Getting it together?

Afghan police officers and the U.S. soldiers, bottom, gather at the scene of a suicide attack in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, March 1, 2010. A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy Monday outside the major southern Afghan city, killing one NATO service member and four Afghan civilians, officials said. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

On Michael Yon’s Facebook page this morning:

Sad and Sickening: A General Officer should be fired.

This morning, we lost a soldier to a suicide bomb on a bridge just a short drive from this massive military installation called Kandahar Airfield. The bridge, which is important to us, was badly damaged and remains impassable to military traffic. Meanwhile, on this bustling base, under-employed soldiers from various nations crowd around hockey games, live bands, and coffee shops. The damaged bridge is just a bicycle ride away from soldiers who are too busy celebrating Olympic medals to safeguard this bridge. The bridge is so close that I felt the explosion and saw the mushroom cloud. Our mission, and no doubt others, was cancelled because we could not get over the bridge.

The General in charge of security for this bridge should be fired.

Coupled with another attack in Kabul involving NZSAS troops, one wonder if there might not be something to the idea of secondary effects of the surge in Afghanistan?

On ‘science’

Coming Anarchy discusses the ‘science’ of global warming, a topic that has also been slammed by Neptunus Lex. Portable Learner while covering another example of misapplied science, “…In an interview for On The Media, The Lancet’s editor Dr. Richard Horton weighs in on the state of open scientific debate:

We used to think that we could publish speculative research which advanced interesting new ideas which may be wrong, but which were important to provoke debate and discussion. We don’t think that now. We don’t seem able to have a rational conversation in the public space about difficult controversial issues without people drawing a conclusion which could be very averse….The 19th-century days where you could sit in the salon at the Royal Society and have a private conversation amongst your fellows just doesn’t exist anymore. So I think yeah, too much information in this particular case is a bad thing, which seems to go against every kind of democratic principle that we believe in. But in the case of science, it seems to be true.

But it is not. I can’t help but wonder if we had had this conversation, in public, ten years ago when the study was still “speculative research” we may well have averted the flawed decision to publish it in the first place. We need more information, not less, and more inclusive conversations, not narrowly confined to the medical community. The public may well have to engage the medical community in the public space “difficult conversations without drawing a conclusion that could be very averse…

I tend to agree – far better to have the discussion early and draw out all of the available information out to make as informed a decision as possible than to disregard potentially relevant stakeholders and abdicate responsibility what may be perceived as an overly-elite group.

‘The people’ can be really dumb at times…

The Strategist comments on the ignorance and stupidity of those who opted to ignore tsunami warnings along New Zealand’s coast after the earthquake in Concepcion. One might argue that this is only natural selection in action and I might have agreed if it were not for the risks implicit to those who might have to attempt to rescue these losers and to the children they took to the beach with them; at best, it is wasting Police time, at worst, manslaughter. An interesting discussion at NZ Herald here and I wonder if this naivety and complacency is linked to the questions asked in the Timings paper mentioned above? Are we a nation that only learns the hard way…after a punch in the nose…?

People ignore tsunami warning at Mount Manganui. Photo/ Christine Cornege.

A good way of doing business

Peter also has an interesting item on the Byzantine Lessons Learned process…1500 years ago, the Byzantines developed theatre-specific handbooks for each of their current and likely mission spaces…if they could do it then, it really makes you wonder why it appears so hard today. I’ll have more on this when I complete my paper on GEN Mattis’ comments re obsolete thinking.


I made my first pastry ever yesterday afternoon and my first all homemade pies last night…some tuning still required but very YUM!!!

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