• Terrorism,  War

    Interesting readings on Swarm Warfare

    Postcard from Mumbai: Modern Urban Siege by John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus According to many television news reports, the Mumbai terrorist attacks were a “siege.” But there were no catapults, cannons, or breaching ladders. Instead, a dozen men with guns paralyzed one of the world’s largest cities, killing 173 with barely concealed glee. Sadly, Mumbai heralds a new chapter in the bloody story of war in cities—the siege of the city from within. The polis is fast becoming a war zone where criminals, terrorists, and heavily armed paramilitary forces battle—and all can be targeted. All the while, gardens of steel spring up, constricting popular movement and giving way to…

  • Non-State Actors,  Psychological Struggle,  Terrorism,  War

    Readings on Future Threats

    National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2025 "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" is the fourth unclassified report prepared by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in recent years that takes a long-term view of the future. It offers a fresh look at how key global trends might develop over the next 15 years to influence world events. Our report is not meant to be an exercise in prediction or crystal ball-gazing. Mindful that there are many possible "futures," we offer a range of possibilities and potential discontinuities, as a way of opening our minds to developments we might otherwise miss. Some of our preliminary assessments are highlighted below: The whole international…

  • War

    Cold War II?

    The Russian invasion and dismantling of Georgian infrastructure and military has led some to call for a new Cold War against Russia. As Putin-Medvedev debilitated Georgia, they knew there would be no substantial and credible responses from NATO, the EU, and the United States. They were right. The failure to anticipate Russian moves and the consequences of such actions has created an unnecessary quandary to which the Secretaries of State and Defense are sending mixed messages. The Secretary of State speaks in soft diplomatic language inappropriate for the situation while the Secretary of Defense speaks in blunt language that is far less equivocal. What to do? Mark Sasfranski points out…

  • War

    NPR: Colombians using submersibles

    NPR’s story on Colombian traffickers using submersibles is important, if not new.  Saw this before, but what is interesting is the evolution of craft and an (hopefully unintentional) exploit of maritime law that protects traffickers after they scuttle their vessel.

  • Counterinsurgency,  War

    Think Tank 1.8 in progress at ZenPundit

    Mark the Zen Pundit is "moderating" (leading?) an online symposium on the Boyd book by Frans Osinga, Science, Strategy and War:The Strategic Theory of John Boyd.  It’s going on at Chicago Boyz. The first post, a critical review by Wilf Owen, is up.  Osinga will be giving an author’s rebuttal at the conclusion. The introduction to the symposium is here. The first round, started by Wilf Owen, is here. The participant list from Mark: William F. “Wilf” Owen – A military writer and Editor of The Asian Military Review.  A military theorist with a special interest in tactical doctrine.  Wilf Owen served for twelve years in the British Army and…

  • War

    What is the core of this gap discussion?

    Dan of tdaxp continues his over-generalization in pursuit of scientific purity of independently verifiable variables. Called out on his overly broad statement about Bhutto’s death, Dan responds by claiming I reject the whole core-gap framework. This is another example of his painting by the widest brushstrokes possible, which despite his frequently smart analysis, is too often done when he analyzes conflict.

  • War

    Child Soldiers

    A documentary version of P.W. Singer’s book Children at War will be on The History Channel on Dec. 29 at 7:00pm. Find it directly or, as Singer suggests, set your Tivo to search for “Child Warriors.” From Peter: I have not actually seen this version (I consulted and interviewed for it, but have no final approval), so am just as interested as you to see how it turned out. I must say it has been fascinating to watch its evolution over the last year, from the perspective of an author as well as just media consumer. It started out a 2 hour version, with film crews going everywhere from Colombia…