9 November SWJ Odds and Ends

While not all inclusive, here are some of the items that caught my eye and interest this week...

From the Foreign Policy Research Institute, The Marines: Premier Expeditionary Warriors by Frank Hoffman. Referencing a Washington Post op-ed piece by George Will, SWJ Blogger (and TBS classmate of mine) Hoffman provides the background behind General Conway's intent for the Marine Corps' return to its expeditionary roots. Citing history and laying out a future of hybrid wars, he calls for a balanced approach that recognizes "true readiness" requires a multidimensional force that is well-trained, broadly educated, and properly equipped for employment in all forms of warfare.

From Tom Barnett, Recasting the Long War as a Joint Sino-American Venture, on his web log Thomas P.M. Barnett. Barnett has no problem with the enemies we have chosen in the Long War. However, he does take exception to going it alone and calls for enlisting new allies -- to include the Chinese.

With a hat tip to one of my favorite counterinsurgency blogs, Abu Muqawama (The COIN Fight in Pakistan), the Washington Post featured this article - Pakistan Strife Threatens Anti-Insurgent Plan, by Ann Scott Tyson. Tyson lays out the new U.S. COIN strategy in Pakistan (training and advising Pak forces) and the implications of that country's current internal strife on this strategy. Bottom-line: The U.S. is moving forward (5-7 years initially) with the plan and will focus on the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Westhawk asks some pressing questions in Who's in Charge of Unconventional Warfare?

Is the U.S. unconventional warfare effort getting the attention, leadership, and resources it deserves? In its broadest definition, unconventional warfare is warfare that is conducted by assisting, advising, training, and equipping friendly indigenous forces. By using unconventional warfare, the U.S. attempts to achieve its national security objectives working "by, with, and through" the native population, rather than using its own general purpose forces.

Should the U.S. Department of Defense create a new command that would focus on global unconventional warfare doctrine, training, and missions? Does the U.S. Special Operations Command currently focus too much on direct action missions and neglect working with indigenous forces abroad, just when such efforts have never been more important?

He links to an Armed Forces Journal article (previously linked here at SWJ) titled Support Grows for Standing up an Unconventional Warfare Command by Sean Naylor. Small Wars Council members don't think too much of this idea.

MountainRunner cuts to the quick in pointing out something we should be very concerned about in Iraq OKs Raids on Blackwater.

As we have architected it, private security forces like Blackwater are direct extensions of American military and civilian presence in Iraq. As we have architected the security and reconstruction efforts, any attack on them is an attack on American interests regardless of whether we view it as such or not. We should expect confrontations between Iraqi elements, government or otherwise, and private security forces as contractors become proxy targets for the U.S. to groups who wouldn't otherwise overtly target the U.S. military. Not good. Phase out contractors or bring under our wings, don't let them hang outside because things will get ugly fast as both contractor and opportunist escalates to defend or attack.

Bill Ardolino, at the Long War Journal, on Why the Violence has Declined in Iraq.

As violence in Iraq has decreased significantly over the last two months, analysts attempt to identify the forces behind the trend. Some attribute the reduction to a reinvigorated US strategy of counterinsurgency and the "surge" of combat troops which commenced in February, while critics of US strategy cite the exodus of Iraqi refugees and successful sectarian partition and cleansing as primary factors.

Great post by Jules Crittenden at his Forward Movement blog -- One Bullet Away. Jules attended the Lt. William S. Bush Breakfast at the USS Constitution yesterday morning with Ia Drang vet Larry Gwin, a lot of old Marines, and speaker Nate Fick. Read the whole thing.

In the best blog you might not have heard of category, Strategy and National Policy containing AntoniusBlock's rants from his ongoing writing projects on national security policy and military strategy, most related to the Iraq conflict or insurgency in general, and some just general life annoyances.

In the be looking for even better things in the near future category, this from our friends at ThreatsWatch:

While ThreatsWatch has, on the surface, sat rather dormant over the last few weeks - we've been working to prepare for the launch of the Center for Threat Awareness (CTA) and to make some significant improvements to this site.

All for now.

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Antonius himself is one of those "annoyances". His referenced rant is a moderately disguised screed on behalf of the "law enforcement" model of suppressing international malefactors who merely pretend to have global domination ambitions, foolish felons that they are.

Buncha crap. Interpol To The Rescue!

I don't think so.

Thanks HG, it all boils down to only 24 hrs in a day, and unfortunately I have what some call a day job.

I hope to continue / expand on a more broad-based roundup feature that incorporates MSM opinion, news items and of course blogs as we sort out all of the changes and expansion taking place here at the SWJ.

Again, your comment is most appreciated as often times a bit of encouragement is all it takes for a renewed burst of creative energy...

For those who might like to take a step beyond encouragement, and don't get me wrong - we thrive on it, there is always the donation option (PayPal) on the left side bar...

Great idea! Incorporating an Odds and Ends posting to recap the articles that caught your eye. Very helpful since the daily OP/ED roundup, no longer contain teaser lines.