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06 November 2011


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William R. Cumming

Great post TTG! Thanks for the hard work and explanations and analysis of Libya. You are a very very dangerous man. And now somewhat facetiously how does all this baseline against the current OWS, the Republican party, and the DEMS?

It would be interesting to see how elections and voter analysis figure into both sides of COIN? A book yet to be written?

And why is the US leadership military and civilian so ignorant of the information you have provided in your post? Is it because few in politics have active service in any respect? And is it because the US military is in fact just a factional rivalry between groups struggling with the need for power and dominance and not really interested in defending the country?

How does the advent of the arrival of the distaff side in the military assist or help or hinder COIN? Is that development being wasted or utilized? Is it a hindrance or an asset?

And of course finally based on open source materials how many FLAG RANKS could have written this post and analysis? You pick a guestimate as it would of extreme interest to me! Have any favorite field grade officers to watch in case a future General Marshall has to pass over the current FLAG RANKS who largely devote their efforts to their next "job" post-employed by a DoD contractor or DoD FFCRD?

And since I predict a very close election next year how is Uncle Sam doing in ensuring that the active military and their families can vote and those votes get counted assuming they want to and do vote?

As always a fool can ask more questions than a wise man may answer!

R. Whitman

The problem is what happens after the revolution. You can get a government amenable to US aims, one against the US and one that might have the same attitude.

It seems like a lot of effort for a one in three chance to improve the US position. At this time we have no idea if the forthcoming government of Libya will be any better than the past.


I hope you are advising OWS.

Cold War Zoomie

"It seems like a lot of effort for a one in three chance to improve the US position. At this time we have no idea if the forthcoming government of Libya will be any better than the past."

What choice did we have, though? I'd rather get involved and try to influence the chances than to let the cards fall where they may.

I see this happen at work almost every day, where my government clients complain about the government guys in another agency who are supposedly our partners on a joint project but they tend to undermine our position and progress with their own agenda all the time. But instead of getting in there and fighting for our position, my clients bitch and moan and complain about what's been done to them and go all "emo."

I see far too much of this "thinking" in the comments here at SST that we should do nothing if the outcome isn't guaranteed to be totally in our favor for ever and ever.

Very frustrating to listen to nothing other than a litany of "but, but, but..."

Sid Harth

Colonel W. Patrick Lang, Sir,

I am Sid Harth.

You have been around. I cannot say that about me. Just about a fortnight ago, I woke up. Not literally but figuratively and kept a diary of sorts for my own benefit, initially. It is a sad affair the American government, the current one, headed by president, Barack Obama and all the previous administrations, going back to the George Washington, have played a bad cards, if we talk about having a foreign policy that keeps peace in the world and prosperity and a semblance of peace at home.

I have carefully noted certain features of American dominance when it comes to showing our combined diplomatic and military prowess. Sometimes one cannot distinguish between one and other.

My personal opinions matter very little as I am a dispassionate critic. So are thousands, if not millions, taking account of all those parties and nations affected by American penchant for trouble making and war mongering.

Just making a point.


...and I am Sid Harth@arabuhuru.org



I solicited this post from TTG and am very pleased with it. pl

The Twisted Genius


I thought about OWC while I wrote this piece. I also thought about the Tea Party, especially the Tea Party before it was partially astroturfed. They are both the result of growing dissatisfaction with the way things are now. If both sides ever settle on a common enemy, we may see the rise of a viable third way. If the established political elites crush this third way, then we will be on the road to our own insurgency... again.

How many of our military and civilian leaders understand this kind of UW? Obviously not enough. There are also plenty who would rather eat worms than think rationally about the subject. The mainstream military still hates SF. They think we are nothing more than men who don't fit in (with apologies to Robert Service.) When you reach a certain level in a system, you embrace the status quo that brought you there.


Excellent post TTG, thank you.

William R. Cumming

Thanks TTG! Those who favor the status quo usually are delusional about the ability of any single human, family, tribe, nation or multilateral organization to be able to "control" events and outcomes. But hey the illusion of control seems to be the "Holy Grail" of a never ending search.

IN my special areas of interest--go to www.vacationlanegrp.com--to see what they are in fact and folly one in particular is HOMELAND SECURITY wherein three lawyers with some skills and competencies but neither adminstrators, managers, policy wonks, or effective politicians at the nationl/federal level have imposed a top down authoritarian management style trying to gain "control" of DHS and the subject of HS instead of a collaborative cooperative mechanism. The fact that it is an expensive failure of two different administrations continues to fascinate me as someone with an interest in public administration and policy among other things.

Again it will be of interest to find out when and how the Administration begins to focus on 20 square kilometers (miles?) of radioactive floating debris headed to the STATES. Surfs up!

I always liked Sir John Keegan's face of battle that was devoted to the limited vision of any single soldier in any given conflict. Perhaps that analogy extends to the FLAGS?


Wow. I just learned a whole heck of a lot about how to overthrow a government. Neat.

Will Reks

I would like to think the administration offered SF to the NTC but was kindly refused. They certainly had no problem sending some to help eliminate Joseph Kony and the LRA.

Very good piece. I'll have to read it more thoroughly once the day's football is over.

R. Whitman

Lets revisit this in a year and see if we have a pro-US government in Libya and lower oil prices. Remember, this insurrection made oil prices rise.


Good one, Dream Brigadier.

Medicine Man

"The mainstream military still hates SF."

This is an interesting statement that I've heard a few times now. What SF groups do you refer to when you say this: Green Berets alone or all of the branches' SF units (Rangers, Deltas, SEALS, etc.)?



OK. Remind us then. pl



The not so hidden bauty of TTG's piece is that we can do this in a lot of places of we really want to. pl



Wanna sign up? "fighting soldiers from the sky... etc. pl



Don't be slow. There is only one, SF, "The Green Berets"' The rest are just commandos. pl

Medicine Man

Col: While its true that I'm slow from time to time, in this case I just don't understand the distinction between commandos and Special Forces. I'll go do some homework on that.



I have tried before, but here we go again. Delta, the SEALS, Rangers, etc are all direct action forces. they make raids, shooting people themselves as in the case of UBL. Army SF (Green Berets) exist for the primary purpose of working with foreign irregulars in the manner that TTG describes. pl


Don't kid yourself, the price of petroleum is NOT going to come down a significant amount. There are several reasons for that reality.

Medicine Man

Col: I think I understand now. Thank you for your patience.


Off topic: The IAEA report is going to say that Iran is working on nuclear weapons.

There are two problems.

One. The public has been conditioned to believe that if Sadaam Hussein had actually had nuclear weapons, the war in Iraq would have been justified. In other words, the minute we discover a nuclear weapons program in Iran, we go to war.

Two. Does anyone in their right mind want an Iran with nuclear weapons? With the "right mind" qualification, I am probably not qualified to answer, but my suspicion is, "No."

Oh, I guess there's a third problem. The United States election, which, given the extended season of campaigning in the US, might just as well be going to be held tomorrow. The Republicans would do anything they could to make Obama appear "weak".


I have a hunch that the evidence cited will be documents from the 'laptop of doom' that was played to the IAEA by whom, and which was said to be a collection of forgeries.


But those documents have ... been regarded with great suspicion by US and foreign analysts. German officials identified the source of the laptop documents in November 2004 as the Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK), which along with its political arm, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization.

There are some indications, moreover, that the MEK obtained the documents not from an Iranian source but from Israel's Mossad.

I'm going out on a limb here and assume that what has happened to change that report is that the US and Israel have eventually succeeded in persuading the IAEA to regard the laptop stuff as real evidence.


Also, as an afterthought: Considering how much trouble it caused the US and Israel vis a vis their Iran narrative, it would appear that playing information to and infiltrating and/or putting sympathisers into the IAEA must have been a top priority for both the US and Israeli services alike.

They've been at it since, what, 2003? They may have eventually succeeded.

That appears to be even more so the case considering that the latest US NIE still did not find evidence of an Iranian nuclear program.

Also, there doesn't appear to have been anything truly new. If there was anything new, we can expect that it would have been pretty leaked by sympathisers of the "Iran is a threat to the world as we know it" narrative, so I expect this to be a re-evaluation of old information, like the legendary laptop of doom.

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