David Maxwell makes that case that "politics is to physical ten to one" in modern 4GW. This is interesting, but the paper makes a quick leap to that conclusion without much of a supporting argument.
The problem with this framework is that it uses a Maoist model for future conflicts: political victory in the target state will eventually grind the insurgency into dust. Victory then, is purely a function of moral (or political) stamina. The problem with this formulation occurs when the insurgency can't be defeated in any time period that is relevant.
There is also an interesting article by Myke Cole from CACI on the emergence of a 5th generation. Sounds a lot like global guerrillas... Funny that he didn't cite it since most people in the think tanks read GG regularly. V for Vendetta.
Wow. Got our first snow today. Really early (what a year for weather!). Of course, I was out there with my very cold hands mowing the yard for the last time. Got it done just as the first snow flakes fell (with some last minute support from my son, the WOW addict). It was disturbingly satisfying to see the snow fall on a perfectly manicured lawn.
Snow is also a motivator for my little ones. As soon as they saw it, they bolted on the boots, hats, and gloves so quick that all I could see was a blur in the mud room.
The SITE institute posts a synopsis of an al Qaeda strategy document that calls for strikes on indirect economic targets. I would suggest not donating to the SITE institute unless they published their research on the site.
Some interesting data from this NYTimes report (the rate is pretty darn high):
At least 209 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have been killed this year in the provincial capital, Baquba, and a swath of the surrounding province, compared with the deaths of eight American soldiers in the same area, according to records released to The New York Times by American military officers who are working with the Iraqi troops. The American officers attribute the higher Iraqi casualties partly to the lack of vehicle armor and say that insurgents are devising their assaults in response. In late August, for example, attackers sprayed a checkpoint with bullets, then lured Iraqi guards down a road, killing them with hidden bombs as the guards pursued in their truck.
Iraqi Army and police casualties have risen in the Baquba area since the Americans began transferring military responsibility in February, climbing to 26 in September from 17 in February and averaging 24 deaths each month, with Americans losing an average of one soldier each month, according to United States Army figures.
The Pentagon said that over all, about 2,790 Iraqi troops had been killed since May 2003, but acknowledged that the figure might be incomplete. Major Warren said the American unit that preceded his team had not been required to track Iraqi casualties (? this is stupid), "so what they did include in reports was purely incidental." The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a Web site that tracks Iraqi deaths through news reports, says at least 2,186 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have been killed this year alone, not including those who died later from their wounds.
A set of bombs in Delhi and beheadings of Christian girls in Indonesia. Both acts are meant to be ignition switches to start a wave of sectarian violence (and from that form an insurgency which will likely be open-source).
According to counter-insurgency thinking, an open political process is supposed to deflate an insurgency. However, that was before open source warfare.
Chris Allbritton is embedded with the Marines near Fallujah has an interesting post on the topic:
“It’s not more violent,” says Lance Cpl. Thomas Cummings, 21, of Horicon, Wisc. “But what is violent is more intense.” This wasn’t supposed to happen. As the political process moved forward, embassy officials said all year, the violence should decrease. There would be a coupling in increased Sunni participation and a decrease in violence. But most of the injuries that have befallen 3rd Platoon, says Lt. Carter, have occurred since the Oct. 15 referendum. Just two hours later, the nearby boom of an IED followed by the rattling of gunfire were a late coda his remarks. An ambush, somewhere. Someone else was catching it today.
PakTrib. "Whatever number of police cars there are in Kabul, I can tell you that more than 50 percent of them are carrying drugs inside from one place to another," says a senior police commander in Kabul, requesting anonymity for his own safety. "The problem is that Afghanistan is training police to stop drug smugglers, and when they go out into the field, their police commander tells them how to protect the drug smugglers."
"Except for the minister of the interior himself, Mr. Ali Jalali, all the lower people from the heads of department down are involved in supporting drug smuggling," says Ikramuddin, who now serves as Afghanistan's minister of labor. Ikramuddin says that many of these policemen and commanders are former warlords who have disarmed and reintegrated into government jobs, and are now using their position to facilitate the drug trade and get rich.