13 October SWJ Roundup

Small Wars Journal Daily Roundup

US Naval Institute Daily - USNI

Real Clear World - RCP

 

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Afghanistan

Arrest of Royal Marines on Murder Charges Raises Backlash Fears - AP

Platoon's Afghan Mission Ends with Boredom, Resignation, Isolation - WP

Pretrial Hearing Set for Staff. Sgt. Robert Bales - ST

ISAF Operations Summary - AFPS

 

Pakistan

Pakistan Police: Arrests Made in Child Activist Shooting - VOA

Pakistani Police Make Arrests in Shooting of Girl - AP

Day of Prayer for Pakistani Girl - BBC

Clerics Add Voices to Chorus of Condemnation Over Girl’s Attack - WP

Taliban Reiterate Vow to Kill Pakistani Girl - NYT

In Pakistan, Christian Teen Accused of Blasphemy - AP

Pakistani Teenager in Hiding After Blasphemy Accusation - NYT

 

Syria

Syria’s War Knocks Ever Harder on the Door to Turkey - NYT

Rebels, Troops Clash Over Air Base in Syria - VOA

Islamic Militants Help Seize Missile Base in Syria - AP

Hospital in Syrian City Barely Copes with the Wounded - AP

UN / Arab League Envoy to Hold Talks in Turkey - BBC

Russia: Syrian Plane Impounded by Turkey Had Radar Gear - NYT

Turkey's Frustration at Syria Led to Plane Action - AP

Turkey Scrambles Fighter Planes to Syria Border - Reuters

US Official: Russia 'Morally Bankrupt' on Syria - VOA

Secret Israel-Syria Peace Talks Involved Golan Heights Exit - NYT

 

Libya

US Intelligence Set Back When Libya Base Abandoned - Reuters

Romney, GOP Escalate Charges on Libya Attack - WP

Romney Criticizes Biden on Libya - BBC

New Front in Campaign as GOP Seizes on Libya Attack - NYT

Obama, Biden “Never Aware of Requests for More Security” - FP

Focus Was on Tripoli in Requests for Security in Libya - NYT

Chaos in Libya Hinders Benghazi Probe - WP

Private Security Hovers as Issue After Benghazi - NYT

The State Department’s Worst Week - WP opinion

 

Middle East / North Africa

Clinton Says US Must Stick by Arab World's Democracies - AP

Clinton Says US Must Embrace Arab Spring Despite Dangers - Reuters

Data on Iran Dims Outlook for Economy - NYT

Iran's Leader Says Army Ready to Deter any Attack - AP

UN Experts Ask Iran to Stop Executions - AP

Yemen: "Terrorists" Killed US Embassy Worker - AP

Clashes Hit Bahrain's Capital - AP

New Jordanian Government Sworn In - BBC

Supporters, Opponents of President Morsi Clash in Cairo - VOA

Egypt Tensions Trigger Clashes - BBC

Opponents and Supporters of Egypt’s President Clash - NYT

Egypt's Liberals, Islamists Clash, 110 Reported Injured - Reuters

Army: No Foreign Army Bases in Egypt - Reuters

How Arab Spring Helped Jihadi Cause - TA opinion

Why Netanyahu Backed Down - NYT opinion

Egypt Waits for Change - WP opinion

 

Terrorism / Counterterrorism

$5.8 Mil “Text Against Terror” Fails To Provide Any Tips - CC

 

US Department of Defense

Army Retools Training for New Threats - WP

Panetta Appeals for Stepped Up Cyber Security - VOA

Panetta Spells Out DOD Roles in Cyberdefense - AFPS

Panetta: US Can Trace Cyberattacks, Mount Pre-Emptive Strikes - S&S

US Readies Cyber-Attack Forces - BBC

Cybercom Chief: Culture, Commerce Changing Through Technology - AFPS

New Strategy to Posture Transcom for Post-war Future - AFPS

Soldier in Chen Case Pleads Guilty to Another Set of Charges - S&S

US Army Can't Stop Soldiers From Killing Themselves - TA opinion

 

United States

New Front in Campaign as GOP Seizes on Libya Attack - NYT

Romney, GOP Escalate Charges on Libya Attack - WP

Romney Criticizes Biden on Libya - BBC

Private Security Hovers as Issue After Benghazi - NYT

US Imposes Penalties on MS-13 Gang - VOA

US Targets El Salvador Gang Cash - BBC

Foreign Policy Failures - WP opinion

 

World

New Laser Technology Stirs Nuclear Bomb Proliferation Fears - Reuters

 

Africa

Official: DOD Seeks ‘Small Footprint’ in Africa - AFPS

French President Outlines New Approach to Africa - AP

UN Passes Mali Resolution - VOA

UN Adopts North Mali Resolution - BBC

UN Security Council Asks for Mali Plan Within 45 Days - Reuters

UN Resolution Seeks Recovery of Mali's North - AP

Two Blasts in Kenyan Capital, Policeman Wounded - Reuters

S. Africa's Traditional Courts Bill Criticized - VOA

 

Americas

US Rethinks a Drug War After Deaths in Honduras - NYT

US Imposes Penalties on MS-13 Gang - VOA

US Targets El Salvador Gang Cash - BBC

Colombia Armed Forces' Crucial Role in Peace Talks - AP

Colombia Indigenous Given Apology - BBC

Chavez Petrodollars Fuel Voter Worship in Venezuela - WP

Cuba: Fidel Castro Son, Sister Say He's Fine Amid Rumors - AP

 

Asia / Pacific

US, China to Consider Sharing Resources During Joint Missions - AFPS

China and Japan Say They Held Talks About Island Dispute - NYT

Japan, China to Hold Talks After Island Row - AP

In China, Lessons in Cronyism for Aspiring Bureaucrats - WP

Chinese Nobel Winner Calls for Dissident’s Release - NYT

China's Mo Hopes for Liu Release - BBC

Japan Utility Agrees Nuclear Crisis was Avoidable - AP

S. Korean Official Warns of ‘Existential Threat’ From North - NYT

 

Europe

European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize - VOA

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to EU - BBC

EU wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize - WP

Buffeted by Debt Crisis, EU Wins Nobel Peace Prize - AP

Despite Prize, European Union Loses Much of Its Appeal - NYT

More Disagreements Emerge Over European Debt - VOA

EU: Ukraine Elections a 'Litmus Test' of Democratic Credentials - VOA

Moscow: US Denial of Bail to Russians Unfair - AP

A Nobel for the Continent - NYT editorial

Peace Prize, While Fascism Grows in Greece - TG opinion

European Project Deserves Its Nobel - TT opinion

The EU's Nobel Peace Bribe - Commentary opinion             

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Comments

Reference the article linked above and below from the Washington Post on the Army retooling training:

I am curious as to what Mr. Londono means by this paragraph:

"The soldiers involved in the exercise here are tasked with helping an allied nation push back an invading force, while battling two insurgencies. Special Forces working closely with conventional units and troops have been ordered to show deference to American civilian officials with vast experience in the country."

Perhaps it is awkwardly constructed and it is probably meant to illustrate the problem in Iraq when the Secretary of Defense refused to allow LTG (Ret) Nash's team to use the State Department's experts and their Iraq Study to prepare for their work after Iraq fell. But that was not a problem with Soldiers not showing deference to or listening to civilian experts. I do not think Soldiers need to be ordered to listen to or show deference to civilian experts, they need to be allowed to listen to them by civilian political leaders and not do what Secretary Rumsfeld did to the military in 2003.

I am however, heartened that there is emphasis on the importance of listening to US civilian government officials with expertise in the area of operations. It has become fashionable to bring in outside advisors to military units when in fact equal if not superior expertise already exists within many US government agencies. We need to make our interagency process work better and make sure that we have the right experts in the right places to support strategy development and campaign plan execution. Again, had Secretary Rumsfeld not blocked the State Department experts from supporting the initial civilian-miitary task force during the initial Iraqi post-conflict and transition operations we might have had a much different Iraqi experience.

And this is another awkwardly constructed thought:

"A key challenge, Army officials acknowledge, will be retaining top talent as mid-career officers and enlisted soldiers mull new job prospects and the era of major land wars ends."

I think we should recall Plato: "only the dead have seen the end of war." And that probably includes major land wars. I think it is a dangerous assumption to think that the era of major land war has ended.

Afghan war winds down, U.S. Army retools training for new threats
By Ernesto Londoño, Published: October 12

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/as-afghan-war-wind...

"We need to make our interagency process work better and make sure that we have the right experts in the right places to support strategy development and campaign plan execution. Again, had Secretary Rumsfeld not blocked the State Department experts from supporting the initial civilian-miitary task force during the initial Iraqi post-conflict and transition operations we might have had a much different Iraqi experience".

We should endeavor to improve the interagency process, yet unfortunately process effectiveness largely depends on personalities in key positions. When a personality rotates into a position that endeavors to make it work it improves temporarily when he or she moves on and the next personality moves in with an agenda to undermine the process it regresses. I really don't see that changing.

Your larger point about our civilian leadership is hardly new as you well know. Experts on the ground throughout East Asia (State, OSS, etc.) who provided what turned out to be spot on assessments were ignored and decisions instead were based on the prevailing political philosophy of the day. This continued throughout the Vietnam war and other conflicts.

I'm leery of the long line of military critics who claim we can't adapt. The military throughout history has proven to be very capable of adapting (more so than an any business organization) in response to the real threats, but it is not possible to adapt in a way that makes the world conform to the way our civilian leaders perceive it. Rumfield and administration denied their was an insurgency in Iraq for two years, and those in the military that pointed it out were told to be quiet and continue to march on with the current plan.

Sadly I think the reality is we need to develop strategy, plans and doctrine that realizes this will continue to be our operational environment and find ways to mitigate the ill effects to some extent.