Tag Archives: military

Combatting the ISIL Dragon the Right Way

Some policy makers in the US are grandstanding about the Islamic State organization, and how it is the latest in a series of dragons that the US military must slay to save the world (metaphor and hyperbole are mine). Ignored … Continue reading

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Reflections on John Nagl’s Lessons from Iraq

Read John Nagl’s op-ed in today’s New York Times. He highlights three nuggets worth extracting from America’s otherwise painful Iraq experience. John is as usual an insightful, experienced voice of military theory and practice. He overlooks, however, a critical dimension … Continue reading

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The False Appeal of US Military Intervention in Syria

There is much clamor in the media for a stepped-up US military role in Syria to even the military playing field for the opposition, prevent more bloodshed as we said we should in Libya, and “prove” our support for the … Continue reading

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Education for the New Defense Strategy

Following my last blog posting (January 3, 2012), I listened to the President and SecDef Panetta outline the elements of the new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense. My timing was good. The underlying themes of the DoD document … Continue reading

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Austerity Budgets and Crisis Response: the Case for Education

Educating professionals who respond to crises is not a luxury but a necessity, especially in the era of fiscal austerity. The USG (including the military), NGOs, international organizations and the private sector will not all suddenly stop responding to crises, … Continue reading

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Let the Taliban Wait It Out!

I say let the Taliban retreat inside Afghanistan or elsewhere, with the intention of “waiting us out.” While they’re cooling their heels, Afghans across the country – and especially in the South – have the chance to work hard with … Continue reading

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Election Day Results

I am certain Yemen will soon disappear from the headlines of American newspapers only to return several months from now, except next time could be because of more dire developments. Sudan will come back to a TV station near you, … Continue reading

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Education for the Crisis After Next

Here’s the good news: the US government is getting smarter at the strategic level about the need to respond collectively to crisis. Interagency fora at the cabinet and subcabinet levels are working better than before (sometimes), and financial resources are … Continue reading

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“Whole-of-Government”

“Whole-of-government” is a useful way to conceptualize a many-sided American approach to crisis management. However, it is a bit misleading, at the same time both too broad and not inclusive enough. Too broad because not all of the US government … Continue reading

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Diplomacy & Development

Diplomacy and development are not yet the “new normal” in leading US counter-insurgency strategy, but we are gradually headed in that direction. According to my reading of counter-insurgency doctrine the overwhelming majority of our effort must reside in the civilian realm – supporting economic development, good governance, justice, and trade, among other things. Continue reading

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