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Thread: LTC John Nagl: collection

  1. #21
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    John Stewart is almost never that nice to anybody he doesn't personally respect. I thought it was pretty apparent that John Stewart had also actually read the book and that is pretty darn rare.
    Sam Liles
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  2. #22
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    Default Whoda thunkit?

    Needless to say, the situation was tenuous at best. Stewart invited Nagl to discuss an extremely unfunny book on a comedy show. There is nothing inherently funny about COIN, killing, etc. John did a superb job of walking that fine line of keeping Stewart and the audience focused and interested without seeming either glib or boring. Then -- the 7.3% comment nailed it.

    Be prepared to kill didn't need to resonate, it just needed to inject reality into the discussion of this very serious business of ours.

  3. #23
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default John Robb on the Interview

    At his Global Guerrillas web log:

    ... He does a great job. It was also effective in that it drove sales of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual to the top 100 on Amazon.

    NOTE: Wow, the Petraeus information operations media machine is amazing (and this is a great example). Nod of respect, without the attachment of a value judgement, to the masterful way in which Petraeus has been able to influence the public's perception of this war.

  4. #24
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default SWJ Blog Link...

    SWJ Blog entry with additional links to others who blogged the interview. Also embeds the Comedy Central video vice the YouTube version.

  5. #25
    Council Member Abu Buckwheat's Avatar
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    Default Back from Vacation

    Wow that ws a great interview and John did the Army proud ... he even has a sense of humor!
    Putting Foot to Al Qaeda Ass Since 1993

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    I swear I heard him say al Qa'ida is only 7% of the insurgency. Hmm, isn't that what you've been saying, Abu? Or does this just mean LTC Nagl is "part of the antiwar crowd" too?

    I'm glad SWC exists. I know where to come to find the truth.
    Last edited by skiguy; 08-26-2007 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I swear I heard him say al Qa'ida is only 7% of the insurgency. Hmm, isn't that what you've been saying, Abu? Or does this just mean LTC Nagl is "part of the antiwar crowd" too?

    I'm glad SWC exists. I know where to come to find the truth.
    I thought 7.3% was the amount of the interview that Jon Stewart actually understood.
    Example is better than precept.

  8. #28
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Wink I've told you 10 million times not to exagerate...

    10 characters

  9. #29
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    Default On message

    Yes, the IO machine is in high gear, but what's the message? An earlier phase of the plan, getting 3-24 into the NYT Review of Books was another brilliant step. That said, sooner or later someone needs to deliver the punch line. You can't lead the nation through a tortuous buildup, then tell them to connect the dots.

    The enemy has no similar problem. When the president of Afghanistan complains more loudly about coalition-caused civilian casualties than he does about AQ/Taliban ruthlessness, we've lost the IO thread. When every Arab on the street (and most of liberal America) can recite the Abu Graib/Guantanamo mantra (see Tom Friedman editorial today), we've lost the IO thread.

    Somebody help me with this.

  10. #30
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    How many of you guys participate on other political discussion boards? If you want to take advice from a rookie, that advice would be to get out there and get the message out there. I do a little bit, posting things I see here (with citation) on other boards I participate. The problem, however, with me doing this is no experience = no credibility.

  11. #31
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
    The enemy has no similar problem. When the president of Afghanistan complains more loudly about coalition-caused civilian casualties than he does about AQ/Taliban ruthlessness, we've lost the IO thread. When every Arab on the street (and most of liberal America) can recite the Abu Graib/Guantanamo mantra (see Tom Friedman editorial today), we've lost the IO thread.

    Somebody help me with this.
    That's because we still haven't mastered IO in relation to some of the specific mediums causing us the most damage. I don't think we've mastered dealing with al-Jazeera's version of "fair and balanced," we haven't mastered, or even really begun to deal with the 24/7 rampant rumor mill that is the Arab world, and we sometimes forget that it will always, at least in the near future, be politically expedient to blame the Americans for a problem, rather than themselves or local insurgents. Just like how in the US it will remain politically expedient to blame things on a misinterpretation, a miscommunication, or a Miss Lewinsky rather than actually take responsibility.

    I know a lot of very smart people in the armed forces are working on this stuff, but I just don't see how anything we accomplish can change the strategic equation until we deal with these issues.

    Sorry for getting waaaaaaaay off topic - I love the Daily Show, probably because I'm a little more to the left than most of you, and I loved this interview, especially LTC Nagl's great deadpan sense of humor.

    Stewart was respectful and seemed impressed with Nagl, but his comments at the end, generic "looking out for the guys" stuff, betrayed his feelings about Iraq; namely, it sucks, we've screwed up, I don't want to hear anything more except a departure date."

    Also, did anyone else sense that Stewart was making a major distinction between officers like Nagl (or any other officer) and "the guys," as though officers wall themselves in compounds and send the dead-ender young boys out to do the job?

    I'm a pretty liberal kid and this is far and away the most infuriating attitude that many on the left have.

    Along with the whole "why are you throwing away a Cornell education" question when I mention I'm applying for Marine PLC, of course. . .

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  12. #32
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Buckwheat View Post
    Wow that ws a great interview and John did the Army proud ... he even has a sense of humor!
    Agreed. the interview was great and John N actually turned some of the humor back on John S. BTW welcome back!

    Tom

  13. #33
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    Default I second the motions

    Agreed on both counts.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    I caught it, and thought it went well. His "be prepared to kill" remark wasn't well received (or I think properly interpreted) by the audience. Otherwise good interview, especially the 7.3% remark.
    Saw the show, too - I guess the audience wasn't listening to the other two bottom line rules of the new approach: "Be polite" and "Be professional"

    Still, well presented, accessible language, and didn't look like a cardboardy spokesperson. Well done!

  15. #35
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    Default LTC John Nagl retires

    A great loss for the army, there are too few officers who really understand the COIN fight.

  16. #36
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Yes, but well deserved

    Quote Originally Posted by arty8 View Post
    A great loss for the army, there are too few officers who really understand the COIN fight.
    It's time to move on (I convinced myself the very same 11 years ago). Do I look back ? Yep, nearly every day.

    Colonel, time to relax, reflect and start lookin' for work...as your retirement was based on 1960s cost of living guesstimates with generous upgrades every decade or so

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.

    Respectfully, Stan

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  17. #37
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I doubt we've seen the back of LTC Nagl - I have no doubt that whatever Administration takes power in 2009 that there will be an undersecretary or assistant secdef position waiting somewhere if he wants it.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan
    ....Colonel, time to relax, reflect and start lookin' for work...as your retirement was based on 1960s cost of living guesstimates with generous upgrades every decade or so
    I retired as just an old NCO, not a field grade O, but I certainly don't feel like I've been shortchanged financially by my retirement benefits. Hell, with most of us retiring in our 40's, to expect the government to pay us enough just to sit at home is just plain cussed greed that would end up bankrupting the country. (There's a lot of us old bastards) Anyone "retiring" at that age should expect to work - either a completely new career, or continue to drive along the same path in another sector.

    The exception to my POV on this, as I've stated before, is the lifetime support that this nation must provide to those who have truly sacrificed, and been wounded/injured in service to their country to a degree where they cannot work any longer. For those men and women we have to ensure that they are not scrabbling to make it from day to day.

    For everyone else, its Darwin's law. A man can either use his 20+ years in the military wisely to lead up to a successful post-military life, or piss away opportunities and end up hard-scrabbling as a middle-aged civilian. Those individuals have noone to blame but themselves.

  19. #39
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I retired as just an old NCO, not a field grade O, but I certainly don't feel like I've been shortchanged financially by my retirement benefits. Hell, with most of us retiring in our 40's, to expect the government to pay us enough just to sit at home is just plain cussed greed that would end up bankrupting the country. (There's a lot of us old bastards) Anyone "retiring" at that age should expect to work - either a completely new career, or continue to drive along the same path in another sector.
    Yep, as did I retire as an NCO !

    Concur, my GI Bill benefits are adequate (my comments were NOT completely a joke however).

    Now, as for greed...sorry. We did not draft our contracts (bankrupting the USG), but I did agreed to it, and signed it...benefits or not.

    Been on this 'new' career for 11 years, and perhaps not directly helping the common USA Joe, but I'm doin' my part so others can pass it along when I am too friggin old to compete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    The exception to my POV on this, as I've stated before, is the lifetime support that this nation must provide to those who have truly sacrificed, and been wounded/injured in service to their country to a degree where they cannot work any longer. For those men and women we have to ensure that they are not scrabbling to make it from day to day.
    Military Service directly translates into service with a team. Everything the US Military does is a team effort, start to finish, we take care of our own.
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  20. #40
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I retired as just an old NCO, not a field grade O, but I certainly don't feel like I've been shortchanged financially by my retirement benefits. Hell, with most of us retiring in our 40's, to expect the government to pay us enough just to sit at home is just plain cussed greed that would end up bankrupting the country. (There's a lot of us old bastards) Anyone "retiring" at that age should expect to work - either a completely new career, or continue to drive along the same path in another sector.

    The exception to my POV on this, as I've stated before, is the lifetime support that this nation must provide to those who have truly sacrificed, and been wounded/injured in service to their country to a degree where they cannot work any longer. For those men and women we have to ensure that they are not scrabbling to make it from day to day.

    For everyone else, its Darwin's law. A man can either use his 20+ years in the military wisely to lead up to a successful post-military life, or piss away opportunities and end up hard-scrabbling as a middle-aged civilian. Those individuals have noone to blame but themselves.

    Yes you have some points there that I can agree with
    support to veterans: absolutely
    planning for retirement: absolutely if you get the opportunity

    No in that retirement packages that reflect age 40 or so are not "greed driven" but reflect the wear and tear of military service. Using language that infers such plays into the hands of folks like Mr. Chu, who likes to dismiss disabilities as normal aging.

    No in that when you cite Darwin's law for military retirees, just pause a minute and look at other agency retirement packages, especially those packages given to political appointees who make a limited time gate and draw benefiits.

    Too many who make the cuts are too inclined to cut benefits (or fail to keep benefits competitive) while preserving their own. We have enough "friends" like that not to offer them free targets.

    Tom

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