So apologies for the delay in posting new stuff, but I'm currently on vacation at my beloved childhood home in America's Finest City. The gorgeous weather, fantastic surfing, and incomparable fish tacos make it hard to concentrate on blogging, counterinsurgency, defense policy, or any of the other things that normally preoccupy me in DC.
I'll be one of the guest bloggers (along with Denominator, who you've already met, and a couple of others) while Abu Muqawama is away. I am going by Ibn Muqawama, but I am not related to the legendary AM, nor can I claim to be anywhere as great and accomplished. I can only hope to try to help keep the blog afloat until the Boss Man returns. We'll cover a lot of the same areas as usual; this blog is, after all, "the go-to for the COIN set" (thanks, Ms. Vlahos!) and I, for one, would hate to disappoint its many fans by changing things up too much.
But if you think all we're worried about are sneaky Taliban insurgents, think again! You may be aware that there's been some hubbub of late sparked by a certain hermit kingdom in Northeast Asia led by some guy with a fetish for WMD. And the United States and international community are having a devil of a time figuring out what to do about it. But according to this unintentionally hilarious paragraph in an otherwise interesting Foreign Policy column, we've been worrying too much about the DPRK's nukes and not enough about its secret ninja army:
"As for North Korea's Special Operations Forces (SOFs), South Korean estimates now place their numbers at as many as 180,000 men. North Korean SOFs are probably among the best- trained, best fed, and most motivated of all the forces in their military. They routinely undergo intense training that includes carrying 50 pounds of sand for 10 km in one hour, hiking in extreme cold weather, martial arts methodologies that include fighting with three to 15 opponents, and even using spoons and forks as weapons. Troops also engage in intense marksmanship training and even daily knife-throwing training. They can attack quickly, reaching key nodes in South Korea by aircraft, through tunnels in the DMZ, or even by maritime vessel."
God help us all. And watch your silverware.