The genteel and usually mild mannered Editor-in-Chief of the Small Wars Journal, Dave Dilegge, momentarily steps out of the background for a quality rant that I’m reposting in toto:
Okay, everyone who’s anyone – and many who think they’re someone – inside and outside the beltway – has chimed in – did I miss anyone? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
The Afghanistan affair is quite complicated; we know that, we also can study it to death and comment until the cows come home.
How about a novel approach at this particular point in time – give the Commander in Chief, the National Command Authority, State… and most importantly, the Commanding General and his staff in Afghanistan some efing breathing room to sort this out? The guys on the ground – get it?
How much is too much?
For the all the hype about the benefits of instantaneous global communications and Web 2.0 – of which we most certainly are a part – we’ve never really examined the tipping point – the place where we become part of the problem, rather than the solution.
My two cents – and while it may come across as way, way too simplistic to many of the 2K-pound brainiacs I run into around town – you can take it to the bank that a general backing off of the noise level would be most beneficial right now.
Interesting. An unusual move by Dave.
Debate is a healthy thing – and as I stated previously, I do not think that anyone has been “shut out” of the COIN debate – but it is best if that debate is kept at a constructive level. Being far removed myself from the players in DC that Dave is familiar with, I have to wonder to what degree the temperature has risen behind the scenes? Dave’s post says to me it must be getting heated.
The defense/national security/milblogging/Intel/FP blogosphere is far larger than it was, say, five years ago but it’s still a pretty small network compared to most online communities – we’re not only dwarfed by Techcrunch types but we fall somewhere behind water polo aficianados and devotees of obscure Christian rock groups. It’s sort of a virtual village where some of the villagers also make their living at it in meatspace and the rest of us can kibbitz with less risk. While free speech includes volume, softer words sometimes carry farther.
It’s useful for all of us to remember from time to time that most people involved in the discussion operate from the best motives and have far more ideas in common than it sometimes seems from the rhetoric being employed – and that what matters is not our rhetoric but the results.
Dave Schuler just sent me a message that he and Dr. James Joyner will have Dave Dilegge as a guest at OTB Radio from 4:30-5:30 CST (i.e. at the moment I am typing this…)