Friday December 7 2007


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the Surge

  • it is working
  • US military deaths are down
  • this is doubly significant because their are more troops
  • initially their was a spike in deaths
  • impressive decline
  • reduced civilian deaths

civilian deaths in Iraq

  • two methods for most fatalities: death squads and suicide attacks
  • less torture and execution (death squad) shite
  • less public suicide attacks () sunni



  • changes the shape of the explosive
  • build a fire, melt the ashphalt
  • reduces the cone of fire of the explosive and concentrates in a desired direction
  • this is why the floors are always lined with sandbags
  • putting an engine block
  • copper liquifies easily and acts as cutting torch

** explosively foreign penetrator**

  • it is IED mounted on a stick
  • this overcomes the v shaped hulls of the armoured vehicles by sending the force
  • this concept was pioneered by the South Africans
  • shites do not have the expertise to make these

political conciliation

  • concerned city committees
  • dramatic increase in enrollment in the police force

Concerned Citizen Groups

  • locals who agree to take on security jobs
  • these are PRU's
  • american financed tribal militias

exporting the PRU model

  • their is a position paper in Washington
  • they want to export it to Afghanistan

al anbar

Al Queda is deeply revolutionary

  • it doesn't care about tribes
  • it kills sheiks that oppose it
  • locals and foreigners are treated equally
  • if anything foreigners are preferred because they are not tempted by local allegiances
  • if you are not on their side they kill you
  • this kind of thinking in a tribal society such as the Middle East

why did they stop fighting

* for Sunnies Living under a Shite Government is unacceptable

  • The Sunnies fear that if the Shites start to seriously take on an insurgency and it would be a river of Sunni blood
  • The Sunnies want to make the US and Ally against the Shities when the US pull out
  • nobody knows why the Surge is Working
  • it is inept to start exporting a model that you can't prove is corelated to success

Al Anbar

  • Al Sadr tells its army to Stand Down
  • Tribes start to turn on Al Queda

Mute point

  • i don't know if the west can win a counter insurgency
  • but it appears to me like the US is no longer trying to fight a counter insurgency
  • it is more like choosing a side no matter how weak and teaching and supporting it how to fight an counter insurgency
  • empowering others to fight a counter insurgency

How the West has Won

Our societies permit us to construct a certain type of army
No other culture can beat us at
our state organization permit us to construct a certain kind of army
we have been victorious for 500 years

What is it about Insurgency that makes it difficult for the US to win

  • the local element
  • the strategic advantage that the west prevails at relies on technology and insurgency is a human conflict
  • human

2. success destroys the successful

  • mancur olson - the rise and fall of nations
  • you lose your ability to change, adapt, you become decadent and osified

3. technology

  • substituting man for machines
  • fighting at a distance
  • Age of Battles - Russell Weigley
  • the ritual dance of 18th century European warfare
  • this was a lost opportunity
  • battles were rare
  • large battles and casualties emerged again with intelligence

not just human intelligence but simply human interaction


  • caring about what happens in other countries
  • viiolating
  • it is a construct
  • it is more than that it is coordiination
  • being ideological is not necessarily a it may

Quote of The Week

  • I'll take cigarette and oil companies over a nation state any day, they're a helluva lot more honest

i don't know whether it was human rights watch or some other thing Human Right's Watch

Neurenbourg Trials in Hyde Park
London: under hyde park there is network of tunnels that were used as interogation rooms
the screaming beneath hyde park was so loud that they started to dump extra earth on top to muffle the sounds

Collective Punishment

  • we can't find X but we will take his mother instead
  • if he cares about his mother than he will turn him self in
  • if he doesn't then we can

This place, that we are in right now, is the exception to the rule, they are not natural or normal

any attempt to export values is imperialism be it climate change or human rights

Pilar order

  • a quick and easy right that corporations and individuals have which the government cannot do
  • only a loose definition is required to explain what you are looking for

our notion of what a human right is a lot more plastic than we realize

= travel outside the west and you will see that these things change dramatically

Pensions were a revolutionary concept that colonialism introduced to Asia

Would you Rather Be exploited by people who look like US or not?

insurgents precipitate a string of forced Marriage into local families

  • easy way to seize control of local power structures
  • al Queda in Iraq

One way of avoiding the question of "Can the West Fight Coin"
We can't fight
is there a differentiation between supporting an insurgency and battling an insurgency


  • the new euphemism for iran is islamic extremism
  • All the Arab powers showed up at the conference on arab israeli peace
  • Syria showed up to be wooed
  • Lebanon - deadline between
  • The Lebanese will elect someone pro syrian
  • its a bargaining chip
  • an effort to creat and arab alliance against Iran
  • the first link between Israel and the Sunni's to creat a pan arab axis

1 own hands
2 half life
3 money
4 stakeholders
5 cost benefit
6 inteligence
7 nation building
8 institutions not units
9 cultural awareness
10 more than military


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