Monday, February 06, 2006


The Quadrennial Defense Review Report lays out some of the thinking behind the military component of US grand strategy. The QDR goals are articulated as a sequence of intended transformations, a selection of which are laid out in the table below.

Current State of the Defense Paradigm Desired State of the Defense Paradigm
From a time of reasonable predictability to an era of surprise and uncertainty
From single-focused threats to multiple, complex challenges.
From nation-state threats to decentralized network threats from non-state enemies.
From conducting war against nations to conducting war in countries we are not at war with (safe havens)
From “one size fits all” deterrence to tailored deterrence for rogue powers, terrorist networks and near-peer competitors
From responding after a crisis starts (reactive) to preventive actions so problems do not become crises (proactive).
From crisis response to shaping the future
From threat-based planning to capabilities based planning
From a focus on kinetics to a focus on effects
From static defense, garrison forces to mobile, expeditionary operations
From a battle-ready force (peace) to battle hardened forces (war)
From large institutional forces (tail) to more powerful operational capabilities (teeth)
From major conventional combat operations to multiple irregular, asymmetric operations
From separate military Service concepts of operation to joint and combined operations
From an emphasis on ships, guns, tanks and planes to focus on information, knowledge and timely, actionable intelligence.
From massing forces to massing effects.
From static alliances to dynamic partnerships
From the U.S. military performing tasks to a focus on building partner capabilities
From Department of Defense solutions to interagency approaches

These are extremely abstract goals. The chapter entitled "The Fight Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq" provides few clues into how these highly abstract concepts might be applied in practice, at least in their initial forms. There is some discussion of "indirect warfare" against terrorism; explicit recognition is given to the need to vastly upgrade the language skills of defense personnel; the crucial role of information warfare is highlighted. But by and large one is left with the impression of a huge conventional force groping for ways to apply these concepts, often by renaming existing activities but more frequently by adjusting the emphasis within existing activities. The wholly new capabilities which are required before the transformational vision described in the table above becomes reality is not even remotely approached.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the QDR pays it in spades to the terrorist form of warfare. Many of the attributes in the desired state of the transformation table are qualities which clandestine, terrorist organizations possess or are provided through the medium of the Islamic religion. But whereas terrorist agents are mere vehicles of viral destruction, the US Armed Forces must provide a full spectrum of capabilities against a variety of threats ranging from natural catastrophes, conventional attack and even against threats which haven't been recognized yet. That requirement and its technological heritage means it must become something wholly other than its terrorist foe; at one moment pursuing foes on horseback across Afghanistan and at another organizing elections or writing articles on the Internet, when they are not cruising the uncharted reaches of outer space in futuristic craft.

The real difficulty is that operations envisioned to successfully fight the Long War according to this QDR blur the lines between traditional military roles and those of evangelists, aid workers and crusading politicians. It is practically a strategy to mobilize nearly all sources of national power and bring it to bear upon the enemy on an ongoing basis. Not to fight a future war, but one already in progress.

Personally, I see little prospect of attaining the transformations envisioned by the QDR unless the vision it embodies is accepted by a broad political consensus. And that will be far from easy because there are currently marked divisions in the perception of what constitutes the main threats to world peace and what steps should be taken to address them. To a very large percentage of the body politic, international security is still about treaties and multilateral action undertaken by traditional military forces within the framework of organizations like NATO or the UN. Ideas like "tailored deterrence", "preventive actions so problems do not become crises", "asymmetric operations" -- to name a few -- are not only unfamiliar but would be regarded with undisguised horror. One interesting experiment would be to put any one of these points before national figures in the Democratic or Republican parties just to gauge their opinion on the subject, if they have one.

Nor do I think that many of the novel ideas expressed in the QDR are in anything like their final forms. If any phrase can be used to summarize the message of the QDR, I think it is 'the need to make things up as we go along because the old formulas do not work any more'. It's single greatest contribution, if the public becomes interested in it at all or the newspapers devote more than a few pages to its content, is to start a debate into the strategies needed to fight the Long War. Not the Cold War: the Long War.


Blogger desert rat said...

To find where the future is thought to be, follow the money, today.

More boats, for a Navy not engaged in the "Long War".
More air superiority, against an enemy that is afoot.
More Special Ops SWAT teams
Less importance to training Allies & Proxies.

The very concept of a "Long War" against the Mohammedans is nuts. Almost defeatist in application.

2/06/2006 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And, today at least, a greater mind agrees

" ... we should never forget that if aroused and pushed, a rearmed and powerful Europe could still be at the side of the United States in joint efforts against the jihadists. And should we ever see a true alliance of such Western powers, the war against the fascists of the Middle East would be simply over in short order. ... "

Victor D Hanson

Could be finished in short order, IMO, even without the Europeans.

2/06/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Did the QDR address questions about incarceration of those captured during 'asymetric operation'?

Al-Qaeda flourishes in the modern US/European 'prison' environment.

2/06/2006 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Islamists, Wahhabists and other extremists are just as vulnerable as the great majority of Muslim clergy and ummah, to the unexpected encounter with Baha'u'llah, the One Promised in Islamic traditions and prophecies.

Someone will access something he thought was absolutely unrelated, and suddenly the Muslim world will be (figuratively) afire!

It won't moot the necessity for a strong defense system, world-wide.

2/06/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

The desired end result is modern consciousness, which will disarm our enemies. They rely on primitive collectivism. Destroy that and you've solved the problem.

2/06/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Innovative ways of transforming conventional and strategic military assets can be seen as in the case of the conversion of the boomer into a tactical missile attack (SLCM) platform. During Operation Enduring Freedom, a US carrier was emptied of attack aircraft and replaced with a helicopter squadron and became a FOB for spec ops and SOF operations. What is unique is that these platforms have become versatile and in the case of the aircraft carrier, still mission capable for the warfare in which they were originally intended.

The greatest deficiency in US military power projection is that democracy and trade do not make an effective cover as does the vast infrastructure of a “high jacked” religion. Businessman do not sit around and plot the overthrow of their hosts, despite what conspiracy nuts may think. The same cannot be said of Islamists.

Global trade may be the greatest foe in this fight. It is through global trade that Loral gave up missile secrets and it is through global trade that Al Qaeda will be supplied with the WMD that they seek. Trade seeks partners at any cost. The insularity of our adversaries ensures that one must prostrate themselves to Allah and be willing to die for the cause in order to join the club. When bargaining with capitalists, one need only have a checkbook for the rope they seek.

The result will be that NGO’s and volunteers will be increasingly under attack.

2/06/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

W: If any phrase can be used to summarize the message of the QDR, I think it is 'the need to make things up as we go along because the old formulas do not work any more'.

Nonsense. The old formulas work very well. It's just that the new soldiers are unwilling to use them, or rather their new commanders. When the assassins challenged the supremacy of khan's army, Hulagu destroyed the Lurs, and his reputation so frightened the Assassins that they surrendered their impregnable fortress of Alamut to him without a fight. The Lurs, a mountainous tribe, were infamous for murder and thievery, but "as cheerful a lot of villains as you can wish to meet". The Lurs were consistently generous hosts, but thought nothing of raiding their guests' while they slept (stealing being their national pastime and hence nothing to get upset about).

To show their submission, some offered food to the Mongols, and Khan's force guaranteed them protection. Some cities surrendered without fighting. In cities the Mongols were forced to conquer, after killing its fighting men, Khan divided the survivors by profession. He drafted the few who were literate and anyone who could speak various languages. Those who had been the city's most rich and powerful he wasted no time in killing, remembering that the rulers he had left behind after conquering the Tangut and Ruzhen had betrayed him soon after his army had withdrawn. [emphasis mine]

The Mongols did not torture, mutilate or maim, but their enemies did. Captured Mongols were dragged through streets and killed for sport and to entertain city residents. The Mongols did not partake in the gruesome displays that European rulers often resorted to elicit fear and discourage potential enemies - none of the stretching, emasculating, belly cutting and hacking to pieces that, for example, was soon to happen to William Wallace at the hands of the English. The Mongols merely slaughtered, preferring to do so at a distance.

In 1258, Baghdad was destroyed and many Sunni inhabitants butchered, while Christians and Shi’a Muslims were spared. The conquest of Baghdad ended the Abbasid caliphate there and Baghdad as an Islamic spiritual capital. Christians in Baghdad used the coming of the Mongols as an opportunity to free themselves from Muslim rule or to avenge past wrongs, and Mongol military leaders, as was their habit, used such conflicts to their advantage. Within Hulegu’s army were Christians and Shi’a Muslim, and they are said to have been the most fervent participants in attacking Baghdad’s Sunni Muslim inhabitants.

2/06/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Global trade may be the greatest foe in this fight.

Already the islamic world is boycotting danish medicines... this is good, if all infidel products are clearly labeled with the religous symbols of the people who invented or made these products the moslems world who is at war with the west will not use these!

Star of David, Cross, Budda should adorn all products of the great satan world..

This will cause the islamic world to CHOOSE to not to live! Lower birth rates, lower productivity, less successful medical procedures all because the islamists REFUSE western devil products...

Cheers for the Danish insulin that the Saudi's refuse to use! It smells so sweet....

Cheers for the New Zealand lamb the Arab world wont consume!

Let the islamists eat oil.....

2/06/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Wretchard says:
Ideas like "tailored deterrence", "preventive actions so problems do not become crises", "asymmetric operations" -- to name a few -- are not only unfamiliar but would be regarded with undisguised horror.

Just wait until they are introduced to concepts like, "...dispersed, transitory entry points." and weapons covertly pre-positioned to be employed by those using the entry points. Some current thinking visualizes the world outside the US as analogous to occupied WW II France and Spec-Ops forces as an analogue to the SOE.

2/06/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

A good QDR overview may be reviewed here:

If the link doesn't work, it is in the Armed Forces Journal

And the article is by Michael Vickers

2/06/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's amusing to watch the US military forced into scrambling to adopt new survival strategies, when in reality that proposition should be laid squarely at the enemy population. I think it's way past due to bare that reality to the enemy, that it's for the Mohammedan population to adopt a new survival strategy, or go extinct.

2/06/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre said...

And if China attacks we are screwed because we may not have enough freaking ammunition. Perfect. Classic reason why eggheads should teach and warriors should plan. Because of President Bush's aversion to firing people we still have in place much of the left overs of Clinton's era in the Military. It shows.

We spend around 3 % of our GDP on the Military. During the 80's that was around 5%. During a war for our national survival we should be spending upwards of 8%. We can afford it. We have to have both a large conventional force ready to fight China or Russia and at the same time keep Iran down.


2/06/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

These goals look good on paper RWT the struggle with militant Islam. Too bad our CIA is wrought with dead wood and "insurgents" from the left.
Just heard Porter Goss describe the damage done by leakers as serious. Time to clean house there and move forward training personel for clandestine ops. Should have taken place in '01.

This is a two-front (culture) war. If we wanted to prosecute a hot war with militant Islam we could have it done relatively shortly. We just don't have the will given all the ankle biters attacking from the other front.

2/06/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Annoy Mouse said...

"Innovative ways of transforming conventional and strategic military assets can be seen as in the case of the conversion of the boomer into a tactical missile attack (SLCM) platform."

I see this as a "bottom line" with the new QDR military paradigm, i.e. getting rid of expensive Cold War relics and replacing them with usable weapon systems. For killing islamic terrorists, an SLBM armed boomer is about as useless as an Iowa class battleship or horse mounted cavalry armed with swords (actually for killing al Qaeda fanatics, cavalry with swords might be MORE useful than boomers). Technology based upon Mutual Assured Destruction worked fine against a rational enemy like the Soviets but is less than useless against villains like Ahmadinejad. It's the old fallacy of arming ourselves for the last war.

There's a very scary aspect about this new paradigm which is the role of nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, nuclear weapons were considered too powerful to be useful. Strategic nuclear weapons were MIRVed and had U-238 tamps to increase explosive yield (and fallout). The old strategic nuclear weapons were deliberately designed to be useless for waging limited nuclear warfare. If the bad guys are planning on picking off our cities one-by-one with terrorist smuggled nukes then we'll probaly have to respond in kind with single warhead low fallout nukes carried by cruise missiles. I don't think our current nukes are optimized for low fallout. Likewise we'll probably need to go back to the Pershing-II concept of a precision terminally guided bunker buster nuke with a penetrator warhead. The Soviets had a particular dislike for that weapon because of its potential for leadership decapitation (very destabilizing in a Cold War context). A weapon like the Pershing-II is appropiate for taking out third world nuclear facilities and terrorist lairs. I fear that nuclear weapons may soon become just another weapon system to be used where appropriate.

2/06/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

"And if China attacks we are screwed because we may not have enough freaking ammunition."

Time, space, and maintenance are weapons much more powerful than a week's worth of JDAMs.

2/06/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

desert rat,

I agree about following the money. Our current expenditures suggest that our anticipated next big conflict will be with China.

I've seen hints that China is in bed with the Islamists, using them to bleed us for a while, so that the US will be weaker when it finally gets to be time for a showdown

2/06/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Eggplant: "Technology based upon Mutual Assured Destruction worked fine against a rational enemy like the Soviets but is less than useless against villains like Ahmadinejad. It's the old fallacy of arming ourselves for the last war."

I don't accept your premise that enemy is irrational. I lived amongst these people for a long time, and I know and understand their culture and their personal psychology very well. It is that of a wild dog. With a misbehaving dog, you force discipline to correct its behavior and mode of thinking
as to who's the Alpha. If that doesn't work, you cut its balls off. Islam is the ideological testosterone responsible for our dog's rabid behavior. And if the rabid animal wont allow change to this factor effecting its behavior, you kill it.

I do agree with you that some military hardware is obsolete and of need of replacement. But that ongoing modernization has been part of almost every military force since the beginning of time. There's nothing radically new there.

2/06/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I think that Sea Launched Cruise Missiles might be just the remedy for Iran. I don’t see much point in trash-canning a multi-trillion dollar inventory because we are facing a low-tech, asymmetrical threat elsewhere. “Getting rid of” ballistic submarine capability isn’t in the plans as was getting rid of battleships. Not now, not ever.

Cruise missiles, by nature, are a tactical weapon delivery platform; they weren’t exactly designed as million dollar delivery system for 1000 pound bombs. The W80 warhead delivers about 5 kilo tons.

Bunker busting technologies have relied on tactical nuclear missiles to get the job done. It is only recently that adequate penetration of concrete has been deemed practical although not quite up to the job as Iraq demonstrated. The Cold War method of choice was to put a Earth Penetrating Weapon as close to the adversaries missile silo as possible and to destroy it by overpressure.

The fallacy is that no one at the Pentagon is arming themselves for the ‘last war’. They got it a long time ago. But as times change it bureaucracy competes to put their organization in the forefront of the current war. The strategy must be to contain threats while not provoking a broader conflict, especially one that has the potential of going nuclear. That is why, unfortunately, we will not deploy tactical nukes until the enemy has effectively made the opening salvo with WMD.

2/06/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

This may seem OT, but consider the QDR goals being deliberated by an electorate that mingles nearly everything with entertainment.

There may be a Hollywood parallel to this changeover of paradigms. To compare Hollywood's post-Cold War political thrillers to television productions like "24" we can now see in the former a great reluctance "to make things up as [they] go along because the old formulas do not work any more".

"Syriana" almost seemed a desperate refusal to move forward. with its nostalgia and implied call for a return to Realpolitik. Those were the days of reasonable predictability, both in general outlook but also for purposes of a stable market. I remember an interview with John Le Carré just after the fall of the Berlin wall, where he admitted that Smiley was pretty much out of work now.

Over the weekend I watched "I Robot", Will Smith's futuristic individual-against-totalitarian-cyborg thriller. Now as much as I love the idea of robots run amock, such as Next Generation's "Borg", the most worrying threats we face are elsewhere, to the chagrin of the Hollywood machine. Eventually it will be difficult for any but the most obtuse audiences to yield to fantasies so wanting in the reality department.

The more pointed questioning of Attorney General Gonzales today is hardly evoking the threats and lessons about Orwell that we're supposed to believe NSA spying leads to.

Yet, at a dinner party last night I heard a self-confessed progressive liberal complain that Al Qaida is not a threat to our freedom, "they just want to kill us - it's George Bush that's the threat to our freedom." I noticed that a Libertarian at the table was nodding approvingly.

I told them they needed to watch more TV, or to look at some Danish cartoons when they got the chance.

2/06/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

The problem here is one of vision for the 21st century. Judging by the president's state of the union address--his science advisors have briefed him that current energy related research will yield some "incredible advances" in just the next couple of years that will cut the cost of alternative fuels.

BUSH: Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative energy sources. And we are on the threshold of incredible advances.
What Bush's sciences advisors have not mentioned to him is that the same research that will yield "incredible advances" in energy will also yield "incredible advances" in water desalination.

In May 2005 The President's Council on Science and Technology put out a
review of nanotechnology and said they felt nanotechnology would make a
significant impact in the Near-term (1-5 years) on desalination. See page 30.
GM has been saying for over a year now that they'll cut their fuel cell costs by a factor of 10 (from $500@kilowatt to $50@kilowat) by 2010 (see pg 11)--
and thereby make their fuel cell cars competitive with internal
combustion engines. For an in depth discussion of GM's goal here's an
article about research and and development chief Larry Burns
GM is not considered to be visionary. Like the The President's Council
on Science and Technology -- GM is merely reflecting conventional
wisdom in the materials research community. So I think that--since the
materials research R and D problems of the desalination industry are
similiar to those of automobile industry particularly with regards to
semipermiable membranes--the desalination industry should be able to do
the same thing. The cost of desalinised water is about 1/3 of what it
was 15 years ago. Today the best RO desalinised water I've seen is
+-$700@acre foot. 1/10th of that is $70@acre foot.
costs $20-$45@ acre foot in the water rich Northeast of the USA. Water
from the water poor deserts fed by the Colorado river that feeds LA
costs $450@acre foot.

All this sounds boring except when you consider that at $70@acre foot you could turn most of the world's deserts green and thereby increase the size of the USA by a third, double the size of the habitable planet and reverse the carbon concentrating effects in the atmosphere of two centuries of industrial developement.

This would also likely give the spark of vision to people in places like Mexico and the middle east. Hmm lets calculate a quid pro quo when you figure in cheap energy and cheap water.

2/06/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Wayne said...

The QDR is a recognition that our Armed Forces are no longer that. Since Viet Nam our military and politicians have decided to fight "kinder, gentler" wars. This is essentially baloney but it's easy to see how that determination leads to the QDR. If the military is meant to fight bloody winning wars, then the QDR is not needed. And, like WW2, you can send in an apparatus at the end to set up a new government if you need to. The danger here is that the mission of the military - to win wars - is being so warped that one day it will not be capable of winning a war. Probably due to the vast bureaucracy needed to sustain so many objectives in wartime.

2/06/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

The show "24" must have gotten advance copy of the QDR memo...imagine trying to get that program through the Senate; or, imagine the resistance inside the existing intelligence bureaucracies. Imagine trying to make headway on this without someone as bull-headed as Bush.

Also, guesstimate how much money we have tied up in the existing, somewhat obsolete systems, and you can guesstimate the amount of resistance Rummie & Porter will be up against...they'd have to keep the existing in place and keep everything clandestine unless we were struck first...

...militarily, it sounds like Israel; hopefully, continuing cartoon like incidents will help the moderate moslems to achieve a level of worldly consciousness along with helping the PC crowd sort through their conflicted thoughts sufficiently to weaken the radicals and keep the military actions small...

2/06/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I think this makes more sense when analyzed from Barnett's perspective (a perspective that is seriously treated in the Pentagon).

Central to Barnett's thesis is the diversification of rule sets. He argues that the rule sets for dealing with great powers still works when dealing with great powers, but doesn't translate so well in dealing with the non-integrating Gap. In contradistinction to the opinions of some, there is still a place for deterrence via assured destruction and unchallenged military supremacy. This rule set will not change, or be discarded. It will be added to, the addendum being the rule set for the Gap.

A paradigmatic portfolio of tailored rule sets does not mean irreversible transformation. We are not discarding anything, we are not losing anything. We are updating, and we are augmenting. In other words, we are diversifying our rule sets to engage a more complex world.

Of course, since resources are limited, assets that are able will have to become fit for several uses. As much as is possible, we must build new and refine old assets to have the broadest amount of utility in a world of diverse rule sets under which they may be used.

And, of course, to take into account these differing rule sets, we need a new uber rule set, one that best manages our broad paradigmatic portfolio. Our theory must encompass the rule set for dealing with great powers, the rule set for disasters, the rule set for intervention, the rule set for integration and nation building, and the rule set for terrorism. This is not easy, and as Wretchard points out, will probably grow organically over time as these QDR snap-shots extend into the future.

Until we get an efficient grand theory, we will continue to waste and mismanage certain resources, and we will continue to bias present challenges at the expense of past and future ones. But since the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one, I am optimistic that, as we go forward in time, our capabilities will catch up to our needs.

2/06/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

What the QDR is really looking for is a "swarm" capable force that scales well. Basically, each squad/platoon unit needs to be able to operate independently for days to weeks. Each unit operates like a nerve ending, able to call upon the appropriate "muscle" response for the stimulus it receives.

The corporal in 2010 is going to have as much institutional intelligence (training in tactics and decision making) as a WWII captain.

The hard part is two-fold. First, response has to be "sub-concious", like a boxer reacting to a thrown punch, it doesn't even require process time. Second, the "body" has to be in a position to respond appropriately. If we dump these units somewhere without being in position to deliver a haymaker, it does no good.

Small scale joint tactics have to be the future. A unit needs to be able to find and fix targets from one man to a couple of times the unit's size. Patrol units of a couple of Strykers, backed by a mobile artillery device or tank, defended from above by an on-station AC130 and/or drone should be able to fix - or hold - a significantly larger force long enough for a "swarm" of reserve assets to pummel the bad guys.

Also, I guess NCO school is going to need civil affairs training. Can't hurt. I'd trust a 20 year old Sgt to run my city better than the politicians do now.

Much as I agree with most of what you posted at 5:31 AM, I do want our navy to be able to interdict shipping lanes, ports, and coastal defense against 2-3 nations at the same time. One day our enemies will have military-industrial complexes again, and the Navy will be useful. But, yeah, building better AAC platforms probably ain't priority.

2/06/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The single most important element in this new approach is moving "From threat-based planning."
McNamara is not beloved by most of those in the big five-sided building, but he did impose a threat-based approach to Planning, Programming, and Budgeting that is the basis for everything that happens there. Previously, weapons were not developed and procured based on an enemy threat but rather what we could do next combined with a general desire to keep moving forward in terms of performance. It was more momentum from WWII and Korea than anything else that drove procurement prior to the threat-based approach.

The threat-based approach did not work when you have no real way to relate a needed capability to a "threat." But since there was no threat, no one noticed. We did not have to worry about foreign space boosters out-dogfighting ours, so to keep on flying the old ones was not a problem. And today U.S. manufactured space boosters are not competitive with foreign boosters. The threat was there but we just did not have the ability to express it in terms that could be understood.

Now, to move to an approach based on “capability based planning.” What does that mean? Good question…

2/06/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

orlandoslug, John McCain says, not surprisingly, that he's a great fan of "24". He even has a cameo in an upcoming episode.

I can't think of any entertainment that better translates "the extremely abstract goals" of the QDR into something that any American can understand. So much so that my liberal acquaintances can only meet its challenge by refusing to watch it!

What entertainment can do for the QDR goals - and which any amount of explaining can't do nearly as effectively - is to convey a plausible scenario of applied practical reasoning within the IMPLICIT GUIDELINES OF OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE.

Excuse the upper-case, but these hard-won general guidelines are precisely what's being undermined by the multicultural agenda of the "intelligentsia", who obsess over double standards and improper procedure, and who demand assumed formulas of international conduct (the same sorts of assumptions that rob the Democrats of their credibility).

The newest episode of "24" will air tonight.

2/06/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I think capabilities based planning is an admission that we no longer have threats (as unitary entities), we have challenges (elements of threats).

For instance, we should not think of Al'Qaeda as a threat, but as an amalgam of specific challenges. As we solve the problems posed by Al'Qaeda, we will retain these solutions as institutional capabilities. Therefore, even if the next 'threat' is only marginally similar to Al'Qaeda, some of the challenges it poses may be identical, and our responses will be ready.

Capabilities planning is another way of saying that we are systematically removing advantages for any potential foe while at the same time eliminating our weaknesses. Threats will continue to pop up that pose different combinations of challenges. Solve the challenges, preempt the threat.

2/06/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger k said...

Has anyone seen the movie The War Within? I’ve got to tell you the film totally opened my eyes about how the mistreatment of those suspected of terrorist activities can actually turn them into what we fear most—terrorists. It is a point of view rarely seen in the west.

2/06/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

CNN just followed up a piece on the questioning of Gonzales with another on the almost incredible challenges facing intelligence gatherers in an age of anonymous emails, evermore elaborate encrypting, and disposable cell phone SIM cards.

Before interviewing intelligence analysts Ira Winkler and Rebecca Giver-Forbes, CNN played a segment of NBC's "E-Ring", where Benjamin Bratt tells a frustrated Dennis Hopper that they can't listen in on a known Al Qaida conversation because the Congress is tying their hands.

2/06/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think perhaps what they are trying to say is that we figure out what the desired end state is, and then plan on capabilities required to attain that end state.

The End State will be a politically-driven variable, ranging from Clinton's "We are the Ultimate Superpower and, Boy, are We Embarassed And Hope This Changes" to the Bush Doctrine's "We are the Ultimate Superpower and We Will Make Damn Sure We Stay That Way, No Matter What." with the first Bush Admin position of "Gee, That Cold War Thing Worked Out Pretty Well, Didn't It? Well, Good! When's Lunch?" somewhere in the middle.

As Desert Rat's comments indicate, threat-based planning today would seem to dictate airpower based on pushing pallets of high explosives out the back of C-17's. That won't work against anyone with the capability of putting on a reasonably entertaining Sunday afternoon airshow.

2/06/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

In all fairness to the Pentagon, the reason it seems mismatched to asymmetry is because it is so overwhelming against symmetry. And that's for sure a good thing. PRC is building that symmetrical threat, but it ain't there yet. Re, QDR, we're not alone gambling on 'symmetrical peace'. PRC's money-eating baby blue-water navy is a gamble on their part, that the world stays symmetrically peaceful long enough for it to move from a target too expensive to lose (as was the German High Seas Fleet in WWI & II), to one which makes ours too expensive to lose.

2/06/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Of course, the wild card in all this is military nanotech. With nanotech, weaknesses approach zero, capabilities go vertical.

RWE: I like W's idea.

2/06/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

RWE, love those parentetical characterizations, they get to the point. I agree, as do most here, that the knotty problem is to get our own people to realize that wanting to stay the Big Boy ain't a matter of juvenile bullying, it's a matter of keeping the world open and trading, so an excess here can go to a deficit there, and vice versa, without paying the pirates.

Policemen let the poor get a mouthful, so they can work up.

How can we explain this simple matter to those people who stood up appluding at SOTU over having derailed vital economic reforms?

2/06/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

That Bush I terrible choice of words "new world order" had that very strategy, to keep increasing incentives to world trade toward making all nations self-sufficient--and with more to lose than gain by letting slip the dogs of war. Essentially the same as Bush II would've been, sans the overarching war. Damn the 90s, and our deliberate turn-away from moral authority.

2/06/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I think we've pretty much solved the problem of great power (or Core) interaction: the H-bomb. The rule set of MAD is pretty well entrenched, and stable, just as Eisenhower and Churchill predicted.

Most of our efforts this century will focus on dealing with failed states (already 150 Gap interventions since 1990). As Barnett says, we need an 'A to Z' process to deal not only with economic failure, but with political failure as well. Failures go in at 'A', and come out at 'Z' rehabilitated.

Of course, this is still mostly theoretical. Getting other nations to agree to such processes might be the largest challenge we face.

If you have an hour free, watch this video. It explains the structure of Barnett's thinking (and also contains a cogent defense of the Iraq war).

2/06/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Will earmark that video for tonite--thanks--

2/06/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

As with discussions here in the past I often don't understand something like RWE's "politically-driven variable". Then I lose the discussion.

How can a variable also be described as an "end state" if a variable is something that varies or is prone to variation, "a quantity that can assume any of a set of values"?

Desiring a variable "end state" seems an odd usage to me. Is it a truism or an oxymoron or both?

Anyway, "end states" generally presuppose the kind of fixed game plan that the QDR is calling into question and presumably doesn't want to limit us to.

It's a matter of experience, rather than hopeful theory, that one doesn't know the response that's called for until contingency presents us with the circumstances. (That same 'experience' should inform us while hazarding pre-responses too.) The same goes for any theories about A to Z rehabilitations.

As we learned from everything that we didn't anticipate before invading Iraq, challenges often can't be formulated in advance of their solutions. Happily, our military is already learning to meet contingency with flexibility.

I see our situation as one of lessening the theory-laden approach to warfare (and UN-type approaches to rehabilitation), as understood by such phrases Wretchard used to describe what the QDR hopes to replace: reasonable predictability, single-focused threats, nation-state threats, one size fits all” deterrence, threat-based planning, static defense ... forces, conventional combat operations, separate military Service concepts of operation, static alliances, Department of Defense solutions.

2/06/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...


"A to Z" is an interesting idea.

But preemption is a lot cheaper and a lot less cruel than reaction.

We will have to modify our ethics to address this.

Consider domestic law enforcement. We know that most felonious crimes are committed by the mentally ill - most notably sociopaths. Simple tests exist to identify these people most of the time and effective treatment programs exist - and if these people are caught when they are entering their teens - the success rate in near 100%.

So do we throw $100 at a problem ten years from now and suffer the deaths and injuries of a deranged person - or do we intervene early for $5?

If one accepts intervention - then the next step is to look at the birth parents.

See where this is going?

We have to begin at the individual level - look at Chavez - anyone can see he is a kook - why is he in power? Why is Iran's Amehidejad in power?

We already clearly understand the "A to Z" of normal vs criminal personalities - and this is where any "A to Z" theory has to begin and end with.

2/06/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I haven’t seen the “War Within”, so can not comment on it, but I don’t think that we are turning peaceful, average Joes into pissed off terrorists. This is the tactic of Islamists. “We may be plotting to kill innocents, but if you treat us poorly, we are going to kill innocents for sure.” The problem may well be holding the enemy in captivity though. They would not pose the same threat if they were summarily executed as they would have been in any other war. The problem is to gain useful information, affixing culpability, then immediate removal from the ‘War on Terror’ and from the gene pool.

2/06/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"And that will be far from easy because there are currently marked divisions in the perception of what constitutes the main threats to world peace and what steps should be taken to address them."
Are there really any serious people out there that don't know Algore (joined now by Bubba, [see Davos]) is right, and that Global Warming represents the single biggest threat to our securities and liberty?
...after GWBitler, of course.

2/06/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

libetry and securities
(Halliburton, Chevron, etc)

2/06/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

security and liberties.
3rd time's the charm.

2/06/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Duog, we konm waht yuo maen no matetr waht yuor mothed of sepillng yuor wrods hepapns to be on any piculatrar day.

2/06/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"challenges often can't be formulated in advance of their solutions. "
IEDs and RPGs the two largest threats to our Military?
Who woulda thought of that in the midst of their grand schemes and space-age weaponry?

2/06/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pentagon Widens Program to Foil Bombings in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 — The Pentagon is tripling its spending, to about $3.5 billion this year, on a newly expanded effort to combat the rising number of increasingly powerful and sophisticated homemade bombs that are the No. 1 killer of American troops in Iraq, military officials say.

2/06/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I've joined the Hewitt Chorus and now Condemn Cartoons Portraying
Violence in the name of Religion when
those cartoons refer to Muslims and therefore are known to
Provoke Violence in the Name of Religion
Cartoons depicting victimized US Soldiers and a Heartless Administration are fine, however, since they have no substance to them and are merely fictionalized commentary.

2/06/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dhimmis Dealing w/Reality

2/06/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Opotho: We need to realize that the "official" vision of the desired future will vary depending on who is in power. This differs from the Cold War or WWII, in which pretty much both U.S. political parties agreed that stopping the Nazis/Militarists/Commies was a must and the argument was over how best to do it.

The Reagan Admin approach was summed up by Maggie Thatcher who said on a visit to D.C. in 1992: "There is a Pax America, and Thank God for it!"

The Bush I Admin approach was that bad things could happen but that the good people of the world could fix it by working together to create a New World Order: a U.N. that actually worked.

The Clinton Admin had a vision of a world a bit like Bush I, but without much need for the use of military force and with everyone wearing their traditional ethnic costumes and singing "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." while holding hands on some hilltop. SecState Madeline Halfbright said "We don't want to be the world's only superpower."

Bush II is getting back to the Pax America approach again - selectively.

2/06/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Apparently peeved at the thought of having to vote on that issue, Senator Durbin asked what organization I was with. I told him I was respresenting Power Line and Pajamas Media. Durbin said he wasn't familiar with this group, and then proceeded to address my question. His answer was (I quote from memory) that "this is not how things work" and that (if I understood him correctly) the issue is whether the president's actions are constitutional.

I attempted to follow-up by noting that if the administration is right about the interplay of FISA and AUMF, there is no serious constitutional question because the president is acting with the permission of Congress. Durbin made it clear, however, that questioning was over. His parting shot was that he would try to check out what I write for "Pajama Line." My parting shot, that Dan Rather knew something about the outfit, drew laughter. Afterwards, Debra Burlingame, sister of the captain of American Airlines flight 77 and a strong proponent of the NSA surveillance program, complimented me on my questioning.

If this is what reporters get to do regularly, I may have made a bad career choice.
- Powerline

2/06/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Andrew has now posted video footage of the encounter on the Pajamas site. It's entertaining, even though Durbin never answers either Paul's question or the administration's argument. I understand that Durbin took over the podium in relief of Ted Kennedy, who was having a tough time. It's scary to consider that Durbin could have been an improvement.

2/06/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Think of the misdirection and stealth powers of "Pajamas," vs the Corporate Choice, "Open Source."

2/06/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sign of the Times:
Conservatives coming down harder on Accurate Cartoons than they did on false Koran Flushing Stories.

2/06/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Aristides said:
Most of our efforts this century will focus on dealing with failed states.
Most failed states rot.


1. To lean (a ship) on one side for cleaning, caulking, or repairing.
2. To clean, caulk, or repair (a ship in this position).

Many years ago a sailing ship would ground itself at high tide so as to scrape off all the slime/scum worms grabbing onto the hull. I. Africa is hopeless, sunk. II. Pan-Arabia is wealthy. Now. Pan-Arabia cannot clean itself, cannot teach itself. Pan-Arabia is stuck to a ship which for too long ignored the crap stuck on the sides. III. The free world, too, needs to clean and rebuild her hull.

2/06/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Wretchard, I couldn't disagree more, and that is rare for your foresight. From the above post I see the US Military going very, very long range and biting off a huge chunk of policy. Just look at what they are attempting, in a beaurcratic way; Going for suprise (that recognizes antticipation of the enemy projection) fighting in friendly territory, fragmentation of efforts within an over all force structure. This is special ops thinking. Yes we will probably see Navy Seals riding horses.

To my thinking Rumsfeld has won the day over the Army and their stolid, ponderous thinking and anticipation. Maybe now they. the most hide bound group can finally get out of the box of the Fulda Gap. Yes they are proud but their upper echelon has been way too PC in their thinking. It would always be nice to have overwhelming force but only if you are fighting an overwhelming force. That can only refer to a land war in China in this day and age. Perhaps in twenty years but, China has never gotten into the conquest game.

All in all, from the graph data I am very suitable impressed by those goals. The politicians will always listen intently, gesticulate extravently and nod solemnly while agreeing whole heartedly because they just will not devote enough attention to that 'military thingy". It looks like republican thinking for the next ten or so years whether the presidency is Repub or Demo.

2/06/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Rat brought up, on a previous thread, Rumsfeld's recent remark
to the effect that the terrorist threat remains today as serious as it was five years ago.

If we are to take Rumsfeld at his word, one has to wonder, "Why is that?"

All of our efforts to date, according to the Secretary, have resulted not in diminishment of the threat the Administration is said to have and to be focused on, but rather in keeping it at the level of half a decade ago.

We are, he says, no safer. And he's not the first Administration official to say it. Others have said it repeatedly, monotonously: Another terrorist attack is not a matter of 'if', but of 'when'.

So while being repeatedly assured that every day, in every way, we are winning in Iraq, "the central front in the War on Terror", we are no better off now than we were when we began.

And what is the reaction to assertions such as this?

I hear crickets.

If Rumsfeld is correct - and he should know the score, should he not? - The Long War is a swindle. At any price.

2/06/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Opotho, just because you get your ideas from Holloywood does not necessarily mean that they are idiots and your take on things is not necessarily inspired by cocktail thought by people who maybe just maybe understand anything. I find you analysis just a bit short.

2/06/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Jed Babbin question to New Admin Official on expected Backbiting from State Department
on QDR:
"That's not a problem anymore,
Colin's Not There
Talk about Straight Talk!

2/06/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Porkov said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/06/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Porkov said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/06/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Porkov said...

Render all captured enemy combatants to Arrakis. What was the cultural impact (if any) of the Frank Herbert classic Dune in creating the current climate in militant Islam?

I apologize if this appears to be a total non-sequitur. It makes sense to me.

2/06/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


When Soviet Communism was alive, the doomsday clock was always at 10 to 12, more or less. I think the same kind of logic applies here. As long as Islam is alive, we'll always be vulnerable to an attack. Where we made some strides is in the relationship between nuclear capable Islamic states and Islamic terror groups willing to carry this attack. The number of possible sponsors is diminishing, so the possible claims of plausible deniability, and so the incentive to acquire these weapons.

2/06/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A 2003 Newsweek Article:
"Challenging the Koran"
Has vanished from their Website!
- Savage

2/06/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/06/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This war will not be won until (unless?) we win the war within the United States. Europe is optional, but the United States is the entire tomale.

We don't have the time to wait for the populations in question to evolve beyond the Mahdi Army, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas. All on their individual schedules.

Perhaps if we had the troops to occupy the entire Arab World, and the guts to forcefeed our way of life down their throats - but we don't.

The current situation is akin to rebuilding Tokyo while the rest of Japan lies in flame and under enemy control...hoping they'll see the light. It was worth a try, I think, but always tending towards a hope.

We have no credibility. If we did, they would not be whining about Korans, cartoons, burned bodies, or any other insignificant infraction. They know they can push our buttons because we are weak and without resolution.

It's going to get much worse before it gets better. And I don't think the solution is going to entail Arab democracy - as a whole the region's hopeless.

2/06/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


You're right, but
AQ represents the privatization of terrorism. My worry, for us specifically, is not state sponsors, it's the growth of terrorist and terrorist-friendly organizations without need of government patrons.

2/06/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Newsweek banned over article on the Koran

"Here's" the "Article"

HTML Link to pdf file: Challenging the Koran

Do we care if we cave and can no longer read the news when Muslims are involved?

2/06/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"as a whole the region's hopeless. "
You mean
Politically Correctland USA
is a writeoff?
(I agree, btw)

2/06/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger beerjohn said...

The QDR: if anyone has read the "Pentagon's New Map: Blueprint for Action" by Thomas P.M. Barnett, that breakdown of where we are vs. where we need to be is straight out of his book. He briefs Special Ops Command and the Defense Dept. with the visionary "globalization" approach to combating problem areas worldwide and making it a world issue rather than a US/NATO/EU problem. Brilliant stuff.

2/06/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

By the way, I believe that one of our great problems is that we had the wrong people doing planning in the military during the 90’s.

The 80’s were a time of buildup, of engineering and acquisition efforts taking the lead. There was a general feeling within the military that the “operators” had taken a back seat during the 80’s and that he 90’s would be their decade, using the weapons systems that the Reagan military buildup had produced, while there would be less emphasis on RDT&E efforts.

As things turned out, the real “era of the operator” was very, very short. Desert Storm took place in early 1991 and the USSR went out of business less than a year later. The Threat Driven approach used by DoD for planning, combined with the irrational exuberance of most politicians, some of whom admitted to loathing the military anyway, led to a enormous decline in our military services.

The military leadership of the time was distressed beyond words. The magnificent fighting machine that had been constructed was dismantled by nearly 50%. This was doubly upsetting to the military leadership of the time, which had been eagerly anticipating their moment in the sun – and it had lasted about 3 months.

In reality, we were at the start of a whole new planning era, with the current threat vanished and any new one a good 10 plus years away. We needed to re-enter the planning process, and very probably reset to RDT&E being the lead again and develop a new military based more on Information Age warfare. A few congressional staffers even advocated a philosophy that recognized this, called “Put It On The Shelf.”

In response the military leadership saw any R&D effort as being a dollar stolen from keeping their precious operational forces up and running.

The Clinton Admin “Invasion of the Month Club” policy supported the current versus future outlook. The US ARMY found itself deployed to 100 countries – more than at the height of the Cold War, and the emphasis was on funding the “now” at the expense of the future.

It appears this QDR finally takes a look at the future. Whether it is correct or not, I can’t say, but at least it is a shot at a better outlook.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I thought it a valuable addition to Wretchard’s thoughtful analysis. And my last job on active duty was titled Chief of Advanced Planning.

2/06/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

So it took 500yrs for some folks to stop burning people at the stake in the name of Christianity:
We got nuttin but time!

2/06/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Babbin's guest was pleased that more resources were going to Intelligence.
...Prompting Babbin to inquire whether State Dept would put up with this intrusion on their baliwick.
Thanks for the info.

2/06/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Porkov, loved Dune when I was but a pup, other than the similarity of Arrikis and Iraqis I am not quite sure of your point, elaboration please.

2/06/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud when I saw this:

Iran's largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

How delightful: the world gets to compare the reaction of the Muslims with the reaction of the Jews, when both are "mortally" insulted.

This last week has been one gift after another. What a world.

2/06/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Better now than later:

We've been banning Christianity and promoting Islam with increased vigor ever since 9-11.
(remember little kiddies having Muslim appreciation week and etc?
Try that with Christianity!)

Did you see above that the dhimmified MSNBC censored themselves in response to the RoP?

Publish National Security Secrets, ban the truth about those who seek our destruction.
Smart, very smart.

2/06/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A search on their website results in NO results.

2/06/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


AQ is state sponsored, just like every other terrorist organization. Don't let anyone tell you different. It's impossible for the terror organization not to be state sponsored. For temporary tactical reasons, Bush is making exceptions to his stated policy. But I'm sure these inconsistencies will be corrected, when the time is right.

2/06/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/06/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Where DO they get the ideas for those Cartoons?

On the Way to (Christian) School

2/06/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I would have disagreed prior to this week.
After hearing the disgusting "compassionate" pleas for further dhimmification in the form of sacrificing the essence of the first ammendment by some on "our" side, (compassionate "conservative" Christians, and etc) however, I pray for the day they release their ankles and stand up like creatures with spines.

2/06/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Sorry Doug, I decided the post was too long and removed it...going to repost on my blog after I refine it.

2/06/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Doug, the bravery extant in their actions was tremendous. To think that such a small force went up against that contingent of schoolgirls bespeaks of the highest dedication to duty. The poltroon Mo should congratulate them himself.

2/06/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Karensky, perhaps what Porkov meant was the similarity to CSLewis' Narnia writings, wherein an intellectually gifted writer clothes the deeper story in a socially-acceptable garb and lets people enjoy the surface, and dig deeper IF THEY CHOOSE to see the parallels, symbols and historic persons.

So you've figured out Iraqis/Arrakis, now its easier to see that the Bab (the "John the Baptist" to the Glory of God) and the Lord of Hosts Himself (the Glory of God, Baha'u'llah) have placeholders in the Dune Trilogy; people seeking escape in 'spice'; the trade unions; the Clergy...

Frank Herbert may not have been a visionary, but its apparent that he DID study the historical reality of the Sandy Arabian nations, and wove much of that (taqiyyah, inflexibility, the need to force others into submission, the misogyny) into the Dune story.

2/06/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My, your looking young and Chipper this evening Carridine!

2/06/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How'd you become "K"arridine?

2/06/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now I am confused!

2/06/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

mike h,
At least they aren't TERRORISTS!
""The perpetrators are believed to aim at provoking the religious emotions of the people in Poso so that unrest erupts," said Andi Mallarangeng, a spokesman for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. "

I'll bet the parents of those young girls WERE "provoked."
At least.

2/06/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Catholic Priest Shot, Killed at Church in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey — A teenage boy shot and killed the Italian Roman Catholic priest of a church in the Black Sea port city of Trabzon on Sunday, shouting
"God is great"
as he escaped, according to police and witnesses.

2/06/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"I would have disagreed prior to this week.
After hearing the disgusting "compassionate" pleas for further dhimmification in the form of sacrificing the essence of the first ammendment by some on "our" side, (compassionate "conservative" Christians, and etc) however, I pray for the day they release their ankles and stand up like creatures with spines."


Some months ago I think I said that Newsweek, even if the Koran story had been true, Newsweek should not have published it. They should have known better. In other words, I counseled [voluntarily] curtailing our use of the 1st Amendment to placate their potential for violence. So perhaps I'm also at fault.

This is a tough war to score.

To my credit, however, I put the vast majority of the blame on the rioters.

2/06/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I just see the line between "good sense" and dhimmification becoming increasingly indistinguishable.
We've changed, they haven't,
...just the way they like it.

2/06/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I agree.

I also think you can say the same thing about the domestic radical left.

The more crazy they get, the more to the left the Republican Party goes in order to compensate.

2/06/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Free Speech is Silence,
Denial is Truth,
Submission is Freedom!

2/06/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Doug, I wish that I was young enough to reenlist. Waiting for them to get close enough does instill discipline though. Have an excellent evening.

2/07/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Beak Doctor said...

Re Trish's comment at 5.36pm

I disagree with Rumsfeld that we face as much of a terrorist threat now as we did five years ago. We face a greater terrorist threat now because:

1. There are more Muslims in the West now than there were five years ago.

2. The Saudi and Iranian regimes still exist and are still able to fund the global terror network.

Nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq is a worthy exercise in humanitarian terms, but will have no impact whatsoever on the actual problem that we face - Islam in our own back yards.

2/07/2006 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"For temporary tactical reasons, Bush is making exceptions to his stated policy. But I'm sure these inconsistencies will be corrected, when the time is right."


We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't think GWB is keeping the truth from anyone about state sponsorship of AQ, waiting to reveal the truth when the time is right, and I haven't the faintest idea what you would base that assumption on.

The Bush administration, from the beginning, focused on the threat of states, three in particular, that are known NOT to be sponsors of AQ. He is, as far as I can tell, continuing on primarily with the foreign policy with which he entered office, with its focus, however selective, on non-proliferation. The added flourish of ending tyranny the world over is far removed from any anti-al Qaeda campaign.

If there are state sponsors of bin Laden, Zawahiri, and their fellow murderers of Americans (Spaniards, Brits, Australians) out there, and he has not yet named them and has not moved post haste to punish and remove them, then he merits no defense and no support whatsoever from any of us.

2/07/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I can see them changing more in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the West, until, and unless we grow up and get serious.
Given our cultural dumbing down, sometimes I wonder if that will happen.
The constant lying from DC about the situation on the border, and the disrespect for law that it engenders is another Cancer.

2/07/2006 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The Saudi and Iranian regimes still exist and are still able to fund the global terror network."


Which global terror network would that be? The one that came knocking on our door on September 11th or that has come calling in Europe and Asia since?

Has Saudi Arabia been named by the WH as a state sponsor of AQ? Has Iran been named by the WH has a state sponsor of AQ?

They have not.

Maybe, as Mika has mysteriously concluded, the White House is simply waiting until the time is right to let us in on the truth. Apparently the time wasn't right at any moment in the last five and a half years.

2/07/2006 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rumsfeld called Iran the leading exporter of terrorism:
Doesn't that count?

2/07/2006 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

The leading exporter of terrorism against whom...exactly? For the funding, training, and direction of what terrorist organizations...exactly?

Terrorism, terrorists, and terror organizations are not one giant undifferentiated mass.

2/07/2006 02:38:00 AM  
Blogger The Beak Doctor said...

Doug, you're right, our short attention span culture is ill-equipped for dealing with an enemy like this. They're attacking us on fronts we don't even know we have; the reasonable-sounding 'moderate' Muslim guest in the tv studio can be just as dangerous as the suicide bomber. But at least we have those Danish cartoonists.

2/07/2006 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

From a battle-ready force (peace) to battle hardened forces (war)

Which assumes that perpetual war is going on. Orwell wasn't that far off the mark.

2/07/2006 03:02:00 AM  
Blogger The Beak Doctor said...

Trish, I didn't mean to imply that the Saudi government is funding a single monolithic terror network, or that such a thing even exists at all. I just meant that the two biggest net contributors of terror funds (including the building of mosques in the West - cultural terrorism) are those two, and that we won't even begin to reduce the threat of terrorism until they've been dealt with. How the Saudis managed to stay off the 'axis of evil' list is truly one of the great mysteries of our time.

2/07/2006 03:50:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...



Add one and two, and you'll get four, or five, or six. The math is simple. Iran got its nuke making technology from? But Iran is Shiia! How could that be?!

2/07/2006 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

trish said: The leading exporter of terrorism against whom...exactly? For the funding, training, and direction of what terrorist organizations...exactly?

Terrorism, terrorists, and terror organizations are not one giant undifferentiated mass.

true there are differences between hamas, hezbollah, islamic jihad, fatah, al aska marytrs brigade...

it's usually fashion....

2/07/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If any of them start wearing those tablecloth turbans again, I'll kill em all myself!

2/07/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"Has Saudi Arabia been named by the WH as a state sponsor of AQ? Has Iran been named by the WH has a state sponsor of AQ?

They have not."

"Terrorism, terrorists, and terror organizations are not one giant undifferentiated mass," says Trish.

Ma'am, I don't mean to be snarky in saying you may never have worked in a position of (knowledge) responsibility, but I (and others here) HAVE, and understand that knowledge -ESPECIALLY THAT AVAILABLE to the POTUS- often brings with it the REQUIREMENT to refrain from making it public.

In other words, sometimes it can be criminally irresponsible to 'let the American public in on the secret'!

To publicly name the differentiated groups of terrorists and their relationships one to another and their sources of funding and their leaders and their loci of operation could tell them MUCH TOO MUCH about how effective we (Americans) are in gathering intelligence on them.

That is the first time my pic has been seen, ever, in this thread. I was 18, spoke Korean, had a Top Secret-Cryptological clearance and was living atop a mountain on the Korean DMZ, Trish. It was there, then, that I BEGAN learning about the utter necessity of using WISDOM when it comes to revealing what you know.

2/07/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gee, I thought GWB liked Poker 'cause you get to tell your oponents everything as you go!
(And it ain't the first time I saw that photo, Carridine, er Karridine!)
Are you really in the Bahamas now?
...did you finally have to flee the Muslims for your family's sake?
Hate to pry...
(yeah, right!)

2/07/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

rwe, you probably won't get to read this but I didn't want you to think I didn't appreciate your response to me yesterday. My internet shut down for the rest of the day.

Yes, you cleared up what you meant (for my understanding) and I agree with your notion of "end states" justifying whatever preparations seem most fitting (means!).

To tweak that a little, I'm sure you'd agree that, remembering the early 80's, the extent and quality of the Democrats' agreement that "stopping the Commies was a must" was questionable (just as most Democrats didn't agree with that estimate before '47 or '48 either). Bubba's laxity grew out of the milieu that nurtured the Sandanistas and the nuclear freeze movement.

[Karensky, your garbled syntax ruined your evident and gratuitous insult. I observe Hollywood and quote cocktail party talk (above) in order to chart the next notion of an "end state" for that habitually flawed outlook: "let's not be too quick to judge."]

2/07/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

After nearly 20 years of the development the US army cancelled the RAH-66 in February 2004. The cost as well as the doctrinal shift towards more, less expensive reconnaissance platforms spelled its doom. It was probably also a casualty of OIF burgeoning expenses that killed it along with the roll back of a number of other high-end fighter aircraft. It may not of been a simple, pragmatic readjustment based on a reevaluation of threats as it was a matter of the Defense Department getting ‘Overtaken-By-Events’ and rolled over by the future. Many a defense contractors in the direct gravy train were mightily pissed at that great sucking sound coming out of Iraq and consuming the programs that they had staked their future on. But times have changed and there is not a single tier-one defense contractor that is not involved in some manner or another with UAV aircraft. So there will be fleets of UAVs able to scour vast territories for Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance data. We have the long range aerial strike capability, now the only thing we’ll need to develop is the legions of ground forces that are able to act upon that ISR data.

2/07/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

I agree with RWE that they have a new plan that is a good start, and will help them to think progressively; and will help the re-alignment of our resources. It would be nice to think that in the process, they could weed out a few bureaucrats and the rest of the kerfluffle crowd. It's not that I'm opposed to dissenting opinion; it's just that it must be kept in house; additionally, you need people that will not ignore a problem, but deal with it even if it may implicate faults on your own part...
...I think a missing leg of the whole QDR is the integration of our economic might. This may sound simplistic; but imagine a Walmart with all those Chinese goods in Tehran as a start...Chinese economic interest in a stable Iran might be enough to get more progressive minded businessmen in positions of leadership to tip the balance towards a more progressive, integrated, functioning country. I think we sometimes over estimate the number of normal people that want to become martyrs in some of these countries.

2/07/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sowell gives us a name we should use regularly:
Cutthroats and Outrageous Cut-ups.

Looking back at the history of tragic times often reveals that many -- or most -- of the people of those times were often preoccupied with things that look trivial, or even pathetic, in view of the catastrophe looming over them. Will later generations looking back at our times see a similar blindness, and even frivolousness, in the face of mortal dangers?
Yet what are we preoccupied with or outraged about?
Whether the American government should intercept the phone calls of these cutthroats to people in the United States.

2/07/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat believes that should include Foreign Legions ala his experience in Central America.
UAVs plus indigenous forces is a combo not available then.

2/07/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

We already have foreign legions so to speak. A lot of ‘foreigners’ earned their citizenship while fighting in OIF. But as to something akin to the French Foreign Legion, I was thinking something long those lines myself. If we need to outsource US jobs because the US mama’s boys are not up to the task, not to mention the effeminate masses of Western Europe, we’ll need to attract a foreign Freedom Corp that will have the American dream to look forward to at the end of their service. I can hear Rat mumbling something about the Gurkhas right now. Latinos have made good soldiers and they deserve to call themselves Americans after serving. It reminds of an old joke, “why didn’t Mexico send a track and field team to the Olympics? Because everyone who could run, jump, or swim is already in the US.” Anywho, it is this training of indigenous people that the SOF is famous at, but perhaps it’s time to begin a new program. Remember also the lessons of School Of the Americas, this kind of program aint too popular with the Libs.

2/07/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any program that's effective is not popular with the libs.
Kaplan says the Special Forces are doing a good job around the world, wonder how much UAV activity goes on that we don't know about.
('Rat of course argues for much larger numbers of foreign fighters)
Have you ever thought of doing a UAV roundup at your site?
...the links alone would be worthwhile.
Nicest thing about them is how rapidly they are deployed compared to legacy aircraft and shipbuilders.

2/07/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just read your 105 post:
Had no idea a Thud would DO a snap roll!
(I once had a tiny high winged rc job that would do a quick snap and then go into a beautiful flat spin that was recoverable at tree height ...Boyd should have tried that!)

2/07/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Har har,
An F105 does a snap roll like bricks don’t fly… that was more or less the idea, slow that baby down to nuthin’ and let the MiG zoom on by. Today’s modern equivalent maneuver is called the Cobra, its basically like pulling a wheely to break speed, seen some pretty cool photo’s of the Ruskies doin’ it with an SU-27. Not a bad idea ‘bout the UAV round up. If I do I’ll give you a shout.

2/07/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michelle Malkin
For all the Dhimmi rationalizers and apologists for terrorists here, read Malkins piece linked above and then think real hard.
She has a whole lot more on her home page.
One crappy "religion" intimidating the entire world.

2/07/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Just wait till the howls about drafting willing foreigners to fight America's wars.

But can we discriminate against non-English speakers? No Muslims? Surely everybody deserves to be drafted by America to fight illegal wars. What about Mexicans who take the paycheck, and then desert across the border to avoid combat deployments?

Foreign legion seems to me a potential gold mine for liberal idiocy.

Throw in the obligatory Rome analogy and you've got to limit it to a certain amount of the regular force, so it seems like a small-fix anyway.

If Americans won't leave their cushy homes to fight wars that their own media won't support [understandable, realistically speaking, not everyone's a masochist], and we're ruling out a draft as impractical politically or immoral, it seems to me we better put a much bigger emphasis on destroying than building. Iraq is a moderate to small sized state, though admittedly a little bit extra insane than the normal hypothetical.

Just some thoughts.

2/07/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Gee Cutler, I don’t know where to begin… first of all drafting and recruiting are differentiated by “compulsory service” or conscription. Where as recruiting, well let’s say that it is not compulsory. Nobody want to serve with a bunch of “hell no we wont go” types. The French Foreign Legion requires that its recruits learn French, I suppose that the Army probably requires English be spoken. There are over 8,000 Mexican Nationals in the US armed services today.

Speaking Arabic of Farsi might be useful. Don’t see the harm in that provided that their loyalties are kept in check.

As far as illegal wars are concerned, you’re kidding right?

2/07/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

You missed where I was sarcastic, and assumed I was sarcastic when I was serious. Probably not a good sign on my part.

Perhaps I'm overly skeptical, but I highly doubt the Foreign Legion that America creates in the 20th century will resemble a French Foreign Legion founded in the 19th century. It takes a more demanding society to create an auxillary unit with that kind of espirit de'corps and discipline. I don't think one whose leadership thinks English language skills and identification are optional for voters, and insists on politically correct immigration quotas and citizenship lotteries would make the cut.

2/07/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

20th century

21st century...oops.

2/07/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Opotho: You know, as I thought about my respoense to your Ed Sate question, I decided that in reality, all U.S. elected adminstrations have wanted the same End State, more or less.
The Europeans have even commented to this effect; that the different parties in the U.S, don't seem to be too far apart from their perspective.

Some thought being surrounded by Commies was not so bad, and some were determined to prevant the Commies from taking over as much as 3 square feet in Lower Slabovia.

But I think most wanted pretty much the same thing - but as they say, the devil is in the details in getting there.

Not that all of them would have been pleased with what they really got as result of their policies.

2/07/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

You almost can’t be overly skeptical these days. Absurdity gets a lot of ear-play when a moderate administration is in the White House. Makes sarcasm a little tricky though.

2/07/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Thank you for applying your now-to-be-expected analytics to the QDR. I have two questions on your excellent table:

What's this mean?
From threat-based planning <<<>>> to capabilities based planning ?

And, in all humility, I think you may be over-stating the transition from hard to soft power in this row:
From an emphasis on ships, guns, tanks and planes <<<>>> to focus on information, knowledge and timely, actionable intelligence. We can more than do both at once, in fact, it becomes ever cheaper and more cost efficient to do the latter, while the former is still hopelessly bogged down in the limits of physics.

This QDR is talking about very different ships >Littoral fleet< and very different guns >Robot-borne UAV's (Predator)< and very different planes in the form of an new, stealthy "Strike Force" comprised of new aircraft, including the F-22 and some other new bomber they don't describe.

Next week's AWST will weigh in with their comments, but of course they'll reflect the views of the Military Industrial Complex. Btw, they are not fans of the current Administration - contrary to popular illusion, SecDef Rumsfeld is not popular in the MIC!

2/07/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Rat brought up, on a previous thread, Rumsfeld's recent remark
to the effect that the terrorist threat remains today as serious as it was five years ago.

We established that Desert Rat was actually quoting Reuters.

You want to base your argument and deductions on Reuters?

2/07/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


I was waiting for you post!

It appears this QDR finally takes a look at the future. Whether it is correct or not, I can’t say, but at least it is a shot at a better outlook.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I thought it a valuable addition to Wretchard’s thoughtful analysis. And my last job on active duty was titled Chief of Advanced Planning.

2/07/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

I wonder what the ODR says about 5,000 Iranian (10,000; 50,000) snipers that do a "John Mohammad" on us all over the same time.

We paniced over 15 million people in Maryland and Virginia with a two man sniper team and debriefed the world on how America can be stopped in our tracks by such simple means.

If the American people are never brought on a "war" footing, we will be nothing but continually surprised and have our head handed to us over the smallest of incidents.

We haven't even done the most rudimentary of things in our own defense: brought back Civil Defense Volunteer teams; a cadre that would at least establish a reactionary chain of command and leadership in a time of distress.

I continually shake my head at our mind-boggling naivety.

2/08/2006 02:28:00 PM  

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