Doug Macgregor on the “surge”

An interview with Steve Paikin on Ontario public television.

Streaming video - takes about half an hour (you’ll need a good broadband connection, but well worth a few hiccoughs).

The Rule of Law

In the United States and in the developed world generally, we take the rule of law to be the foundation of our societies. The alternatives are usually thought to be gang/mob rule, anarchy, and a return to pre-civilized days (as in The Road Warrior).

Personally, I think there’s a lot of truth to this, especially if you want a functioning modern economy (It’s well beyond my competence to discuss alternatives, such as tribal societies).

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On War #253: Linearity

By William S. Lind

One of several dead hands the First Generation of Modern War lays on contemporary state militaries’ throats is linearity. Most state militaries both seek and expect linearity on and off the battlefield. Sometimes, this manifests itself in tactics that offer magnificent if unintentional tableux vivant. I recall a field exercise years ago with the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune where, rounding a bend, we found a lieutenant had built a perfect 19th century fortress wall across the road, complete with firing step. The Division Sergeant Major, in whose jeep I was riding, said, “My God, it’s the siege of Vicksburg!”

More often, linearity manifests itself in a military service’s culture, as a subtle but omnipresent mindset. It is easy to understand why this is so. Both on land and at sea, tactics became linear right at the beginning of the First Generation in the mid-17th century. In armies, that was when lines of infantrymen two or three deep replaced the square formations of the tercios. In navies, beginning with the British Navy in the Dutch Wars, the line ahead replaced the general melee. The two developments were causally related: the line ahead was adopted when generals took command of the British fleet under the Commonwealth.

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zenpundit reviews IWCKI

zenpundit reviews If We Can Keep It.

Beware neocons acting rationally

Richard Perle, the esteemed Prince of Darkness himself, has a piece in today’s WaPo where he notes, in response to Russia’s threat to increase their strategic arsenal:

For one thing, the greatly diminished American nuclear force still has many more weapons than it needs. Far from responding in a way that lends credence to Putin’s false claim, we should be looking for ways to reduce our nuclear forces still further. We should greet Russian threats to race with amusement and a big yawn: They would be competing against themselves. If Putin wishes to pour petro-rubles into building more missiles, our response should be limited to sympathy for the ordinary Russians whose taxes will be squandered, much as they were with catastrophic consequences during the Cold War.

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What is “Cultural Marxism?”

by David Barkin

[Author’s note: So far, I have not read one post on this board not worthy of respect. So forgive me the tone of the below essay. It’s the way I write, and I intend no insult to anyone.]

Mr. William Lind often mentions it in tones of the old red menace. On the DNI blog, this fear has been confirmed. This is all very educational for an old fashioned Marxist like myself. I say this because I’ve never heard about this before. Ignorance is bliss.

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On War #252: Fools Rush In

By William S. Lind

If the Balkans had an anthem, it would be that 1950’s doo-wop hit, “Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread.” The latest Balkan fools are the United States and the European Union, which have rushed in to recognize what Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica rightly calls the “fake state of Kosovo.” Why is it a fake state? Because there are no Kosovars, only Serbs and Albanians. Each group seeks to unite Kosovo with its homeland, historic Serbia or Greater Albania. An independent Kosovo has the half-life of a sub-atomic particle.

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Crises and the Decline of the State

By Ed Beakley

In On War #251, “War or not war?” Bill Lind wrote:

At the core of 4GW lies a crisis of legitimacy of the state. A development that contributes to the state’s crisis of legitimacy is the disintegration of community (Gemeinschaft). Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the powerful, highly intrusive state, community has increasingly been displaced by society (Gesellschaft), where most relationships between people are merely functional.

I draw a significantly different thread from Mr. Lind’s article than those indicated by other comments.

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Mass Murder, Men, and the Decline of the State

By Dr. Vomact

Some deeds raise questions. Some speak so loudly, you might say they are themselves questions. The recent vogue of mass murders, done by a single individual who walks into a crowded public space and commences firing for no apparent reason belongs to this latter class. The press and public ask why anyone would do such a thing. They talk about how such bloody deeds could be prevented.

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On War #251: War or Not War?

By William S. Lind

Between February 8 and February 14, four American schools suffered attacks by lone gunmen. The most recent, at Northern Illinois University on February 14, saw five killed (plus the gunman) and 16 wounded. Similar attacks have occurred elsewhere, including shopping malls.

Is this war? I don’t think so. Some proponents of “Fifth Generation war,” which they define as actions by “superempowered individuals,” may disagree. But these incidents lack an ingredient I think necessary to war’s definition, namely purpose. In Fourth Generation War, the purpose of warlike acts reaches beyond the state and politics, but actions, including massacres of civilians, are still purposeful. They serve an agenda that reaches beyond individual emotions, an agenda others can and do share and fight for. In contrast, the mental and emotional states that motivate lone gunmen are knowable to them alone.

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