James Mattis on the Afghanistan papers:
“I have walked the ground in Afghanistan with your reporters beside me, who were embedded in the units, who were watching this close-up,” he said. “The reporting, I thought, was pretty accurate. The idea that there was any kind of an effort to hide this perplexes me.”
All as posted-Via Soundcloud, throwing some ideas out there: Stefan Molyneux talked with Erik Prince about strategy in Afghanistan (~25:00 min). Prince has self-interest in highlighting the bloat and waste once the Pentagon gets involved, but you know, once any organization get as big as the Pentagon (inviting policies of inclusiveness and equality and diversity, potentially above mission), then there’s bound to be a lot of waste.
Robert Kaplan makes the argument that geography and history are destiny in Pakistan’s case:
‘Pakistan encompasses the frontier of the subcontinent, a region that even the British were unable to incorporate into their bureaucracy, running it instead as a military fiefdom, making deals with the tribes. Thus, Pakistan did not inherit the stabilizing civilian institutions that India did. Winston Churchill’s first book as a young man, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, wonderfully captures the challenges facing colonial border troops in British India. As the young author then concluded, the only way to function in this part of the world is through “a system of gradual advance, of political intrigue among the tribes, of subsidies and small expeditions.’
‘The term AfPak itself, popularized by the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke, indicates two failed states — otherwise, they would share a strong border and would not have to be conjoined in one word. Let me provide the real meaning of AfPak, as defined by geography and history: It is a rump Islamic greater Punjab — the tip of the demographic spear of the Indian subcontinent toward which all trade routes between southern Central Asia and the Indus Valley are drawn — exerting its power over Pashtunistan and Baluchistan, just as Punjab has since time immemorial.’
Repost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’…Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”…Monday Quotations-Henry Kissinger…Tom Ricks Via Foreign Policy: ‘American General Dies In Afghanistan; An American Lt. Col. Goes Off The Reservation
Pauline Baker At The American Interest: ‘Unraveling Afghanistan’
Is Islam incompatibile with freedom as we define it here in the West, or is this a false choice?: From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…
Najat Fawzy Alsaeid At The Center For Islamic Pluralism: ‘The War Of Ideologies In The Arab World’…
Repost-Philip Bobbitt Discusses His Book ‘Terror And Consent’ On Bloggingheads
Interesting piece from an American Muslim here.
Plot foiled on a train from NYC to Toronto?
Yes, it’s jihad. No, it won’t fit into the ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism. Yes, people on the right want their suspicions and nativism confirmed.
Benjamin Boyce and Stephen Hicks discuss philosophy and postmodern schools of thought:
Roger Scruton says keep politics out of the arts, and political judgment apart from aesthetic judgment…this includes race studies/feminist departments/gay studies etc.: Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment
Two ways around postmodernism, nihilism?: One is Allan Bloom Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’…A structure in the desert…not even a city Update On LACMA, Michael Heizer And The ‘Levitated Mass’-Modern Art And The Public;..
Denis Dutton suggests art could head towards Darwin (and may offer new direction from the troubles of the modern art aimlessness and shallow depth) Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’