Abu Muqawama has but one problem with the excellent monthly published by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, and that's the fact that it's only available as a .pdf. That said, Abu Muqawama can think of two good reasons why you should download this month's issue:
1. Gregory Johnsen is obscenely knowledgeable about Yemen and has the down-low on Al-Qaeda's doings there. Johnsen, a PhD candidate at Princeton, spent a year or two in Yemen on a Fulbright and used to blog a bit himself.
2. More relevant to the majority of this blog's readers, perhaps, is Major Jeremy Gwinn's After Action Report: Politics 101 for Small Units in Counter-insurgency. Gwinn writes:
What should a small unit leader expect to achieve through the local political organization in his AO? At the platoon, company and even battalion level, host-nation political goals often seem distant—beyond our ability to influence. At our level, the neighborhood advisory councils may appear to be ineffective, dysfunctional or even criminal, which in some cases is accurate on all three counts. Nonetheless, by accepting the cultural differences and establishing realistic expectations, small unit leaders can make important gains for their counter-insurgency effort, particularly in the areas of governance, Information Operations (IO) and intelligence.
Oh, and welcome aboard, Dr. iRack!