I have mostly resolved to leave R2P-blogging to Gulliver, Dan Trombly, Mark Safranksi, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. However, Safranski linked to an op-ed by Simon Adams on the Responsibility to Protect that I find illustrative of some of the issues with talking about R2P: the prevention/intervention distinction, non-military coercive prevention measures, and strategy in intervention.
The conflict over Frank Miller’s Holy Terror book is a perfect illustration of the problems inherent in the idea–shared across the spectrum–that 9/11 was an event that should have propelled a mass mobilization of American society.
Speaking of Kings of War and the British military, David Betz links to an interview with a flag officer that spans a length of topics. There’s plenty of interest, but several parts jump out at me.
Dr. Andrew Mumford has released a monograph attacking what he view as the “myths” of British counterinsurgency as interpreted by American analysts–and in his view, some Brits themselves. However, history is a far from settled matter. The historians, soldiers, and analysts critiqued in Mumford’s monograph also are on the receiving end of a debate very much influenced by modern COIN campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan (much as Vietnam hung over discussion of nonrelated or tangential political-military subjects in that period).
The outcome of these inquiries may be more useful for the US than, say, the back-and-forth about Galula and French COIN. While Britain and the United States have vastly different strategic cultures, they are still closer together and thus a better reference point for Americans than continental powers. As Alexander Hamilton noted, Britain and America’s geography as maritime powers free from continental threats provided a space for liberal political culture and similar norms. Additionally, both have waged expeditionary COIN as offshore powers.
Perhaps a debate hosted by Kings of War would be very fruitful for the analytical community.
Packed into David Ignatius’ piece on Admiral Mike Mullen is about two decades’ worth of accumulated assumptions about warfare that have not been particularly useful to us. Continue reading
Jason Fritz and others have written the definitive blogs about the practical issues of women in combat roles. However, they look primarily at practical concerns–(as they should since it’s mainly a practical issue)–and the root of the debate is really in hidden emotional and philosophical assumptions. Continue reading
So Wikileaks has now released all of its cables, without any redactions. I can’t add much to what Joshua Foust has written, but I do think that the larger context of WikiLeaks–and why it failed, is extremely important for everyone to understand. Continue reading