View Poll Results: Do you agree that the insurgency has ended, although the war continues?

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  • Yes, it is no longer an insurgency.

    7 23.33%
  • No, it is still an insurgency.

    23 76.67%
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Thread: Good news -- the insurgency is over! Now we need a new strategy for the Iraq War.

  1. #21
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    RTK - I was wondering if you could give any real-world examples of your experience with pesh vs IA. Every single media item I have read emphasizes that Kurdish IA have no hesitation proclaiming their ultimate loyalty to Kurdistan and the pesh. This item shows pesh officers getting salutes from IA soldiers and an IA major proclaiming his loyalty to the pesh, all in Kirkuk.

    Now I am not going to privilege that over your own real-world experiences, so I definitely would like to hear your own take on the whole pesh vs IA and the ultimate loyalties of Kurdish soldiers in the IA, since to me this appears to be one of the ultimately crucial questions as to whether Iraq remains a single nation or not.
    In the 3d IA division, most of the leadership (BN and above) was from the northern provinces. Most had backgrounds that placed them with the Peshmerga in the 1990s. The a good majority of the jundis were Sunnis from Diyala and Babil provinces. I never saw issues.

    Am I going to say that unabashedly there are zero issues - nope. I don't deal in absolutes quite like that. For all intents and purposes, it's not nearly the issue it could have been. You must remember that the real Kurdish radicals are actively fighting the Turks daily in the mountains.

    In casual conversation, many of the Kurds expressed their desire for their own country, however, on multiple occassions they could have "thrown the game," so to speak, and never did. They're dedicated to ridding Iraq of the violence that plagues it. At least that was my understanding after spending my second year in Iraq with them

  2. #22
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    Default Reply to RTK about sources and other concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Do you write your positions off of mainstream media accounts or have you been in Iraq since 2003 at all?
    I rely on primary sources almost exclusively, mostly media, NGO's, and government. When quoting officials and describing events, would you accept my personal observations, or prefer something with more credibility?

    Additionally, your writings have always smacked of one who has bought into the mainstream media perspective.
    The common objection to my 2003 & 2004 articles was that they contradicted reports in the mainstream media.

    You highlight problems and seldom solutions.
    A valid criticism and one I am addressing with this series of articles. It's easy to criticize; proposing solutions is more difficult. Of course, proposing solutions is inherently more speculative -- as I move from describing events to guessing what might work in the future.

    Lastly, you have long used your postings on this web site to attempt to gain readers to DNI.
    Again a valid criticism. This was raised for the first time in my previous SWC thread; since then I obtain in advance permission to post.

    You've scantly addressed direct criticism, or even direct questioning.
    This was raised in the last go-around, perhaps with some validity. Here I have attempted to specifically and clearly address questions. Including yours. Have I missed any?

    I'd prefer you'd just write on DNI (we know you're their) and quit asking permission to post here.
    It's not my place to decide what is appropriate for the SWC. That's for the folks running it to decide.

    ... your inability to understand their practical application in counterinsurgency operations
    Please rebut or question! That's why I am here. Or ignore me, which is also OK. So far on this thread -- all this text! -- the only question was about the uniforms worn by Kurds. To which I replied. That was a fair test on a small but perhaps telling point of fact.

    ...which, in all actuality, you're using the term in way too general an application
    Perhaps. The meaning of the term has shifted over the years. I checked current usage when writing my reply, and I think I used it in the commonplace sense. This is a minor point, however, as I think my meaning was clear -- which is the important thing.
    Last edited by Fabius Maximus; 03-17-2007 at 01:33 PM. Reason: format only

  3. #23
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    Default Thanks, Tequila!

    I actually have the article in my file and overlooked it's significance!

  4. #24
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Just to make sure everyone is on the same sheet of music here re "invitation" - Fabius Maximus asked if his DNI article was "worth posting to SWC." We said yes and suggested the link.
    In the wise words of Nick Nolte from one of my favorite movies, "What's life without a little salt, English?"

    Certainly FM is spicing things up here, again.

    He adds to our dialog and gets those juices flowing. He is a welcome member of our community. And a masterful teaser and baiter. So if he infuriates you, just say no. If you want to wrassle, have at it within our ROE.

    On his end, he clearly gains access to some articulate and opinionated folks who have first hand experience. No doubt which will inform (we hope) future prolific DNI "op-eds." Go, go RTK!

    So our relationship is a win-win, but it always seems just a hair away from a smackdown.

    All is great in this thread so far and much as expected. No problems or implied criticisms here. We'll see how the fleshpile develops.

  5. #25
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    ...everyone can have not only their own opinion, but also their own facts.
    Well, no. It looks that way some times, but only because there are a great many people who cherry pick facts to support their opinions. In those cases, actually collecting data, analyzing it and developing concepts or theories seems too much work.

    One of the previous posters referred to the sweeping generalizations and unsupported assertions he found in your article. I'll admit I haven't read this article, and don't intend to. I did read earlier articles, by you and several others, at DNI. The previous poster nailed it dead on. In fact, several I read were so oriented toward attacking US defense policies and programs that they contradicted themselves. I wasn't surprised to find links, ties, what have you with Center for Defense (mis) Information. They have consistently gotten it wrong as well, and always in a way that somehow supports attacking US defense.

    Here's a few comments on several of the topics touched on:

    1. Kilcullen's 28 point are excellent advice to any soldier or Marine preparing to fight in a counter insurgency. If you think otherwise, invert them and see how much sense the result makes.

    2. The value of the concepts of strategic corporal and Three Block War is not prescriptive, it is descriptive. They very accurately describe the situation our troops are in today. Again, if you think otherwise, try inverting them and see if the result makes sense.

    3. 4GW strikes me as a phrase in search of a concept. Warfare has, indeed, changed over the millennia. 4GW doesn't explain much, if any, of the change. See my comment above about cherry picking facts.

    I also have a suggestion. If you have a concept, insight, innovation, whatever to share. Write it here. Defend it here. I don't like being sent off to your website, then returning here for discussion.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  6. #26
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post

    Please rebut or question! That's why I am here. Or ignore me, which is also OK. So far on this thread -- all this text! -- the only question was about the uniforms worn by Kurds. To which I replied. That was a fair test on a small but perhaps telling point of fact.

    I'm talking about on the whole, not specifically isolated to this thread. The truth is, I've been waiting for 3 months for your response in the Kilcullen thread.

    On 28 DEC you said that "I've given a close analysis of his text. Please give specifics as to my errors."

    The point is that I did. I broke down each of the 28 Articles and showed real world application. You fell off the face of the earth after that. I gave specifics on each article. You never addressed them. No, there weren't question marks in the text, but there was plenty for you to refute.

  7. #27
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default The Meta-Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    I'd prefer you'd just write on DNI (we know you're their) and quit asking permission to post here.
    Again a valid criticism. This was raised for the first time in my previous SWC thread; since then I obtain in advance permission to post.
    <snip>
    I'd prefer you'd just write on DNI (we know you're their) and quit asking permission to post here.
    It's not my place to decide what is appropriate for the SWC. That's for the folks running it to decide.
    OK, time out.

    I don't like the whole permission / implied endorsement thing that is going on here. There was and is no "advance permission to post," either required or granted. There was, and is here again, affirmation that this is a relevant topic and a welcome Council member. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Our approach to the Small Wars Council is not to be gatekeepers on the front end, but to run an open community where relevance and worth, or at least interest and intent, is the key to access. We have been largely self-regulating and only occasionally apply revenge (i.e. after the fact) moderation.

    Is this thread about a Small Wars topic? Yes. (except for some sidebar "process" rants like this)

    Do we care that it refers to a source external to our board? Not really. We do that all the time. And while FM is certainly cross-promoting himself, we do that too, and there's nothing excessive, spammy, or abashedly commercial about this instance of it.

    Does "presence" here, in and of itself, say anything more? No. Everyone's posts stand on their own merit.

    Let the Games continue. Time back in.

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  8. #28
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Bubba's SWC "Wrasslin Smackdown" results.
    Winner and still champion RTK Final score 10+.
    Loser FM, score 0. Penalty point added final score -1, reason lack of MO JO to support your arguments.

  9. #29
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
    OK, time out.

    I don't like the whole permission / implied endorsement thing that is going on here. There was and is no "advance permission to post," either required or granted. There was, and is here again, affirmation that this is a relevant topic and a welcome Council member. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Our approach to the Small Wars Council is not to be gatekeepers on the front end, but to run an open community where relevance and worth, or at least interest and intent, is the key to access. We have been largely self-regulating and only occasionally apply revenge (i.e. after the fact) moderation.

    Is this thread about a Small Wars topic? Yes. (except for some sidebar "process" rants like this)

    Do we care that it refers to a source external to our board? Not really. We do that all the time. And while FM is certainly cross-promoting himself, we do that too, and there's nothing excessive, spammy, or abashedly commercial about this instance of it.

    Does "presence" here, in and of itself, say anything more? No. Everyone's posts stand on their own merit.

    Let the Games continue. Time back in.
    It's not that I'm questioning the posts' appropriatness. It's just that I expect open dialogue that addresses the issues. I don't feel that the Kilcullen thread ever really ended, as FM certainly did not redress the summary. My point is this: If you aren't going to address the issues brought out (whether there are question marks or not) then why engage in the first place. That's all I'm saying. FM is well within his rights to post on SWJ. Perhaps my earlier post was a bit less well constructed and too emotive.

  10. #30
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Slapout !
    Glad you finally did it...I wanted to all morning

    God, I hope I never get on RTK's bad side

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Perhaps my earlier post was a bit less well constructed and too emotive.
    Perhaps not. In the net.

    I saw some "open dialogue that addresses the issues."

    We need plenty of that.

  12. #32
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Fabius,

    I'm not going to question anything you write anymore. Obviously, as evidenced in this thread and a number of others I've called you out on, you haven't ever answered any of my questions anyway, nor have you ever been able to explain your operational relevance or insight (I've only been asking for almost three months [recall the Kilcullen Thread, http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...?t=1649&page=5 ]). Until you can, I'll count you as one of the multitude of so-called "experts" who continue to exploit the events in Iraq for personal name recognition or notarieity

    Been there. Done that. It seems to work.

  13. #33
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    I rely on primary sources almost exclusively, mostly media, NGO's, and government. When quoting officials and describing events, would you accept my personal observations, or prefer something with more credibility?


    The common objection to my 2003 & 2004 articles was that they contradicted reports in the mainstream media.


    A valid criticism and one I am addressing with this series of articles. It's easy to criticize; proposing solutions is more difficult. Of course, proposing solutions is inherently more speculative -- as I move from describing events to guessing what might work in the future.


    Again a valid criticism. This was raised for the first time in my previous SWC thread; since then I obtain in advance permission to post.


    This was raised in the last go-around, perhaps with some validity. Here I have attempted to specifically and clearly address questions. Including yours. Have I missed any?


    It's not my place to decide what is appropriate for the SWC. That's for the folks running it to decide.


    Please rebut or question! That's why I am here. Or ignore me, which is also OK. So far on this thread -- all this text! -- the only question was about the uniforms worn by Kurds. To which I replied. That was a fair test on a small but perhaps telling point of fact.


    Perhaps. The meaning of the term has shifted over the years. I checked current usage when writing my reply, and I think I used it in the commonplace sense. This is a minor point, however, as I think my meaning was clear -- which is the important thing.
    This is what I'm talking about. I find it very irritating for someone to selectively quote and respond, which place the entire thing out of context by construct. The Emperor should be able to respond to a post and cite his arguments appropriately. This isn't the Mariah Carey Fan Club where the lambs fight back and forth and take each other's comments out of context just because they don't know how to write a proper rebuttal.

  14. #34
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    Default Reply to RTK: no need to apologize!

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    FM is well within his rights to post on SWJ. Perhaps my earlier post was a bit less well constructed and too emotive.
    I agree with what you expressed both here and in the Kilcullen discussion. Posting from another site is, I believe, not discussed in the rules and therefore seems problematic. I did not ask then, but did so before starting this thread. I'm not sure where the "implied endorsement" view came from, as I doubt either of us thought that.

    Web communities tend to spend much time on internal mechanics. I've read that some astonishingly high fraction of Wikipedia discussions are about its internal mechanics. It's a price paid for members taking the community seriously.

    Since this has come up twice to my knowledge, adding a sentence about cross-posting might be useful. Just an outsider’s suggestion. (I hope it's not in there and I overlooked it in December)

    As for previous discussions, the “Kilcullen” debate went on long past the point where I ceased to get anything from it. Not to mention the endless ad hominem attacks. Who was right or wrong I leave for the God or the SWC moderators to determine. I made what I considered a good faith contribution to a thread I started, not a life-long commitment. Like yourselves, I leave when the cost-benefit ratio becomes unfavorable.

    So we’re back to this thread. If anyone has questions or criticisms on the article posted, I will make a good faith attempt to answer them. Like any opinion piece (another good call, RTK) it has errors, some of which people have told me about. If we're done, that's OK too.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK
    I'm not going to question anything you write anymore....
    Quote Originally Posted by Culpepper
    Been there. Done that. It seems to work.
    On rare occasions there is someone posting on the board who (because of tone, content or both) that I want to look up just so I can punch him in the face. At that time, for me at least, it is useful to recognize that not posting is probably the better response. The board does have a feature that can help with targeted aggression:
    What are the buddy and ignore lists?

    The buddy list is used to keep track of the friends you have made on this forum. By going to your "Open Buddy List" in "Quick Links" menu of the navbar, you'll be able to see which of your friends are currently online and send them a private message. Adding people to your buddy list also allows you to send private messages to multiple forum members at the same time. You may add any member of the forums to your buddy list by viewing their profile or by going to "Buddy / Ignore Lists" in your "User CP".

    Ignore lists are used for those people whose messages you wish not to read. By adding someone to your ignore list, those messages posted by these individuals will be hidden when you read a thread.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 03-17-2007 at 05:36 PM.

  16. #36
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    Default What is the objection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    I find it very irritating for someone to selectively quote and respond, which place the entire thing out of context by construct. The Emperor should be able to respond to a post and cite his arguments appropriately.
    I do not understand the nature of your objection. If you could restate it, I'll respond. I do not spend much time here, or on any similar sites, so please tell me if I am violating some protocol.

    I “selectively quote” so that you will know what I am answering, like repeating the question in a meeting. It’s just a pointer, not intended to summarize the previous comment – which is, after all, a scroll down on the screen.

    There were 6 questions. On three I conceded the point. One question of procedure (info sources), which I answered. Two questions on small points, which I answered. If you find any of the answers inadequate, please tell me which one(s).

  17. #37
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    Default Jedburgh: that is a clear message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    Occasionally there is someone posting on the board that I want to look up just so I can punch him in the face. At that time, for me at least, it is useful to recognize that not posting is probably the better response. The board does have a feature that can help with targeted aggression:
    I will answer the questions already in progress, such as from Culpeper and RTK, but I think with Jedburgh's comment this thread has gone past any reasonable debate.

    Just a parting thought, if this is how you respond to my fairly mild comments -- after all, calls for to build a federated state in Iraq &/or exit fast are common now -- the range of debate here will likely remain fairly narrow. It is your site, and your decision how to run it.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabius Maximus View Post
    I will answer the questions already in progress, such as from Culpeper and RTK, but I think with Jedburgh's comment this thread has gone past any reasonable debate.

    Just a parting thought, if this is how you respond to my fairly mild comments -- after all, calls for to build a federated state in Iraq &/or exit fast are common now -- the range of debate here will likely remain fairly narrow. It is your site, and your decision how to run it.
    FM - don't take my comment personally. My point is, that if people are getting personally annoyed with you or with this discussion thread, then they need to either ignore your posts, or take it to PM or elsewhere.

    Discussion is good - bickering is bad.

    When posts are beginning to move in the direction of the latter, it significantly detracts from the usefulness of the thread. You know the old saw about "arguing on the internet...."

  19. #39
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    Default Reply to Jedburgh

    I am trying to answer your questions, often at some length. And am attempting to learn from my past mistakes on this site. Please try to meet me half-way. We might even learn something from each other. Who knows?

    We disagree, that's fine. I think in terms of current American opinion, we're pretty close. Hence I find the attitude here surprising. Nor, in my opinion, does this encourage visitors to participate unless they share your views.

    This is your part of the global sandbox, and you can play by any rules you choose. It seems a bit of waste to me, as there is a lot of knowledge here that could reach a wider audience with a friendlier attitude to strangers.

  20. #40
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    What I’m thankful for….

    Thanks to Jedburgh for pointing out the “don’t post when you can’t see straight” sage advice. And for clarifying that the initial vivid image there was illustrative of passions in general that might call for implementation of that strategy, rather than a specific allusion to our current thread.

    Thanks to Fabius Maximus for being more responsive to direct questions, and for spicing up a lazy Saturday with some well crafted prose that pushes buttons. He has conceded some points in a gentlemanly fashion, and has not ever hidden his pretense that he is accessing our collective talents to help vet his works and fuel future ones. For those that don’t like that, see Jedburgh’s advice. For those who want to engage, he certainly seems willing and able!

    Thanks to our members for getting over the pseudonym issue that plagued us at about this point in the last go-‘round. I’m glad we’re moving past that. SWC has made a conscious decision to allow for that in order to accommodate a more open discussion. We will not tolerate its use as an anonymizer from which to hurl insults, but that is not the case here. We respect the privacy of our members, and afford those who choose to use it the veil of pseudonymity in order to enable a frank discussion without repercussions to another life.

    Thanks to the lads in Ireland for this nice Guinness in my hand on St. Patrick’s Day.


    What I’d like to be thankful for in the near future…..

    Continued passion from our members on these important issues when we feel they are being incorrectly bumper-stickered. Sometimes in the MSM, and God forbid maybe even here in these hallowed e-halls of the SWC. Channeled appropriately, of course.

    An end to this whining about our rules, attitude, and range of debate here (e.g. posts 37,39). I have sensed a MASSIVE willingness in our members to listen to and learn from alternative views, just not to accept them as gospel without some critical analysis. It is not hostile or closed minded to ask for more than semantic support of a debatable statement, particularly when one’s firsthand observations do not fit with the conclusion. FM, in my opinion, that’s the bulk of what you’re getting here (and that’s what you want). And that is a very different thing than closing ranks on an outsider or a contrary viewpoint.

    Another go-‘round on the next installment. FM indicated he would be developing some of these issues a little more in a planned series. Should make for a real party.

    Another Guinness. OK, I think I will!
    Last edited by SWCAdmin; 03-17-2007 at 11:16 PM. Reason: To take an edge off that didn't belong there.

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