A powerful article by the War Nerd about our odd leaders & lost wars. Limited time only!

Summary: I recommend reading these two valuable articles by the John Dolan (aka the War Nerd) at Pando. They are an entertaining autobiography, but also provide a valuable outsider’s view of our society and our wars. They’re only ungated for a limited time.  Post your reactions in the comments.

Science of war

Part one tells the personal stories of John Dolan and  Mitzy Carlough — who later became Montgomery McFate, a star among the COINistas. It’s a 21stC version of A Star is Born. No only is this history entertaining, but it can help us realize that scale of our lost wars since 9/11 — and the causes.

Part two tells the tale of how Mitzy found a lucrative and prestigious niche in the US defense establishment, eventually helping launch the Army’s ill-fated Human Terrain System program (“The Next Big Thing in counterinsurgency”).

“My Human Terrain” at Pando

Part One: “Me and Mitzy Carlough“.  This is a case study of how to rise in American society. Like the making of sausage, it’s not a pretty process.

Part Two: “Which way to the bombs?” — An insider story about our mad wars, and the rise of Montgomery McFate and the COIN-istas.

Something you can do

The Big List of Lies by our Leaders. Post it everywhere to change America.

For More Information

Another fascinating story about the people moving up the career ladder in D.C. by shilling for our wars: “Elizabeth O’Bagy: Human Resource“.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See these posts about Anthropologists go to war, about the Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24), and especially these…

Also see these books:

Weaponizing Anthropology (2011)
Available from Amazon.
Human Terrain Handbook
Human Terrain Team Handbook

5 thoughts on “A powerful article by the War Nerd about our odd leaders & lost wars. Limited time only!”

  1. An excerpt from part 2: DoD at work!

    In 2005, a very bad year for the Army in Iraq, “Dr. Montgomery McFate” and her shadowy colleague, Andrea V. Jackson (try finding a photo of Andrea) started a pilot project, COR-HTS, designed to put anthropological know-how, assuming there be such a thing, to the US armed force’s use.

    They could have hired any man or woman from A-town for about one-millionth the price, and they’d have said, “Have you tried learning the lingo, talking to people? Oh, and another thing that helps is keeping track, you know, finding out who lives where. The big thing to remember, though, is to make sure you know which families have been in the struggle down the generations; find the head of the house and see what he’ll take to sit home for a while.”

    But that’s not how the Army does things, or the US in general. It’s about the last thing any American would do, in fact. They went with a huge program, HQ’d in Fort Leavenworth — because when you think of a base to prep people for the Sunni Triangle you naturally just think “Kansas! Put it in Kansas!”

  2. Another excerpt from part 2

    And they had their ammunition when Mitzy’s crusading Ph.D.s started dying in ways horrible enough to get publicity. One of them, Michael Bhattia, died from an IED in Khost; Nicole Suveges, “a funny, kind person” according to her HTS death notice, was blown to bits in Sadr City in Baghdad.

    But the most cinematic, grotesquely comic, most utterly horrible death was Paula Loyd’s. She —also a nice, funny person who joked “I always wanted plastic surgery” after being burned over 60% of her body, was set on fire by a Pashtun man in southern Afghanistan. Loyd was one of the decent Ph.D.s, you could tell that just reading her nightmare story; a nice person who took the job with HTS because there weren’t any other jobs for our crowd anymore. A nice, blond, middle-class, moderate-feminist American… sent to a Pashtun village in Kandahar Province, Mullah Omar’s home turf. The Children’s Crusade seems like sound military strategy compared to this.

    Loyd, her notebook or recorder ready, asked a man named Abdul Salam about the price of kerosene. Salam happened to be carrying a tin of kerosene. The temptation must have been too great; he poured it over Loyd and set her on fire.

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