Destroying Religion

Religions naturally struggle for adherents. Some, like Islam and Christianity, fought both 4GWs (Fourth Generation Wars) and COINs (Counter-Insurgencies) to win. Others, like the rotting corpse of Communism, use suppression and intimidation.

Now Robb links to a new form of attack.

The moral? There will always be conflict. But more complex societies allow enable more peaceful fighting, with zealots and their enemies fighting in DNS and wikis, instead of tanks and blood.

Super Empowered Crime Fighters

The Supreme Court case on guns in the District of Columbia ties in nicely to recent discussion of Blackwater

Supreme Court Majority Appears To Back Gun Rights – washingtonpost.com
A majority of the Supreme Court today seemed to clearly indicate that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to possess a firearm and several justices appeared skeptical about whether the District of Columbia’s handgun ban could be considered a reasonable restriction on that right.

Both Blackwater and the 2nd Amendment are instances of distributed privatized security, the American idea that there is no “monopoly of violence” but rather a dangerous world that all are charged to pacify. The colonial militias were originally raised to fight barbarians — then called raiding parties, now thugs and criminals — while Blackwater is a private company aimed at the “new barbarians.”

We deserve an armed free citizenry, both at home and abroad. “Super-Empowered Crime Deterrence” is a vital part of our SysAdmin, both in the Core and in the Gap.

Obama Tries to Run out the Clock

(Many apologies, but I’m going through NCAA withdrawal, and politics is the best substitute I can find. Still, I think the extended analogy holds up.)

Obama seems to have abandoned hopes of overcoming Hillary’s race-charged alliance of Latinos, uneducated whites, and Asians. His campaign has sunk the possibility of revotes in Florida or Michigan, simultaneously saying that their loss wasn’t fair because they didn’t compete, while declining to compete because those states are now unwinnable:

Clinton’s Hopes for Florida Fade – TIME
Monday’s decision by Florida Democrats to abandon their efforts to hold a new primary, in order to get their delegation seated at the national party’s August convention, is another blow to Hillary Clinton’s attempt to close the small but near-impregnable delegate gap on her rival, Barack Obama. And she’s having little more luck in Michigan.
Clinton won January primaries in both states. But since both were held in violation of national party rules, the state parties were told their delegates would not be seated and the races were not officially contested. (Obama even pulled his name off the Michigan ballot.) Now, however, Clinton sees the two states as key to her flickering hopes of catching Obama. The Illinois Senator, unsurprisingly, has opposed any revote or reconsideration of the January results in either state, though his campaign is open to a neutral solution that would give each candidate half of the states’ delegates — a solution that would effectively have no impact on the outcome.

To use a football analogy, it’s 15:00 in the fourth quarter, ‘Bama has the ball on his own 20, up by 10, and its first-and-ten. Obama faced two choices: try to score a touchdown somewhere, making his lead insurmountable, or try to run out the clock, waste enough time that the other team is unable to compete.

Both may be sensible strategies. But running out the clock at this stage in the contest is typical of weak teams who are ahead, shouldn’t be, and are strategically paralyzed by a tougher and meaner opponent. Especially considering this bad news, Obama’s signaling weakness and despair.

Obama will now run the ball on every down. He is unlikely to score again. Hillary’s strong, and will probably score a touchdown with Pennsylvania. Then it will be a three point game. With five to ten minutes to go. A Hillary team that knows how to win. And an Obama team that knows she will get the ball at least one more time.

Transforming the SysAdmin

A very good article from Newsweek about how the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are changing the Army and Marines:

When Wright wrapped up his tour in 2005, he wrote an article in Infantry Magazine, an Army publication, criticizing the traditional “light infantry” tactics that had flopped in Afghanistan. He recommended more-flexible approaches, like mixing with the locals and (more implied than directly stated) buying off the enemy. When Petraeus drafted his counterinsurgency doctrine in 2006, he was able to draw on the experiences of resourceful frontline officers like Piatt and Wright. “All the stuff in the Petraeus manual, we had kind of figured it out there [in Afghanistan],” says Wright. “It was all the stuff we had seen work on the ground.”

American officers learned very similar lessons in battling the Viet Cong. But much of that knowledge was simply lost. “It’s said we fought that war nine times, a year at a time,” says Petraeus, noting that because they had been drafted rather than volunteered, many combat-hardened troops left the Army as soon as their yearlong tours in Vietnam were up. By contrast, with the Army stretched thin and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dragging on, soldiers like Wright find themselves heading back into the fight for a second (or third or fourth) tour. “They have a level of experience that I don’t think our Army has had at that rank certainly since Vietnam, and maybe not even then,” says Petraeus.

Petraeus has institutionalized that knowledge. Herding a team of researchers at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, he was able to get his manual written and approved about three years after the invasion of Iraq, lightning speed in Pentagon time. But even Petraeus says that the much-lauded document can provide only principles to follow. The hard work is still being done in the streets of Baghdad. “What they’re dealing with is much more complex and much more nuanced than what we were trained to do when I was a captain,” he says. “You have to understand not just what we call the military terrain … the high ground and low ground. It’s about understanding the human terrain, really understanding it.”

In order to shrink the Gap, America needs to transform its Leviathan big-war force, and the Military-Industrial-Complex that supports it, so that it stands-up a SysAdmin counter-insurgency force, and a Sysadmin-Industrial-Complex to enable it.

The longer the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and those like it, continue, the more the Army and Marines will be transformed into the “occupation” fighting-forces we need.

This is one reason why it’s so important to continue the Afghan and Iraq Wars until those states are successfully processed. Only one candidate this cycle, John McCain, is straightforward enough to both plan on continuing the wars, and letting his plan be known.