Scholars and Warriors.

#1
"That state which seperates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools""
Thucydides, on the Peloponessian War (submitted by smartascarrots)
There are some great quotes in the Random Quotes but I think Carrots has struck gold with this one. Especially if you susbtitute Politician for Scholar, which I think is what Tucky...., Thuddy...., the greek bloke was trying to say.

Does anyone disagree that we have a greater Cowardly Scholar than a Follish Warrior problem though?
 
#2
Leaving aside the scholar angle- 'cos I think Thucydides said what he meant to say- the quote reminded me of this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/02/AR2007090201199_pf.html

Talk About Field Trips!
Petraeus Gave Student Summer VIP Tour of Iraq


CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- The briefing was top secret, limited to a group of men with titles ranging from captain to four-star general -- plus one awed 19-year-old civilian.

At first, the teenager sat outside the briefing room with a handful of reporters. Then an aide to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, poked his head out of the door and said, "Wesley Morgan? General Petraeus wants you in here."

Morgan, a sophomore at Princeton, spent his summer vacation in Iraq on a personal invitation from Petraeus. He met with the visiting then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, and had access to multiple classified briefings. He helped patrol streets in Baghdad. His identification card read "journalist," because he keeps a blog about his experiences, but he was treated more like one of the members of Congress or other VIPs who have passed through Iraq.

The trip was the chance of a lifetime for Morgan, an ROTC cadet who said he first became interested in military history and counterinsurgency at age 6. But Petraeus's invitation also highlights his desire to attract more people like Morgan to military service -- the guys with degrees from places like Princeton (where Petraeus himself earned a doctorate), the slightly nerdy ones who are as comfortable poring over treatises on counterinsurgency tactics as going out on patrol.

"He has studied Iraq deeply and is exceedingly well read," Petraeus said of his protege. "I love to see these types of people here."

Petraeus's willingness to be a mentor stems from a desire to position himself as the man who rebuilt the Army, people who have worked with him in Iraq and elsewhere say. He has been open about his desire to shape the officer corps into a group of highly educated thinkers and has surrounded himself with Rhodes Scholars and PhDs, a group that has come to be known as his brain trust.

"I think he's universally well known for finding smart people who are interested in doing things a little differently, and I think that's a major reason for his success," says Capt. Elizabeth McNally, a West Point graduate and Rhodes Scholar who is Petraeus's speechwriter.

Still, Petraeus says this is the first time he has taken someone so young under his wing, with the exception of his own son, a junior ROTC cadet at MIT.

The seed for Morgan's improbable summer vacation in Iraq was planted last October, when he wrote a lengthy profile of Petraeus for Princeton's student newspaper. They spoke on the phone for two hours, with Petraeus asking nearly as many questions as he was answering, both men recalled.

The two began e-mailing regularly, and in March, the general asked: Wouldn't Wes like to spend a summer in Baghdad?

"It's amazing," Morgan said after the briefing at Camp Taji last month. "It's the weirdest summer vacation ever, but to finally get to see what's happening for myself is unbelievable."

Morgan's blog maintains an adulatory tone in discussing Petraeus, concluding that nobody understands the situation in Iraq as well as the general does. Each post is a several-thousand-word wrap-up of three or four days spent in the field in which Morgan demonstrates a deep knowledge of Army operations, slipping easily into Army jargon and painstakingly detailing conversations and sights with a sense of awe.

"Advancing toward the sound of the guns with a squad of armored Manchu infantrymen in a damp, muddy palm jungle -- definitely an exhilarating feeling, even if to them the procedure was routine," he wrote in describing a patrol just north of Baghdad.

With the exception of professions of admiration for Petraeus, Morgan expresses few opinions in his blog. He describes himself as a moderate and advertises his support on Facebook for both John McCain and Barack Obama.

"I don't think I have enough information or experience to really have strong opinions one way or the other," he wrote after the day at Taji with Petraeus.

Morgan's path toward becoming the youngest American civilian known to have spent time in Iraq started at least 15 years before he actually landed in Baghdad. In fact, when the e-mail from Petraeus came, Morgan's mother wasn't even surprised.

"I really think this interest and this aptitude is hard-wired into him," says Kerry Tucker, who lives with Morgan's father and younger brother near Boston. "So the fact that he's been able to take it to this level is wonderful, but I can't say it's totally unexpected."

Morgan once came home from preschool nearly in tears after learning that teachers at the school, which served a politically liberal population in Cambridge, Mass., had gone through illustrated books about cars and trucks and torn out the pages showing military vehicles.

"He said, 'Why did you send me to Dandelion School?' " she recalls, laughing. "It was a lovely school that was the worst possible place for him."

As Morgan got older, he largely contained his military interest to his bedroom, where he would spend hours reading and building hundreds of G.I. Joe-inspired action figures dressed in uniforms from various wars in world history. Once he built a scale model diorama of Kandahar, Afghanistan, then constructed a pulley system that would raise and lower helicopters as he rolled across the floor in his desk chair. His parents began calling his bedroom "the situation room."

Through his research, Morgan began following Petraeus's career 10 years before most Americans had ever heard his name. He read Petraeus's highly regarded guide to counterinsurgency and started to think that someday he could be one of Petraeus's "designated thinkers," as the general calls his circle of advisers with advanced degrees and combat experience.

"General Petraeus was one of the first people to legitimize his interest," Tucker says. "I was hoping this day would come when he wasn't sitting alone in his room drawing maps of Iraq and reading."

Petraeus has encouraged Morgan to take classes at Princeton's prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which admits a few undergraduates each year, to learn Arabic and to improve his performance on physical tests like push-ups, sit-ups and running. Whenever the general visits Princeton, which he does as often as possible, he competes against ROTC cadets -- and generally wins.

Petraeus scoffs at the notion that the man running the war in Iraq should not be taking time to mentor teenagers.

"This is someone who is knowledgeable enough to be an officer here right now," he says. "We need all the brilliant young people we can get. I'll just have to wait three years or so for this one."
Now, Petraeus is famously a pointyhead; he's taken on an Aussie anthropology professor (and reserve Col.) as a key advisor; so are the US, contrary to received opinion, recruiting brighter but possibly less soldierly chaps than us? The guy above sounds smart, but it doesn't sound like he'd break records on a PFT. If he was British, would he even have got past Westbury, let alone to Baghdad?
 
#3
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Now, Petraeus is famously a pointyhead; he's taken on an Aussie anthropology professor (and reserve Col.) as a key advisor; so are the US, contrary to received opinion, recruiting brighter but possibly less soldierly chaps than us? The guy above sounds smart, but it doesn't sound like he'd break records on a PFT. If he was British, would he even have got past Westbury, let alone to Baghdad?
Recent experience of working with them during the last couple of months is that clever a few of them may be, but less soldierly ought to be almost a given. Mind you, the conversation between one of their BCs and the full colonel commander of a field hospital about up coming deployments to AFG was enough:

BC (who spent a year in Baghdad three years ago in an MP role) to Col who's unit will beat the gunner unit into AFG by about four months next year: So, Sir, do you get much in the way of cultural briefs in the mobilisation phase for Afghanistan?

Medic Col: No, not really. <pauses to chew tobacco and then spit on the ground> Not much at all.

BC: Well, I supose that's fair enough, we've all got experience of Iraq: I don't suppose there's much difference just across that one border...

:roll:
 
#4
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Leaving aside the scholar angle- 'cos I think Thucydides said what he meant to say- the quote reminded me of this article.......
Actually this article sort of points more to what I was thinking of but obviously failed to express. Scholars as advisers to Politicians (and to a lesser extent politicians with Scholarly backgrounds, though they mostly seem to be lawyers these days). I suppose I was trying to exclude certain stripes of Scholar/Academic but then a double first in Greek was seen as a ideal education to be a minister of state at a time.

It still is in some circles I imagine. :D
 
#6
#7
Rumpelstiltskin said:
Now, Petraeus is famously a pointyhead; he's taken on an Aussie anthropology professor (and reserve Col.) as a key advisor
Speaking of whom:

Dark side to the Iraq plan as the Sunnis turn
September 8, 2007

Some insurgents have changed sides, which is good for US troops, but perhaps not so good for the Iraqi Government, writes David Wood.

The US strategy of a "bottom up" revolt of Iraqi Sunnis against al-Qaeda extremists is risky and already riddled with problems, say senior American officers and General David Petraeus's own top counterinsurgency adviser.

Fed up with al-Qaeda's campaign of murder and intimidation, Sunni tribal elders and insurgents who had been fighting alongside al-Qaeda and attacking American troops began last year to quit that fight and temporarily align themselves with US forces. The movement, which began in the western desert province of al-Anbar, has since spread to other predominantly Sunni provinces and some Sunni neighbourhoods in Baghdad, contributing to a significant decline in violence there.

Taken by surprise that an estimated 30,000 Sunnis are shifting from fighting Americans to co-operating with them, US officials nevertheless have seized on the change as the most positive development in the Iraq war, and say it will be a major element in the Petraeus report to Congress on Monday and Tuesday.

But the sudden growth of armed Sunni security forces amid Iraq's sectarian conflict carries "significant" risks for the US and the Shia Government of the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, says Australian David Kilcullen, who just completed a tour as the top counterinsurgency adviser to the US command in Iraq.

Writing in the online magazine, Small Wars Journal, Kilcullen warns that these Sunni groups could become independent power bases in a fracturing Iraq, or may turn against the Baghdad Government. Echoing the concerns of senior commanders, Kilcullen concludes: "It is clear that the tribal revolt could still go either way."

Kilcullen, an Australian soldier seconded to the US State Department, says the new Sunni security forces might help stabilise Iraq if the US helps enforce strict controls on them, requiring that they swear allegiance to the Iraqi Government, recording their fingerprints and retina scans for identification, providing advisers and trainers and developing programs to disarm them.

The Sunni security forces, depending on their location and skills, are paid and provided some training by US commanders and eventually may be authorised to carry their own weapons, "for defensive purposes only", says Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Yoswa, a spokesman for the US command in Baghdad. "We don't give them weapons, we don't give them ammunition," he says.

Even with such safeguards, Kilcullen concludes that: "This will play out in ways that may be good or bad, but are fundamentally unpredictable."

In newspaper interviews earlier this year, Sunni tribal leaders who had been assassination targets of al-Qaeda stressed that their alliance with US Marines was critical for their own safety. They said that this temporary alliance against al-Qaeda did not mean they intend any reconciliation with the Shia Government in Baghdad, which they said is dominated by "Iranians".

Encouraging the growth of what are essentially friendly Sunni militias runs counter to what has been a four-year US effort to consolidate power in Iraq's central Government and emasculate tribal power bases and sectarian militias.

For that reason, the "bottom-up" revolt won't be measured by any of the 12 benchmarks that are meant to gauge the security and political performance of Iraq's Government. These benchmarks were the subject of an independent evaluation this week by the US Government Accountability Office. It said the al-Maliki Government failed to meet most of the 18 benchmarks set this year by Congress as a condition for funding of the war.

But beyond the benchmarks, several recent assessments have provided a sobering context for the rise of Sunni security forces.

Iraq's 25,000 national police, who are 85 per cent Shia, are widely viewed as corrupt and infiltrated by insurgents and Shia militants, according to testimony on Thursday by the retired General James Jones, a former Marine Corps commandant who headed a congressional commission examining Iraq's security forces.

The police ought to be disbanded and reorganised, Jones told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the Interior Ministry, which controls police, is "crippled" by sectarianism and corruption.

But on the bloody streets of Baghdad and elsewhere, the appearance of armed Sunni citizens' groups has been welcomed by US commanders. The groups are driving out terrorist cells and enforcing "neighbourhood watch" programs to guard against infiltration by Shia insurgents.

Major-General Rick Lynch, the commander of the 3rd Infantry Division fighting south of Baghdad, says he has put to work 10,000 Sunni "concerned citizens", who are manning checkpoints and performing other security functions. But he and other commanders have run into problems convincing the Iraq Government to accept these Sunnis into the regular Iraqi army and police forces. Only 1500 of his 10,000 volunteers have been accepted, Lynch says.

Supporting armed Sunni citizens groups was like "a sharp stick in the eye of the Shia," retired Major-General John Batiste, who commanded the Army's 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, told the joint panel at the committee hearing. Such groups "could become a liability if they turned against the Shiite militias or even Iraqi government forces," the former defence secretary William Perry testified.

The Washington Post
 
#8
#9
Thanks for posting those, Rumplestiltskin.

Killcullen's "28 Articles" is an excellent aide-memoire, one that I haven't seen in British circles.

Its seems a shame that BAR - the obvious forum for such articles - seems to have atrophied since its BAOR / PSO heyday. There always seem to be the regular articles comprising each of the following:
- One involving lots of doctrine I barely understand
- A WW2 reflection piece by Sydney Jary
- A discussion about uniform / drill
- Reproduction of a 50s COIN aide-memoire
- Use of specialist assets on BATUS / in the jungle / in FIBUA
- A winning RMAS / RA essay

but rarely a pooling of experience and debate concerning the conduct of Bn / Coy level ops. We recognise its importance, and I've certainly encountered enough opinions on the matter, but are we curious and committed enough to try hard enough to collectively find common solutions?

Perhaps the scholarly inclinations of army officers ( such as they are! ) are either disappated by continual ops / prep for ops, or channeled into largely conversational debates on ARRSE? Is it a bad thing that we *seem* to becoming less scholarly?

Charlie
 
#10
Charlie_Cong said:
Its seems a shame that BAR - the obvious forum for such articles - seems to have atrophied since its BAOR / PSO heyday.... rarely a pooling of experience and debate concerning the conduct of Bn / Coy level ops.
Surely the UNCLAS nature of BAR prevents it being used for the purpose you suggest - isn't that why ATDN exists?

As for on-line, the VitalGround website is certainly intended to address it; perhaps you should PM The_Hawk...
http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=54730/start=0.html

There was a discussion a while ago about the US Army site, companycommand.com
http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=26505/start=0.html
 
#11
Gravelbelly said:
Surely the UNCLAS nature of BAR prevents it being used for the purpose you suggest - isn't that why ATDN exists?
Er, yeah. Afraid that ATDN slipped my mind - don't know why. However the A-M Rumplestiltskin referred to was open, and I don't really see why the British equivalent should be any different.

I regret that BAR has been marginalised. It is a resource open to all, in a relatively easy format. It is also on paper which - in addition to having an irrational appeal for me - makes it portable and ideal ruminative RHQ loo reading matter.

I personally find a magazine more conducive to theoretical / scholarly contemplation than web sites. I confess to being too easily distracted by the site's look & hyperlinks, and find reading a screen uncomfortable.
( I have to add here that I am not a retired Colonel squinting at the screen through half moon glasses or a monocle! )

While ARRSE has seen many interesting serious discussions it suffers somewhat from running issues being fragmented into many threads - often resulting in cyclical arguments, or particularly worthwhile contributions being lost because the author understandably doesn't want to recount it every time the issue arises. Those who have the most internet time are able to monopolise debate. Various angles to recurring problems are discussed and commonly slide down the forum within a week - for the "big issues" considered debate over months is probably more appropriate.

While I find the invariable descent into ad hominem attacks entertaining it doesn't help either!

However, I admit that, contrary to one of its editorials a while ago BAR / ATDN do not deserve, by right, to be the main forum for the Army's scholarly musings and tactical tips, and should adapt.

Perhaps BAR / ATDN should go online as heavily moderated forums - perhaps no more than four posts per topic per user per week, with the best scholarly threads / letters / reviews published physically on paper and online in PDF format. Restricted - on ArmyNet, Unclass on paper.

That said, with ARRSE and the below on line would soldiers & officers bother? Should they?

Gravelbelly said:
As for on-line, the VitalGround website is certainly intended to address it; perhaps you should PM The_Hawk...
http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=54730/start=0.html

There was a discussion a while ago about the US Army site, companycommand.com
http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=26505/start=0.html
Thank you - I will look into them.

Charlie
 
#12
I know I've already posted this in a different forum, but it would make better sense here:

www.csmonitor.com/2007...-wosc.html

US Army's strategy in Afghanistan: better anthropology:
Counterinsurgency efforts focus on better grasping and meeting local needs.
This is something I strongly suspect we aren't doing...

For all the spam-bashing, I respect their CoC more every day...
 
#13
Link dead, so here's the article again (sorry for repetition, mods):

US Army's strategy in Afghanistan: better anthropology:
Counterinsurgency efforts focus on better grasping and meeting local needs.

Shabak Valley, Afghanistan - Evidence of how far the US Army's counterinsurgency strategy has evolved can be found in the work of a uniformed anthropologist toting a gun in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Part of a Human Terrain Team (HHT) – the first ever deployed – she speaks to hundreds of Afghan men and women to learn how they think and what they need.

One discovery that may help limit Taliban recruits in this rough-hewn valley: The area has a preponderance of widows – and their sons, who have to provide care, are forced to stay closer to home, where few jobs can be found. Now, the HHT is identifying ways to tap the textiles and blankets traded through here to create jobs for the women – and free their sons to get work themselves.

"In most circumstances, I am 'third' gender," says Tracy, who can give only her first name. She says that she is not seen as either an Afghan woman or a Western one – because of her uniform. "It has enhanced any ability to talk to [Afghans]. There is a curiosity."

Such insight is the grist of what US forces here see as a smarter counterisurgency. "We're not here just to kill the enemy – we are so far past the kinetic fight," says Lt. Col. Dave Woods, commander of the 4th Squadron 73rd Cavalry. "It is the nonkinetic piece [that matters], to identify their problems, to seed the future here." Nearly six years after US troops toppled the Taliban, the battle is for a presence that will elicit confidence in the Afghan government and its growing security forces. "Operation Khyber," which started Aug. 22, aims for a more effective counterinsurgency – using fewer bullets and more local empowerment.

US commanders have doubled US troop strength in eastern Afghanistan in the past year. They are also fielding the HHT – a "graduate-level counterinsurgency" unit, as one officer puts it – to fine-tune aid and to undermine the intimidating grip of militants in the region.

"This battlefield has changed," says Colonel Woods, from Denbo, Pa., whose 450 or so troops are working with 150 Afghan police and 500 Afghan Army soldiers to bring security to three districts along the Khost-Gardez Pass, a key trade route. "I think the enemy has changed. He has to work harder to gain popular support. He can't work openly any longer."

Militant influence is palpable

US and Afghan officers estimate 200 to 250 Taliban, foreign fighters, and members of local criminal networks operate in the three districts – Gerda Serai, Swak, and Waze Jadran.

Several key Taliban leaders have been killed in Paktia Province and neighboring Paktika Province in recent months, and an expected Taliban spring offensive never took hold.

But this week in Chawni, as Afghan and US forces pushed deeper into territory steeped in Taliban influence, two 107-mm rockets fell close by on either side of their camp one night. No third shell came, and while the attack was small by the standards of Afghan violence, it illustrated the challenges of rooting out militants.

One villager in Chawni, where the high, dun-colored compound walls are divided by tall trees and irrigation ditches, recounts how, the night before, he had seen a Taliban convoy of six cars and two motorcycles pass through, preventing him from watering parched fields.

"I was very scared and didn't go outside," said the man, his white beard brilliant against his dark-green silk turban.

"The problem is at night, when the Taliban walk here," says another villager. "The government told us not to come out at night. The Taliban tell us the same thing."

US and Afghan officers say the militants meet after 11 p.m., make plans, then leave by 4 a.m. The fighters have been forced into the mountains, where radio intercepts reveal uncertainty and hunger.

"A lot of the counterinsurgency fight is to deny the insurgents the ability to feed and shelter themselves by the local populace," says Maj. Craig Blando, head of a team working alongside Afghan police.

But intimidation remains. A one-day US military medical and veterinary service this week in the Shabak Valley, in which doctors and veterinarians stood ready to help, was nearly vacant.

Local police officer 1st Lt. Taj Mohammed had predicted that many hundreds of people would show up at the clinics – up to 400 have visited ones elsewhere – but only 100 men and a handful of women came to this one on Monday.

One reason, US officers said, may have been because they arrested six Taliban in the area the previous week. Rumors had spread that suicide attacks might target the clinics. A roadside bomb was discovered two nights before.

"They are afraid of the Taliban," confirmed one black-turbaned elder, Maligul, who walked through the ring of US and Afghan security only to argue his tribe's case in a land dispute. "Already the Taliban beheaded one elder a month ago. They told people he was a spy of the coalition."

"The young people don't come. They are all Al Qaeda; they're up in the mountains," says Lieutenant Mohammed. "All young people have no jobs, so they join the Taliban ... to get clothes and hashish."

"Al Qaeda has influence all the time over people," he says, estimating the "enemy" in his district at between 10 and 40, perhaps one-third of them from Pakistan or the Arab world. "We don't have government people here. Whenever we [Afghan and US forces] leave this place, they will come down and it will be just like it was before...."

Operation Khyber has yielded promises from 73 families in three districts to provide auxiliary police recruits, but this officer says none have come forward.

"When the Afghan Army and coalition leaves, the Taliban will come back down," says Maligul, who has only one name.

An anthropologist at work

Finding ways to challenge that fear – and learn what makes Afghans choose to support the government or its enemies – is the job of the HTT. The key ingredient is a "senior cultural analyst," in this case, Tracy, the anthropologist in uniform.

She has interviewed hundreds of Afghan women and men, sometimes for hours on end, hearing how most are "so tired of war." In nine months, Tracy has gained deep knowledge, she says, aimed at helping "fill the vacuum that the Taliban and other nefarious actors want to fill."

Tracy tells Afghans that she wants to "enhance the military's understanding of the culture so we don't make mistakes like in Iraq." But the bar is high, and this village with the medical clinic shows signs of militant influence, such as being "coached."

Still, Tracy says that she sees real progress, "one Afghan at a time." And the US military's views are evolving accordingly, away from firepower to a smarter counterinsurgency.

"It may be one less trigger that has to be pulled here," Tracy says of the result. "It's how we gain ground, not tangible ground, but cognitive ground. Small things can have a big impact."

That was the case in learning about the idle young men in Shabak Valley.

"I would have never known that was a problem in that community; they wouldn't tell me about that," says Woods. "[She] is taking the population and dissecting it, and giving us data points to improve or help solve other problems. It's not the end-all, but it's a tool."

The strategy has been refined since it was first applied in Afghanistan last year. When this reporter traveled to Nuristan a year ago, around Naray, US officers spelled out the new fight-and-build strategy of winning trust in remote villages with projects, and staying on in grim, wet, and barely-resupplied conditions throughout the winter to deny militants a haven.

"In counterinsurgency, you can't lead with a rifle," Lt. Col. Mike Howard said last year. "You must lead with actions, with reconstruction."

But the goodwill was undermined by a couple incidents last November, in the outpost of Kamdesh. In one case, a Special Forces strike netted a high-level Al Qaeda operative and killed another after a wedding ceremony.

Days later, according to an American on the outpost, casualties from an Apache helicopter strike "made people angry and bent on revenge."

Building better understanding

Still, the new counterinsurgency template was passed on, and is likely to reach beyond US efforts in Afghanistan to Iraq.

"Across the armed forces, there is a desire to build this capacity and field it," says Tracy. "Because of the turn of events in Iraq, it made it extremely clear that we had to have a better understanding.

"I'm amazed at the soldiers, they get it," she adds. "And the receptivity of the commanders – they know we need to get it right." "
 
#14
One discovery that may help limit Taliban recruits in this rough-hewn valley: The area has a preponderance of widows – and their sons, who have to provide care, are forced to stay closer to home, where few jobs can be found. Now, the HHT is identifying ways to tap the textiles and blankets traded through here to create jobs for the women – and free their sons to get work themselves.
He'll be spinning in his grave at me making this link but this is pure Schumacher.
 
#15
CutLunchCommando said:
One discovery that may help limit Taliban recruits in this rough-hewn valley: The area has a preponderance of widows – and their sons, who have to provide care, are forced to stay closer to home, where few jobs can be found. Now, the HHT is identifying ways to tap the textiles and blankets traded through here to create jobs for the women – and free their sons to get work themselves.
He'll be spinning in his grave at me making this link but this is pure Schumacher.
Well Bugger Me!

Article 24 "Small is Beautiful"

Schumachers most famous work.
 
#16
If you free the sons from caring for their mothers, you may free them up to go job hunting. You may also free them up to join Terry!
 
#18
CutLunchCommando said:
Cuddles said:
If you free the sons from caring for their mothers, you may free them up to go job hunting. You may also free them up to join Terry!
True. Conversely they might not feel the need to join Terry to make a few quid.
Well they might prefer a hard day's honest labour but then again, the day a hard day's honest labour earns more money than being a member of what is essentially a dacoit band (regardless of whatever political/religious claptrap they wrap it up in) will be a cold day in hell.
 
#20
I am merely making the point that a course of action planned to deliver dividend A, sometimes may have alternative dividends not all of which accrue to the agency that planned the apparently solid course of action.

In the best of all possible worlds freeing up the young men, so they can participate in economic resurgence ought to be a no-brainer. It is the underlying tactical psyops that need to be robust though. The idea that you are being freed up to rebuild or even build the economy has to be sold and gilt-edged too. The "free market forces" in the Afghan economy at present are pulling, or in some cases pushing, people into either insurgency or the opium trade.

So while I think it is an admirable concept, I would not give my guys the green light to enact that policy unless I saw the plan for how we would not be opening up Terry's newest recruiting drive for him.

Ok?
 

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