This applies only to a couple dozen readers: when I changed from TypePad to MovableType a while back, I allowed the original feed path (http://feeds.feedburner.com/typepad/ezzp) to continue. This is a heads up that if you’re one of the few on this old RSS, you should see a note to convert to the primary, and soon only, RSS path the bulk of you are on: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Mountainrunner. That’s it.
It’s a little quiet here on the blog as I focus on two deadlines. When I come back online this weekend, I’ll post at least one book review (I finally read Losing Hearts and Minds?) and maybe another review of another book I just finished that gives a deep understanding of what got Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui so bothered over the West and George Soros nine years ago. There’s a remote (really remote) chance I’ll have a third book review ready to go, but my money says it won’t happen by then.
Briefly, I’ve changed the masthead slightly. “Counterinsurgency” was removed in favor of “unrestricted warfare”. COIN was too restricted and while URW might be a term in vogue at the moment, it is more encompassing than irregular warfare as conflict is frequently non-kinetic or when working to prevent conflict (i.e. “pre-kinetic”). “Private military companies” was removed in favor of privatization of force to also be more encompassing, if not just to use a bigger word.
The purpose of this blog is to explore and discuss the relationships between military force, both public and private, public diplomacy, and modern conflict. Implicit in this is the friction between civil and military institutions as it relates to command and control of military force in a constantly evolving environment where conflict is a political tool of both the weak and the strong. Public diplomacy thus becomes
a potential tool an element of national security to shorten, terminate, and prevent conflict to save the lives of both civilians and military personnel as it seeks to influence present and future enemies and their support networks.
This direction is seen by some, oddly enough, as tainting public diplomacy and transforming it into something else (something unclean?). As I contravened local wisdom, a colleague suggested I was “scaling the peaks of public diplomacy”. This quote has now been my laptop’s wallpaper for some time now.
As I procrastinate, I’m testing a new look for the blog. In addition to the change in colors, the front page has gone to a 3-column format, some back pages will be moved to 3-column, and some elements on the pages will be shifted around. Let me know if you like it or hate it.
I will be offline 23 Dec – 2 Jan due to the holidays. Please continue to read this site, post comments, send email directly to me, use it at resource, etc. I will be back after the first of the new year.
Just a brief note that I am travelling and unable to post in the manner I wish at this time. Out of town 11 Dec through 19 Dec, I am working on a few things while offline which I’ll post later. As always, I welcome comments both online and offline to anything appearing on this blog. Any errors are mine and corrections are welcome. Any suggestions or tips are also welcome. Back to enjoying winter in Vienna…