Monday, January 19, 2009

Great Discussions; Good Commentary

There have been a number of great discussions taking place lately. The COIN/Conventional - Crusader/Conservative conversation is in full swing. It can only benefit the Army. What is more important is that it bring benefit in our current struggles in Iraq and particularly Afghanistan.

COL Gian Gentile, consistent in his role, wrote a new piece in Foreign Policy again taking his stance on COIN vs Conventional Capability. No real surprises; he is carrying the torch that has more followers than I think he knows. Abu Muqawama takes him on in a very concise post and invites a discussion. Make sure that you read the comments. Considerably longer than the post itself, it was a good back-and-forth in which AM and Gentile both weighed in. Good stuff.

There was also a call by AM for someone other than Gentile who will also co-carry that torch with him. One reply to that was Christian Brose, also in Foreign Policy. He wonders if degraded conventional capability will encourage state actors to mischief.

In other news, a rarity occurred; an MSM article about Afghanistan and the way forward that didn't leave me shaking my head and vomiting in my mouth a little. Malou Innocent manages a decent high-level piece without all of the screaming and thrashing about that many seem to descend into when approaching the subject. I recommend it. It is actually sort of optimistic in its tone. Offered as advice on rethinking the approach in Afghanistan, I found much to nod my head to. Perhaps I will delve into that further, but it's definitely worth a read.

These two conversations are actually intertwined. Perhaps it's time to invite a discussion here about that.


  1. Having read the post and comments, it tends to make me see how condescending some can be. But also noticed quite a few who were interested in what you had to say. You might want to check back for further updates. There seems to be more questions being asked.


  2. Speaking of great discussions,
    such as the one going on at The Belmont Club,
    the training and arming of local tribal militias will soon be underway.

    Lt. Col. Patrick Daniel Jr., commander of the U.S. battalion based in Nangahar province, said many American officers in the field support the idea of allowing responsible Afghan tribal elders to arm themselves. But such an approach carries risks and might not work in every province, Daniel said.

    “For a lot of us out here, we recognize that it’s much like how we feel about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms in the States,” Daniel said. “But we already have tribal disputes that are resolved by violence, and when you give them more weapons, that could mean those disputes could get resolved with those weapons. So it’s a roll of the dice. Still, you can’t rule it out . . . because people here need to protect themselves.”


All comments will be moderated due to spamming of old posts.