Summary: To compel the Taliban's leaders to negotiate US forces (and the CIA) have begun intense efforts to kill them. While superfically logical, have they research to suggest that it will work? The long history of such programs suggests the odds of success are low. Also, what of the danger of an attack being "catastrophically … Continue reading Killing the leaders of our enemy. Is this the fast track to victory – or disaster?
Summary: A RAND study examines the victories of foreign armies over insurgents. It holds powerful lessons for us, and deserves more attention. This is the third of series about the history of counterinsurgency. Other chapters: Max Boot: history suggests we will win in Afghanistan, with better than 50-50 odds. Here’s the real story., which discussed 7 … Continue reading A look at the history of victories over insurgents. How often do foreign armies win?
This study was, of course, ignored. As a general rule, the US government's interest in advice is inversely proportional to the relevant expertise and knowledge of the source. Best of all is to know little about the subject, but have an active imagination and firm grasp of what the answers should be. "How Terrorist Groups End … Continue reading RAND explains How Terrorist Groups End, and gives Lessons for Countering al Qa’ida
Summary: How many troops must we send to win in Afghanistan. It's a key question that receives too little attention in public sources, other than guessing. What have our generals told DoD planners? Are we being guided into a larger war according to a well-considered plan? Or are we sliding thoughtlessly into a larger war, as we … Continue reading How many troops would it take to win in Afghanistan?
Summary: The experts at its major think-tanks and NGO's act as the sheepdogs guiding the American public. In general they are reliable servants of our ruling elites and protectors of the status quo, their opinions (like Opera) represent money in motion. But some causes are too extreme, too bizarre, for real experts to advocate -- like the Afghanistan … Continue reading Who are the experts advising our generals? We know what they’ll say.