Saturday, April 01, 2006

A mixed bag tonight as my progeny have worn me out and I cannot yet concentrate on my own writing, so I'm going where the mood strikes me:

Wiggins, the Wohlstetterian defense analyst at Opposed System Design comments on the observations on strategy and theory made by Sonny, the USAF blogger at F-X Based.

Collounsbury and the merry band of Orientalists at 'Aqoul have dealt extensively with the Wafa Sultan -Ibrahim al-Khouli exhange (Eerie) and have provided the full, translated, al-Jazeera transcript (Meph) and followed up by highlighting a related MEMRI disussion over at Winds of Change ( Col ).

The Drs. Eide at The Eide Neurolearning Blog discuss the recent research demonstrating different brain maturation rates between high and average IQ children ( fodder for Dan's grad psych paper, I think).

Bruce Kesler at Democracy Project has his own round-up of interesting things so instead of just stealing them shamelessly for a mere hat-tip, I'll just link to his post and say " check it out" - particularly the csmonitor article and the bit on Sandy Berger copping to covering his ass by destroying classified historical records.

Dr. Lubos Motl on the Clinton administration's role in killing the Superconducting Supercollider, which dealt a critical blow to American leadership in experimental physics.

Dave Dilegge, Editor-in-Chief of The Small Wars Journal, points to his top ten online military information resources, all of which and more can be found here.

Ann Althouse on blogging, political parties and the self-defeating, wingnut, behavior at Kos.

Simon at Simon World posts on the self-promotion of China's public security ministry ( can you imagine what the Soviet MVD would have been like with a blog ?) and some American senators talking out of both sides of their mouth in China.

Jodi at The Asia Pages takes a hard look at the effects of Korea's education system which, like most Asian educational systems, stresses rigor at the expense of creativity and breadth.

That's it.

Thanks for the tip on OSD's blog. I tried posting this comments of Wiggins's blog, but there is something woring with his "Comments" feature and they wont go through. I don't see an e-mail on his blog. I am posting some of my response on the comments section of Zenpundit. As Wiggins is a regular reader, I hope he sees this:


Thanks a million for your comments, and the link back to my humble blog. You summarize what I was trying to say, better than myself. I like your bulletized description of 4GW, EBO, and NCW. Years of "death by PowerPoint" briefings unfortunately have accostumed my mind to thinking in term of "bullets". Again, thank you for taking the time to read my musings. I read OSD regularly, but I actually found out that you had commented on my post through Mark at Zenpundit [1]. I'll expand on your comments on my blog and link back to yours via my post (and in my blogroll). Mark decribed you as a "Wohlstetterian blogger". I had to look up who Albert Wohlstetter was. I have to read some of his work. To Williamson Murray's quote:
"…it is virtually impossible for young officers to find time and opportunity to attain the broad spectrum of historical knowledge, language training, and cultural awareness that the twenty-first century is going to demand."

I add: some of us spend a big chunk of out time either deployed, getting ready for deployment, or enroute to a deployment. (This is a big reason why I am far behind on my MBA.)I am not whining about this, I love deploying (to an extent) it's just a fact of life for some of us. A lot of my meager knowledge of history has been gained reading books in airports, PAX terminals, trailers, and tents; not in classrooms. Cultural awareness I have recieved from actually talking (when possible) to Iraqis, Koreans, Colombians, Mexicans, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qataris, Hondurans, Japanese, Pakistanis, etc, etc...
I have to say something on behalf of my branch, the USAF. Some writers tend to criticize the Air Force for our supposed infatuation with technology. They miss the point in the fact that technology by itself is not the problem, but the misapplication of technology. We can't go back to flying P-38s, and P-51s, just like I'm sure our critics are not driving Model T's to go to work. As a matter of fact, our aircraft (although much refurbished) are based on technology that is decades old: B-52 (50 and 60 technology), F-15 (70s and 80s), F-16 (70s and 80s), F-117 (70s and 80s), C-130 (50s and 60s), and so on. Whoever claims that the Predator UAV is "high-tech" does not really know what he is talking about. Like I said, this airframes have been updated with new technolgies, but the basic airframes are still very much the same. We misapplied our technological advantage in Vietnam, and that's a lesson every Air Force officer and NCO should know by heart.

Ultimately, Sun Tzu (as usual) said it best: "Thus one's victories in battle cannot be repeated - they take their form in response to inexhaustibly changing circumstances."

Take care, Wiggins,


[1] http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Mark.

BTW, the fact that you could not find Transormation of War (TOW) by van Creveld in a (assume) large library might be part of why NRO was calling him "obscure". I bet you could find several of John Keegan's titles. Bottom line, van Creveld is not "obscure" among the "right crowd". I personally think that TOW is not as good as Technology in War and Command in War. In TOW, van Creveld spends too much space trying (unsusccessfully) to discredit Clausewitz while he's trying to "sell" his new interpretation.
Hey Sonny,

I'll alert Wiggins to your comments via his non-blogging email.

Your comments on educational prep for career military personnel are worth discussing in a post of their own - have to write that idea down for future discussion :O)

Yes, it was a fairly sizable non-university library. Normally I'd just buy van Creveld's books but it wasn't on the shelf at the closest Border's or Barnes & Noble either. Rather than pay full freight on the cover price plus shipping I just went with interlibrary loan. Free and faster.

Of course, now I can't write in the margins like I usually do but sacrifices must be made - LOL !
Hi Sonny,

Comments screw-up now fixed, sorry for the confusion. I've responded over at OSD.

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