The blog will return tomorrow with the line-up for the week as follows:
*The Chechen Dagger: How adaptability is used by insurgencies for goal attainment.
*Jihad: A look at Jihad as it applies to warfare.
*Shaheed: A historical look at martyrdom operations.
*The Challenge We Face: Assessment of Jihad-fueled insurgency operations.
These blogs will be compressed and I have attempted to make every word count. Remember this blog is a free speech zone and I maintain a liberal policy for readers to post comments. I rarely block responses. But I never forget that within a healthy free speech zone, liberty is married to responsibility. Let's move responsibly, as the blog returns to tackle topics both difficult and simple in the coming weeks.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The blog will return tomorrow with the line-up for the week as follows:
Saturday, March 22, 2008
As we move into insurgency doctrine it is important you understand my methodology for independent analysis of current geopolitical events. This backdrop is necessary for readership to provide effective comment.
*My background includes a university degree in science. My research beginnings taught me to look at things at the cellular level, differentiating between pathology and the natural order of things. So in undertaking geopolitical analysis, my thoughts take me to the minute details of a matter and many times, to the path less traveled to view trends and especially, anomalous patterns.
*Primary source documents are what I favor. Reading takes me to constitutional documents, penal codes and works penned by authors and organizations as opposed to commentary after the fact. Like the adage advises, if you want to study Marxism read Karl Marx.
*Once I put analysis on the page it functions much as other areas of research. Research always comes in waves. My small wave will create the next wave. The next wave will either validate or discount the previous analysis. This is healthy. So I write trusting the ongoing process to correct deficits. I take both the accolades and the kick in the ass with firm belief: If analysis stimulates thought which then works toward viable solutions, it is enough. If I can get you to think, my job is done. After throwing my thoughts out to the four winds, I smile. Others can now take up the fight.
In the past I have been blessed to preview several articles of analysis prior to publication. These have included the works of men with Ph.D’s in nuclear physics and biochemistry, the sciences. It has been a distinct pleasure to consider the writings of such men. Recently, I also enjoyed the thesis of a student from a major university in Australia.
One pre-publication view several years ago was for a man who has written articles for Al-Jazeera. He introduced me to the website which will be used to discuss insurgency doctrine.
In discussing Islamic insurgency I wish to make two things clear. I will stick to writings from this particular site unless otherwise noted. I will allow you, to put flesh on the skeleton with whatever thoughts you may have. Whether considering the interplay of Russia with areas previously under the dominion of the Soviet empire, Iran's rise in political dominance, extrinsic and intrinsic pressures, moral considerations, globalization of markets, etc. I leave it up to you. The comments section remains a free speech zone.
Next on the list, lack of commentary does not substantiate lack of personal opinion. I remain a fairly private person. So when placing strident insurgency views on the blog in April, know that I hold my own views apart from abbreviated blog postings. We will take a micro view at what requires a macro knowledge base. Understand the limitations of blog posts.
The links below are to familiarize you with the website which will be the springboard for examining insurgency doctrine. In the past some of the video postings have troubled my own thoughts. Under the link on Islam, was formerly a photo of a Kalashnikov next to a Qur’an. Please note that this is just one of hundreds of jihad sites available on the net. This particular site provides up-to-date commentary on things of global interest. The commentators range from solid to mediocre. I will include links to the home page and the e book by Abdallah Shamil Abu Idris. (Known as Shamil Basaev.) I have been on this site long before the announcement of his death. He was considered the “Amir of the Mujahideen” of the Caucuses. The circumstances surrounding his death vary based on the reports. But the book will provide the bulwark of thought for insurgency doctrine.
Were you shaken as the hostage-taking crisis in Beslan unfolded? Shamil Basaev is the man who retained operational control. Should any be interested in the e book you may write me. Please go ahead and read a few things on the site and also do a bit of historical research on your own. The limitations of the e book are that the average Western reader will not grasp the historical tie into Hadith and actual battles during the time of Muhammad. We will do our best!
Website reading for background
Book of a Mujahiddeen
Caravan of Martyrs
Thursday, March 20, 2008
For the first time since 1939, the Supreme Court has heard arguments over the Second Amendment.
The District of Columbia banned all handguns and ruled that, while residents could have rifles and shotguns, they had to be unloaded and disassembled or have a trigger lock. Mr. Dick Heller has challenged this law and the case is now before the Supreme Court.
The debate over how much the people’s right to keep and bear arms may be infringed in the interests of civil order and safety is made more difficult by another section of the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 says: that Congress has the duty and the power “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the Appointment of officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
The Second Amendment says: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
History has shown that the federal government has used its duty to arm the National Guard (state militia) to also disarm it by not updating its arms and equipment. Surely, providing inadequate arms and material is a form of disarmament.
According to the Second Amendment, the reason the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed is because the states (and the country) need well regulated militias. But a militia is only well-regulated if it is trained and disciplined. Does that mean only people in the National Guard and the various reserves should be allowed to own firearms?
As an aside, most of the founders were opposed to the maintenance of a standing army, which is why Congress could only fund the Army for two years at a time (Article 1, Section 8). They preferred to rely on citizen soldiers. George Washington, on the other hand, had no use for militia troops. He found them poorly disciplined and prone to running away in the set piece battles he preferred to fight.
Some gun-ownership supporters argue that people need guns for protection, but that is the direct opposite of a well-regulated militia, since the individual is not necessarily trained, disciplined or under anyone’s orders. He is, in fact, a vigilante and as such is antagonistic of public order and law enforcement. Does anyone really want to live and raise a family in a community in which anyone (crazy and sane, drinker and teetotaler, hothead and reasonable person) is armed?
On the other side, who would get to decide who can have firearms and who cannot? Justice Scalia opened a lead to this question when he pointed out, historically erroneously, that tyrants hold power by disarming the public. Still, citizens should be very careful what they give up in the name of safety. They are very likely, as Franklin observed, to end up neither safe nor free.
In the final analysis, the whole debate has come about because, whether bearing arms is a right or a privilege, it carries a number of obligations that people have ignored. The first is to know how to use the firearm. The second is know when to use it. And the third is to know how to protect it. When the obligations are ignored, the privilege is revoked.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Being at nearly the midpoint of the month it seems useful to let readers know what the heck is putting me in a compressed time element and immersion of thought.
Having read COINS doctrine from the Army field manual, etc. it dawned on me that I have steadily been reading the opposite, which would be insurgency doctrine. Process precedes practicum. Finding ample evidence of viable streams of thought for insurgency doctrine; and as my curiosity takes me on a virtual tour of the globe via the internet, it seems logical to examine such things.
In many quarters, the hand rocking the cradle of insurgency in Iraq is blamed on Iran. The facts will speak for themselves. But my gaze takes me elsewhere. Chechnya has an impregnated insurgency doctrine which provides not only fertile training ground but also a highly developed arena of thought. When considering some of the doctrine of the Islamic insurgent pitted against the developed and beefy doctrine coming from our Western military think tanks I quickly lose the picture of insurgency as being the mostly single-faceted suicide bomber walking through the market in Baghdad awaiting an opportune moment. That is the picture the media provides. It is a child's crayon drawing instead of a Renoir. Insurgency doctrine of the Middle East which has its roots in centuries-old tribal warfare on the Arabian Peninsula is a different organism.
Just as process precedes practicum at university level course work, a theoretical process is in place which guides the field applications of insurgency across the globe. Simply put, I am reading in retro format which brings current events into clearer focus. Just as the analogy of Renoir, analysis begins with an impression which then must be substantiated by facts. Absent facts, we have opinion. So in April we will stamp our passports for Chechnya.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
I have been contemplating taking a month off from the blog for the last couple of weeks. Over the years, I have only taken a bit of time off from blogging. One such time was when I traveled to Mongolia to provide humanitarian relief for two weeks with a team of doctors, nurses and pharmacists. My memories of that event are still incredibly vivid!
The time away will be spent putting my brain on assignment to catch up on some research. My reading and files, await me. I need some uninterrupted time.
Naturally, returning on April Fool's Day will provide the means for some of you to invade my e mail with tasteless jokes. Feel free. smile