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28 April 2015


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Charles I

Was this magic lantern show about the Draft? pl


Sorry Patrick Bahzad,

you give my stements interpretations that do not work:

0) Der Spiegel is of course quite opportunistic, they want too sell. However, it is a more center left source.

1) IMHO the weekly Der Spiegel is not a high quality source of news, while the Spiegel guys are sometimes very good in nailing domestic German political issues, in other fields they are very avarage, so I simply assume the worst when they do something outside their core competence.

2) The basic tenor for months in German newspapers were at the beginning that ISIL is some kind of grass root religious movement, a picture that was nonsense IMHO, in contrast, the Spiegel article presented a new version. I do not claim that this was orignal, nor do I have an opinion in respect to the selling of the Spiegel stuff in other newpapers or the qulity of the Spiegel article, i.e. qulaity of sources and their interpretation. (see 1)

It does not matter whether this picture was obvious for you, and agian, for the German audience it does not matter who controlled ISIL, it does not really affect us.

3) Schröder (whom I do not like :-)) was more nuanced in 2003 then you assume. As leader of the opposition, he had already shown in the aftermath of the first gulf war that he does not buy some kinds of arguments. Therefore, the assumption that he acted mainly for domestic consumption is IMHO debatable. And in addition, a Bundeskanzler should represent the opionion of his poeple, what he actually did in 2003.


Dr. Silverman and Group:

I have no wish to minimize the individual incidents but there's a lot more going on that we'll miss if we just look at what the police do that's wrong.

The various incidents with minorities and police has showed there are problems with policing. But the problems with policing have to do with many things, some of them are connected with much larger issues that often go undiscussed.

One of things not discussed is that police in the big crime ridden urban areas act the way they do partly because they are AFRAID. They are facing people who will kill and people who are half-crazy or crazy. They never know what's around the next corner. The police don't admit to this fear, the government doesn't acknowledge it. Many of the bad neighborhoods are full of people who have the same fears as these cops; they could get a bullet in their head anytime too.

Yet what are we doing to take away control and money away from get the gangs? Not much. Just arresting people doesn't do that.

So dysfunction and criminality and despair fester and affect each succeeding generation more than the prior one. We have to get beyond the don't say anything to offend people, don't take any risks, just focus on arresting individuals and don't say anything about real causes or suggest comprehensive solutions.

I hope we talk about these larger issues. Some people have already touched on them.


Why not riot police on state level? The Breitschaftspolizei units in Germany belong to the state police forces not the federal police.

A state like Lower saxony has around 800 of these police officers, which are supported by local police. Larger states have more.

Adam L. Silverman


Thanks. The real issue here, since the Supreme Court in Citizen United ratified the idea that money equals speech and does not create a quid pro quo in American politics, is not that Mr. Adelson has the right to either fund the candidate or candidates of his choice, nor to try to gauge their commitment to his issues. Though the combination of the two does begin to approach at least the appearance of a quid pro quo - despite what Associate Justice Kennedy thinks... My real concern and what I think are the real problems are two fold. The first is that these almost unlimited money primaries - the Kochs and their fundraising network are also running their own and a south Florida auto dealership magnate has essentially announced he's going to be the top funder for Senator Rubio - deform the process we have in place for selecting candidates. So at a time when both political parties are essentially consolidated, with the Republican Party more consolidated because of the demographics of its membership, the ability of one or a few of the wealthiest Americans to basically fund entire campaigns has a distorting effect on the parties, which are themselves still trying to come to terms with their new normal that resulted from the demographic resorting post 1968 and figure out what that means and how to use it to maximum effect. The second is that because of Mr. Adelson's ability to finance entire campaigns and his largely one issue concern (he's also got some tax issues he wants addressed from his casino business and he wants to keep internet gambling as illegal as possible) regarding Israel means that we have candidates for President who are pledging to do not what's in the US's best interests, but those of a foreign power. While it is before my time, I do remember reading the transcript of then candidate Kennedy's speech where he refuted the argument that electing a Catholic would place America under control of the Vatican. In many ways we've come a long way in the past fifty years, in others not so much.

Adam L. Silverman


Tracking on where you were going with the question - no worries. To answer your questions, we waited several months to undertake the project. The first things we did, to be honest, was deep dive through all the available, previously collected civil information and civil considerations information pertaining to the AOR, as well as actually going and doing detailed interviews with each of the outgoing battalion commanders and their staffs, as well as the outgoing Civil Affairs company and small teams (CAT-As). After we digested this, we eased into the project. By this I mean either I and my team members were at every governance meeting, economic development meeting, security meeting, sheikh's council meeting, etc so we could start to observe how the Iraqis elites interacted with each other and with the Americans - Soldiers and interagency personnel. We also attended a number of other formal and informal functions, as well as interactions during humanitarian assistance ops, etc. We were not taking a snapshot in time, we were and did build an evolving, updating picture of the Central Iraqi agricultural areas over time. We also cross checked the responses in the formal interviews against the informal against what we were observing and what others (CAT-As, HUMINT Teams, IQATF assessments, KLE summaries, etc) were reporting back. We also mapped out the tribal connections, structures, and hostilities based on what we were observing, what we were told, translating the tribal kinship trees and documents, and we cross checked that against the separate information we had based on the Sawha and Sons of Iraq programs. We actually network mapped the latter based on who was running what, paying whom, located where. Finally, and perhaps the most important thing to remember: I'm not an Intelligence Officer, nor were my team. My job is to provide context and nuance regarding the socio-cultural dynamics in the theater of operations for the Commander and Staff. I can do basic Intel analysis, threat assessment, risk analysis - and occasionally assist with these, but my actual job is to oversee, design, run, and conduct cultural operations.

Adam L. Silverman

Sure, you know how to reach me. The real issue here is that the GEN Dempsey, the CJCS gets the problem and was the big proponent of the solution we were building towards. Unfortunately once he moved from TRADOC Commander, with a brief stint as Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), to CJCS that removed him from the picture on the Army side - though the Joint guidance on what everyone needs to know regarding culture, region, and language that he handed down in 2012 is very good, a lot of it was based on the work we were doing for him at TRADOC, but the generating Army decided to interpret it in a way that means little of it will be accomplished. GEN Odierno, the current CSA, has also been great on this stuff. I've been present on at least four or five occasions where he's clearly stated his guidance on the importance of culture, the need for cultural advisors (funny story on this below), how to go about putting all of it together. Unfortunately, unless something has changed since last September when I went off orders, almost no one is actually listening to what he's saying. I often remarked to MG Cucolo, who was close with GEN Odierno, that what the bulk of the generating Army was doing or planning to do or saying needed to be done was 180 degrees off from the CSA's guidance and that it was only a matter of time before he wound up being pantsed by the generating Army on this; especially in regard to the regionally aligned force concept.

So the funny story: when I was TACON to III Corps as the now retired LTG Campbell's cultural advisor one of my responsibilities was to be onsite in JUN 2012 for their Warfighting Exercise (WFX) to play myself. The Deputy Commanding General was a Canadian Brigadier - real good guy, we had a common set of friends: one of my students who was a Canadian colonel (promotable - now a one star). At the concluding AAR GEN Odierno was sitting right next to LTG Campbell, the DCG was seated on the other side of the CSA, and I was sitting right behind the Corps' Commander next to the POLAD - my counterpart on the Commander's staff. GEN Odierno stopped the lessons learned guy from Leavenworth who was running it, directed everyone's attention to the slide that was on the screen, and proceeded to call off items on the slide following each one with "culture". He then explained this is why it was so important to have the culture guys/advisors. The DCG immediately swung around, huge grin on his fact, pointed at me, put two thumbs up, nodded, and swung his chair back around. GEN Odierno, who, of course, had no idea who I was, just that I was seated directly behind the Corps' Commander, looked at the DCG, me, back at the DCG, got a look on his face of "what is going on", and went right back to business.

Adam L. Silverman


I'm not sure personal responsibility is really an issue here? Baltimore authorities decided to let school out earlier, so students wouldn't be trapped by the protests, which up to that point had been non-violent. They also decided to shut down all mass transit - subways and buses for security purposes. So what did we get? Almost all the students trying to make their way home by foot. Perfect conditions for a problem. No one is excusing the specific men and women that have engaged in violence, nor is anyone saying they should not be held accountable for their actions. But neither of those are what is driving the protest, let alone the feelings of grievance - mostly legitimate, that exists in Baltimore or other places.

Adam L. Silverman


Being a police officer isn't even close to being one of the most dangerous occupations in the US.

Law enforcement has always dedicated areas as cop friendly or cop unfriendly and reacted accordingly. Part of the problem that we're seeing, all over the country, is a misuse of descriptive statistical based policing (COMPSTAT) combined with the very poorly conceptualized broken windows argument that promotes a form of policing that is basically harassment/annoyance law enforcement combined with the use of law enforcement as major revenue collectors because states, which have to have balanced budgets, and municipalities, which are partial creations of the states, have fallen into the same trap as at a national level in regards to revenue: either we can't raise it as that would be somehow unAmerican or it can only be raised in the most regressive ways. Finally, we are seeing to many poor command decisions regarding how to deploy law enforcement:


re: "cultural operations"

This is a topic I would love to learn more about. Particularly as it occurs in real life, as opposed to academic theories. Please feel free to share some stories based on your research experiences (hint, hint :)). Do you have your PhD in Anthropology?

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