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Recommended Reading -Wikileaks Edition….

We may as well get this out of the way as it is the overriding story for good reasons as well as bad. After that, a few other interesting things……

First, here is the doc dump site itself Wikileaks

The best round-up post in this section of the blogosphere is by SWJ Blog –The Afghanistan War Logs Update

Now for some bloggers whose Wikileaks posts or op-eds caught my eye:

Josh FoustThe Assange Leaks: What’s new about the WikiLeaks data?

Andrew ExumGetting Lost in the Fog of War

Karaka PendDocument Dumping

Thomas P.M. BarnettWikileaks: the transparency standard we inevitably face in the Long War

PunditaAfghan War version of Pentagon Papers released, WikiLeak Afghan War Papers: Pity the White House spin machine, Afghans say, ‘I told you so’ after WikiLeak papers point to Pak military’s support for Taliban, U.S. support for Pakistan’s military aiding conditions for Castro-style revolution in Pakistan, Afghan government questions U.S. silence over Pakistani regime’s support for Taliban, Are you calling Amrullah Saleh a liar, Mr Semple?

At this juncture, allow me to pause and say “Miss Pundita, en fuego!!”

Newshoggers.comWikileaks and ‘material support’Pakistan’s ISI: No “Smoking Gun”?,  Some thoughts on the “War Logs“, “Wikileaks War Logs? Nothing new, move along.” Sure…To November!

BLACKFIVEStrategy Room video

Sic Semper TyrannisThe Afghan Papers

Wings Over Iraq“Our Valuable Ally” (Updated) , Wikileaks: The Big Deal

Great Satan’s GirlfriendLegerdemain

For laughs, from SWJ BlogTaliban Responds to WikiLeaks

Technically, it isn’t the Taliban, but rather the Haqqani Network asshats, but they all have huge beards, opium bundles, AK-47’s and nominally retired ISI colonels as advisers….same difference.


S. Anthony IannarinoSelling and the Human Terrain System

This is a neat example of horizontal thinking, where Anthony uses HTS as a foil for applying business strategies. I particularly liked his questions at the conclusion of the post:

Selling is About the Human Terrain

Conceptually, our business as sales professionals is insurgency and counterinsurgency (albeit with very different stakes). We are either focused on taking clients from our competitors by winning hearts and minds, or we are protecting our existing dream clients from the insurgents who would take them from us by keeping their hearts and minds. It is a simplification, but dissatisfaction opens the door to insurgencies; preventing dissatisfaction is our counterinsurgency effort.

Our focus as salespeople is too much about solutions, and not enough about the Human Terrain….


  1. When you are in the boardroom presenting, do you know whose hearts and minds have been won? Have you spent your time understanding and working within your dream client’s human terrain to know that you have the votes to win the deal, and then to implement and execute your solution? Review your notes from your last three or four needs analysis sales calls.
  2. What notes do you have about the company’s culture? What are the defining characteristics of their culture that will help enable you to win their hearts, their minds, and their votes? What about their culture will rub against your ideas and your solutions later, after you are chosen? What considerations do you have to make now in order to address these cultural issues?
  3. What notes do you have about their linguistics, the language that they use to talk about their business? Are you certain that you fully understand what the words your dream clients use mean to them? Are there differences in the way they refer to concepts that differ from the language that you use? What language do they use that differs from their industry standard? Do your language choices mean something else to your dream client? [….]

Chicago Boyz (Bruno Behrend) – Swapping a VAT for failing income tax is good policy

Bruno has a great wedge issue here – a wedge against elite GOP officeholders for reformists as much if not moreso than GOP vs. Democrats:

The solution is to make the case for a massive overhaul of the tax system, and transition the system from one that relies on income (corporate and individual and Soc. Sec.) taxation to one that relies on taxing consumption (VAT, National Sales Tax, or FairTax). This is a wonderful opportunity for a party of ideas (Republicans, before they succumbed to corrupt Hastertism) and a vibrant think tank community (before they began to resemble an echo chamber of conservo-libertarian apparatchiks promoting stale doctrine) to lay the ground work for a 3rd and 4th “American Century.”

There are even more new ideas (and political and economic benefits) to go along with this new (and superior) tax policy.

Why aren’t we talking about increasingly popular ideas like constitutional spending caps? Why aren’t we lauding the replacement of the the bureaucratic entitlement state with a yearly stipend for every American (see Fair Tax rebate or Charles Murray)?

Instead of fighting against a welfare state that most Americans still support (Soc. Sec., “health care reform,” and public education), why aren’t we framing our ideas as the “individualization” of government assistance through retirement accounts, health savings accounts, and scholarships and education savings accounts?

The question is whether enterprising politicians will run on these better policies, and whether they can get enough airplay to persuade the voters that they are workable (they are). My greatest fear for our nation is that we are already too far gone down the the road of ruin. We seem to be like that obese person who is just old enough and just heavy enough to avoid the hard work of getting back in shape or forgoing that “satisfying” meal.


Charles Hill on Grand Strategy. Hat tip to Ian.

Hill is dead right on higher education BTW….

2 Responses to “Recommended Reading -Wikileaks Edition….”

  1. Stephen Pampinella Says:

    Nice find from Iannarino, with a very Operational Design flavor. Much enjoyed.

  2. J. Scott Says:

    Iannarino is spot-on on his language observation. There was an interesting piece in Discover magazine concerning this very topic, and while this quote may sound like common sense, many rarely consider when dealing (especially) with clients: "conceptual common ground people must meet to make conversation possible…"

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