• Civil-Military Relations,  ICT,  Interagency,  Psychological Struggle

    Noteworthy

    Highlighted Blog: US Army Combined Arms Center. Pick your model, CAC or UK FCO, both are excellent. Be sure to check out CAC’s blog and user stats page. “As my friend the late Sheriff Gene Darnell always told me, the best politics is doing a good job.” – Representative Ike Skelton, D-MO, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee discussing improving the interagency process but raising the point that the deeds speak louder than words. “It is not every day that a young US Army officer has the opportunity to interact with a sitting head of state who has both lead a revolution and fought a counterinsurgency. CGSC students and…

  • Civil-Military Relations

    Survey of American Military Enlisted Personnel Political Attitudes and Behavior (Updated link)

    From a friend and for your consideration: You are invited to participate in a survey, entitled “Survey of American Military Enlisted Personnel Political Attitudes and Behavior.” The study is being conducted by Donald S. Inbody at The University of Texas at Austin. While we are primarily interested in active duty enlisted personnel, we will accept survey responses from officers and those who have left active service in the past few years. The purpose of this study is to conduct research into the attitudes and thinking of American military personnel. Your participation in the survey will contribute to a better understanding of American military enlisted personnel. I estimate that it will…

  • Civil-Military Relations

    America’s upper classes have gone AWOL

    Peter A. Gudmundsson makes much the same argument I’ve been making in my presentations and papers on the expanding use of private military companies in the conduct of U.S. national security policy, Gudmundsson smartly puts the problem of disassociation of war from the upper class as a factor in presidential campaign discourse. During this presidential campaign, voters will hear much about the divergent economic realities between "the rich" and "the middle class." Yet there is another partition in America that is less visible, but no less troubling. The great divide between the civilian and military communities leaves the nation and its electorate ill-equipped to make informed judgments about military and…

  • Civil-Military Relations,  Private Military Companies,  Unmanned Warfare

    Somebody, Prove my theory

    Today is Veteran’s Day here in the United States and a good time to wonder something out loud. Actually, I’ve been saying this in meatspace for a while, but I don’t think I’ve put it on the blog yet. As you think about our country’s veterans, ask yourself how many veterans you actually know. It’s very likely that you, as a reader of this blog, know (or are) a veteran: you are reading what some call a milblog after all. Here’s my theory: more Americans know a mercenary, but don’t know it, than know a vet, adjusting for sheer numbers. In other words, contractors our "outside" in the public more…

  • Civil-Military Relations,  ICT

    Mash-up for Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Returning to the lazy "I can’t make the time to comment on these individually" post, here’s the mash-up for today: Dan at TDAXP has an interesting survey for bloggers. Please fill it out and help marginalize my response. Christian at Defense Tech posts on RAND’s call for Web 2.0 approach for building COIN awareness and accessing and leveraging knowledge with the "integrated counterinsurgency operating network", of ICON. This deserves a post by itself, but I’m pressed for time, so I leave it to others to get into this. The study, aptly titled “Byting Back: Regaining Information Superiority Against 21st Century Insurgents,” takes a novel, “web 2.0” approach to the problem…

  • Civil-Military Relations

    FPRI CivMil conference… watch it if you can

    Due to circumstances, I haven’t been able to watch much of the FPRI webcast, but what I did catch was great. It has just resumed after the lunch break, but I’ll unfortunately be on the road/in & out of meetings, but I’ll watch what I can. Again, if you think on or discuss how the current wars are being fought and staffed, you are interested in civil-military relations whether you realize it or not. You are therefore someone who should watch this webcast and the upcoming keynote from Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO).

  • Civil-Military Relations

    Mind the Gap: Post-Iraq Civil-Military Relations in America

    Too many people I speak with, from academics to laypeople and in between, do not understand American civil-military relations and their role U.S. foreign policy. Next week, the Foreign Policy Research Institute will webcast a conference on Post-Iraq Civil-Military Relations in America, cosponsored by the Reserve Officers Association. It’s free and open to the public and apparently online audience members will be able to pose questions electronically. Personally I won’t be able to see all of it due to standing Monday afternoon commitments, but Panels 1-3 are the lead issues for me right now (not to dismiss 4), so maybe I’ll catch most of it. I suggest you watch as…

  • Civil-Military Relations

    New Blogger on American Civil-Military Relations

    New on the blogging scene is Don @ the CivMilBlog that’s “Dedicated entirely to civil-military relations, serving as a gateway to the community for policymakers and serious researchers.” Pundits and casual observers disregard the complex relationship between the military, the executive branch, the legislative branch, the public, and the media. The military is not an exclusive agent of the President, but, especially since WWII, an active and increasingly independent actor that is increasingly aware of its own power. To be sure, this does not mean the military is planning Dunlap’s Coup, but it does mean muscular posturing by the US takes many forms and has many more influences than many realize.…

  • Civil-Military Relations,  Private Military Companies,  War

    “No one is actually at war except the Armed Forces, their US civilian contractors, and the CIA”

    "..the purpose of my testimony is not to talk about the ongoing tactical operations in CENTCOM -- but instead the disastrous state of America's ground combat forces. Congress has been missing-in-action during the past several years while undebated and misguided strategies were implemented by former Secretary Rumsfeld and his team of arrogant and inexperienced civilian associates in the Pentagon. The JCS failed to protect the Armed Forces from bad judgment and illegal orders..."