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Archive for May, 2008

Recommended Reading

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

A large and varied haul:

Top billing! Pundita – “The William Ayers plan to turn America’s schoolchildren into Maoists and how Barack Obama helped him” and ““The great unanswered questions” about Barack Obama’s relationship with William Ayers.

Most of America has forgotten unrepentant Weatherman terrorist and America-hating wingnut, Bill Ayers ( even many ’68er leftists still find Ayers too much to take, forty years later). Unfortunately for Senator Barack Obama, as the campaign rolls on there will be a reintroduction to his close friends and longtime political supporters, William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

SWJ Blog – “Memorial Day 2008” and “America’s Greatest Weapon

The first post has a primary source historical document, a multitude of links and several videos to commemorate Memorial day.

Lexington Green “No Sign until the Burst of Fire”

Great commentary by Lex on a fantastic article on the tribal and religious nuances of  Pushtunistan on both sides of the border.

Younghusband – “Principles of War: Introduction“, “Principles of War 1.: Selection ana Maintenance of Aim“, “The Principles of War 2.:Maintenance of Morale

Younghusband has begun a new series looking at the fundamentals of waging war. Very Sun-Tzuish format in terms of brevity.

Dr. Chet Richards -“Resilient Structures

A Boydian approach to resilience.  Keeping organizations open and efficient at the dissipation of entropy.

Ambassador Robert Gribben – “Implementing AFRICOM: Tread Carefully

Represents the Foreign Service’s wary but hopeful view of view of AFRICOM.

Dr. Thomas BarnettAFRICOM: forward and back

Zeros in on the lack of “interagency jointness” even at AFRICOM.


CSIS overview report by Cordesman.

Dan of Tdaxp -“Presentation on Cognitive Approaches to Learning

Agree with Dan – a very valuable summative presentation on education by D.M. Hallowell

Fabius Maximus -“Keeping score: how well did 4GW theory predict events in Iraq?

FM scores the predictions of leading figures in the 4GW school.

AFJ – “Lies, damned lies and counterinsurgency

Contesting COIN conventional wisdom.

That’s it!

Testing the Nerd Quotient of the Readership

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Ok – who among this heavily GenX audience can name these relatively obscure characters?:

Cherry-Picking from Complexity Digest

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Forgot about Complexity Digest for a while. Some great stuff there – a sampling:

A theory for the formation of large agrarian empires  by Peter Turchin (PDF)

New Insights Into The Dynamics Of The Brain’s Cortex Science Daily

Natural Security: Ecologist Says Evolution Offers Important Lessons for Security Policy  AAAS

In regard to the last one: the need for consilient thinking is starting to penetrate the bureaucracy – about goddamn time.

Adding to my “Antilibrary”

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

A while back, around these parts we all compared our “antilibraries” of unread books. Well, despite not having any time lately to blog, much less read through the stacks of books that I already have, I went out and bought a few more. LOL!   

Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405

The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus

Journals: 1952-2000

Thumbing through a few of these was interesting. Schlesinger’s partisanship and hagiographic defense of the Kennedy family are of course, well known but his private writings are sprinkled with many sharp observations that the old historian-courtier never let loose in public when he was alive.

Skelton on Asymmetric Warfare

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

An older (2001) PDF on the lessons of history for American leaders facing asymmetric threats by Representative Ike Skelton (D-Missouri). Skelton is currently the Chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.

America’s Frontier Wars: Lessons for Asymmetric Conflicts

Very nice to see a member of Congress who thought well ahead of the curve, demonstrating real expertise on an important national security matter over which he has jurisdiction and considerable influence for shaping policy long-term decisions. If every member of Congress emulated Skelton, their approval rating would be a good deal higher.

Hat tip to Charlie of Abu Muqawama

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