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    The message did come through to my personal email...

    The message did come through to my personal email but didn't get stored here on SWJ for some reason, but it was very helpful and I thank you indeed. It does give me a better feel for the landscape...
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    Yes, if one wanted to develop notions of...

    Yes, if one wanted to develop notions of "cultural evolution" these would be things that would have to be addressed -- replicators, unit individuals, etc. But with respect to features that promote...
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    Ancient theater

    (I just came across this thread. Apologies if it's expired and no longer of interest.)

    Jonathan Shay in Achilles in Vietnam argues that one of the functions of Athenian theater was the...
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    I thank you all indeed for these excellent ideas...

    I thank you all indeed for these excellent ideas and references. It's just what I was looking for, and I can see it could keep me busy for a long time.

    One of the difficulties (and so one of the...
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    The concept of "adaptation"

    As an outsider looking in, I wonder if anyone would be able to point me to any papers, books, or other publications that analyze the concept of adaptation from a military perspective. I'm an...
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    Has the coalition set up a buzkashi league...

    Has the coalition set up a buzkashi league in Afghanistan?

    RJO
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    Trust as the lubricant of military operations

    I think this is absolutely on target. As anyone can attest who has ever worked in an organization (any kind of organization) that had someone within it who was known to be a frequent liar, progress...
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    " Most foreign insurgents in Iraq are Saudis: report"

    Not sure if this AFP news report (15 July 2007) has been noted here:



    RJO
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    Aide: Iraqi PM's Comments Misconstrued...

    Aide: Iraqi PM's Comments Misconstrued:
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    Wow, its very nice to see my field being...

    Wow, its very nice to see my field being mentioned (evolutionary biology). Yes, these "functional explanations" are very problematic. They can also be called "state explanations" -- that is,...
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    Arabic Lysistrata?

    Are there Arabic translations of Lysistrata ("dissolver of armies") in circulation? Maybe somebody should do an airdrop. Instead of the very popular Reading Lolita in Tehran maybe there should be a...
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    "US Organizes Job Fair for Iraqis" (NPR, 9 July)

    "Joblessness in Baghdad is estimated at 60 percent." Audio linked from this page:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11823612

    An local man was quoted as saying (IIRC), "If...
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    It should hardly come as a surprise, then, if...

    It should hardly come as a surprise, then, if many people in the Arab world think America is engaging in a New Christian Crusade to wipe out Islam.

    Have any prominent public figures suggested that...
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    I don't think my argument necessarily undercuts...

    I don't think my argument necessarily undercuts the democratization strategy. I should also acknowledge that my thinking on this is strongly influenced by Jonathan Shay's Achilles in Vietnam: Combat...
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    An army of individual mass murderers

    Setting aside the overall ideological leadership of an insurgent movement, is it possible to conceive the individual actors (like these doctors) more more along the lines of how we think of...
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    "How a Revolution Saved an Empire" (NYT, 5 July)

    "How a Revolution Saved an Empire," by British General Michael Rose (free reg. required for link):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/opinion/05rose.html



    Bob
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    Many thanks, kaur. I will read that with...

    Many thanks, kaur. I will read that with interest. I've done some work in the past on narrative in the sciences, and am trying to see how that work might fit in with the issues discussed here.

    Bob
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    An American example

    People interested in this topic might like to read the chapter called "The Great Fear" in David Hackett Fischer's book Paul Revere's Ride:
    ...
  19. Thread: The Dark Triad

    by RJO
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    (Mostly amateur philosophizing follows...) ...

    (Mostly amateur philosophizing follows...)

    Having worked individually with large cross sections of college students, I can attest that variation in ingrained personality traits can make a big...
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    Many thanks for the thoughtful commentary,...

    Many thanks for the thoughtful commentary, Dominique.
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    Excellent, folks. The Vlahos and Freedman...

    Excellent, folks. The Vlahos and Freedman references look perfect.

    Many thanks.

    RJO
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    Narrative in counterinsurgency (FM 3-24, 1-76)

    Greetings, all. Paragraph 1-76 in the new Counterinsurgency field manual discusses the role of narrative (storytelling) in the development and maintenance of insurgencies. "Stories about a...
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