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  1. #21
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Secrecy News

    Yea, I know, it's from the folks at the Federation of American Scientists. But like their old site (which John Pike took with him to Global Security) Secrecy News may be a source of intel on intel...

  2. #22
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    Default Arms & Influence Blog - EBO? BFD.

    New Blog added to the SWJ Blogroll - Arms and Influence - check out the thread EBO? BFD...

  3. #23
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Note on Arms & Influence archives

    A&I is an excellent addition.

    Since the importance of COIN is very high on this board, members will be very interested in the extended " Counterinsurgency" series in the A&I archives.

  4. #24
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    Default Arab Life: An Outsider’s View

    From the Midnight in Iraq blog - Arab Life: An Outsider’s View.

    Since I have had the opportunity to see a few Arab homes, and to observe and interact at some length with the populace here in Falluja, I thought it might be interesting to point out a few of the similarities and differences between the life we know and that of an Iraqi. Hundreds of customs and courtesies surround the Arab culture. Upon my arrival here, I didn’t know what to believe and what to shrug off as nonsense. I quickly realized that most things I had learned from Ustatha Samir during “culture time” in Arabic class held true in the real world. It’s always rather surreal to imagine life drastically different than American culture without actually experiencing it, but after seeing this small part of the Arab world with my own eyes, I know I’ll never forget it...

  5. #25
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Vets for Freedom

    Vets for Freedom's Wade Zirkle and David Bellavia have returned to Iraq - this time as embeds to report on the training and efficacy of Iraqi Security and Police Forces, and to gauge the morale and combat effectiveness of US forces.

    Here are the latest posts:

    The Mighty MiTT!

    OK…I’m back to a computer. I have just spent a few days embedded with Military Transition Team 10. MiT Team 10 is responsible for advising an infantry battalion in the Seventh Iraqi Army Division in Ramadi. This unit is not as experienced as the First Division in which David was embedded. They are a newer, younger unit, but they show great promise. The MiT team is made up of a group of handpicked US Soldiers and Marines that have been selected to be advisors to the Iraqis. The Iraqi to MiTT ratio is about 10:1. The most impressive thing about this Iraqi unit is that they are running their outfit themselves (as opposed to the US running their unit). The Iraqi Company Commander tells the MiT Team when and where they will patrol. Usually, the MiT Team only follows along and offers guidance along the way when necessary...
    Ramadi... with the Iraqi Army

    This is amazing. I have not spoken to wade in three days. And I have to return this laptop to its owner in two mintues... the Iraqi army is taking real estate from the enemy. Seeing these men in action is amazing. The people of Ramadi trust them. THey give them bread and tea. Kids are playing soccer and riding donkeys in the street. THe unit I am with (1st Iraqi division) is the oldest of the Iraqi army units. They have literally fought in every named and unnamed operation in Iraq. From Sadri City, Najaf, Fallujah, Haditha, Baghdad.. you name it. It is unbelievable. This unit has been bloddied... but more impressively they have bloodied the enemy 10 to 1. They drive their own Humvees, conduct their own patrols and plan their invidual movements...
    Back in the Saddle

    I have finally made it to Ramadi. I hopped on a logistics convoy for the final westerly leg of this trip. This was my first ride in a 7-Ton truck since a suicide bomber hit my platoon while I was riding in one on Labor Day of 2004. It was a catastrophic hit that killed 10 men (seven Marines and three Iraqi Special Forces) and wounded five others including myself. The 7-Tons now have upgraded armor systems that make the vehicles a much harder target. The convoy was about 2/3 military trucks and 1/3 KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) contractor-driven tractor-trailers. There was also a security element of MP Humvees that was intermixed into the column. The same KBR team and the Marine logistics platoon work almost exclusively together and work well as a team. I am amazed at the number of contractors that are working here in-country to help make the maintenance, supply and logistical aspects of this war effort work. To my knowledge this is unprecedented in American warfare. I will have more to write on that when I get back to the states...

  6. #26
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Veteran Reporters

    Bruce Kessler at Democracy Project - Veteran Reporters.

    Thanks to the Internet, major media reporting on Iraq is challenged by milbloggers, and others, with first-person reporting and with facts that don’t fit in the major media, whether for reasons of space, contradiction to anti-war meme, or MSM incompetence.

    For an earlier generation of now middle-aged Vietnam servicepeople, whose voices largely went unheard and whose reputations were tarred by major media echoing of Kerryesque fabrications, the rise of the milbloggers is cheered, and many are now getting their voice heard...

    At least Military.com’s 8-million online readers, well larger than any national newspaper, will soon start seeing the milbloggers posts there from Milblogging.com....
    Much more at the link...

  7. #27
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Soldier's Diary

    Ran across this blog (diary) sponsored by FOX News - Soldier's Diary. The link goes to the archive of the blog's posts. The blog is the work of CPT Dan Sukman in Iraq.
    Last edited by SWJED; 08-05-2006 at 02:00 PM.

  8. #28
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    Default To Hell and Back

    Post by Jim Brown of the Menorah Blog - To Hell and Back. H/T - Power Line blog.

    Israeli video journalist Itai Anghel went into Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon with the Nahal Brigade and shot 25 minutes of riveting house-to-house combat footage with a night vision lens. The Hezbollah fighters wore Israeli uniforms.

  9. #29
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default A great find

    Although it's a little long for it, that would be a great attention gainer for any night attack class...I wonder if 42 CDO had to deal with comparable confusion, yelling, and bullhorns on Mt Harriet.

  10. #30
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Default Interesting Clip

    That was very interesting. Thanks for posting it!!! I must admit the use of a bullhorn for command and control was rather unique. There didn't seem to be any direction at the NCO level, either. I guess I'm going to have to watch this several times to get a full impression of it.

  11. #31
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    Default Observations & Tips for Operating in "Developing" Countries

    By SWC member Sonny at his FX-Based blog - Random (and Very Personal) Observations and Some Tips for Operating in "Developing" Countries.

    I admit the title of this post is awkward. The following observations and some tips are based on recent experience (meaning early 1990s to the present day) traveling in what some might still call the Third World, some call "the Gap", and some call "developing countries". The last thing I want to do is lump all this countries into one big pile. Each country (and each region within each country) is unique. I might narrow down my focus to particular areas in the future, but for now (partly due to OPSEC) I want to stay way from mentioning specific countries. My observations are based on "official business" and vacation trips, informal interviews with colleagues and some perspective that comes from growing up outside of the US. For the most part, these are not hard and fast rules and variations apply depending to where you go. These observations apply to areas where there is no actual combat, but where warfare is never far in terms of time and space...
    Check it out...

  12. #32
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Default Great article

    Great posting! This is really worth your time!!

  13. #33
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    Default Lightning From the Sky

    New to the SWJ and SWC Blogrolls - Lightning From the Sky

    I'm a Captain in the Marine Corps, on my fourth deployment since January of 2003. I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a deployment aboard ship to the Persian Gulf. I'm an infantry officer by trade, having just completed a 3-year tour in an infantry battalion. In my current billet, I am a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) responsible for requesting and directing close air support in support of friendly ground units...
    Good stuff, check it out...

    Hat Tip to Rule 308!

  14. #34
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    Default The Best Defense is...

    Posted by Colonel Pat Lang (US Army, ret.) at his Sic Semper Tyrannis blog - The Best Defense is...

    I wrote this article (with a friend) thirty years ago just after the Indochina War ended. That was a period of depression and re-assessment in the US Army. The strategy known as the "Active Defense" was in fashion as a method of fighting overwhelming Soviet strength in the event of a European war. This envisioned what amounted to a controlled withdrawal under severe pressure and held out no hope of defeating the Soviets as well as the possibility of a "forced" release of nuclear weapons to prevent the loss of all Europe.

    I had seen many NVA units destroy themselves attacking American positions and after thinking over the possibilities in Europe I thought that it might be possible to employ available NATO strength in such a way as to defeat the Soviet Army through attrition of mind and body. The way I thought this might be done was to construct a wide belt of field fortifications in West Germany that would serve as a "grid" of "hard points" on which a mobile defense could be based. The concept is described in the article (downloadable above). The piece was published in the "Military Review," the journal of the Command and General Staff College.

    I thought of it recently in the context of the recent Hizbullah defense of southern Lebanon and found it on the website of the magazine. The "internets" are a miracle.

    "Medley Global Advisors" (MGA) in New York City is publishing an essay by me online today to their clients bringing this line of thought up to date. Anyone who would like to read that should contact MGA at advisors@medleyadvisors.com

    As further background on the Lebanon War I recommend the following article suggested by one of our colleagues and commenters.

    Pat Lang

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...0624_1,00.html

  15. #35
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Blogs on COIN

    The Adventures of Chester - From Every Mountainside.

    Tom Ricks’ book FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq has been climbing the charts of late. Ricks lists the work Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice by David Galula as being very important to understanding the fight in Iraq today. Galula was a French officer who served in Greece, Algeria, and China, and observed various different insurgencies firsthand. His work is peppered with colorful anecdotes such as the things he learned after being captured by the Chinese Communists. Nevertheless, it very much attempts to develop a theory of counterinsurgency warfare that is extremely relevant today, despite the differences between Communist fighters and those of the Islamic ilk...
    Vital Perspective - Military Beefing Up Training, Instruction on Counter-Insurgency Techniques.

    Jane's Defence Weekly (subscription) reports that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are putting the finishing touches on a new counter-insurgency manual that is designed to fill a crucial gap in U.S. military doctrine.

    Military leaders describe the new manual as part of a larger cultural shift that will affect the way the services train, equip and fight. The growing emphasis on counter-insurgency will require more language training and cultural awareness, skills traditionally the domain of special operations forces...
    More at both blogs...

  16. #36
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    Default Institutional Ignorance of Warfare

    by SWC member Merv Benson - Institutional Ignorance of Warfare on his Prairie Pundit blog.

    ... One of these years, perhaps Wisconsin really will get around to hiring a professor for the Ambrose-Heseltine chair — but right now, for all intents and purposes, military history in Madison is dead. It’s dead at many other top colleges and universities as well. Where it isn’t dead and buried, it’s either dying or under siege. Although military history remains incredibly popular among students who fill lecture halls to learn about Saratoga and Iwo Jima and among readers who buy piles of books on Gettysburg and D-Day, on campus it’s making a last stand against the shock troops of political correctness. “Pretty soon, it may become virtually impossible to find military-history professors who study war with the aim of understanding why one side won and the other side lost,” says Frederick Kagan, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who taught at West Point for ten years. That’s bad news not only for those with direct ties to this academic sub-discipline, but also for Americans generally, who may find that their collective understanding of past military operations falls short of what the war-torn present demands.

    The very first histories ever written were military histories. Herodotus described the Greek wars with Persia, and Thucydides chronicled the Peloponnesian War. “It will be enough for me,” wrote Thucydides nearly 25 centuries ago, “if these words of mine are judged useful by those who want to understand clearly the events which happened in the past and which (human nature being what it is) will, at some time or other and in much the same ways, be repeated in the future.” The Marine Corps certainly thinks Thucydides is useful: He appears on a recommended-reading list for officers. One of the most important lessons he teaches is that war is an aspect of human existence that can’t be wished away, no matter how hard the lotus-eaters try...

  17. #37
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Why Military History is Being Retired

    9 October edition of National Review - Sounding Taps by John Millier. Hat tip to Prairie Pundit.

    ...Although the keenest students of military history have often been soldiers, the subject isn’t only for them. “I don’t believe it is possible to treat military history as something entirely apart from the general national history,” said Theodore Roosevelt to the American Historical Association in 1912. For most students, that’s how military history was taught — as a key part of a larger narrative. After the Second World War, however, the field boomed as veterans streamed into higher education as both students and professors. A general increase in the size of faculties allowed for new approaches, and the onset of the Cold War kept everybody’s mind focused on the problem of armed conflict.

    Then came the Vietnam War and the rise of the tenured radicals. The historians among them saw their field as the academic wing of a “social justice” movement, and they focused their attention on race, sex, and class. “They think you’re supposed to study the kind of social history you want to support, and so women’s history becomes advocacy for ‘women’s rights,’” says Mary Habeck, a military historian at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. “This makes them believe military historians are always advocates of militarism.” Other types of historians also came under attack — especially scholars of diplomatic, intellectual, and maritime history — but perhaps none have suffered so many casualties as the “drums and trumpets” crowd. “Military historians have been hunted into extinction by politically active faculty members who think military history is a subject for right-wing, imperialistic warmongers,” says Robert Bruce, a professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas.

    At first glance, military history appears to have maintained beachheads on a lot of campuses. Out of 153 universities that award doctorates in history, 99 of them — almost 65 percent — have at least one professor who claims a research interest in war, according to S. Mike Pavelec, a military historian at Hawaii Pacific University. But this figure masks another problem: Social history has started to infiltrate military history, Trojan Horse–style. Rather than examining battles, leaders, and weapons, it looks at the impact of war upon culture. And so classes that are supposedly about the Second World War blow by the Blitzkrieg, the Bismarck, and the Bulge in order to celebrate the proto-feminism of Rosie the Riveter, condemn the national disgrace of Japanese-American internment, and ask that favorite faculty-lounge head-scratcher: Should the United States have dropped the bomb? “It’s becoming harder and harder to find experts in operational military history,” says Dennis Showalter of Colorado College. “All this social history is like Hamlet without the prince of Denmark.” ...

  18. #38
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Default harumph

    Just have it mentioned you're a veteran and watch tenure evaporate.


    Oh, and a suggestion. Tie teaching military history to grant funding...
    Last edited by selil; 09-30-2006 at 06:58 PM.

  19. #39
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Good post Merv

    Interesting that you selected Madison as a case history, Merv. From the Africanist view, Madison was for many years here it was happening in African studies, largely because Crawford Young, the "Dean" of Congo/Zaire related studies was there. I went there to a conference in 1986; I was working on LP #14 on the '64 Congo crisis and the reactions I got ranged fro blase to shocked that I was working on a military history paper invloving "imperialist" interventions in Africa.

    Even my alma mater Texas A&M while I was a cadet did not have a military hsitory program. Gratefully Roger Beaumont arrived my senior year and over the next decade or so, A&M started looking at military history. My book as a Class of 1976 Centenial Class member became #100 in the A&M military history series, something was pure circumstance but also meaningful to me.

    But before we get too judgemental about civilian academia, the military itself has not done a good job in using military history. The Center for Military History spent decades on the WWII green book series. It did not do an equally good job on either Korea or Vietnam. We (then BG Scales and the Desert Storm Study Group) wrote Certain Victory for 2 basic reasons: A. the Air Force had a project underway and B. CMH was not up to the task. The Military History Institute has been slow to join the 21st century, only recently starting to load documents on the web. The Combat Studies Institute stood up in the early 1980s because senior officers wanted someone to teach and write military history in a meaningful way. It has since undergone too many cuts but perhaps is now coming back with a series of papers that will resurrect its reputation.

    Best
    Tom

  20. #40
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Really good post, Merv.

    Tom, you mentioned a failure of the military in "selling" military history, and I think you have probably raised a very good point that holds here in Canada as well. I suspect that some of the problem is also related to a general lack of interest in / knowledge of history being taught before university - at least it seems to be that way in Ontario. For example, only one of my students during the summer knew that Canada had over 400,000 troops in World War I.

    The anti-military stance, what Merv called the "tenured radicals", has also spilled over into other areas. I am working with one student right now who has an interest in Intelligence analysis (it's part of her day job). Earlier this week, she had to do a presentation in a course on the History of Anthropology where she would take one of the "older" theoretical models and attempt to use it to analyze a current situation. She chose Durkheim's concept of "altruistic suicide" and applied it to studying suicide bombers. Halfway through her presentation, the professor teaching the course stopped her and told her that this was "propaganda". With attitudes like this running rampant, I really have to wonder...

    Merv, while I liked your term "tenured radicals", I think that it is past time that the term "radical" itself was taken back from it's currently "occupied" status where it is held under the hegemonic control of krypto-Fascists (yeah, I can sound like a PC academic if I have to). "Radical" derives from the Latin "radix" or "root", and it is more than time enough for us to retrun to that original meaning and examine the roots of human existence. And, for the past 100 centuries, that means that we have to study warfare, religion, economics, technology, politics and the connections between them all. Currently, "radical" seems to be synonymous with "whining about being oppressed while enjoying a tenured position and sipping coctails and discussing either the inevitable revolutuion or the ultimate meaninglessness of life".

    While it may be amusing, in a very droll sense, to watch these neo-Thomistic "scholars" argue about how many oppressions can dance on the head of a pin, it is ultimately a betrayal of both the profession of scholarship, of the societies in which we live and, most importantly, it is a betrayal of our species. I refuse to believe that we have spent the past 5+ million years evolving to end up locked in any type of restrictive "theology".

    Sorry, I'll just get off my soapbox now...

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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