Good news on Russia becoming closer to China. Russia’s days as a European power are rapidly fading, as Russia is not economically, culturally, or politically on the same track as either the EU or the borderlands. Rather, Russia’s best seen as a Central Asian state, with a Central Asian route to development. Embracing China as a major customer for raw materials is a good move for this once great power:

The Weekly Standard
In the lead-up to Medvedev’s visit, the Chinese media made a special point of reporting on a recent survey of the Russian public. In the poll, conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, China was mentioned most frequently when Russians were asked “Which country is friendliest towards Russia?”

Beyond the cordial welcome, Beijing’s assessment is that Medvedev’s decision to travel to China so soon after his inauguration reflected a number of geopolitical considerations. In addition to further consolidating bilateral ties which had reached “a historical high” under Putin, Medvedev saw in China “a breakthrough point” and “a special diplomatic arena” at a time when Moscow’s relations with Georgia, the EU, and the United States have all been strained.

Liberation Daily predicted that despite Medvedev’s “looking East,” Moscow will continue to strive for “a balanced diplomacy”:

Further, friendship with Russia removes possible friction for China, allowing her to rise without that pesky natural resource exporter on her northern frontier from causing too much trouble.

William Ayers: Actually Dangerous

If Barack Obama’s friend William Ayres was only a terrorist who attempted to overthrow the government, that would perhaps mean no more than that Barack is a trend-chasing Leftist: I know plenty of those in academia.

That Ayres is an institutionally connected member of AERA, a well respected professional and academic research association I belong to, is troubling:

Amicable Collisions: Hiding in plain sight
Ayers’s influence on what is taught in the nation’s public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation’s largest organization of education-school professors and researchers. Ayers won the election handily, and there is no doubt that his fellow education professors knew whom they were voting for. In the short biographical statement distributed to prospective voters beforehand, Ayers listed among his scholarly books Fugitive Days, an unapologetic memoir about his ten years in the Weather Underground. The book includes dramatic accounts of how he bombed the Pentagon and other public buildings.

His works are required texts in education school courses all over the country and he’s much in demand as a lecturer in many of those schools. Plus, he’s a pioneer in the progressive education publishing industry, encouraging books by many other authors that show teachers how to bring “social justice” themes — i.e. the evils of American racism and imperialism – into their public school classrooms.

While American politics is divided between conservatives and liberals, American academia is divided between liberals and Leftists. As much as it pains me to say this as a conservative: the liberals are the only hope we have that the non-profitable areas of Academia stay out of the hands of the Marxists. An Obama administration that does anything to tilt the balance in Academia away from liberals and towards Leftists would be a disaster.

For the good of the academy, vote Clinton.
For the good of the academic, vote McCain.
For the good of the academy, vote anybody but Obama.

Update: Thanks to Power Line News, for linking to this post. The discussion that follows is nice, referencing 4GW.

The Terminology of XGW

The clean break of XGW from GMW has is amazing. Not only does it represent the greatest advance since the first descriptions of 5GW, it’s simply liberating to no longer carry the water for thsoe more interested in Idealism than in advancing our understanding of war.

Today, I’ve come across a number of thought-provoking articles in Arms and Influence, Castle Arg, Dreaming 5GW, Simulated Laughter, and Soob. They made me think of XGW in terms of the words we use. In particular, two suggestions came to me.

1. The Term “Generation” Must Be Abandoned.

Just as the abandonment of GMW (The Generations of Modern War) is a critical step in the evolution of XGW theory, the abandonment of “Generation” is the next step. Consider the many criticisms of “4GW” available on the web. Previously, proponents of XGW had to argue against these criticism, and assert that the critics did not really understand 4GW. Now, proponents can agree with the criticism, generalize them to criticism of GMW, and present XGW as an alternative.

I propose Grade, thus making XGW X Grade War Theory. The first four definitions of “grade” are:

# A stage or degree in a process.
# A position in a scale of size, quality, or intensity: a poor grade of lumber.
# An accepted level or standard.
# A set of persons or things all falling in the same specified limits; a class.

These fits how G is used in XGW theory.

Grade also has the benefit of not having the strict timeline implications of “generation” while not doing away entirely with the parts of the timeline of XGW that make sense.

This leaves open the question of whether Roman or Arabic numerals should be use. That is, whether “4th Grade War,” “Grade 4 War,” “IVth Grade War,” or “Grade IV War” is clearer as to what it implies.

2. The “Stages of 4GW” Must Be Abandoned

4GWS1, 4GWS2, and 4GWS3 properly refer to only one form of 4GW, the Maoist model, and so exclude any form of 4GW that is not Maoist. Boyd’s PISRR-Loop is both more precise and more general. I’ve mapped the 3 Stages onto PISRR before, but that earlier work is limited. Instead of S1, we should clarify whether we are talking about Penetration anad Isolation. Instead of Stage 3, we should be precise if we meant Reorientation or Reharmonization, and so on.

3. In Conclusion

Consider one of the final actions in winning a 4GW. In GMW, this would properly be referred to as:

“The Third Stage of the 4th Generation of Modern War” (long form)
“4GWS3” (short form)

I propose instead:

???? (long form)
“4GW Reharmonization” (short form)