• Counterinsurgency,  Private Military Companies,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  State Building

    In-sourcing Stabilization and Reconstruction

    Military operations may neutralize immediate kinetic threats and strategic communications may make promises, but enduring change comes from systemic overhauls that stabilize unstable regions. Security, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, and development are critical for ultimate democratization. These are the real propaganda of deeds. Without competent and comprehensive action in these areas, tactical operations are simply a waste of time, money, and life.

  • Private Military Companies

    LOGCAP, Halliburton and working on saving the gov’t money? Not exactly…

    David Phinney has an interesting post on a Blanket Insurance Waiver for Iraq reconstruction: I have a curious memo, “Blanket Insurance Waiver,” which apparently allows Halliburton/KBR to waive insurance requirements — read cut the “costs” — to potential subcontractors working under Halliburton’s sweeping military logistics contract, known as LOGCAP. It was approved November 26, 2002, by four top-level KRR managers. It apparently grants sweeping discretion to KBR contract officers in the field, i.e., Iraq, to disregard Defense Base Act insurance requirements when subcontractors claim they can’t find a suitable insurance carrier. One contracting insider believes that KBR’s contracting officers routinely used the waiver to help non-US businesses land multi-million-dollar contracts…

  • Public Diplomacy

    More on Fortress Baghdad, er, the New American Embassy

    The wisdom of the Bush Administration hits the news yet again. While Condi is admiting, perhaps unwittingly, to the mistakes of the Administration in Iraq (by mostly pointing the finger at Rumsfeld by the way), comes more news in the mainstream media about what will become a legendary debacle of US Public Diplomacy. The American embassy in Iraq, as  reported by MSNBC (picture of all the construction cranes at right should be warning itself), will be massive and the largest in the world at 21 buildings and 104 acres. The fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size…