December 11, 2007

Random Readings

Here's a handful of articles that have passed through Charlie's inbox in the last few days.

  • Ralph Peters, Dishonest Doctrine (AFJ). Read Ralph's latest screed so Charlie doesn't have to. The tone and targets (PhDs, COIN FM) are the same as this summer's Parameters piece; Charlie's happy to let SWJ speak for her on this one.
  • Noah Shachtman, How Technology Almost Lost the War (Wired). Sorry for not posting this sooner (many of you have already come across it, I'm sure). Noah makes a strong arg for cultural knowledge and social networks as being key in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Those of you who don't already have Danger Room bookmarked, should do so post-haste (excellent tech coverage, but also good commentary on the anthropology controversies).
  • Shawn Brimley & Vikram Singh, Averting the System Reboot (AFJ). CNAS high-flyers caution against too quickly forgetting the lessons of Iraq, which readers of this blog will obviously be in agreement with. They do a good job dissecting the different types of lessons (TTP, doctrine, capabilities) and noting which are at most risk for willed amnesia. Please god, don't let one of my students be writing The Army and Iraq in 2017.
  • Stephen Biddle, Iraq: Can We Guard what We Have Gained? (WaPo). Biddle is one of Charlie's favorite commentators (and SWAMOS hosts). She still think's his Foreign Affairs piece is vastly underappreciated. But she's not quite sure how he comes to argue for a long-term peace keeping force in Iraq (when last we saw him in the pages of the Post, he was railing against the kick-the-can-down-the-middle-of-the-road crowd). Maybe this isn't such a far cry, but it still doesn't exactly jive.
  • Tom Ricks, WaPo. Doug Feith blames Paul Bremer for cocking up post-war Iraq. Shock, horror! But Charlie never passes up an opportunity to pass on the permanent #1 entry on the list of spectacularly unaware ironic statements: "Most famously, retired Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who led the U.S. invasion force in Iraq, stated in his memoir that Feith had achieved the reputation within the military of being 'the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet.'"

Happy reading.