment by the technite that this "video is real time intelligence and does not need any analysls to be acted on" says it all. Does anyone remember the inflatable tank army that George Patton commanded in the UK--the one that the Germans were convinced would make the main invasion?

The use of Kilcullen's 28 articles to frame the program was of course an excellent and equally obvious idea for Australian Broadcasting Corp. They would have been roasted in effigy had they overlooked the role of a native son in all of this.

On a specific point, I found Luttwak as an avowed neocon ridiculous in his admonition to "not act like an Empire" when that is very much the central reality of neocon thought. My how 4 years of reality takes the bloom off of fanciful thinking on international relations. Where he really showed his true colors was his response that we shuld "leave and bomb them" citing the attacks on Libya as a precedent. Somehow he forgot that we used such attacks rather than invade because we were not likely top convert Quadafi to our democratic ideals. But I wander and I admit it...

On SWJ, Dave and Bill, you both made cogent points and I wondered as I listenened how much got left on the cutting room floor. As good as you were and as dynamic as SWJ has been, we have to keep marketing. Personally I sometimes use the "two by four and the mule" technique to get Soldiers' attention--I include officers in the grouping by the way.

Best and great job, guys!


Steve Blair
04-18-2007, 06:09 PM
Anyone who has even a passing interest in COIN should listen to this. They do a nice job of briefing the collision between the human side of COIN and the technological fixation seen in many military and government circles. What I found disappointing is that US news outlets do so little that is of similar quality. Luttwak sounds rather insane...a bad knockoff of Kissinger.

The section on SWJ is good, though I do agree with Tom about what might have gotten left out. Nice plug for Marc (anthropogist!).

On the marketing angle, I pitched SWJ to the students in a class I'm taking. With any luck the instructor noticed as well.

04-19-2007, 12:42 PM
Excellant Posts, as usual. I've been making the SWC pitch in my small circle too but with I suspect limited success. I hope those students in your class follow through, Steve. The general public needs to open its eyes to the immense complexity and sophistication of the US military. This forum is an absolutely outstanding vehicle to accomplish that - there are some extremely sharp pencils in this bin and civilians need to see it and get past the absurd stereotypes they have of the military.