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Thread: Blogs to Watch

  1. #41
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    Default John Miller is author

    Thanks for the kind words, but I was excerpting from Miller's piece on institutional reluctance of many universities to study warfare. I do comment on Miller's article in my original post.

  2. #42
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    Default Regardless..

    Quote Originally Posted by Merv Benson View Post
    Thanks for the kind words, but I was excerpting from Miller's piece on institutional reluctance of many universities to study warfare. I do comment on Miller's article in my original post.
    Hat tip for bringing this to our attention - good job Merv.

  3. #43
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    Default Sad State of Affairs

    As a former UW grad with a B.A. in Poli Sci/History, my very first class as a "gratefully red" badger was with Edward M. Coffman. A great man and lecturer, he'd (IIRC) served as a young lieutenant in the 1st Cav in Korea towards the end of that conflict.

    A paper by me detailing my dad's adventures as a peripheral participant in T.F. Lynch was read in class by Coffman while mentioning me by name-quite an honor in a survey class of about 200 kids! I'm sorry to see he's since retired and that the Ambrose monies have gone unused.

    It was a nearly impossible place to attend ROTC during the Vietnam War. Thankfully I didn't until it had become more of a non-issue during the mid-late seventies.

  4. #44
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    Default Combination Warfare

    Josh at The Adventures of Chester - Combination Warfare.

    One of the hallmarks of maneuver warfare as it has been conceived in the Marine Corps is the use of combined arms. "Combined arms" refers to the use of various weapons systems in concert, such that each reinforces the weaknesses of the other. The doctrinal definition is this:

    Combined arms is the full integration of arms in such a way that to counteract one, the enemy must become more vulnerable to another. We pose the enemy not just with a problem, but with a dilemma -- a no-win situation. [from Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1, Warfighting]

    There's no reason to think that this doctrine couldn't be articulated at the national level as well. Rather than confining it to the realm of military strategy and the use of force, why not include all the elements of national power -- diplomatic, economic, informational, military, etc -- and force them to work in concert toward a common goal? This may be an ideal, but it is one at which the US does not perform so well. The primary reason is the way our foreign policy bureaucracy operates: there is little in the way of the kind of unity of command necessary for an individual decision-maker to muster all elements to work in concert...

    Combination warfare, as a title for the collection of powers that constitute the means of the state to fashion its ends, is deceiving, because the use of the term "warfare" could easily be misconstrued to mean a battle of some kind. The same is true of unrestricted warfare. An old-fashioned term, that few use any more, works much better: statecraft. It's better not only because it implies the use of all elements of the state to achieve a goal, but also because "craft" hints that there is much more art than science in the process...
    Much more at the link...

  5. #45
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    Default Multicultural World War

    Posted by Mitchell Langbert at the Democracy Project blog - Multicultural World War.

    Warren Bonesteel has forward me a link to Baron Bodissey's Gates of Vienna post. Bodissey makes a number of important comments that well fit the concept of fourth generation warfare that William S. Lind and Col Thomas X. Hammes have expounded. Col. Hammes's book The Sling and the Stone is well worth reading in this regard. Bodissey and his associates point out that the war ought NOT to be viewed as one between Islam and the West, but rather ought to be viewed as a multicultural world war involving Western traditionalists, libertarians, conservatives, leftists, elite liberals, Islamic extremists, Castroite Marxists and so on. Bodissey's associates have "opened a discussion group on Yahoo! (so far known only by its number, “910”, although its members like to refer to it as 'VRWC')"...

  6. #46
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    Default 3 Iraqi Bloggers...

    Me in the New Islamic State! - Iraq the Model Blog
    Al-Qaeda Declares Government, Islamic State - Talisman Gate
    The Islamic State in Iraq! - Sooni

    Iraq the Model:

    ... There's no going back thirty years to the days of Saddam an there's no going back a thousand yeas to the days of the Caliphs.

    It's over…

    We have accepted the rough road and the outcome will not be in the benefit of the criminals. The war is tough, painful and hard but I have no doubt of the outcome that will mean the end for the supporters of tyranny and extremism.

    Surrendering is much closer to them than it is to us and history will remember with pride those who sacrificed for the freedom of Iraq.

    Maybe I will not live long to see that day but my children will certainly see it.

    Sorry whiners, losers and pessimists. I only know to accept a challenge when I face one and I recognize only victory as an end...
    Talisman Gate:

    ... This latest declaration is a measure of the jihadist defeat gradually playing out in Iraq: they are getting increasingly frustrated over the outcome of the Iraqi battlefield turning against them. It is a publicity stunt meant to imply that they are expanding rather than contracting. They are most definitely being beaten back as evidenced by the latest fighting in Mosul and Diyala....
    Sooni:

    ... Al-Qaeda's declaration of an "Islamic State" in Iraq came and went unnoticed by most of Iraqis. One of my friends said when I told him about it "what difference would it make? They've been killing people on daily basis so what makes you think they will stop and start taking care of them and act like a responsible government like they claim to be?"

    As an Iraqi I know they can't control this "'State" but they chose an area of influence where they can use their "hit and run" tactics to declare a "State" in, moreover, the declaration sounded more like a challenge to the Iraqi Government and the Coalition forces than a real declaration of a state...

  7. #47
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Kent's Imperative

    Kent's Imperative

    Specialty blog on the IC, esp. analysis.

  8. #48
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    Default Thanks...

    Mark - thanks - added to the SWJ / SWC blogroll...

  9. #49
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    Default Global Guerrillas

    Another very interesting post (as always) from John Robb at Global Guerrillas - Stochastic Tinkerers and Warfare.

    I really respect the work of the financier, Nassim Taleb. His ideas on tinkering networks (the same type of networks that brought us the airplane, the personal computer, and much of the software we use today) provides us useful lessons on the utility of open source warfare (for those new to this, here's an article from the New York Times to get your started).

    Here's how. Warfare in our current complex environment (as opposed to the last century and earlier) is very similar to the areas of science/finance where stochastic processes dominate. Since stochastic dominance implies a high level of randomness in outcomes, tinkering networks (ie. open source insurgencies) tend to generate substantially higher returns on effort than highly planned activities (ie. nation-building). The reason is that if you can't plan outcomes due to randomness, the optimal approach to success is through parallel development efforts using a wide variety of methods in combination with a network that readily embraces unexpected but very useful innovations. In contrast, highly planned efforts tend to limit the number of methods/paths used and are resistant to errant results due to bureaucratic inertia/bias.

    Finally, these tinkering networks can occasionally produce black swans, or radical breakthroughs. In the context of warfare this is either an event or improvement in method that changes the course of the war. Question: are we, or can you ever imagine us being, in the business of producing black swans in warfare?

  10. #50
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Default

    In "The U.S. Army and the Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War" one of Linn's explanations for American success was that each Army unit was able to tailor its efforts to the unique circumstances in which it found itself. Because of difficulties in commucations and transport, the garrisons couldn't be closely supervised by a higher headquarters so they were free to "tinker" their way into doing whatever worked best in their area or on their island.

    He was also skeptical that this could happen now because it is too easy for the bosses to keep close tabs on events and to visit.

  11. #51
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    Default And China...

    This reminds me of something that Galula mentioned his his Counterinsurgency Warfare. Paraphrasing pages 104-106 of his most recent book, he says the Chinese government would enact programs by first sectoring off areas and implimenting different variations of the program, and then experimentally evaluating the results. Later, the more successful variations would be implimented on a wider and larger scale.

    There's nothing new under the sun.

  12. #52
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    Default Iraqi Blog


  13. #53
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    Default Good Blog...

    Quote Originally Posted by BMT View Post
    I often link to Iraq the Model from the SWJ Daily News Links Page. Also, the Wall Street Journal often picks up posts for inclusion in their Op-Ed page.

  14. #54
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not sure why these guys are so popular. Perhaps because they write in English for an English-speaking audience, and they tell us what we would want to hear? I think so (the same goes for other popular Iraqi English-language bloggers, like Riverbend and Raed in the Middle for the anti-Iraq War side the political spectrum). I believe these guys ran in the last Iraqi elections, where they managed to secure the votes of their family members and few others --- perhaps accurately reflecting the political popularity of a pro-American secular liberal in Iraq today.

    The journey of the Healing Iraq blog, run by an atheist Sunni dentist who eventually fled for New York is instructive --- originally started as a very loud pro-American Iraqi blog, perhaps the first that was so pro-Western in its approach. He then had a cousin forced off a bridge in Samarra by American troops in this nasty little incident, which ended the career of LTC Nathan Sassaman and resulted in six months' jail time for one of the soldiers involved, which he posted about in some dismay, at which point most of his prowar American supporters deserted him and whereupon he gained an antiwar American audience.

  15. #55
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    Default Institute for Peace & War Reporting

    IWPR is a good resource for several conflict zones:

    Afghanistan

    Africa

    Balkans

    Caucasus

    Central Asia

    Iraq

    It's a program that builds local media resources by training locals as professional journalists.

  16. #56
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    Default Danger Room

    While this may strike some of active duty pros at the SWC as a " People Magazine" version of what they usually read here, WIRED magazine has a defense and national security blog Danger Room, edited by Noah Schachtman

    Fun site. Lots of graphics, videos, short posts, futuristic military technology. That sort of thing.

    Hat tip to Younghusband at Coming Anarchy.

  17. #57
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    Default

    Thanks for posting that. I would never have found this one on my own.

  18. #58
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default New blog - ARES

    Aviation Week has a new military news and defense technology blog ARES, edited by Sean Meade who is also the webmaster for former Pentagon strategist Thomas Barnett.

    Here's a sample of Sean's work:

    "Speaking of video, Multi-National Force - Iraq is also posting and pushing video.

    DefenseLink today reports that, not only does MNF-Iraq have video on its website, it's putting up video on its own YouTube channel as well. "
    and

    "Air Force Link reports that the first MQ-9 Reaper has flown into Creech AFB, NV.

    First impression: What a wicked name!

    Second impression: the possibilities for word play and association and 'cute' headlines are endless: Blue Oyster Cult, Will Farrell and Christopher Walken on SNL. I'll give in on this one title and then try to resist ;-)

    The Reaper's turboprop engine is able to run at 250 knots, can fly up to 40,000 feet and is able to stay in the air for more than 20 hours.

    "One of the big differences between the Reaper and the Predator is the Predator can only carry about 200 pounds (of ordnance). The Reaper however, can carry one and a half tons, and on top of carrying Hellfire missiles, can carry multiple GBU-12 laser-guided bombs," said Capt. Michael Lewis, 42nd ATKS flight scheduler."

  19. #59
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    Default Great Link

    zenpundit,

    Thanks for the link !
    Very interesting articles and some great pictures and videos !

    I especially like the 'Hollywood joins the war effort'

    "I wouldn't have thought it possible to have two references to the movie 300 on this blog in a single week, but when Hollywood gets accused of waging psychological operations against Iran, how can we not share the information?"
    The government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham, described the film as "cultural intrusion" and an attack on Iran's ancient civilisation. "Such a fabrication of culture and insult to people is not acceptable by any nation or government," he told reporters. "[Iran] considers it as hostile behaviour which is the result of cultural and psychological warfare."
    Regards, Stan

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    Thumbs up War on terror, clash of civilizations, etc.

    http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com

    Usually has good articles. Had a search and didn't see it up.

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