Last Call for 2009

Well, this is probably it for the year – we’re off on holiday from this weekend and aren’t planning on resuming normal services until the first week of 2010 although, if I get time, I may schedule some tuning signal posts over the close down period…

The misuse of the term ‘COIN’ for the environment we face today has always annoyed and as most will know my preferences are for the more accurate Countering Irregular Threats or, even better, Countering Irregular Activity. There is a great thread developing on Small Wars Journal on The Myth of Hearts and Minds [PDF: The Myth of Hearts and Minds – Comments – Small Wars JournalThe Myth of Hearts and Minds – Small Wars Journal] – I’ve already said my little bit and encourage you all to as well…I think this is important as the proponderant focus on COIN in the last four to five years has been a significant doctrinal red herring.

Both Coming Anarchy and Lex Neptunus offer comment on a recent Wall Street Journal piece on the alleged ability of insurgents to hack the feeds from US UAVs (drones are something totally different)…while it is simply so totally unamazing that the bad guys might target a weakness in the US comms hierarchy (you could build a whole doctrine around targeting weakness and call it ‘asymmetry’ – oh, yeah, they did that already…), this is not hacking: it sounds more like it is not much more than tuning into your neighbour’s unsecured wifi connection – more his problem that yours if he is too dumb/lazy/cheap to do the job properly…the Russians must be so upset that this $25 software, developed for legitimate and peaceful use, is being abused in this way…

On The Strategist, there is a note on the Brits punting up the success of their next big push in Afghanistan – before it happens – it’s either a cunning (of weasel proportions) information operations campaign – or just another sign of how much they just DON’T get it anymore and are still hankering for the halcyon days of the British Army on the Rhine where it was all so much simpler, lots of small maps, big arrows and bigger hands…I’m also not sure if you can have “…classic behind the lines fighting…” on the non-contiguous battlefield…?

And, finally, some food for thought from a Blunty of a few months ago: Are we better than them?

2 thoughts on “Last Call for 2009

  1. Tend to agree re conventional mindset – this is, after all, the same lot who brought us the Western front in WW1…perhaps, like the cohorts of war rethink, we also need to reconsider who we think about where we engage (as opposed to perhaps fight) an adversary and how we now may have to redefine those areas in which we operate? And maybe this is nothing new either…consider the various global naval campaigns of the 17th and 18th centuries which were removed from but directly linked at the strategic and maybe operational levels to the direct theatre of operations; ditto for the 1988 IRA shootings in Gibraltar, Op ELDORADO CANYON, and possibly even our own support to the UK effort in the Falklands by offering up resources to free up UK capabilities for the war zone…?

    It must be difficult though for the Brits who have plonked themselves on top of the heaps for so long top accept that it is time for change (well past it even) and that THEY are those who must change…


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