View Full Version : Short Notice - COIN Center Virtual Brownbag

12-02-2008, 07:53 PM
The US Army / USMC Counterinsurgency Center (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/COIN/index.asp) is pleased to host Linda Robinson at the COIN Center Breakfast Brownbag from 0830 to 0900 (CST) 0930 to 1000 (EST) on Wednesday, December 3, 2008. She will discuss the Iraq Surge and Counterinsurgency. Off-Site personnel may participate virtually at https://connect.dco.dod.mil/coinbrownbag.

Ms. Robinson, the author of Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586483528?ie=UTF8&tag=smallwarsjour-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1586483528) and Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq, (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1586485288/002-4808147-8119255?ie=UTF8&tag=smallwarsjour-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1586485288) is a author in residence at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies' Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies and a contributing editor for U.S. News and World Report.

Ms. Robinson is also the author of a Small Wars Journal Trip Report published on 17 September 2007 entitled Where Do We Go From Here? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/09/where-do-we-go-from-here/)

12-03-2008, 03:53 PM
It was a good talk, but I must admit to walking away rather angry.

Her comment about not using Active duty and Reservists in DoS roles was reminiscent of my vain efforts in the early nineties to get hired at DoS.

"Dogs and Soldiers need not apply" appears to be in full effect.

And I'm not talking about uniformed officers serving in DoS roles. I'm talking about DoS specifically descriminating against prior service military personnel, and growing a monoculture that is blind to the fact that sometimes there ARE nails that need hammered.

As much as I support a larger civilian effort in COIN, this morning I was reminded why DoS has been largely marginalized....

Ken White
12-03-2008, 04:23 PM
for USAID and later transitioned to the Foreign Service. Shortly before he retired from there in 1970, he told me that the culture -- full of WW II veterans getting ready to retire -- was changing and the new kids on the block were rabidly anti-military. He was concerned that it did not bode well.

My own experience working with several Embassies was mixed but there was generally a strong anti-military bias with a few exceptions that allowed things to get done though not as well as more full cooperation might have done.

As I've said before, the NKVD / MVD / KGB did a great job...