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Archive for February, 2008

Obamanomics as Political Vaporware

Friday, February 29th, 2008

In politics, ambiguity, restraint and a lack of passionately held policy positions can be an advantage as the public wishfully projects their hopes and assumptions on to the candidate. Or it can simply mask the fact that the candidate has no well-thought out philosophy or basic command of the subject in question. This is great if it means the candidate is open to accepting well-considered “new thinking” but bad if the candidate simply picks up positions ad-hoc without really contemplating the downstream implications.

Senator Barack Obama’s recent sojurns in to trade policy on the campaign trail, which seem to be raw political appeals to rentier interests of the moment, are alarming economists generally associated with the Democratic Party ( Senator John McCain, the inevitable GOP nominee, isn’t any better informed on basic economics theory than is Obama – making 2008 a worrisome choice if the economy goes into the tank).


Friday, February 29th, 2008

I’ve decided to follow John’s lead and hop back on to this platform once more as more of my blogfriends seem to be active on Twitter this time around.

Long day but a productive one.  Just realized that networking and leveraging attention is half the battle.


Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Pardon my slow posting, I have a couple of high priority projects colliding with a temporary but fierce squeeze on my free time. Some good things in the works that will be up in a couple of days. Short posts until then.

“Is there any longer a clear distincion between being at war and not being at war?”

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Courtesy of Lexington Green:

Our British friends have become alarmed at self-radicalization of British Muslims juxtaposed with the “uncertainty”effect of the EU on the national security of the U.K. and the moral malaise of the British elite. The RUSI Risk, Threat and Security: The case of the United Kingdom  (PDF) outlines a scenario where a situation recognizable as 4GW, a situation that if left unchecked, imperils primary loyalty to the British Crown.

The authors, who include General Sir Rupert Smith, are UK heavyweights and this document has the air of a call to arms reminiscent of Kennan’s X Article or the Iron Curtain speech. Fascinating.

Recommended Reading

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Top Billing! Kings of War -“Greece and Rome in Iraq

But there is a real danger in self-congratulatory history. It is precisely when a power thinks it is superb at doing things that things seem to go wrong. At a time when the US under Petraeus is making quantum leaps in its COIN capacity, the British also need to be in a state of continual revision. As Basra collapses into near-anarchy, AQI are being severely damaged by the US-assisted realignment of factions in northern Iraq.

Second, smug identity makes it difficult to listen to criticism: from President Karzai, from Secretary of Defence Gates, from Afghans aghast at the counter-narcotics operation that burns their economy down and leaves a dispossessed agrarian class feeding Taliban ranks.

If the Brits are to use one of their genuinely historical gifts, the flair for improvisation, they first must acknowledge a bitter truth: Basra has been a bad result. As has Musa Qala. Never mind formulating a theory of victory. What they need first is a theory of defeat.

Dave Schuler gives a resounding thumbs down to U.S. policy on Kosovo -“Unforced Errors

Matt at MountainRunner has a great catch on Iranian propaganda -“Pressure and Aggression No Longer Guarantee the Achievement of our Goals – We Must Consider ‘Culture-Building’” ( Hat tip SWJ Blog)

Opposed Systems Design  takes a look at William Lind’s riff on Superempowred Individuals and 5GW -“Alienation and Modernity

Smartmobs is on target with -“The smart mob is going to be all of us

Futurejacked reviews “World Made by Hand

That’s it!

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