As longer time readers know, this blog – like my writing – cycles back and fourth between events of the Cold War and more contemporary matters, in particular the current state of America’s involvement in both shadow warfare and more overt combat against the radical jihadi movement. That sort of scope gets very challenging. Right now my editor and I are working on the last six chapters of Surprise Attack, which moves us through the attacks of 2001, the challenges of international diplomatic involvement and Benghazi, right up to the reemergence of a new confrontation with a resurgent nationalist movement and the return of the nuclear card to Geo-politics.
While that’s all well and good, I continue to be appalled at the tremendous lack of knowledge exists in Washington DC in regard to the evolving jihadi war – the fact that nobody has coined a good name for it (its certainly not as simple as a war on terror and) only illustrates the dramatic lack of national strategy to deal with it. It’s particularly galling to see the degree of ignorance expressed in the political positions of virtually all the declared 2016 Presidential candidates, or those with enough nerve to actually express their beliefs. About the best that can be said is that the dysfunction in DC has prevented us from making the sort of abysmal strategic mistake we made in invading Iraq. OK, if by now you haven’t figure out this is an “opinion piece” I suppose that made it pretty clear.
While I’m still satisfied with the treatment we gave to the emergence of the jihadi war in Shadow Warfare, and with our treatment of what worked and didn’t during the early days of Afghanistan and the later days in Iraq, I’ve been searching for some source that I feel really understands the intelligence and true tactical issues of what went on there and how it evolved into the current combat across the Middle East. I have not really been satisfied with the mainstream journalists, some of whom push their own political world view on the subject and some who have a good strategic sense but insufficient field background. The good news is that I finally found somebody who I think has the sort of pragmatic insights needed to drive a national strategy – but who has no chance of ever making it in DC – he talks too straight. So in that regard, let me introduce you to him with the following article….and I encourage you to read the threads and commentary that follows it where he responds to questions. This guy is the real deal IMHO. But way to real for Washington I’m afraid.