December 10, 2008 | Posted by Abu Muqawama - 11:06am | 29 Comments
It's all well and good to ask Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, USMC (Ret.) how to beat piracy
. But why can't we just send PKVR himself off the Horn of Africa with his fishing boat and a .50-cal? If I were setting the Vegas odds, I would give PKVR a wide spread.
There is some good stuff in thus interview, though:
What we’re really talking about is what kind of methods folks might use that are unconventional. You struggle with words because to the person doing it, it’s not unorthodox, irregular, any of those things; it’s very normal. If you think in history, the Japanese didn’t think that kamikaze pilots were unconventional, but the U.S. did and the British did. The insurgents don’t think that IEDs [improvised explosive devices] are irregular or asymmetrical. It’s in the eye of the beholder. I think [the tactics] you’re seeing with many of these pirates—it’s not something they’ve done deliberately with relation to more modern nations—it’s what they do normally.
My goodness, if that isn't music to this blog's ears. It's only "irregular" or "unconventional" from our
limited historical perspective.
In other news, Mac Owens has a really good criticism of Gen. Shinseki
The fact is that Gen. Shinseki failed to prepare his service for the kind of war that emerged in Iraq in 2003: an insurgency. The “surge” implemented in 2007 by Gen. David Petraeus was successful not only because of an increase troop strength. It was successful because of the application of a new counterinsurgency doctrine that Gen. Shinseki and most other Army generals had rejected.
Of course, this is only coming up since Gen. Shinseki has been nominated to head up Veterans Affairs by the president-elect. And this is
the National Review
. Which hardly criticized Tommy Franks for battlefield ineptitude when he entered the political fray, speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention and endorsing the president's re-election bid. (Mac Owens does, though, approvingly quote Yingling & Co., extending the criticism to the general officer corps at large.)