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Archive for July, 2008

I will monitor infrequently while I am at West Point, NY at the United States Military Academy working with instructors and doing my workshop “Deciding Under Pressure and Fast.”

Everyone, have a great weekend and week, enjoy life to the fullest.

Don

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With both presidential candidates anxious to increase the US military presence on the ground and in the air in Afghanistan, the Washington community would appear to have achieved a consensus.  Perhaps, but that does not mean it’s a good idea.  Pentagon insider Franklin (“Chuck”) Spinney, now sort of retired and at sea in the Mediterranean, fully explains.

This article appeared in CounterPunch on July 30 and can be found at http://www.counterpunch.org/spinney07302008.html and below.

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By William S. Lind
July 28, 2008

Senator John McCain’s position on the situation in Iraq is wrong on two counts, which means his criticism of Senator Obama is also wrong.  The twin pillars of McCain’s assessment of the war are a) the surge worked and b) because the surge worked we are now winning.  Neither of those views is based in fact.

The first represents the long-recognized logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e., because one event occurred after another, it was a consequence of the first event.  Because the cock crows before sunrise, he thinks he makes the sun come up.  Because violence in Iraq dropped after the surge, McCain claims the surge caused the reduction in violence.  He is quick to add that he supported the surge at the time, which Obama did not.  In the real world, neither rooster nor Senator has quite so much reason to strut upon his dunghill.

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Most of the counter arguments I have gotten on Vandergriff’s 12 points have been with controlling overpopulation, “not doable,” “can’t happen,” are many of the same themes.

I love your counter arguments.

I still disagree with all of them.

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We are now facing the greatest catastrophic crisis in the history of our nation. If we don’t act now, TODAY, and start the transition, our nation will spiral into chaos. Sadly, the information, the resources (though strained), and the will of the people can make this happen, but it must happen now if we are to preserve the nation and its Constitution.

What is left? LEADERS OF CHARACTER making hard decisions.

What is Congress doing?

Do the Republican and Democratic candidates for President have plans that are detailed and overlap? Are they realistic, or are they the same old: ask little of us, don’t ask us to sacrifice, allow us to continue to live the fantasy of strip malls, unlimited gasoline, and suburbs beyond the horizon (don’t worry, food will come from the Arctic or somewhere long away hauled by big trucks).

What are “We the People,” citizens of this great country doing?

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By William S. Lind
July 23, 2008

Two recent news stories added important evidence to issues raised in On War columns.  The first concerns a Fourth Generation war taking place on America’s doorstep, that between the Mexican state and drug gangs.  The July 14 Financial Times, one of the world’s best newspapers, reported that the head of Mexico’s intelligence agency

Told a small group of foreign media recently: “Drug traffickers have become the principal threat because they are trying to take over the power of the state.”

Mr. Valdes said the gangs…had co-opted many members of local police forces, the judiciary, and government entities….

Those efforts, he said, could now also be targeting federal institutions such as Congress itself.  “Congress is not exempt…we do not rule out the possibility that drug money is involved in the campaigns of some legislators,” Mr. Valdes said.

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How to take a losing organization of average talent, and make it a winner.

While I concede, as demonstrated in previous blogs, that conditions are bad in our country, there are examples of people “down in the trenches” or on the street living their lives the best they can.  I love finding examples of innovation in light of a culture of political correctness, rules and risk aversion. Also importantly are examples abound everywhere, just not in the military. It is important for us who want to develop and lead learning organizations the willingness to learn regardless the source (as well as from good and bad examples).

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