January 18, 2010

Scott Horton's Article on the Gitmo "Suicides"

I'll be interested to see how much coverage this story gets. I'm guessing not much....
Posted by armand at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2009

Is There Such a Thing as a War of Necessity?

Rob Farley argues no....
Posted by armand at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2009

Interesting Reading List

I'm away at a full-on Geek-Fest Summer Camp for a few weeks. It's an academic retreat that teaches security studies, with a specific focus on military strategy and operations. We spent a couple hours today arguing about Lee at Gettysburg,...
Posted by baltar at 11:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2009

The US Didn't Torture During Bush-Cheney's 2nd Term?

That's what Lawrence Wilkerson says. I think Josh Marshall is right to have highlighted these remarks. If the US hasn't tortured anyone since 2004, and if most of those acts weren't aimed at preempting terrorist attacks, but at finding confirmation...
Posted by armand at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2009

Fred Kaplan's Most Important Movies About War and Diplomacy

He thinks Stephen Walt and Dan Drezner have, at best, a weird take on the movies you really need to see to understand IR....
Posted by armand at 10:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 16, 2009

Thinking Back on Tora Bora

So much could be different if Tora Bora had gone differently. That it wasn't a bigger issue in the 2004 campaign amazes me. Kerry tried to make it an issue - but didn't push it enough. And the media really...
Posted by armand at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2008

September 10, 2008

Admiral Mullen on Afghanistan - We're Not Winning

And "we're running out of time"....
Posted by armand at 04:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2008

The US Coalition Kills 50 Children in Afghanistan?

A US-led coalition military operation in western Afghanistan on Friday killed 76 civilians, including 50 children and 19 women, the Afghan interior ministry said. The coalition confirmed it carried out an operation that included air strikes in the western province...
Posted by armand at 08:44 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

April 17, 2008

The Iraq War and the Mental Health of Our Veterans

These are horrifying, and heartbreaking, numbers. Roughly one in five U.S. troops is suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an equal number have suffered brain injuries, a new study...
Posted by armand at 09:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 08, 2008

A Dilemma

This will be somewhat obscure, 'cause I don't want this to be public (this will make sense; just read on).I've been invited to have dinner with a gentleman being inducted to this august University's Alumni Hall of Fame (or whatever...
Posted by baltar at 11:26 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 26, 2008

Helping out

An update from ObWi: A member of Andy Olmsted's family has just written me to say that if people want to do something in honor of him, they can send donations to a fund that has been set up for...
Posted by binky at 12:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2007

I am stronger than my cat.

My damn cat stole a raw steak off a plate (next to the stove) last night. I first knew something was amiss when I saw him streaking by me (head down from the weight of the steak). I start yelling...
Posted by baltar at 03:52 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 18, 2007

Peter Bergen's "War of Error"

Or "How Osama Bin Laden Beat George W. Bush".Yes on occasion good articles can be found inside The New Republic, and this one is insightful. The general tale is familiar, but the details are enlightening and deeply depressing....
Posted by armand at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

A Smaller (but Bigger) Navy & What's Up in Syria?

A post for Baltar (and others who may be interested), or rather two posts from Information Dissemination, in case you might be interested in them. First Congress has canceled the fourth Littoral Combat Ship, and more and more it's looking...
Posted by armand at 09:42 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 12, 2007

Al Qaeda at Its Strongest Since 9/11

Feeling safer yet? Al Qaeda is the strongest it has been since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a new U.S. government analysis concludes, according to a senior government official who has seen it. Despite a campaign...
Posted by armand at 10:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 18, 2007

And speaking of failed states...

What happens when a state can't - or won't - rely on a standing army to accomplish its security objectives? Privatization. In the case of the war in Iraq, it looks like the private sector has found new and improved...
Posted by binky at 01:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 17, 2007

The Deadliest Bombing in Afghanistan Since 2001

Bad news from Kabul. Thirty-five people were killed and 52 injured this morning in a devastating suicide bomb attack on a bus in Kabul. The attack bore immediate comparison to mass casualty suicide bombings in Iraq and appeared to mark...
Posted by armand at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2007

Camilla Launches the Astute

Yes it's four years behind schedule, but nonetheless the British have finally launched the first of their new class of attack submarines. Looks like an impressive warship. And they continue to outclass us in naming their warships. These will be...
Posted by armand at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2007

Scandal Works Its Way Up the Food Chain

"Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey resigned Friday in the wake of recent reports of substandard conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a key facility treating troops wounded in Iraq."...
Posted by binky at 08:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2007

How about that photo-op of the wounded gay Marine with George Bush?

The first wounded soldier of the Iraq war too. Marine comes out against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': And I can almost hear it now -- "Oh, yeah, he's that gay Marine." I'm okay with that. The truth is, something's wrong...
Posted by binky at 10:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wounded Soldiers Punished for Speaking Out

Unbelieveable. Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not...
Posted by binky at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2007


Some general points, based on the very (very) long view of history: 1. No state (or, for those of a historical bent, pre-state - empire, city-state, etc.) achieves permenant supremacy. They all (ALL) fall at some point (when they fall,...
Posted by baltar at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007

Is Blackadder Relevant to Our Times?

Or British military planning in World War I? AMERICAblog reports, you decide....
Posted by armand at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

Uh, I'm Confused.

OK, I just listened to Bush's "New Strategy in Iraq Speech". I remain confused. We have something like 130,000 US troops in Iraq today. Bush is proposing sending an additional five brigades of troops to Iraq (plus 4,000 to Anbar...
Posted by baltar at 09:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 09, 2007

Bush's Escalation in Iraq

If you take a step back and think about it, it's really rather astonishing that this level of idiocy in our government really isn't all that surprising any more.It really does make one wish that we had a political system...
Posted by armand at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

Jonathan Renshon

I think "Why Hawks Win" (co-written with the Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman) has been hyped to death on the IR and IR-related blogs. Some interesting thoughts, but the piece seems to have some notable flaws too. That said, it got...
Posted by armand at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2007

What Would Caesar, Lincoln, Washington and the Genghis Khan Do With Iraq?

This is a rather interesting historical exercise, albeit arguably one with limited practical applications. The LA Times asked 4 prominent historians to describe what well known political/military leaders from the past would do if they were fighting in Iraq today....
Posted by armand at 03:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2006

Was the Korean War Hard to Avoid?

Micheal Lind's entry in to the "just how bad is George W. Bush?" discussion rates the current president as the fifth worst ever (after Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Madison). A key part of this rating stems from Bush waging...
Posted by armand at 12:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Why We Should NOT Clarify Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions

Radley Balko gets to the heart of the matter: In any case, the vagueness of the phrase "outrages on personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment" is a real strength of the Convention, not a flaw. Why? Because those...
Posted by armand at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2006

A Good National Security Strategy for the Democrats?

That's not what Korb and Ogden's piece is about, but I think it could prove effective.The solution is to do two things that the Bush administration has not: permanently increase the number of troops in the active Army and fully...
Posted by armand at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

Did Hezbollah Win? Does It Want to Win?

James Wimberley has some interesting thoughts on the wants, motivations and goals of Hezbollah. To me, the key lines are these - "Like the Knights Templars or the arms industry in different contexts, Hezbollah needs its conflict with Israel to...
Posted by armand at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006

Let's Declare Victory

This morning James Fallows was interviewed on NPR. If you haven't read his cover story ("Declaring Victory") in the current issue of The Atlantic, I recommend it. There's not a lot new in it exactly. For example, some of it...
Posted by armand at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

Force and Politics

I'm disturbed by the continued arguments (most, though not exclusively, right wing) that the use of force solves problems for states. I'm not going to bother with a laundry list of sites who argue this, but it's inherent in the...
Posted by baltar at 08:03 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Bush Commits US Soldiers to Fighting in Iraq's Civil War?

The early blog coverage of these comments by the president seems focused on his uh, interesting, take on the relationship between elections and civil wars. For an example, see Atrios. Coming in the wake of Peter Galbraith's comments that before...
Posted by armand at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 31, 2006

Haass on Bush on Lebanon

The Cunning Realist picks up this pithy comment by Richard Haass (the director of policy planning at State during President Bush's first term), on President Bush's statement that the disaster in Lebanon is an "opportunity":"An opportunity?" Haass said with an...
Posted by armand at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Updates on the War in Lebanon and Israel

Marc Lynch notes how the war is gravely weakening (killing off entirely?) the domestic political position of moderating and liberalizing forces in the Arab world. Since 9/11 this has been a constant refrain among many Arab reformers and liberals: Bush's...
Posted by armand at 07:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 30, 2006

The Australians in 2003 - Limiting the US Attack in Iraq

I found this story off a link on Juan Cole's site - does anyone know about this? It's the first I'd heard of the practice.In one instance, Major General McNarn vetoed a US plan to drop a range of huge...
Posted by armand at 09:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2006

Whither Morality?

This speculative dribble isn't only amoral and outrageous. It's also just plain stupid, and shows an abysmal lack of understanding regarding the most basic tenets of counter-insurgency doctrine ... The fact that any of this passes for hifalutin' commentary, and...
Posted by armand at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2006

Israel, Turkey and US Double Standards

So the president isn't raising a word of concern while the Israelis kill hundreds of Lebanese civilians in response to a few dozen Israelis being killed by Hezbollah troops based in Lebanon. He urges strong action to deal with the...
Posted by armand at 12:19 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

The Economist: "The Accidental War"

Does anyone else have a problem with the cover of this week's issue of The Economist? The cover story is "The Accidental War". Am I the only person who doesn't see much "accidental" in this war?...
Posted by armand at 01:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 23, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Newspaper Roundup

I read the Sunday papers so you don't have to: Most Interesting Story: The US is reducing our military spending in Africa. Why is this interesting? Al Qaeda (short term) and raw materials (long term). Follow me here. The Republican...
Posted by baltar at 01:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

Condi Fiddles While Lebanon Burns

"What I won't do is go to some place and try to get a cease-fire that I know isn't going to last," she said.OK, so how about going to a war zone where innocent lives are being snuffed out every...
Posted by armand at 10:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

The Funships and Warships of Beirut

It's a complicated place with many possibilities, but I still never expected to see this sentence, not even there: "There are so many warships and cruiseliners in the sea in front of Beirut that it looks like a cross between...
Posted by armand at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2006

The Attack on the Hanit

Hezbollah's attack on the Hanit raises quite a number of questions, and makes it increasingly difficult to see how a peaceful resolution of this crisis can be achieved - especially if the Lebanese military is giving Hezbollah vital intelligence. The...
Posted by armand at 02:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 07, 2006

The Worst Thing About Terrorism Is Our Response to It

Read this.I won't post anything tomorrow, and since Baltar and Binky are still out of town for a few more days, this might stay at the top of the page for a little bit. And that's entirely appropriate. It makes...
Posted by armand at 10:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 21, 2006

The Serious Post

As the post above notes, I am on vacation, and have television. Cable even, with HBO. Baghdad ER is incredibly gripping. Graphic, heroic, depressing. Difficult to watch, but worth it....
Posted by binky at 11:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2006

A Disservice to the Troops

Denied treatment, forced to fight: The Hartford Courant, citing records obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and more than 100 interviews of families and military personnel, reported numerous cases in which the military failed to follow its own...
Posted by binky at 12:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2006

The Genius of George Catlett Marshall

Need some military history for your Sunday morning? Sara recently posted these two pieces on General Marshall and planning for post-war environments....
Posted by armand at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2006

Djerejian on the Current Revolt of the Generals

Greg Djerejian at Belgravia Dispatch has been putting up some good, concise, no-BS posts about the calls for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation from six retired generals. If you want a sober analysis of these events, their aftermath and their implications (that...
Posted by armand at 06:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2006

The "Mobile WMD Labs" Timeline

Ugh - the Bush administration is SUCH a bunch of liars. The Armchair Generalist provides a concise, convenient timeline of their deceptions relating to the supposed "mobile wmd labs". I'm really getting surprised that even the administration's most ardent supporters...
Posted by armand at 01:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

Iraqi Civil War

Is there a civil war in Iraq? Yes, though it does not immediately threaten the Iraqi Government. Interesting post, and lots of good information....
Posted by baltar at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

Quote of the Day (and a reading suggestion)

Not that this is new news, but winning the (smaller) war in Iraq and the (larger) war against fundamentalist Islam will be harder than we thought, and take longer than we want: ...the number of books translated by the whole...
Posted by baltar at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

Can They Protect It?

A reminder of the stakes involved in national security - and why the Republicans aren't merely incompetent at providing it, they spend almost every minute of the year telling lies about their opponents in a pathetic (and dangerous) attempt to...
Posted by armand at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2006


Does anyone besides me wonder why it's front page news when an anchor is wounded, but the fact that more than 80 others have been killed gets little to no attention? Or why we don't hear more about the thousands...
Posted by binky at 11:29 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 29, 2006

Fifty Thousand

The number kept in the military through the stop loss program. Acknowledging nod to Born at the Crest of the Empire....
Posted by binky at 06:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2005

Reading Assigment

Your assignment today is to go read the medium-length Washington Post story on the disaster that was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Short version: a bureaucratic mess. Discuss. (Seriously, a great read. Well worth your time.)...
Posted by baltar at 10:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

The Christmas Truce

From CNN. Alfred Anderson, the last surviving soldier to have heard the guns fall silent along the Western Front during the spontaneous "Christmas Truce" of World War I, died Monday at age 109. More than 80 years after the war,...
Posted by binky at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack