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Thread: Blogs to Watch

  1. #61
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Africa Reflections: Blog on Rwanda, Kenya, and Other Matters African

    My second Ambassador in Rwanda, Robert (Bob) E. Gribbin has a blog called, Africa Reflections. He offers fare both heavy and light ranging from the genocide in Rwanda to golfing in Africa. Here is a post as a sample:

    Thursday, April 12, 2007
    Rwanda - President Bizimungu Freed

    Lost in the flurry of reports from Rwanda last weekend commemorating the 1994 genocide was the news that President Paul Kagame pardoned former President Pasteur Bizimungu and released him from prison. Bizimungu had served five years of a fifteen year sentence for treason. Bizimungu was reportedly delighted (who would not be?) with the news. He was cautioned by officials to become a law abiding citizen.

    Bizimungu’s initial arrest and conviction were contentious. Although there was probably some corruption mud on him, his troubles really arose from political reasons. As a Hutu, President during the early RPF era (1994 to 2000) and untainted by genocide, Bizimungu was apparently deemed to pose a credible threat to continued insider dominance by Kagame and the clique around him. After falling out with the inner leadership and resigning in 2000, Bizimungu announced his intention to contest for the top post in the upcoming election with his own new party on his own platform. However, fearing a possible return to ethnic politics, the Tutsi element was determined to prevail. Accordingly, a number of measures were adopted to make it impossible (as in Bizimungu’s case) or very difficult as regarding the effort by former Prime Minister Twagiramungu or other Hutus to run. Naturally, little of this was couched overtly in ethnic terms, even though the code was known by all.

    I judged at the time that President Kagame had little to fear from an electoral challenger. He had the name recognition, the power of the military and the power of incumbency. He was the savior of Rwanda and its true leader. Given the way that Rwandan society works, his election would almost be automatic. Yet, electoral success was assured by arrest of Bizimungu and intimidation of other candidates. The message as (correctly) read by voters was continuation of Kagame’s rule.

    Once won, however, the question arose of what to do with Bizimungu? Charges (even partially trumped up ones) could not be dropped as that would fly in the face of Rwanda’s very determined efforts to institute a rule-of-law regime nationwide, especially in dealing with genocidaires (which Bizimungu was not, but resolving his case prematurely would smack of favoritism). Also, failure to move forward on the Bizimungu case would indicate that the charges against him were more political than real. Finally, stubbornly proud Rwanda did not want to be perceived as caving to international pressure to free the former president. Thus, the legal process had to run its course. This involved a trial, conviction, sentencing and appeals. Only when all the legal maneuverings were complete could exercise of the presidential power of commutation be considered.

    To his credit, when the time was propitious President Kagame exercised his power and had his former colleague released. I judge the decision to have been overdue, but it certainly was a mark of political maturity. Pasteur Bizimungu poses no political threat to the regime, yet his release does indicate that old animosities must pass on and that all Rwandans can and ought to live together harmoniously. That is good news. Rhetoric and reality should always match.

  2. #62
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Swedish Meatballs Confidential

    Very interesting IO/PSOPS focused milblog, Swedish Meatballs Confidential.

    "Blogs and Military Information Strategy"

    Eye catching visuals to boot, though maybe "Not Work Safe".

  3. #63
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Swedish Meatballs Confidential

    Swedish Meatballs Confidential - I only read it for the articles .

    "Best I.O.-Related Blog Ever"
    [...with significant caveats, of course.]
    -Michael Tanji (a darn fine sport! -M1)

    "I'm reaching out to Swedish Meatballs. Who are you? Inquiring, and confidential, minds want to know."
    -Mountain Runner

    "We are not quite sure what to think of the rather interesting but not entirely worksafe blog. On the one hand, we find some of the pieces quite excellent but we dislike attempts to play insider baseball with Beltway politics (especially writ large.) We find such discussions border too often on conspiracy theory. But when they focus on information operations and military matters, they prove worth reading. (We also rather like the manner in which they characterized our link - "Kent's Something of Import".... clearly an artifact of translation software, but it carries with it a flavour of the Victorian...)"
    -Imperatating Kent(s?)

    "He's pretty smart. Plus, his, um, artwork, evades the filter on my DoD computer...
    Nice"
    -A testy guy named Isaac (testy is good, too)

    "Bizarre site, no? I don't know who he/she is, but I'm afraid to link to him/her for risk of being dragged in by the lewd patrol."
    - Armchair Generalist

    "Swedish Meatballs Confidential focuses on unwrapping programs of propaganda, PSYOPS and "perception management" from across the spectrum of media outlets. It's saucy, too. This group knows what the #### is going on. Read it, and you will too."
    -Anything They Say

    "Swedish Meatballs has learned how to dress up a web page about information operations, diplomacy, foreign affairs and related matters to make them more understandable."
    -Main & Central

    "Very interesting IO/PSOPS focused milblog.
    Eye catching visuals to boot, though maybe not `Work Safe´"
    -Small Wars Journal council member Zen Pundit

    "...it's a hoot"
    [...criminally recontextualized. -M1]
    -Pundita

  4. #64
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Oops..

    ... sorry Zen - just saw you already posted a link.

  5. #65
    Council Member Rockbridge's Avatar
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    Default Maybe not worksafe???

    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Swedish Meatballs Confidential - I only read it for the articles .
    Guess that depends on where you work .... Some interesting graphics, and equally interesting articles, but a bit heavy on the conspiracy theory stuff. If we were really able to successfully run operations as complex as the conspiracy theorists believe, we wouldn't have as many problems as we do now.

  6. #66
    Council Member Anthony Hoh's Avatar
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    Default A new approach to learning COIN doctrine?

    Should have used the same visual approach to 3-24...might actually get a few more Soldiers to read it.

  7. #67
    Council Member St. Christopher's Avatar
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    Default Political Warfare.org by Dr. J. Michael Waller

    From the author of How to Fight the War of Ideas Like a Real War and the editor of the forthcoming Public Diplomacy Reader, Mike Waller maintains a blog at politicalwarfare.org. Not only is this a good place to learn more about getting offensive in the Info War, but Dr. Waller uses it from time to time to expose anti-American propagandists, sloppy journalism, and stubborn members of the government who refuse to "wake up" to the new realities of irregular and political warfare.

    Mike also teaches courses at the Institute of World Politics in DC. Anyone looking for continuing education or even a pro class on propaganda should definitely check it out.

    Du4
    Tenere terrorum,
    St. C

    "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing."
    ---Socrates

  8. #68
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not getting the link to work. Hopefully the server isn't getting killed by all of the readers of this site. I would be willing to bet there is far greater readership of the smallwarsjournal.com site than the conventional metrics would suggest. I suggested this site to a DEA specialist at Quantico while attending a course a few years back and found he was already going to it so the word is out there.

  9. #69
    Council Member St. Christopher's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bismark17 View Post
    I'm not getting the link to work. Hopefully the server isn't getting killed by all of the readers of this site. I would be willing to bet there is far greater readership of the smallwarsjournal.com site than the conventional metrics would suggest. I suggested this site to a DEA specialist at Quantico while attending a course a few years back and found he was already going to it so the word is out there.
    Apologies, looks like the routing link is broken... try this one:

    http://jmw.typepad.com/political_warfare/
    Tenere terrorum,
    St. C

    "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing."
    ---Socrates

  10. #70
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    Default Conflict Early Warning and Early Response

    Conflict Early Warning and Early Response Blog, linked to Carleton University's Country Indicators for Foreign Policy site.
    This is the Blogosphere’s first blog on the theory and practice of conflict early warning and response. The purpose of this blog is to openly share how our thinking on early warning has changed and continues to change as we seek to maximize the impact of our work in operational conflict prevention. What works? What no longer works? What’s next?

  11. #71
    Council Member Chris Albon's Avatar
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    Default

    Very interesting. Conflict prediction has always been a fascinating topic, especially with advances in data mining.
    -----------

    Chris Albon,
    Ph.D. Student / UC Davis
    Blogger / War and Health

  12. #72
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Default Blogs to Watch

    New blog by Dr Mark Galeotti: In Moscow's Shadows
    This blog's author, Dr Mark Galeotti has been researching Russian security issues since the late 1980s. Educated at Cambridge University and the LSE, he is currently head of the History department at Keele University in the UK as well as director of its Organised Russian & Eurasian Crime Research Unit. From January 2009, he will be Clinical Associate Professor of Global Affairs at New York University. His books include the edited collections 'Russian & Soviet Organized Crime' (Ashgate) and 'Global Crime Today' (Routledge) and he is a regular contributor to Jane's Intelligence Review, Oxford Analytica and many other outlets.
    For good measure lets add Johnson's Russia List to this thread.

  13. #73
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    The great Steve Coll (Ghost Wars, The Bin Ladens) has started a blog at The New Yorker called Think Tank. SWJ is sitting pretty on the blogroll already. Coll joins George Packer and his Interesting Times blog at the NYer.

  14. #74
    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Thanks...some interesting reading there. Two great authors of some must read books.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

  15. #75
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Great finds

    On both counts. Nice job !

  16. #76
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    War and Peace - by Mark Urban, BBC News Night diplomatic and defense editor. Urban authored Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the secret struggle against the IRA, which I imagine many here have read.

    IS IT SAFE?, by Sam Fadis, former CIA officer runs a blog discussing terrorism and homeland security for The Capital of Annapolis, Md. Fadis is the author of Operation Hotel California: The Clandestine War Inside Iraq which was just published.

  17. #77
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Eeben Barlow's Military and Security Blog
    About Me
    Eeben Barlow
    I founded the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes (EO) in 1989. The company operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I have lectured, and still lecture, to military colleges and universities on security and defence issues in several countries. I believe that only Africans can truly solve Africa’s problems. I currently consult to a USA-based company.
    [h/t: Feral Jundi]

  18. #78
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    National Journal Expert Blogs: National Security

    Contributors:
    Richard Aboulafia, Gordon Adams, Norman R. Augustine, Andrew Bacevich, Milt Bearden, Courtney Banks, Michael Brown, Daniel Byman, Vincent Cannistraro, James Jay Carafano, Col. Joseph J. Collins, Wolfgang H. Demisch, Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner, Daniel Gouré, Lee Hamilton, Kathleen Hicks, Bruce Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Brian Michael Jenkins, Col. Robert Killebrew, Rachel Kleinfeld, Steven Kosiak, Andy Krepinevich, Dick Kohn, Larry Korb, Col. W. Patrick Lang, Hillary Mann Leverett, Col. Douglas Macgregor, Ron Marks, Stewart Patrick, Jim Phillips, Paul R. Pillar, Norman Polmar, Richard Hart Sinnreich, Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, Kori Schake, Michael F. Scheuer, Michael Schiffer, Chris Seiple, Daniel Serwer, Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., Loren Thompson, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, Stewart Verdery, Bing West, Winslow T. Wheeler, Wayne White, Sam Worthington, Dov S. Zakheim, Amy Zegart, Gen. Anthony C. Zinni

  19. #79
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice find - I like the format too. It reminds me of some of the panel discussions you see at experiments and working groups.
    Best, Rob

  20. #80
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Foreign Policy magazine has augmented their blog section. New features include:

    Meanwhile, Passport will be joined by a host of new blogs. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Fiasco author Tom Ricks will comment on military matters at The Best Defense. Harvard's Stephen Walt, coauthor of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, will inject a dose of realism into the online political debate. Superclass author David Rothkopf will give readers an inside look at the global powerbrokers who really run the world. FP senior editor Carolyn O'Hara and a crack team of Clinton-watchers will be obsessively following all things Hillary at Madam Secretary. And a coterie of conservative foreign-policy heavyweights, including Peter Feaver, Philip Zelikow, and FP's newest editor -- and Condoleeza Rice's longtime speechwriter -- Christian Brose, will be on hand to critique the Obama presidency at Shadow Government: Notes from the loyal opposition.

    Some blogging veterans are also adding their names to our digital masthead. Daniel Drezner's readers already know that he has brought his must-read blog on foreign policy, international economics (and occasionally the Red Sox) over to FP. Marc Lynch's essential Middle East politics blog Abu Aardvark has also come aboard. And investigative journalist Laura Rozen will be writing The Cable, featuring original coverage, scoops, and behind-the-scenes reporting about the making of Washington's foreign policy in the age of Obama.

    We'll also feature partnerships with the Small Wars Journal and a new column, The Call, with political forecasting by Ian Bremmer and the political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group.
    Congrats to SWJ for its continued success, and this new opportunity to reach more readers in it's new partnership with Foreign Policy.

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