View Full Version : Military Review

07-04-2007, 10:11 AM
The July-August 2007 issue of Military Review is now posted (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/english.asp):

A Cause for Hope: Economic Revitalization in Iraq (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Brinkley.pdf)

The Agile-Leader Mind-Set: Leveraging the Power of Modularity in Iraq (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Brown.pdf)

Surrounded: Seeing the World from Iran’s Point of View (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Sadri.pdf)

The Agile-Leader Mind-Set: Leveraging the Power of Modularity in Iraq (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Brown.pdf)

Peace in the Posavina, or Deal with Us! (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Fontenot.pdf)

Toward Strategic Communication (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Eder.pdf)

Focusing Training–The Big Five for Leaders (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Sanderson_Akerley.pdf)

The Maras: A Menace to the Americas (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Breve.pdf)

A Synchronized Approach to Population Control (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/AndersonINSIGHTS.pdf)

The Art and Aggravation of Vetting in Post-Conflict Environments (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/McFate.pdf)

We the People Are Not the Center of Gravity in an Insurgency (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/Krieger.pdf)

The Bundeswehr’s New Media Challenge (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/RidINSIGHTS.pdf)

The Surge Can Succeed (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug07/ClarkINSIGHTS.pdf)

Dominique R. Poirier
07-04-2007, 01:10 PM
This comment refers to A Synchronized Approach to Population Control.

What struck me in this document is that its authors never introduce the economic and social parameter in it.

It is not a so big problem to successfully implement population control as much as populace is provided with a market economy and a minimum of social care which constitutes incentives to abide by the rules and to accept both dimensions of control: the explicit and the implicit.

To a large extent, in my own opinion, this question has been best analyzed and formalized by the sociologist and criminologist Howard S. Becker, though Becker was not at all investigating in our field of interest.

At some point of his observations he transcribed in his Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance (1963), Howard Becker put the emphasis on this he named--should my recollections be correct—the commitment concept. The commitment concept postulates that the individual has good and rational reasons to respect the rules of society (or those of the social middle in which he lives) as long as this society provides him with an incentive to do so. Equally, the individual has a good and rational reason not to respect the rules of society (or those of the social middle in which he lives) as long as this society doesn’t provides him with an incentive to do so.

On a practical plane, it means that we have good reasons to pay taxes, to stop at police controls while driving our car, to pay for car insurance, to be courteous with policemen and with others in general, to not misbehave and so forth as long as society provides us with full employment, welfare, healthcare, police protection and a reliable legal and law enforcement system in general, fire protection, and so forth. For, any attempt not to abide by these society’s rules would make us running the risk to lose all these incentives.
In this case we may consider with reason that the society “includes” us because our compliance is effectively rewarded. We truly belong to this society the same way we belonged to the family nucleus during our childhood. When we were still undergoing our educational process we had rewards and punishments depending the way we behaved; and, at the same time, those reward and punishments shaped our behavior in conformity with the middle in which we lived, that is, with society.
Later, when we are ready to enter into adulthood we continue behaving in accordance with the rules we have learned during infancy; and even we teach those rules to our children because we know from experience that it is in their interest indeed to learn and to respect them.

On the contrary, if the society in which we live does not provide us similar rewards in exchange for our willingness to abide by the rules it imposes upon us, then being rule abiding becomes irrational in the sense that there is no logical reasons to do so, indeed. For, rules are constraining. If not, there would be no written rules.
In this second case we may consider with reason that the society “excludes” us because our compliance is not rewarded, or not rewarded up to our efforts to go by its rules.

In this latter case we do have encouragement indeed not to be rules abiding; and even to express a defiant attitude toward the ruling features of the society in which we live. If this conflicting relationship persists we will even teach our children to behave the way we do and how to survive that way since we do not have any reasons to believe that the society would reward any change in our attitude. Even if we are unwilling to teach them to be defiant they will passively saw the nature and features of the relationship we entertain with society, and, in turn, they will just behave the way we do.

Ironically, this behavior has been best exemplified in our history by the famous phrase: “No taxation without representation.” Implicitly, and unwittingly perhaps, Howard Becker tells us in a scientific way that we were right to throw the tea overboard. We were defiant. We were even insurgents. And by all means we were right to be insurgents.

That’s why I express my regrets when noticing that the economic and social dimensions of population control are given so little room in this essay.

One last thing.
I would like to make clear that though my comment seems to be insisting a priori on the social dimension of the commitment concept it doesn’t find its inspiration in the Social Contract of Jean Jacques Rousseau.
On the contrary I took care in my comment not to mix the social and the economic. The economic goes without saying, and it must go without saying. But we have a role in fostering it so as not to let others finding their vested interest in doing so for us.
In all cases, I do not believe that our inherited Anglo-Saxon tradition of entrepreneurship, as formalized by Adam Smith, would suffice in our endeavor to stabilize the Iraqi society starting from the state in which it is today.