Identity, who needs it?

My good blog-friend Isaac (who I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting at Boyd ’07 at Quantico) sent me “Fighting Identity: Why We Are Losing Our Wars” by Micahel Vlahos. Don’t worry Isaac: I won’t hold it against you. 😉

Vlahos’ article essentially is an abridgment of In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong by Amin Maalouf. Violence is seen as an outgrowth of Identity, a non-defined term that is a hidden hand in human relationships. While neither Maalouf nor Vlahos bother to defnie their term, the term “identity” is typically used in one of two ways:

  1. metacognitive awareness of one’s own preference schedule
  2. an in-group/out-group marker

This raises the question: Does America need an identity?

By the first definition, not really. Maybe, but it’s not going to happen, and if it did it might not be good. Hence the importance of 5GW.

By the second definition, sure. That’s why we bother have passports and visas.

The rest of the article is a mish-mash of other European fads, including a belief in the state as a monopolizer of force, the view that globalization is essentailly a destructice force, and other boobytraps for the mind.

First Briefing

An tabletop meet-up last night set the stage for this morning’s f2f. All went well, and I am in awe of my partner in this (I’m in charge of theory and methods, he provides access). The ability to get an idea across — intellectual sales, if you will — fascinates me. Very forward looking commander, as well: great concern for the people under him, and completely no-nonsense.

We’re looking to apply OODA/dual-processing psychology to disaster-avoidance situations. Coming up with a 10-slide executive summary free of both dual processing psychospeak and OODA references was an exercise, and a very fun one.

All goes well, end of spring will see a pilgrimage to the Pentagon, then replication with a more representative pool.