Wednesday Mash-up for September 26, 2007

David Axe, at Wired’s Danger Room, reminds us of the importance of creating a secure environment, especially after kicking out the bad guys. We saw the longing for the "good ole days" of safety even if it meant oppression in post-Soviet Russia and Iraq, just to name two place.

"The best antidote to terrorism, according to Horn of Africa analysts, is stability in Somalia, which the Islamic Courts had provided," according to one Nairobi paper:

As in other Muslim-Western conflicts, the world undoubtedly needs to engage with the Islamists to secure peace. … The objective for the United States … is simply to prevent Somalia from being an unwilling haven for terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. To pursue that objective, the United States is handicapped by the fact that state authority is limited to only portions of the country. The United States has everything to gain from the formation of a broad-based all inclusive government and a stable Somalia.

Foreign Policy posts an example of the need and the challenge to counter misinformation from a religious leader (in the same vein, pun intended, see Swedish Meatballs)

Not all archbishops are as enlightened as Desmond Tutu. Here’s Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, head of the Catholic church in Mozambique, engaging in the kind of reckless lunacy that does not dignify comment:

I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the [HIV] virus on purpose. They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century’s time."

He also claimed some anti-retroviral drugs contain the HIV virus.

From Steven Aftergood of FAS, according to State Department officials, who retroactively classified an unclassified internal State Department report on corruption in the Iraqi government:

…any information about corruption within the Maliki government must be treated as classified because public discussions could undermine U.S. relations with the Maliki government.

From Evan Kohlman at the Counterterrorism Blog comes a possible, if indirect, warning to MountainRunner’s buddy Meatball One, but I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Cheryl Rofer of WhirledView comments on State’s new blog that I couldn’t see when I posted on it earlier. Now that it’s up, looks fine enough.  As far as State’s blogroll, most of their links aren’t blogs (or there’s a blog somewhere on the site linked but not at the link), but the two that are just blogs, both WhirledView and MountainRunner also link to: Public Diplomacy Watch (who’s been on hiatus since June 28, 2007), and Eccentric Star (who has been MIA since Mar 15, 2007). Odds on whether MountainRunner appears on their blogroll? I don’t know about you, but I subscribed. (Update: Cheryl suggests changes to State’s blog, including a background change that was seconded on the Small Wars Journal’s Blog.)

Read MountainRunner’s friend Pratap Chaterjee article The Boys from Baghdad: Iraqi Commandos Trained by U.S. Contractor if you’re in the spirit of knowing more about the downside of private military companies.

Recommended read: Jeff Stein at CQ: State Department Cajoles Young Diplomats Into Iraq Service.

In closing, some basic facts from Abu Muqawama:

"Aim towards the enemy." – Instruction printed on U.S. Army rocket launcher
"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend." – U.S. Army training notice
"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. From 30,000 feet, every single bomb always hits the ground." – U.S. Air Force ammunition memo.
"If the enemy is in range, so are you." – Infantry Journal
"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit." – Army preventive maintenance publication
"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." – Infantry Journal
"Tracers work both ways." – U.S. Army Ordnance Corps memo.
"Five-second fuses only last three seconds." – Infantry Journal
"Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid." – Col. David H. Hackworth
"If your attack is going too well, you’re probably walking into an ambush." – Infantry Journal
"Any ship can be a minesweeper – once." – Anonymous
"If you see a bomb disposal technician running, try to keep up with him." – U.S. Army ordnance manual
"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed" – U.S. Air Force flight training