RECOMMENDED READING

The nice thing about falling behind on this feature is that good material builds up. Hoo-HA!

Thomas P.M. Barnett – “ Managing China’s Ascent

Books are intellectual “auctoritas“. The blog is fun. Syndication is nice but op-eds in a few print outlets – The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report – are the big time influencers with the old line establishment. Nice work Tom!

Dan of tdaxp – “Dreaming 5GW

I was certain that Boyd 2007 would spark a new series out of Dan; here he will delve into the intuitive conflict of fifth generation warfare.

Fabius Maximus – “America takes another step towards the “Long War”Part I

Fabius draws a contrast with the start of the Cold War to question some of the operative premises of the GWOT. There is also a sustained critique of the COIN philosophy of LTC. David Kilcullen.

1 Raindrop – “William Gibson Thinks You Should Go to Metricon

Gunnar is one of those guys who deserves to have me link to him more often than I do, a true expert in IT security as well as a Gibson fan ( seems to be a common thread among Zenpundit readers; I am halfway through Neuromancer, my first Gibson read)

Daniel Nexon – “Toward a neo-neo-Reaganite foreign policy

Dr. Nexon, much in demand for Harry Potter interviews these days, critiques Donald Kagan’s grasp of grand strategy, giving both praise and criticism. I like the term “neo-neo-Reganite” too – something to be said for reviving the most effective aspects of Reagan foreign policy. :O)

William Lind – “How to Win in Iraq

A number of readers, including Morgan, have urged that I read Lind’s piece. As someone who grew up reading Ayn Rand, Russell Kirk, Albert Jay Nock, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, it’s weird for me to see a genuine paleoconservative like Bill Lind enunciating a grand strategy of conserving the state. Yet the global environment has changed and the Burkean roots of conservatism are finding political traction, at least in some quarters.

PARAMETERS -“A Social Network Approach to Understanding an Insurgency ” by Brian Reed

Particularly appropriate paradigm for tribal societies where networks come ” hard wired” by genetics as well as by social, political and economic choices.

That’s it!

7 comments on this post.
  1. Daniel Nexon:

    “Particularly appropriate paradigm for tribal societies where networks come ” hard wired” by genetics as well as by social, political and economic choices.”

    I’m genuinely perplexed by this statement that in “tribal societies” “networks come ‘hard wired’ by genetics….” Regardless, thanks for linking to the piece. I was a bit disappointed that it seems to amount to a quick blurb on SNA and how it might be useful to use SNA to evaluate the structure of insurgencies

    FWIW, Kagan and Kristol entitled their major neoconservative policy piece “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy.” I decided this was “neo-neo” because it represents a kind of Neoconservativism 3.0, with 1.0 being the piece mentioned above, 2.0 being the “War on Terror/Iraq” version, and 3.0 being the democracies/autocracies chilly war :-).

  2. Dave Schuler:

    Not to put too fine a point on it but I think that Linn’s piece is looney.

  3. mark:

    Hi Dan,

    Sorry to cause confusion – I just meant that if you look at social networks in a society with tribal traditions, like Iraq or Indonesia, you tend to discover that guerilla organizations, or religious brotherhoods etc. also tend to have extensive kinship networks within them moreso than, say, in social networks located in Manhattan.

    Hi Dave,

    I don’t agree with it either. Lind is moving toward a position that a state, any state no matter how hostile on the surface, is better for our interests than anarchic failed state regions. That a unitary state would form in Iraq if ” we simply got out of the way” is highly unlikely

  4. Sean:

    how fun it would be to read Neuromancer again for the first time!

  5. Steve Pampinella:

    Normally I disagree with Lind, but here I think he’s right on.

    “Winning the war in Iraq therefore means seeing the re-creation of an Iraqi state.”

    This is actually 5GW. In the earliest post of Dan Tdaxp’s new 5GW series, he discusses 5GW as creating a ‘state-beyond’ from a ‘state-within.’ The conspiracy, in this sense, is manipulating conditions so that a stable Iraqi polity can be consituted from its relatively unstable parts. Admitting that we cannot ’cause’ an Iraqi state is a similar theme in Fukuyama’s book State-Building. What must be done is using our influence to endenger a political alliance of elites that have genuinely Iraqi interests.
    Lind stresses the role of al-Sadr in the future Iraq, and he is dead on here. A recent NYT piece quotes Joost Hiltermann of ICG as saying “Sadr holds the political center in Iraq…they are nationalist, they want to hold the country together and they are the only political organization that has the popular support among the Shias. If you try to exclude him from any alliance, well, it’s a nutty idea, it’s unwise.” (‘Cleric Switches His Tactics to Meet Changes in Iraq’ p. A12, 7/19/07) While the Maliki government has had miserable experiences with the Sunnis b/c they fear him to be an Iranian agent, they would have no such reservations about Sadr. Because both Sunnis and Sadrists identify themselves as Iraqi nationalists contra Iranian influence, they can make deals with each other that Maliki cannot produce, and confronted with real Iraqi nationalists. By supporting Maliki, we support Iranian influence in Iraq. Wouldn’t it be easier to just end our Persian Cold War and restore Iraq to the Iraqis who could keep al-Qaeda and the Iranians in check, instead of us?

  6. Michael:

    William Gibson: What took you so long to get around to him!

    Nexon: Harry Potter? I’m not getting the joke:P

  7. mark:

    Hi Michael,

    Dr. Dan’s latest book:

    Harry Potter and international relations.

    Edited by Daniel H. Nexon and Iver B. Neumann. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefi eld. 2006. 245pp. Index. Pb.: £15.99. isbn 0 7425 3959 8.

    I have a hard time reading fiction these days with so enormous a bookpile of nonfiction to wade through.