World War IV Daily

1.24.2006

1.24.2006

Quadrennial Defense Review >>> For those of you unfamiliar with DOD-speak, the QDR is a strategic reassessment of US military priorities that happens every four years--hence the word 'quadrennial'. It usually plays a big role in determining what programs are going to receive the largest amounts of the hotly-contested defense budget for the next few years, and can thus be interpreted as the general 'game plan' which the US military hopes to implement. The interesting contrast in this edition is the two major opposing views concerning counterinsurgency (read: terrorism) and the growing threat of a Cold War with China--which I commented on in my January 20th post. Both threats are serious, yet the question is the correct balance between the two of them.

Hunting Terrorists In North Africa
>>> An excellent article about counterterrorism in a part of the world that is often forgotten.

Naval School Professor Proposes 'Test' For bin Laden's 'Truce' >>> I've got to agree with Mr. Cochran. This guy should be fired immediately. If it were a liberal arts university it would be different, but this is a US Navy school. Professor Borer needs to go.

Al-Qaeda/Insurgent Rift >>> Conventional wisdom holds that since 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend', these two groups should be working hand in hand. Not surprisingly, however, things are as complicated in war as they are in peace. The average person thinks of the enemy in Iraq as a horde of mindless bomb-makers and RPG-shooters with little sophistication or complexity. They think these guys get up in the morning like little worker bees, go out and blow stuff up, come back for lunch, and then head out again. Perhaps the most difficult decision in the day of an Iraqi insurgent is picking which US soldier to shoot at. This notion is just pure crap. There are numerous subtleties concerning ethnic representation of the leadership, propaganda possibilities, target selection and methodology, popular support, religious doctrine, and so on. Like any organization, these guys have a whole lot of differing opinions and it's no surprise to hear that they're at odds with one another.

Oh, For Crying Out Loud! >>> I've spent a good deal of time ranting against ignorance in the journalistic community concerning all things military, but in the military itself? Firearms/ballistics aficionados, you might want to sit down before you read this one.

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