Page 6 of 14 FirstFirst ... 45678 ... LastLast
Results 101 to 120 of 279

Thread: Studies on radicalization & comments

  1. #101
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I agree -- but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Global Insurgency? No. Global War on Terrorism? Equally no. Global friction to a US foreign policy in dire need of a fresh approach that is more populace focused and less rooted in sustaining "friendly dictators"? Yeah, I really do think so. But that is just my assessment. I toss it out here not to "radicalize" anyone, but just to gain other perspectives to help shape my own.
    Totally agree with you on this -- as always, my disagreement is limited to two factors:

    - I believe you significantly misunderestimate the American domestic political impact on your proposed courses of action.

    - Like Dayuhan and Tukhachevskii among others, I believe you significantly over estimate the global impact of America the ugly and evil while discounting the impact of America the very excessively rich.

    I also believe that the latter error leads in a sense to the first error...

    Good ideas can be obscured by the adverse impact of arguable propositions on one's audience.

  2. #102
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Smile "COIN" is number 2 on my hit list.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Well then why are you using violence to set forth a policy? Are you killing people to make them like you?

    If you want to drop some silly words, try getting rid of "COIN." - Thanks to CNAS and the like, it is now utterly meaningless and a block to clear and effective thinking.

    ....and winning a war requires you destroy the enemy. It works. It works better than anything else and it is proven to work.
    CNAS would be number 3...but they are protected by the Constitution so I leave them on.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  3. #103
    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 marct View Post
    You know, the Inquisition had this one solved - it wasn't about making them "like" you, it was about saving their souls (too bad about the bodies, but....).
    Christians? Go figure.....
    Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
    ....and this is a problem why?
    - point being he's complaining. He's objecting to the fact that this is not "setting forth policy." War is not fought to create peace. It's fought advance or resist political change.
    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

  4. #104
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default You all have been making me think about why I think this today

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Totally agree with you on this -- as always, my disagreement is limited to two factors:

    - I believe you significantly misunderestimate the American domestic political impact on your proposed courses of action.

    - Like Dayuhan and Tukhachevskii among others, I believe you significantly over estimate the global impact of America the ugly and evil while discounting the impact of America the very excessively rich.

    I also believe that the latter error leads in a sense to the first error...

    Good ideas can be obscured by the adverse impact of arguable propositions on one's audience.

    Which, of course, is why I take tactical pauses to post. So here goes:

    As I have stated fairly often, when it comes to insurgency it's all about the perception of the insurgent populace. Doesn't have to be real, doesn't have to be fact, and it sure as hell does not have to be a perspective that the target of that insurgency agrees with. In fact, more often than not the counterinsurgent finds the insurgent positoin to be rediculous all the way to the Guillitine.

    So, the question is not if WE think America is to blame for conditions of poor governance in so many Muslim dominated contries that we have relations with. The quesiton is not if those governments think they have conditions of poor governance in those countries. The question is not even if there actually are conditions of poor governance in those countries.

    The one material question is, the one material perspective is, do the insurgent and subversive elements of those populaces believe it to be true.

    Marie Antionette did not understand the importance of this point.

    King George did not understand the importance of this point.

    WE MUST understand the importance of this point. To fail to do so is to risk following in some very tragic shoes indeed.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  5. #105
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Hi Wilf,

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Christians? Go figure.....
    Yup. It's one of the reasons why the Dominicans earned a "special place" in many folk histories .

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ....and this is a problem why?
    Well, look at the first part of the quote:

    To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.
    Deserts are soooo unproductive .

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    - point being he's complaining. He's objecting to the fact that this is not "setting forth policy." War is not fought to create peace. It's fought advance or resist political change.
    Actually, I think Bob is complaining because the general strategies, and concepts, are based on an old policy that is about as useful today as the Dominican's foundational doctrine is.
    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/

  6. #106
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Hi Bob,

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    The one material question is, the one material perspective is, do the insurgent and subversive elements of those populaces believe it to be true.
    You don't go far enough. Belief isn't enough, that belief must be converted into action (back to that potential vs. actual thing again...).
    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/

  7. #107
    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 marct View Post
    Deserts are soooo unproductive .
    I can show a pretty big patch of the northern Negev that would say otherwise....
    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

  8. #108
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Me too, want to see ....

    this one:

    from Bob's World
    I am drafting up a paper now that hits this in greater detail, tentatively titled "Changing the Lexicon - A Critical Step in Winning the Battle of the Narrative" that explore dropping the current lexicon rooted in war and COIN; and evoliving to lexicon rooted in MSCA and Criminal Law.
    BTW: the Eminent Jurists Panel may already have beat you to this, but I'm always open to new "material" points of view.

    Suggestion: start it as a new thread ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 03-15-2010 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #109
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Smile There is nothing new under the sun...

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    this one:



    BTW: the Eminent Jurists Panel may already have beat you to this, but I'm always open to new "material" points of view.

    Suggestion: start it as a new thread ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Give me a day or two and I'll put something up.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  10. #110
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Heh. Again I agree -- but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    The one material question is, the one material perspective is, do the insurgent and subversive elements of those populaces believe it to be true.
    I agree but I do not believe that all insurgents believe what they say they believe for public consumption and I would suggest you consider the fact most talk one thing when out of power and do quite another when they are able to gather power. That includes such icons as one time insurgents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson...

    It's mostly about power, the out of office malfeasants want to replace the in-office malfeasants. I've played games with far too many groups of nominal insurgents around the world that lie about all that quite well...

    I also find it fascinating that someone with time in the ME takes anything said there by anyone at face value.
    WE MUST understand the importance of this point. To fail to do so is to risk following in some very tragic shoes indeed.
    Can't speak for Marie or George -- though I think the latter got overcome more by arrogance than by ignorance (message in that?) -- but unlike you, I really think most in policy positions are quite well aware of what you say. I also think many in such positions have a more pragmatic take on what nominal insurgents might believe as opposed to what they profess to believe.

    Your problem will be convincing those NOT in policy positions, notably about a third of the US population and a like number of both Congroids and Senatorial Grandstanders of the validity of your approach. They will be your big obstacle. My perception is that you will also have some trouble with another third of the population and said Congress critters who will want to see some validation of your approach before they will commit. The good news is that about a third of all communities will agree with you.

    However, that's a minority and as the man said, "Aye, there's the rub..."

    Addendum:

    Another idealist has to bite that same bullet:

    "Look, I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, you know, academically approved approach to health care. And didn’t have any kinds of legislative fingerprints on it. And just go ahead and have that passed. But that’s not how it works in our democracy. (LINK)."
    Last edited by Ken White; 03-15-2010 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Addendum

  11. #111
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17 5' 11N, Longitude 120 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    the question is not if WE think America is to blame for conditions of poor governance in so many Muslim dominated contries that we have relations with. The quesiton is not if those governments think they have conditions of poor governance in those countries. The question is not even if there actually are conditions of poor governance in those countries.

    The one material question is, the one material perspective is, do the insurgent and subversive elements of those populaces believe it to be true.

    Marie Antionette did not understand the importance of this point.

    King George did not understand the importance of this point.

    WE MUST understand the importance of this point. To fail to do so is to risk following in some very tragic shoes indeed.
    This is true, but it raises further questions, and one must point out that the parallel with Marie A. or King G. is of limited applicability: we do not face an insurgent populace in our own country or in a territory we claim to own or control. They did. Big difference.

    Some of the questions we have to come up against, in any given case...

    First, is there in fact an insurgent populace? There may be some insurgents among the populace, but do they account for a significant portion of the populace? Have they achieved sufficient support for their views to actually initiate or sustain an insurgency? No government in history has ever made everyone happy, and a few radically disaffected individuals, or a few hundred, does not constitute an insurgency, even if they express their displeasure with bombs.

    Second, is this insurgency in fact directed at us, or at our relationship with the government in question? What in fact do the insurgents want? We tend to assume that others think as we think and want what we want, and thus that the solution to every insurgency is the sort of "reforms" that Americans would want to see. This isn't always the case, sometimes far from it.

    Third, if there is a perception of American-supported injustice, is that perception grounded in reality, and is there in fact anything we can do about it? If a policy of ours is, reasonably assessed, unfair or unjust and if that policy has inspired anti-US sentiment, we may be able to alter that by adjusting the policy. If the perception of unfairness is based on propaganda or is purely grounded in perception without a substantial base in reality, changes in US policy aren't likely to have any impact at all on the radicalization process.

    Take, for example, Libya, a major source of foreign fighters. Libya may have come off our list of absolute enemies, but they're not a US ally. We don't provide them with aid, we don't sustain their government, we haven't sent military forces to support them. We have absolutely no leverage on Libyan internal policy and absolutely no way to push reforms on the Libyan government. It seems very unlikely that even the most thoroughly deranged Libyan foreign fighter actually believes that he is undermining the Libyan government by fighting Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan, but anyone who did hold that belief would be so completely disconnected with reality that nothing we could say or do would have any impact on that belief. In short, we have no reason at all to suppose that Libyan foreign fighters are motivated by our nonexistent support for the Libyan dictatorship, and no reason to suppose that we can stem the flow of foreign fighters by changing our policy toward Libya. If we put Libya back on the terrorist sponsors list and re-severed diplomatic relations, would Libyans stop signing up to fight abroad? Not likely.

    Saudi Arabia is a good deal more complicated. There is a long-term relationship, and in the 1990s the combination of the US military presence and the oil glut and consequent economic hard times drove considerable resentment toward both the Saudi government and the US. The question, though, is what, if anything, can we do about that now? The US military presence is over. The oil glut and the Saudi recession are over, the country is awash in cash, and unlike the cash glut of the 70s, the royals are spreading the money around domestically instead of stashing it abroad. So what are we expected to do? Some people want us to push the Saudis to "reform", or "democratize", but in reality this makes little or no sense. First, whatever the Saudi populace may think of their government, they do NOT want the US interfering for any reason, even to advance goals they support. Second, there's very little reason to suppose that any substantial portion of the Saudi populace wants the kind of "reforms" that Americans would want to support. Third, even if we tried to press the Saudis to reform we wouldn't accomplish anything, because we have no leverage over them at all - they simply don't need us. We have no carrots and no sticks that mean anything. We wouldn't change any perceptions either, because our efforts would be interpreted as an effort to press western values on Muslims, and that would inspire more resentment, not less. Even if the perception that the US sustains the Saudi regime exists, there's not a whole lot we can do to alter it.

    If we look at Yemen we have a different situation. The Yemeni government is not a despotic monarchy; it's structured on a thoroughly Western parliamentary democracy. The structure just doesn't work, and I can't help suspecting that the Yemenis might have been more comfortable with an old-fashioned Sheik, Emir, or King. Unlike Libya or Saudi Arabia, Yemen depends on us, which gives us theoretical leverage, but also creates the perception that we're responsible for what the government does. In theory we could alter the government's policies by threatening to withhold aid, but in reality the government simply hasn't the capacity to function effectively, regardless of intent. The most likely outcome if we withdraw support is not forced reform, but collapse into Somali-style anarchy, which would be unlikely to reduce the flow of foreign fighters. The policy of providing conditional support and trying to slowly build capacity is certainly flawed, but it's hard to see a better alternative.

    I do not see the rise of AQ and other militant Islamic groups purely as a backlash against flawed US policy, neither do I see it as an inevitable expression of an inherent Muslim inclination to violence. Both theories have a piece of the puzzle, but neither has the whole picture, and focusing on either will be counterproductive.

    We face real insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgencies that we created with the flawed (and in my view absurd) assumption that we had the capacity to remove governments and successfully insert replacements that suited us. Managing those insurgencies is a big enough job, and we may or may not be able to complete it. I don't think there's any advantage in trying at the same time to manage other insurgencies, real or perceived, especially in environments where we have little or no influence. We need to keep our eye on the ball and try to contrive some sort of stable - or at least non-catastrophic - exit strategy for our current engagements, not to try to reform and reconstruct governments across the Islamic world. We can't do that in any event, the people of those countries generally don't want us to try, and the effort is likely to cause more trouble and more resentment. Even in cases where our prior interference caused problems, we're not going to alleviate the resultant hostility by trying to interfere in the other direction.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 03-16-2010 at 01:11 AM.

  12. #112
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    827

    Default Long way around the barn

    This post started out with the underlying motivation of radicals and insurgents, and from there....

    As I read some of it, I was struck between the "follies of youth" and the seriously held motivations of young people to change their world, or address injustice.

    Justice Thurgood Marshall's Mom was a school teacher in Baltimore. She got paid half what a white teacher did for the same job, and he had to go out of state for a legal education since University of Maryland was for "whites only."

    This young fellow then dedicated thirty years, as an oppressed minority, challenging a system by leaving the safety of his NYC office to travel to the deep south to challenge lynchings and abuses going on before, around, and after him---and without a PSD or up-armored anything---just a ballsy guy making a life's commitment to change.

    Oh, yes, teachers in Maryland get paid on a "unitary model," and the Supreme Court ruled in his support for Brown vs. Board of Ed (1955, Topeka, KS), and even that is still playing out 55 years later. Did I mention, he spent a lot of time in and around churches and preachers.

    How do you contrast these Marshalls and Ghandis with the young Omar?

    At this point, I am back to two of Bob's early points:

    (1.) A basically functional supported government leaves no room for insurgents, and becomes the locus for internal change rather than outside de-stabilization. Is there one? Where are its Thurgood Marshalls (in jail?)? What venue do they have for serious grievances and change? ( a serious Loya Jirga process?)

    (2.) How much of our problems are externalities from our allies (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc...)? Gen. Petreaus's latest effort to redefine Centcom to include Gaza and the West Bank suggests Bob is on the right track, but the solution remains beyond political possibility. Is it's effect on Afghanistan interdependent on issue No. 1, and to what extent?

    And there is a third question out there, suggested by Schmedlap's and others' unending quest for answers to the governance solution on other threads:

    What is all this war stuff for if it can't be effectively translated into substantive change at the local, provincial and national levels to address issue No. 1? (...Say it again. What is it good for?...)

    Seems to me that we need to understand issue 1 and the interdependent issue 2 to understand young Syrian boys in Alabama and Pakistanis in London, as much as Afghan refugees in Pakistan (and Germany).

  13. #113
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Thumbs up Welcome to Bob's World

    You call something a war, and you will treat it like war.

    You call someone a terrorist and you will conduct counterterrorism against them.

    You go to a foreign country and claim that your own mission is COIN, and you will suppress the COIN efforts of the HN beneath your own.

    The world is changing; we are indeed in an era of strategic uncertainty. We were attacked and we attacked back. We are evovling, coming to grips with what is changing, what stays the same, what still works and what must be discarded or updated.

    But at the end of the day, there is no nation on this earth with a better philosophy of populace-based governance, or that is better situated to be a major success as well as to provide leadership by example (rather than controls) than the U.S. of A. There is a long and rocky road before us, and we will continue to have a mix of successes and failures, but I am confident that we will ultimately overcome the inertia of the past 60+ years of heading in a particular direction to set a new course better suited for the current environment.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 03-16-2010 at 07:01 AM.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  14. #114
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17 5' 11N, Longitude 120 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    You call something a war, and you will treat it like war.

    You call someone a terrorist and you will conduct counterterrorism against them.

    You go to a foreign country and claim that your own mission is COIN, and you will suppress the COIN efforts of the HN beneath your own.
    If we invade a foreign country, conquer it, toss out a government we don't like, put in a government we do like, and declare that this government is now the government (because we say it is) and anyone who doesn't accept it is an "insurgent"... what do we call that, other than "trouble"?

    If we're discussing Afghanistan. I really don't think our problem is our policy toward Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Palestine, or the Muslim world. Our problem is that we're occupying Afghanistan and a lot of Afghans don't like it. We've installed a government that looks the way we think a government should look, and a lot of Afghans don't like that either, for which I can't much blame them. I suspect that the quality of governance is for many a secondary issue: they don't want foreign forces in their country and they don't want foreigners telling them what their government should be, regardless of how it governs... and honestly I can't blame them for that either.

    For me the root problem here lies in our own inability to accurately assess the complexity and difficulty of tasks before we take them on. We can't build a state, a nation, or a government in Afghanistan. Nobody can do that but the Afghans, and realistically it will probably take them generations to do it. There is no "government in a box". There is no way we can "install" a democracy. These are things we cannot do. We we assigned ourselves a task we do not have the capacity to accomplish. We bit off more than we could chew, and now we're looking at the possibility of choking on it. To extricate we will probably have to abandon the original goal and perform something akin to a Heimlich maneuver on ourselves - ain't gonna be pretty but it's better than choking.

    For the same reason, I don't think it's practical for us to try and re-form our relations with the Muslim world by challenging the vast range of autocratic governments that exist in that world and trying to make them accountable to their populaces. I don't think the populaces in question want our intervention, I don't think we have the capacity to accomplish that task, and I think that if we try to do it we're likely to bite off more than we can chew all over again, and ending up choking ourselves some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    But at the end of the day, there is no nation on this earth with a better philosophy of populace-based governance, or that is better situated to be a major success as well as to provide leadership by example (rather than controls) than the U.S. of A. There is a long and rocky road before us, and we will continue to have a mix of successes and failures, but I am confident that we will ultimately overcome the inertia of the past 60+ years of heading in a particular direction to set a new course better suited for the current environment.
    Our way of government has worked out reasonably well for us, but our track record at bringing it to others is mixed, at best.

    I don't think "they" need or want our control or our example... they need to work things out their own way, and we need to let them do it, with the understanding that people who attack us or shelter those who do are going to have very serious problems. Personally, I think this whole issue of "control" is blown way out of proportion: as I said before, we have not done a whole lot of controlling in the Middle East. There's a certain virtue to the simple message, and my preferred simple message runs something like "leave us alone and we will leave you alone, attack us and we will kill you, or chase you to the end of the earth trying".

  15. #115
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    827

    Default Pluses and Minuses

    Bob:

    I, for one, am very proud of what we did in Iraq at the end of 2007-2009 to shift authority and capability to Iraqis to govern themselves, believing that only they are capable of finding the ways to govern themselves (even if it doesn't look like what US folks think it should). Iraqcracy is not something we created or promoted.

    Having watched that particular sausage being made from a unique vantage point, there were and are huge gaps and learning curves for the US to lead that process.

    War, we do. Post-conflict is not a current US skill. We are learning PR, but there seems to be a lot more PR than productivity. It is falling flat at home, and, I think, causing the originators to become confused by it.

    Iraq was a routine stabilization/reconstruction effort which, regrettably, was often delayed and confounded by US aspirational philosophies, and complete lack of adequate planning and execution.

    Afghanistan is, at its core, aspirational, and transformational on the most radical levels---change everything, create new stuff, make things happen which never happened (or even been dreamed of happening before), and do it very fast with people who are not ready for it, and with institutions and structures yet to be defined or created.

    I'm not sure that a lot of folks on the military side really understand the profundity of what is being proposed as the civilian foundation for their efforts. Somewhere, there is always a pitch that the real work has to be done elsewhere by somebody else (State Department? USAID? Karzai?) but there is never any clear connection to an actual plan or resource to do this stuff.

    I could buy into Nad Ali, Now Zad, Marjah, etc.., if the idea was simply stated that we have to control these areas to deprive the Taliban of poppy revenues and safe zones---and hold those places at any cost (yadda, yadda). That makes sense as a military prerequisite to the looming effort for Kandahar.

    But all this silliness about governments in a box, winning the hearts and minds of people, and making their world beautiful is either delusional, or just propaganda aimed at some unknown audience.

    I would feel much more comfortable establishing these places under a provisional military control, and skip the PR. That way, any understandable opposition to provisional control would be short-lived, and understood as a necessary exigency of war. Jockeying could then legitimately focus on post-occupation power placements. That's how the Brits managed colonial controls during the last ten years---everyone knew British control would end, so they were all positioning for the next phase. Discharging much of the anti-Brit sentiment.

    Under the new scheme, it sounds like opposition can immediately move to the new government before it is even ready to perform, and with no expectation for change (except by restoration of the poppy-minders). Makes no sense to me.

    Problem in Afghanistan is that the 30 years prior has not been easy or conducive to a proactive future pattern of self-governance. And there is little to build on or hope for (except through foreign aid which doesn't seem to trickle down to these places). Just trading one tough situation for another.

    Personally, I would rather have the aspiring opponents fighting with each other for position in the post-occupation period, than to become the direct subject of their wrath or the supporter of their enemy.

    Just seems like not a very smart way to manage things.

  16. #116
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    827

    Default Choke, Heimlich, Choke Some More

    Dayahan:

    Your description is bulemic. But I don't know that it is wrong.

    "We bit off more than we could chew, and now we're looking at the possibility of choking on it. To extricate we will probably have to abandon the original goal and perform something akin to a Heimlich maneuver on ourselves - ain't gonna be pretty but it's better than choking.

    For the same reason, I don't think it's practical for us to try and re-form our relations with the Muslim world by challenging the vast range of autocratic governments that exist in that world and trying to make them accountable to their populaces. I don't think the populaces in question want our intervention, I don't think we have the capacity to accomplish that task, and I think that if we try to do it we're likely to bite off more than we can chew all over again, and ending up choking ourselves some more."

    I was reading some of the alternate press coverage on the gamesmanship between DoD and DoS for funding and responsibility, and playing out in congress now.

    Word is that DoD is trying very hard to distance itself for governance responsibility and to pin the tale on State, despite the lack of resources for it to perform (Mullen comments).

    The same kinds of games are also going on in the aid world over control of programs and funding. All playing out in a Congress embattled with other issues, and no public interest in these endeavors.

    A recent report indicated a 2-4% public interest in Afghanistan, and huge focus on the budget and economy.

    This is not a good time to be mission-creeping into ill-defined hearts, minds and Heimlich manuevers in far away places.

    If the Afghan mission is retaliatory and suppressive, there is support.

    As it continues to be limitlessly defined in creating new worlds in far off places, the elections-clock will bring a lot to an end quicker than many folks imagine.

    I'm afraid these domestic realities are moving rapidly forward.

  17. #117
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17 5' 11N, Longitude 120 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    Your description is bulemic. But I don't know that it is wrong.
    Bulimic to a degree, and I wish it were wrong. But as you wrote in response to BW...

    Afghanistan is, at its core, aspirational, and transformational on the most radical levels---change everything, create new stuff, make things happen which never happened (or even been dreamed of happening before), and do it very fast with people who are not ready for it, and with institutions and structures yet to be defined or created.

    I'm not sure that a lot of folks on the military side really understand the profundity of what is being proposed as the civilian foundation for their efforts. Somewhere, there is always a pitch that the real work has to be done elsewhere by somebody else (State Department? USAID? Karzai?) but there is never any clear connection to an actual plan or resource to do this stuff.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. When we decided to undertake this radical transformative change-and-create approach, who did we think was going to do the changing, creating, and transforming? The military? DoS? AID? Did we really think the Afghans were simply going to kick back and let us transform their country as we saw fit, without any objection? Did we just think somebody somewhere was going to somehow make it all work?

    I just don't grasp the process that led us to believe that we could accomplish that sort of change in a time frame that would be acceptable in our domestic political picture.

  18. #118
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,343

    Default UK drug addict tells of Taliban recruitment

    A short BBC News item:
    how a Muslim man went from being a drug addict in the UK to a militant fighting for the Taliban.
    Link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8722955.stm
    davidbfpo

  19. #119
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,343

    Default UK debates what to do next?

    Here in the UK the official state campaign against violent extremism (known as Preventing Violent Extremism PVE), known as 'Prevent' (a strand of the UK's CT strategy Operation Contest), is under review by the coalition governemnt, partly as they have financial spending to cut and a different outlook on the way ahead.

    Not unexpectedly there is a lobbying campaign in private and public over the future of PVE. Some insight into what may happen is available from recently published documents and reports:

    1) Quilliam Foundation's private submission that has been "leaked" to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34834977/quilliamjune2010 (60 pgs long and I am looking to see if there is an alternative to scribd).)

    2) Demos (left of centre think tank) published 'From Suspects to Citizens': http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/...ectstocitizens

    3) A commentary by Rachel Briggs, ex-Demos and now at RUSI: http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment...4C331519B8C90/

    4) Andrew Gilligan, in The Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...ll-report.html which refers to the debate over confronting violent extremism or extremism
    davidbfpo

  20. #120
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default Nothing wrong with an ounce of prevention, so long as it is properly directed

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Here in the UK the official state campaign against violent extremism (known as Preventing Violent Extremism PVE), known as 'Prevent' (a strand of the UK's CT strategy Operation Contest), is under review by the coalition governemnt, partly as they have financial spending to cut and a different outlook on the way ahead.

    Not unexpectedly there is a lobbying campaign in private and public over the future of PVE. Some insight into what may happen is available from recently published documents and reports:

    1) Quilliam Foundation's private submission that has been "leaked" to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34834977/quilliamjune2010 (60 pgs long and I am looking to see if there is an alternative to scribd).)

    2) Demos (left of centre think tank) published 'From Suspects to Citizens': http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/...ectstocitizens

    3) A commentary by Rachel Briggs, ex-Demos and now at RUSI: http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment...4C331519B8C90/

    4) Andrew Gilligan, in The Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalis...ll-report.html which refers to the debate over confronting violent extremism or extremism
    The entire concept of "radicalization" is premised in the flawed construct that good citizens go bad due solely to outside influence. Prevention seems to have been focused at these bad outside influences.

    So, a man who largely ignores his wife, fails to show her proper respect, or prioritizes her low in his life relative to other interests may well take the position that she was "radicalized" when she becomes infatuated with the attentions lauded upon her by someone who is also lending a sympathetic ear to her plight. But is it really the "fault" of the guy who lures her away, or is it the fault of the man who foolishly created the condtitions that contributed to the new guy's success?

    "Prevent" is fine, but the majority of it must be turned internally under the harsh light of frank self-assessment. What can we change about our own behavior to prevent radicalization? Weight the effort there. Only minor and reasonable measures will then be needed for dealing with the efforts of others.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

Similar Threads

  1. Strategic Studies Institute Seeks Visiting Professors
    By SteveMetz in forum RFIs & Members' Projects
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-26-2010, 01:53 PM

Tags for this Thread

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
  •