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Archive for August, 2008

The following is from my friend Fabius Maximus. While I admit that I don’t know who he actually is, and I of course I have not met him, he carries credibility through friends of mine who do know him. I also thinks he writes some of the best holistic views on strategy, economics, warfare and most importantly on leadership in regards to our nation that I have seen!

The following is a post he made after him and I had a series of discussions on how “on the money” Andy Bacevich’s writings are, and what we have to do to fix our own problems before they become catastrophic-strong leadership is the answer.

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My recent three day visit to Fort Gordon and the U.S. Army Signal School or Center of Excellence went very well.  The commander and leaders of 442 Signal Battalion made me extremely welcome, and were very receptive to Adatpive Leader Methodology (ALM).  I now reposition to Fort Benning to conduct three workshops. ALong the way, I plan to travel the grounds over which the Civil War N. Georgia campaign, from Dalton to Atlanta were followed.

Don

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William S. Lind
August 18, 2008

Despite the recent drop in the price of oil, the world economy is still sailing into troubled waters. The U.S. credit crisis is intensifying and spreading to Britain. Europe is moving toward recession. The international financial system continues to depend on mountains of debt. If the financial panic the Federal Reserve Bank has thus far managed to stave off materializes, we could witness a meltdown of historic proportions.

What does all this portend for Fourth Generation warfare? Regrettably, it means the omens are favorable for some non-state entities, especially those which compete with the state in the delivery of vital social services.

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I will periodically monitor the site, but I will be in Georgia (not the one just invaded by Russia) over the next 9 days teaching my workshop “Deciding Under Pressure and Fast” to four different courses.  Of course, the U.S. Georgia could go to war with the U.S. Tennessee over the fact that it wants to move its border just far enough north to own part of the Tennessee River in order to feed its big ugly monster called Atlanta. Just kidding.

Be back fully on Labor Day weekend (the start of college football).

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William S. Lind
August 18, 2008

What interests does the United States have at stake in the war between Russia and Georgia? Only one: that we remain out of it.

It almost passes belief to think that the Bush administration, bogged down in two wars and planning a third (with Iran), might move toward a confrontation with Russia. Yet that is what the White House appears to be doing. The August 11 Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that

President Bush called the violence unacceptable and Vice President Dick Cheney…said Russia’s actions in Georgia “must not go unanswered”…

Asked to explain Cheney’s comment, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, “It means it must not stand.”

That phrase should send cold chills down the back of every American. It precisely echoes President George H.W. Bush’s statement in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, a statement that led to war. The White House cannot be unaware of the parallel, which means it is threatening war with Russia.

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  • [Note for TomDispatch Readers: Andrew Bacevich will discuss his new book — and the limits of American power in the Bush era — for a full hour on “Bill Moyers Journal,” Friday, August 15th. Don’t miss it. Go here to check broadcasts and times in your area. If you’re watching the Olympics, TIVO it or look for a repeat.]

    To the problem of an overstretched, over-toured military, there is but one answer in Washington. Both presidential candidates (along with just about every other politician in our nation’s capital) are on record wanting to significantly expand the Army and the Marines. In his remarkable new book, The Limits of Power, The End of American Exceptionalism, Andrew Bacevich suggests a solution to the American military crisis that might seem obvious enough, if only both parties weren’t so blinded by the idea of our “global reach,” by a belief, however wrapped in euphemisms, in our imperial role on this planet, and by the imperial Pentagon and presidency that go with it: reduce the mission. It’s a particularly timely observation to which Bacevich returns in part two of his TomDispatch series, adapted from his new book. (Click here for part one, “Illusions of Victory.”)

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    I had a good last week at Fort Monroe Virginia (actually Hampton Virginia home to the beautiful campus of Hampton University). I was lecturing, along with my friend Morgan Darwin, Army leaders that run ROTC programs throughout the nation on new techniques to develop adaptability and raise the bar on professionalism. I only lectured for two hours, but most importantly talked to several leaders in Cadet Command about how to get better at developing their cadets.

    Work remains to be done, adapting their curriculum and program of instruction to the adaptive leader methodology, but Major Chad Foster, course director of the Military Science 3 (juniors) at the United States Military Academy’s Department of Military Instruction (DMI), hard work is helping out. Chad has worked every day since April (when we first met) changing lesson plans to ones applicable to the ALM model.  Each lesson, or most of them, now begin with a Tactical Decision Game, but more importantly, it is the way the teachers facilitate the classes that is key. They do not lecture by power point any more, but instead drive the students to seek the answers for themselves.

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