Monday, August 30, 2010

Making up facts to fulfill our theses.

The internet is a great place. You can just...say stuff. And people take you seriously. Especially if you can get onto Small Wars Journal and throw some acronyms into the mix.

A constant challenge faced by the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan is the ability of the Anti-Coalition Forces (ACF) to steadily reinforce its ranks through the recruitment of a seemingly unending supply of fresh human reserves. Though the Taliban , et al are known to recruit from a variety of sources (e.g. particular madrassas and more fundamentalist villages on both sides of the Durand Line), among the most lucrative hunting grounds are those places where refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) languish in political and geographic limbo.
The Ph.D in indigenous issues and the MBA in cultural affairs don't instill confidence either. But yeah, that's a whole lot of dumbing-down, a whole lot of de-humanizing, and a whole lot of lack of knowledge that's been gussied up with some acronyms and vocabulary (Madrassa! Fundamentalist! Durand Line!). And honestly, what makes a village fundamentalist?

So ok, bad writing about Afghanistan. Nothing shocking there. And nowadays, the good Mr. Foust has taken on the Caucasus. I like him a lot, but I think he simplifies things a whole lot and misses complexities. He doesn't really bring anything new to the picture besides his writing style. All the same, he's a good analyst. But what happens when bad analysts take on another mountainous region full of dozens of languages and a whole lot of confusion? Think you can take a guess?

Unfortunately, other, more interesting, Caucasus-related things have happened since I started writing this down. So following are my notes. Mock the STARTFOR folks with me, will you?

Crossing point: Eurasia - ME and therefore conflict?
Border between Russia and Iran, IRAQ??, and Turkey
Russia needs mts as defense?
"Turkey needs to settle dispute w/ Armenia to project power" ummm, no. They have GA and Azbj.
Kavkaz + Caspian are where Iran fights Russia. Ira
n deals w/ Armenia to protect against Azeris....no
US joins with GA and Azbj....but WHY?
Two games. ugh. "regional actors" like azbj + hayat, Ga v Rs, and northerners.
local concerns draw in players...ITS 1914 ALL OVER AGAIN
"very carefully? HA"

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