I took the long weekend off and am now trying to catch up on all the excellent reading that has surfaced since I last blogged. Here’s want I’m lining up to read/watch today and much to discuss:
- The Battle over Counterinsurgency doctrine – It was bound to come after the questionable results and objectives of pursuing COIN doctrine in Afghanistan. Read here, West Point is the battleground between COL Gian Gentile of the History Department versus the lauded COINdinista’s who will not go down without winning your “Heart and Mind” over the effectiveness of COIN in our nation’s decade of war. For my take, see this 1 pager from 2007 – “Can the Anbar Strategy Work in Pakistan?“
- AQAP, Yemen, Drones, POTUS – I just found out that today is international media day for AQAP in Yemen and the debate over the Obama administration’s drone war. Frank Cilluffo and I wrote an article a year ago about the prospects for increased drone operations amongst AQAP’s growth and Yemen’s instability. I received a honorable query from @frontlinepbs to comment on the use of drones in Yemen as part of a round table supporting their upcoming (and what appears to be excellent) documentary on AQAP in Yemen. David Ignatius at Washington Post wrote an interesting analysis this morning from his perspective having watched the video. In contrast, the New York Times released an in depth article on President Obama’s administration and their handling of the drone war in Yemen. I’ve just started reading but thus far the reporting is excellent and some of the insights (even for me as a drone advocate) are alarming/disappointing. More to follow from me and others in the coming days. However, for those interested, I’ll be live tweeting during tonight’s PBS broadcast from my handle (@selectedwisdom). Watch as the drone critics get really angry with me in what seems to be a never ending debate. See these beginning posts on drones if you are interested in my machinations (Drone #1, Drone #2, Drone #3, Drone #4, Drone #5, Drone #6, Drone #7). Definitely more to come on this front.
- J.M. Berger’s exclusive with Omar Hammami – After I noted the pitfalls of being an American foreign fighter to al Shabaab, @intelwire trumped me with exclusive material from Omar Hammami himself. Good work by J.M. and I encourage everyone to take a read at this link when they get a chance. Here’s a choice quote on strategy from Omar which I’ll address in a later blog post. “The current “conglomerate of local jihadi fronts” is a failure, he says, because local concerns tend to take precedence over global leadership.” I’m not sure what Hammami was thinking joining Shabaab but he should have stuck to acting, he was much better in Into the Wild.