Goes this week to Fabius Maximus for uncovering this little gem of advice about fighting insurgencies from of all people 18th century France.
There have been few victories by foreign troops fighting insurgencies since Mao brought the art of 4th generation war to maturity after WWII. The few grey cases are those conducted with a legitimate local partner (e.g., Malaysia) or those not substantially foreign (e.g., Northern Ireland). To find clear victories we need look further back. Those during the high era of western colonialism resulted from massive technological advantages which we no longer have. We must look further back in time to find victories with useful lessons for us. Such as France’s aid to the British colonists in North America.France gives us tips for the Afghanistan War, from their successful role in the American Revolution
Next comes this post courtesy of Zenpundit, Cameron on Conflict of Commands - A Guest Post Series
Thomas Barnett always proves offer something insightful as he combines a book review with his astute take on politics. The New Rules: 'Senator's Son' a Good Window into COIN in this week's World Politics Review column.
Historians.org serves up these thoughts on how How Writing Leads to Thinking (and not the other way around)
This next read will cause strong men and women shudder and weep. It comes by way of what Thomas Barnett says is the must read source for global news the The Economist. Mar 4th 2010 print edition.
XINRAN XUE, a Chinese writer, describes visiting a peasant family in the Yimeng area of Shandong province. The wife was giving birth. “We had scarcely sat down in the kitchen”, she writes (see article), “when we heard a moan of pain from the bedroom next door…The cries from the inner room grew louder—and abruptly stopped. There was a low sob, and then a man’s gruff voice said accusingly: ‘Useless thing!’
“Suddenly, I thought I heard a slight movement in the slops pail behind me,” Miss Xinran remembers. “To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail! I nearly threw myself at it, but the two policemen [who had accompanied me] held my shoulders in a firm grip. ‘Don’t move, you can’t save it, it’s too late.’
“‘But that’s...murder...and you’re the police!’ The little foot was still now. The policemen held on to me for a few more minutes. ‘Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here,’ [an] older woman said comfortingly. ‘That’s a living child,’ I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail. ‘It’s not a child,’ she corrected me. ‘It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it. Around these parts, you can’t get by without a son. Girl babies don’t count.’”Read more:
The worldwide war on baby girls
After that, I rest my case for the night.