Through the divine miracle that is the internets machine, I have found the greatest blog ever. Please go visit this site and help this clown's hit count so he'll continue blogging, for our amusement.
Abu Muqawama will be offline all tomorrow as we take part in the annual CNAS conference, kicked off by General David Petraeus and expected to attract a ridiculous 1500 guests. YOU can watch the conference LIVE at the comfort of your desk.
Nate Fick and I take the stage with our paper on Afghanistan and Pakistan around 1100.
On a somewhat related note, I apologize to all whose emails have gone unanswered over the past few days. I count over 700 unanswered emails on my Blackberry alone. I promise my schedule will slow down a bit after this week.
So we've been tweaking the blog design all day. It's better, no? What's still missing? Let us know in the comments.
A quick word to the readers:
I am going to try and iron out some of the kinks in this new design this week. As far as I can see it, the things that need to be fixed are:
Write a comment and let me know what I need to fix.
First off, I apologize for not yet posting anything today. I spent the morning running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with some guys from my rugby team. We raised $430, so many thanks to the readers who donated. The race was not terribly fun, though. They kept us standing around for an hour while everyone from Joe Biden to some Eastern European monarch spoke, and when Joe Biden is the one who speaks for the least amount of time, that's not good. You know what else isn't good? When the pre-match ceremony is longer than the race itself. Still, a good cause is a good cause.
Second, thanks for your patience with the new blog design. I'm getting used to it myself, and we have a lot of kinks to still work out, mainly with the comments and the RSS feeds. I promise you we'll be on that like white on rice come Monday morning, but again, please have patience.
Finally, if you, like me, will be attending some barbecues later today, be sure to remember to raise a glass for the boys of Pointe du Hoc. (I noticed a few tan berets in the audience behind the president today in France. A few years ago, one of my old squad leaders brought me back a vial of sand from Omaha Beach that sits on my bookshelf in Tennessee.) The readers of this blog, meanwhile, might be interested in these cool maps and documents from the D-Day landings.
But I'm not sure that the same hunger exists for reading cutting-edge political science works and bringing them to the fight. Exum's list includes few works that couldn't have been added in 2006, to be frank, with additions such as Weinstein's Inside Rebellion that were published years ago. (Kilcullen is a notable exception, but I'd argue his book is one such practical work) Where're the links to exciting working papers from colloquia like Yale's Order, Conflict, and Violence program? What's the new samizdat that gets passed around like The Logic of Violence in Civil Warwas? If the MacChrystal era is supposed to be the era of innovative thinking in Afghanistan, why aren't we looking more outside of the box?It's a fair question, honestly. Most of the counterinsurgency literature I have read, I read between 2006 and 2008. Since 2007, meanwhile, there has been an explosion of journal articles and papers presented at APSA and ISA on counterinsurgency -- the majority of which I have missed. And honestly, since this blog has been a more-or-less one-man operation recently, I don't have much spare capacity to sift through the latest hotness.