Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 63

Thread: Understanding the Enemy

  1. #41
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Onward Bound....

    Problems are a fact of life. They are life. So is endurance. We Sheep Dogs just need to train the Sheep a bit... - Ken White

    Where do we go from here? With radical acceptance, we can discern where to intervene. Reagan alluded that we were the shining city on a hill. He never suggested that we must convert the rest of the world to suburbs. I submit that it time to take measure of others intentions whether pure or deceptive. We can only help those that first desire.

    Ask not what your country, lest you are prepared for what to receive…Ask what you can do. Strive stubborn strife.

    In the absence of zero-sum, eventually philosophy and abstract thought must merge towards policy. Once again, attitude is everything. Regardless of intent, desire, or virtue, we cannot help those who refuse to help themselves.

    So what can we do? Sometimes the voice inside our head must scream “STOP” so we can refocus. Sometimes we simply have to feel.

    Once you face death, once you overcome your fears, then you are free to live.* These are the lessons that I've learned....

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. More is less, less is more. Light in village; heavy in urban. Strykers medium fill the void. I will go in this way and find my own way out stepping outside a box never really in. Shadows subside as storms pass…Walk with me once more…For a moment, give me voice; it takes two to listen.



    I apologize for my conjecture...I'm simply trying to connect the dots...

    v/r

    Mike

  2. #42
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Divergence of Paths

    In his final address, George Washington cautioned us to avoid treaties with other nations and to evade meddling within others internal affairs.

    Conversely, as Andrew Jackson secured the office of the President, we evoked Manifest Destiny beginning a process of neutralizing or eradicating the ancient Native American tribes. Later, Roosevelt flaunted the Great White Fleet stirring Japan’s reach. What fire burns in such sweet sorrow that forces the perpetual dilemma?

    Recently my friend inquired, “How are you so certain?* How do you know?”* I can neither express nor articulate the intuition flooding through my damaged hippocampus pouring south along the tributaries of my brain stem, channeling through my broken thyroid, and merging into my heart swelling in calm warm springs like the hot baths of Big Sur.* The dam burst.* I just know. It just is.
    In a world of uncertainty, chance and circumstance are masked by notions of reason and rationale.* Some things are best left undefined.* All things considered, some mysteries are left only to God.* They just are.* How does a squirrel know to spread the tree’s seed?* How does a rooster know when to crow?*

    Does it make me crazy to believe that the dreams of my youth can unfold after all that I’ve done, all that I’ve witnessed, all that corrupted?* Certainly not.* Quite possibly, the crucible of tragedy tempers the coal melding rough and coarse into beauty sparking creative thought. Maybe we simply must let go of expectation, dream with arms wide open, breathe deeply, and embrace the storms.* The storms bring rain, but they also bring rainbows. Maybe one cannot appreciate the rainbow unless he has walked through the storm.
    This is how I know. This essay (or maybe it is simple conversation) will explore our collective national thought and attempt to expand towards a refined diplomacy and policy. I will continue to rely on my individual experience as that is my field of expertise. Hopefully, conversation will be generated and new ideas emerge.

  3. #43
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Or simple emotion absent

    absolute construct....


    On Compassion

    In mountaineering school, a Special Forces soldier learns the power of patience. A knuckle dragger would love to run up the mountain, but he will inevitably become exhausted. Instead one learns to traverse back and forth along the route in a seemingly never-ending spiral, a casual pace until the peak is reached. Henceforth, a soldier learns the power of mental toughness over physical shortcomings. We still have so much to learn.

    We scaled Mount Manuel. I scanned the Big Sur website to find an appropriate day trip for hiking. As usual, I choose the most difficult trek- eight miles, 3300 feet in elevation, strenuous. My ego naturally ascends my capabilities. Five hundred meters from the summit, my legs were exhausted- stick a fork in me, I was done.

    Rob reminded me that at least I can feel the pain.

    Rob recently ran the Big Sur marathon, and he was surpassed by a one-legged soldier. Here’s a kid who has had his leg blown off in an IED, and he’s running a marathon. Here we are wallowing in our sorrow. I continued to walk; I did not quit.

    As we continued to march, we ran across a Canuck descending the trail. It seemed like a reasonable excuse to stop and chat, and I could rest for a moment. My boy was out of water. I gave him a liter, and we continued along the path. At the crest, we paused for a moment to enjoy the view- it was simply amazing. You could see forever- the Big Sur lighthouse, the kids frolicking in the stream, the campsites, and the $1000 a night resorts. We were in nirvana. However, we did not plan for the mosquitoes. They ate away at our skin.

    Reality set in.

    We began the march down; we worked our way home.

    An hour later, we ran into the Canuck again. He was sitting down resting in the shade. He was brawny- about six feet, a little pudge in the center, and broad shoulders. He was hiking alone. Rob and I approached with broad smiles. As we engaged in seemingly nonchalant conversation, we scanned his pupils and his complexion for signs of heat exhaustion. He was fine. He was simply tired.

    After a few minutes, we determined that he was out of water. I gave him the remainder of mine. Without trying to dishonor his ego, we kindly asked if he would like to walk we us. He smiled; his face lit up, and we worked our way down the mountain. All was well.

    It felt so good to help someone who was hurting. That is how I grew up. That was how I was taught. Jesus lived amongst those that suffered. As Paul instructed the restless men and women of Corinth, there are but three gifts- faith, hope and love. Yet, I constantly wrestle with the destructiveness and self-serving nature of man-so fickle. I have seen man in his most primal state, and it was not pretty. I am more betwixt than in between. I long for the tenderness of my youth.

    Is this irrelevant?
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-18-2009 at 06:48 AM.

  4. #44
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Desperation of Disbelief in Disregard delving….

    Considering the social contract...

    Perhaps love is not meant for me
    Heartache persist no matter what happens
    Maybe I’m incapable of marriage or love
    That last a lifetime

    Love is neither the absence of sorrow nor grief
    Do you think I don’t desire to run from this passion that consumes?
    Let it fade,
    Restored in faith.

    I’m not going anywhere
    I will wait

    Intuition, passion, and creativity are double-edge
    One moment love erupts as the volcano burst
    Next, the wave crashes and the sky falls down
    Ride it out; you are strong

    No doubt I weep; I will not sleep
    But rest knowing I am near

    The paths have merged, no longer to diverge
    Patience is practice in perpetual peace

    This to shall pass; the storm shall fade.
    Today I help you; tomorrow, you me.
    In hopes of better days
    I hope you gaze upon the star gazer lilies

    At times I doubt, I am but man
    Fickle fallen forth, I do not know lest
    Frolic to and fro
    Ever more I persist

    No worries all you have so do is say yes when I ask
    Thoughts tempered time to delay
    Is not the crux of every man?
    You will go in this way and find your own way out.

    Thanks for words encourage.
    I’m sorry I’m out.
    Can’t be helped.
    All for tonight.

    I know love. No need to talk tonight
    Just know I’m here.
    I love you with every breath. This I know.

    Thank you means a lot.
    Sleep refreshingly.
    Drearily dreaming in some form of truth
    Distraught no more

    In the midst of suffering,
    I embrace and enjoy you delightfulness
    I never thought it could be true
    Disregard doubt

  5. #45
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default On Faith, Hope, and Love...

    Tempered thoughts traverse towards truth.
    Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.
    Turning and turning evermore.
    The Falcon cannot hear the Falconer.

    By saving ourselves, by saving each other; we change the world.
    Go forth to Ohio, conclude conclusion. I will wait here embracing seclusion.
    Be not long, another night goes by, missing you without reply.
    I miss you once more awaiting resolution.

    To what root does seclusion cling,
    Stealing faith the water brings?
    Breathe deep and let it flow,
    For there is something you must truly know.

    Entwined in fear I reach the edge, make bare my feet.
    Recall the words you said
    With heartbeat paused and all released,
    I spread my arms and make real thy feat.

    Solidarity let it go,
    Seeking fortune times a throw,
    Resolution not regard
    Searching something much remark

    I know not where this path will lead,
    Nor from which lofty height I soar,
    But I do know every moment,
    I love you more and more.

    Last shot fired no end realized; no time for fear no time to release.
    I’m so tired lay down my gun
    Thank god such a fortunate son.
    Say a prayer for me American I be.

    I think we’re going two different ways with this. You ok?

    Yes and yes just let me finish truth no longer to diminish.
    Scale the sail I arise to replenish;
    Knowing knows what has been, I love you more I must transcend.
    No longer to soldier it is ok, seeking once more a bright new day.

    I can’t sleep, I can’t eat,
    My heart longs the enduring love
    But what is left but to breathe your breath, taste your taste,
    feel you felt, Hear you hear, see you see me?

    Once conflicted, now resolved,
    I changed the world because I changed myself
    Now nothing left,
    but to love and play as it is my right

    Play with me perpetually, love with me longingly
    Walk with me the rest of days as it is our right
    I know I am right seeking God’s wisdom in new light
    Everything else fades away

    May that love never end ever more we continually pray
    Fasting, dancing, rejoicing in bright new day
    Humbly now, I must accept the gift of life no longer to reject
    He saved me again and again, no longer to control

    He is my friend; I am love because he loves
    Soaring together towards a life well lived
    Her perfection gleams. She requires not plastic beaming natural.
    So surreal, is she real or simply dream?

    All for naught but hope
    In faith of better days
    Let us be the next greatest generation
    In the capacity that converges continually

    Again, I grieve that neither fear nor greed teaches me nothing
    Transcend my friends once again
    As the streams merge in hope
    Only to pervade if you emerge the storm

    Re-emerge dear friend once more
    Retreating nevermore
    As the streams converge
    Shelter from the storm

    Sorry for the verse, but if you wish to merge cultures, then you must.....

  6. #46
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Okay...

    I'll clear the floor so others can speak. I wanted to share some of the thoughts that Katy and I worked through in trying to gain some understanding. I think that I'm going to propose my model back in the RFI section for y'all to consider. Not sure if it's right, but it helped me understand.

    With that, please continue to contribute towards understanding the enemy. This is the best discussion that I've ever seen.

    v/r

    Mike

  7. #47
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,167

    Default and?

    That leads to the real questions we don't seem to want to ask...

    1. What are we doing?

    2. Is it possible for this to work?

    3. Why are we doing this?
    After being lectured and after several discussions with several in our diplomatic community, I now believe that the Dept of State and perhaps the non-kinetic side of our military is more offensive than our air power and infantry could ever be. The diplomats and psychological operatives want to challenge the very essence of a culture's belief system. We're not looking for ways to co-exist acceptably, we want them to embrace our religion of democracy and free markets and embrace the Judeo-Christian value system. We don't simply want to win the war, we want to alter their society. When two extremists go to battle there is very little room for pragmatic compromise.

    I think, as do many others, that we can defeat Al Qaeda's extreme ideology relatively easily if we quit attempting to "radically" alter everyone's social norms. We need to focus more on simply providing the promised bread and butter and peace, than preaching the benefits of democracy. We co-existed in relative peace before Al Qaeda surfaced, we can still live with Muslim States that don't embrace democracy, free markets, and Judeo-Christian values in the future. They'll evolve into the modern world at their own pace and in their own way.

    I am as much as idealist as anyone else, but there are limits to our power. We need to focus on defeating the threats to our national interests (using realism not idealism). Longer term we continue to provide a model State for the world to look up to. Hopefully our model will provide a goal to other States to strive for, and when a people "desire" help because they are ready to make the step to democracy and more effective economic models, then we reach out to help. We can't force it down the throats of those who are not receptive to these ideas.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 04-18-2009 at 06:26 PM. Reason: clarify

  8. #48
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Thumbs up Yes...

    All true -- I believe that translates as 'know and accept your limitations.'

  9. #49
    Council Member bluegreencody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, Az
    Posts
    37

    Default Sageman analysis...

    Is this where Sageman's suggestion to replace the "war of ideas" with the inspiration of new dreams and hopes for young Muslims comes in?
    One of the questions spurred by Sageman I have always thought about is how we apply the lessons from our own experience with the Civil Rights movement to the current situation... I always thought it was an interesting point to make, but he is totally unclear as to what he means by this...
    http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/_files/062707Sageman.pdf.

    I am especially interested to know how this concept for action can fit within William F. Owen's viewpoint...
    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    If there is merit in understanding an enemy, it is in how to break his will and subvert his arguments, not understanding him, so as you can empathise with the SOB, and live happily ever after.

    Until the enemy gives up the policies you find unacceptable, his physical defeat has got to be the primary purpose.

  10. #50
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,151

    Default

    We need to focus more on simply providing the promised bread and butter and peace, than preaching the benefits of democracy.
    I have totally believed in this, down to my roots and everything that I stand for.

    That is why Bush's proclamations of "Democracy for Iraq and victory for the American people" used to rub me so freaking raw.

    Everytime we presume to know that the rest of the world wants democracy, and it is put forth in images, broadcasts, executive summaries, talking points, and sound bites, we flip some sort of switch in the minds of the exact folks we are trying to influence.

    It's like that classic case of "yeah, you had me going for a little while, until you opened your mouth and started talking."

    This thread just reminded me that I have not had the opportunity to rant against so many of the idiotic things that I think the previous administration did in the name of democracy. It is Bush's actions that make Obama's seem so strikingly different and unusual in terms of foreign policy. Should have been that course all along, methinks.

  11. #51
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default I would suggest...

    that you side more with Wilf than Sageman...

    Sageman was merely an academic taking a moment to diagnose the data that he had before him...Wilf is a soldier...He puts it all in context...

    v/r

    Mike

  12. #52
    Council Member bluegreencody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, Az
    Posts
    37

    Default Who's taking sides?

    I just want to know how these two points-of-view can be integrated. They certainly seem contradictory to me at first glance. It seems that a basic lesson of the Civil Rights movement was that sympathy and empathy were major components of change. I am trying to understand how this point of view would have advanced the Civil Rights movement:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I believe it is futile to try to understand an enemy from a different culture; the more different, the more futile... There is absolutely no need to try to get inside their heads and I believe that attempting to do so will only lead to great frustration and due to excessive simplification and / or inability to completely understand all the nuances of very complex human emotions and imperatives can actually cause harm.

  13. #53
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Thus....

    you'll have to discern for yourself what is truth...

  14. #54
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    South of Mason Dixon Line
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I don't think so, and don't agree that better propaganda (via VoA) is the answer. Sometimes, folks see through that for the sham work that it is. Often, the simple fact remains that our ideas and constructs just don't translate over. Add to that the fact that within societies such as the tribal, Arab, and Islamic one we worked so hard to shape and control in Iraq, any message coming from us is going to be ignored and downplayed, and information operations can be a tall order.

    Providing accurate facts that get ahead of jihadist information, is sometimes the best that we can do, methinks.
    Mike et al who disdain psyops and civil affiars, mere military power is not and will not by itself work. If you defy the reality of tactical, simple psyops used both against the Japanese in the jungles of the Pacific, simple loudspeakers...used both by the Japanese and our Allies...ditto same process via battlefield use of speaker psyops by the North Koreans in Korean War, then you are the get go are missing part of the total mix it took to win, only in the case of WW II where our commitment was nationally absolutely with the draft, etc., and go to the less absolute process of the Korean War where began the "incremental" 50+ year long Cold War mindset and process.

    I'd like to resort to carpet bombing with no holds barred in Northern Pakistan and major areas of Afghanistan but it did not work, long term shortly after 911 in Afghanistan, and feeds the enemy's psyops if we tried it again now.

    We all agree on one hard fact. Muslims are different and we are not about to change the goofy to us moraes and value system (whatever that means) of the enemy that runs across so many fabled, ficional, as well as factual histories of a tribal,ethnic, cultural level as to be like trying to hold your breath while taking an around the world trip.

  15. #55
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    Mike et al who disdain psyops and civil affiars, mere military power is not and will not by itself work. If you defy the reality of tactical, simple psyops used both against the Japanese in the jungles of the Pacific, simple loudspeakers...used both by the Japanese and our Allies...ditto same process via battlefield use of speaker psyops by the North Koreans in Korean War,....
    Mere military power? I can think of countless campaigns and operations where PSYOPS and CA played no part, what is more there is not a huge raft of evidence that PSYOPS have ever consistently rewarded it's returns.

    If playing cries of hungry baby or tortured animal over loud speakers, breaks will and makes sleep difficult then "hurrah" and we should do it, as long as it costs us very little and gets verifiable results.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  16. #56
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    Mike et al who disdain psyops and civil affiars, mere military power is not and will not by itself work.

    First, I don't disdain Psyops. Some of our best work is being done in Africa right now below the radar by small SF and psyops teams. Your statement is simply wrong. Psyops is an enabler not a branch.
    We all agree on one hard fact. Muslims are different and we are not about to change the goofy to us moraes and value system (whatever that means) of the enemy that runs across so many fabled, ficional, as well as factual histories of a tribal,ethnic, cultural level as to be like trying to hold your breath while taking an around the world trip.
    We is relative. Many feel that there is an American living inside each and every person on this Earth. Maybe there is Just ask Paul Wolfowitz or GW.

    Here's what Thomas Jefferson said about it...

    "War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong;
    and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses."
    —Thomas Jefferson, 1810

    Right now, I would submit that we are going about things in the most inefficient way possible. In the end, it drives down to money. That concerns me. When I look around to where we've had success, often times I see small groups of advisors working under the radar. What they do is cheap, quiet, and it seems to work.

    But, I'm just a tanker that ended up jumping out of airplanes. I'm probably just confused. I did bump my head a lot.

    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-20-2009 at 02:40 PM.

  17. #57
    Council Member CPT Foley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    23

    Default If You Want to Understand a Culture Read Their Literature

    Military thinkers are generally very good historians, but they tend to marginalize literature as "just fiction." I think it's also important to study a culture's literature to increase cultural awareness. When I read Fouad Ajami's "Dream Palace of the Arabs" I was struck by his constant references to poets and novelists, e.g., the Syrian exile Adonis (pen name). After reading the poems of Adonis I do feel like I have a better of the alienation of the modern Arab.

  18. #58
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Minor point, Cody...

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegreencody View Post
    I just want to know how these two points-of-view can be integrated...
    Just to be certain the quote from me you provided is taken in context, from that same post of mine there was this:

    ""most of those times, the entire operation was fouled up partly due to said zeal overriding common sense, partly because we did not understand the major defining facets of the culture we were operating in, partly as a generic result of inadequate training and education precipitating strategic, operational and really dumb tactical errors -- and once we were there partly because people expended a lot of angst over the minutia of cultural differences that they were never going to really understand -- and did not need to...
    ...
    Adequate cultural knowledge is not simple but it is easy, just recall everything learned in Kindergarten and apply common sense, read a bit, ask sensible questions and learn and heed the big issues -- realizing that one cannot ever answer some questions and does not need to do so."
    "

    Just to clarify, all those comments apply to conventional military forces in combat in an alien culture. Note I said conventional -- those comments do NOT apply to forces, military or otherwise, that seek to bond with alien cultures for various reasons. In other words, in the US context, my comment applies to combat units such as Infantry or other Battalions and Cavalry Squadrons reasonably correctly employed for the mission, they do not apply to Special Forces, Civil Affairs, PsyOps and the like.

    Most importantly, there is absolutely no correlation of the point of view I expressed with the US Civil rights movement. None.

  19. #59
    Council Member CPT Foley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    23

    Default Choose Your words Carefully: Language to Fight Islamic Terrorism

    Great essay on how we need to improve some of the terminology we use with the Muslim world.

    IO Sphere, Fall 06: Choosing Words Carefully: Language to Help Fight Islamic Terrorism
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 04-23-2009 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Added link.

  20. #60
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CPT Foley View Post
    Military thinkers are generally very good historians, but they tend to marginalize literature as "just fiction." I think it's also important to study a culture's literature to increase cultural awareness. When I read Fouad Ajami's "Dream Palace of the Arabs" I was struck by his constant references to poets and novelists, e.g., the Syrian exile Adonis (pen name). After reading the poems of Adonis I do feel like I have a better of the alienation of the modern Arab.
    This is an excellent point, and it is being used all the time in Iraq, say by RCT/BCT cmdrs who sit down with the sheiks and uses stories to convey a particular message they need to get across. One commander told the story of the king who had a magical sword over his head as he sat on his throne, where the sword was there to ensure he did right by his people. He was speaking to a local sheik, and trying to get the point across, subtly, that the sheik would be in store for a little pain if he didn't do right and the sword plummeted down.

    We don't do as well when it is a mass-produced message though.

Similar Threads

  1. Know Your Enemy
    By SWJED in forum Intelligence
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-18-2006, 03:17 PM
  2. Enemy Eyes
    By SWJED in forum Intelligence
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-01-2006, 07:32 AM
  3. Lessons from Vietnam in How to 'Flip' an Enemy
    By SWJED in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-07-2006, 07:57 AM
  4. Recognizing and Understanding Revolutionary Change in Warfare
    By SWJED in forum Futurists & Theorists
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2006, 09:59 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •