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Thread: The Arab Spring (a partial collection)

  1. #41
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    in most cases we're better providing diplomatic, financial and information support to movements we want to see gain steam.
    I'd say even that needs to be pursued with great caution and acute awareness of the potential for unintended consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Ok let CIA do it. We used to be fairly good at this back in the 50's and early 60's.
    Hell yeah, we got rid of Mossadegh and Lumumba and everything worked out just fine in those places... not to mention a few others.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  2. #42
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default I Like Ike!

    Dayuhan, this is what I amtalking about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdA0d6O4bZ0

  3. #43
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    My 3rd world internet connection would take all day to load a 44 minute video, and it would almost certainly bog down in the process. Are "opritives" something like "operatives"?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Ok let CIA do it. We used to be fairly good at this back in the 50's and early 60's.
    Slap, that comment assumes we need to do something. One has to wonder if we as a nation that promotes the value of self-determination feels compelled to stick our nose in other nations' business in support of business or perceived (and sometimes real) security interests. The CIA has had some sucesses, but it seems most of their efforts are a bit clown like and normally backfire. Special Forces facilitates expert tactical level guerrilla operations in support of an overall strategy (assuming one exists), but our nation doesn't a single organization that can wage unconventional warfare, it requires a whole of government approach.

    I'm really at loss to find more than a handful of examples of where the U.S. was successful in UW if you look the impact over time. We have been successful providing quiet assistance to non-violent uprisings/revolutions in some cases. The problem in our approach is every organization with a tool believes they have the strategic solution (assuming it is our problem to begin with). The Air Force thinks they can bomb their way to success, the Army thinks they can occupy and impose control/stability, Special Operations thinks they can achieve all ends through and with indigenuous partners, the CIA paramilitary thinks they can achieve the end through too often clownish covert operations, and of course our State Department offers little more than imposing sanctions. All are tactics confused with strategy. What do we need to achieve (ends), what are the best way(s) to accomplish it? what are the means? All this must be informed by an understanding of the environment or conflict ecology, which in most cases we have failed to gain.

    I agree with Bob's World on this:

    If our solution is to simply reinforce the status quo where we think that suits our external interests; or alternatively to help throw off the local system of governance where we think that best suits our interests, we will continue to be frustrated with the results. And we will continue to incite acts of transnational terrorism back onto ourselves as payment for our efforts.

    We need to reframe the problem, and then reassess how we best get after securing ourselves and our interests. We will likely find that less is more, mediation is better than arbitration, and evolution is more productive than revolution.

  5. #45
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Waging Peace Covertly

    Bill, you raise valid points and yes we have several independent agencies that believe they all have the Holy Grail solution but this is why I like Ike, he knew how to make Policy that could control and pull together all those radical independent agencies. Which is what a real leader should do. But sadly our present leadership believes everything can be solved by applying the Hawaiian Social Justice Philosophy. Here is a link to an upcoming PBS series on Eisenhower and Waging Peace Covertly as one portion is called. Ike had a broad and effective Policy before any Strategy was ever developed, something that is sadly laking in our present leadership. It was based on 3 key elements Nuclear deterrence MAD, A Strong Economy at home, and Covert Action when needed.


    http://www.eisenhowerlegacy.com/eisenhowers-secret-war

  6. #46
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Eisenhower also saddled us with a military that was unprepared for conventional conflict. He also underestimated Stalin's determination at key points and seems to have totally misread both China and Southeast Asia writ large. Not to mention that his defense policies created that evil ol' military-industrial complex that he later bemoaned. MAD did precious little to deal with the demise of colonial regimes throughout the world, and quite a few of his covert activities were either overreaching or short-sighted.

    His best trick was perhaps that domestic prosperity, which made sure that people wouldn't look too closely at some of his foreign policy decisions.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  7. #47
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    Not an indepth piece, but none the less it further illustrates that our clear, hold, build doctrine may be more severely flawed than I originally thought when we use it to install democracies. There appears to be an order to economic, social and political evolution that cannot be imposed with military force. For your consideration.

    http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/14/10-...15529462149245

    Write a Constitution
    By Fareed Zakaria


    This should have been clear to anyone who looked at the history of transitions to democracy. While many former Eastern Bloc countries have become liberal democracies, the 15 former Soviet republics have not fared as well. Nine are dictatorships, and the other three — Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova — are, in the words of Stanford scholar Larry Diamond, “illiberal, even questionably democratic and unstable.”

    Why? There is a vigorous academic debate about the conditions that allow democracy to flourish. The most powerful single correlation remains one first made by the social scientist Seymour Martin Lipset, who pointed out in 1959 that “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy.” But there are other intriguing correlations. Countries in Europe, even relatively poor ones, have done better than others. Former British colonies have done better than those of other countries.


    Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/14/10-...#ixzz2Nj6NncSD

  8. #48
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    There appears to be an order to economic, social and political evolution that cannot be imposed with military force. For your consideration.
    I would agree. Below is a graph of the Human Development Index. The Human Development Index is calculated using data like life expectancy at birth, schooling, and Gross National Income (GNI) to produce an index number that ranges from zero to one with one being the best possible rating.

    The second data-point is a derived from World Values Survey data. The world values survey is conducted once every five years or so and includes data from over 80 countries. It asks a series of questions to determine the values that are most important to the society. Dr. Ronald Inglehart and Dr. Christian Welzel have used the data from these surveys to produce dimensions that can be used to estimate societal values. Traditional vs. Secular dimension reflects a contrast between societies where religion and tradition is very important versus those where they play less of a role in determining an individual’s personal values. Survival vs. Self-expression dimension reflects a distinction between those societies that emphasize economic and physical security to versus those that find subjective well being to be more important. Combined the two provide a basic yardstick for measuring whether a society has communal/survival values or whether the society has individualistic/liberal values.

    The squares are full democracies, the diamonds are partial democracies, and the circles are autocracies (based on Polity IV data). Base on this I would say that first human conditions increase, then the values change, then you get democracy. You might also note that there are almost no countries that are individualistic with a low Human Development Index.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 03-16-2013 at 08:24 PM.
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  9. #49
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    Default Sayyid Qutb’s “Milestones” and Its Impact on the Arab Spring

    Sayyid Qutb’s “Milestones” and Its Impact on the Arab Spring

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  10. #50
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Middle East's changing landscape

    A strategic assessment of the Middle East's changing landscape by the London-based counter-extremism think tank and advocacy group, the Quilliam Foundation.

    Introduction:
    At the end of 2010 a series of demonstrations started which shook the Arab world from Iraq to Morocco – a phenomenon commonly known as the “Arab Spring”. Beginning as a series of desperate protests against sudden escalations in food and energy prices, by the beginning of 2011, the uprisings had transformed into shows of frustration against and rejection of the autocratic governments in power over much of the Middle East region. The protesters taking part in the Arab Uprisings called for dignity, respect and democracy in place of the repression and intolerance which had for so long characterised the region in which they lived, often with covert support from the Western world. They succeeded in overthrowing several of the Middle East’s long-time autocrats in the hope for a democratic future. But what the rest of the world did not anticipate was that the efforts of these protesters could result in the rise in power of mainstream Islamist groups across the region.

    Two years since the start of the Arab Uprisings, we now face a Middle East where politics have been dramatically transformed. Much to the surprise of the rest of the world, democracy has brought about the transition of mainstream Islamist groups from their historic position of opposition to that of official power. Tunisia and Egypt – the first countries to overthrow their autocratic governments in the Arab Uprisings - are now governed by Hizb al-Nahda and the Muslim Brotherhood respectively, both of which despite being Islamist groups have been elected into power democratically. With such an unforeseeable political shift emerging and the fates of many post “Arab Spring” countries yet to be decided, it is important to ask how this transition in Tunisia and Egypt transpired in the first place and whether it is likely to have negative implications on the rest of the world.

    Quilliam’s first strategic assessment, “The Middle East’s Changing Political Landscape”, provides an insight into Hizb al-Nahda and the Muslim Brotherhood so that we can begin to understand how and why they were able to gain public support and come into power democratically and more importantly, what this shift in power implies for the Middle East’s relations with the international community.

    Noman Benotman, President of Quilliam (ex-LIFG), says:

    'With many other Middle Eastern countries still undergoing their transition to democracy, it is critical that we are able to comprehend the reasons for the increase in popularity of mainstream Islamist groups as legitimate political powers. This strategic assessment provides such understanding of Hizb al-Nahda and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and serves as a critical analysis of how both these groups may steer their future relations with the international community.
    Link to paper:http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp...-landscape.pdf
    davidbfpo

  11. #51
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    Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, March 2014: Divisive Rule - Sectarianism and Power Maintenance in the Arab Spring: Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria
    ….A historical perspective shows that in all four cases, these dispositions and dynamics are grounded in authoritarian, non-democratic, and violent practices of rule, leadership, and power maintenance applied by or on behalf of political rulers and leaders. Whether the narrative features Druze landlords in nineteenth-century Lebanon mobilizing tribal solidarity to com-bat an agrarian uprising, Syrian intelligence officers recruiting Alawi youths into popular militias, Sunni Iraqi politicians generating bargaining power by initi-ating “spontaneous” protest camps, or Bahraini royals encouraging Sunni citizens to take to the streets to prevent a Shiite takeover: the story remains one of en-forced top-down solidarity sustained by and ultimately leading to violence, which compromises all social actors and destroys all options for horizontal solidarity that could generate bottom-up pressure. As the events of 2011 and beyond show, divided societies remain divided and indeed become more so as the result of strategies and practices devised by rulers and leaders defending positions of political power, and for this same end, they will continue to generate exactly the divisions and the violence they pretend to contain…

  12. #52
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    Default If the Arab Spring Wasn't Dead Already, It is Now

    If the Arab Spring Wasn't Dead Already, It is Now

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  13. #53
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Arab Mukhabarat State and its ‘Stability’: A Case of Misplaced Nostalgia

    The 'Arab Spring' seems almost light years away and as there is no SWC thread on the secret police / secret intelligence or in Arabic the Mukhabarat, this new article will sit here. The author is Brynjar Lia, professor of Middle East Studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages.

    Stability is assured, well the author is adamant - no. From the conclusion:
    The idea that Arab dictators may help secure long-term stability in the Middle East after the “failure” of the Arab Spring is a dangerous fallacy. States ruled by dictators are almost by definition loose cannons on deck....The assumption that the rules of the game have somehow changed after the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS and that Arab autocrats have now become our best choice at a time of uncertainty and crisis ignores the lessons of history.
    Link:https://newmeast.wordpress.com/2016/...ced-nostalgia/
    davidbfpo

  14. #54
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Well, if taking a look at Egypt, one can't but agree with author.

    Sissi is meanwhile faithfuly following Mubarak's pad: he managed to turn most of the country against him, and is filling prisons with thousands of people demonstrating against him. Only immense presence of the army, police and (regime-) 'security' forces - which blocked access to all major squares and sights in Egypt - prevented mass demonstrations for the Sinai Liberation Day (25 April).

    Wherever one asks, everybody there is purchasing arms and ammo - and there's no end of flood of these from Libya.

    Rumours are flying that the SCAF (top army council) is unhappy with Sisi, and that even his most ardent supporters are finding it hard to back his decisions. If only a part of that is correct, his days are de-facto numbered.

    Bottom line, contrary to so many expectations, nobody there thinks his rule is something like a stabilizing factor for Egypt, and even less so that he could keep himself in power in this fashion 'forever'... It's just taking time for steam to build up.

    For the rest, well, 'remember Mubarak'.

  15. #55
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    Default Why No One Remembers the Arab Spring of 2010

    Why No One Remembers the Arab Spring of 2010

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