Archive for the ‘Decision Making’ Category

From my good friends Chuck Spinney and COL (USMC ret.) G.I. Wilson.  A bottom up solution to disaster relief, leaders on the ground making things happen without all the overhead.

Attached is an important eyewitness assessment of the current situation in Haiti. It was written by William McNulty, William McNulty is a Sgt in the Marine Corps Reserve and when he was a Cpl he already had a MA in John Hopkins…..William has no burning desire to be an officer let alone a LtCol…William likes being accountable, responsible, and getting things done without a whole of PC and fanfare. I am very blessed to know him and like most Marine enlisted I would go with William anywhere… long live the Irish !.  S/F  Col. GI Wilson USMC Ret

William is a volunteer member of Team Rubicon, a self-financed and self-deployed group of former Marines, soldiers and health care professionals currently providing emergency relief in Haiti. (see web site at http://blog.teamrubiconhaiti.org). McNulty paints a grim picture of condition in Haiti and especially, as he puts it, “… the impotence of western power to deal with disasters/emergencies;for either out of lack of compassion, political correctness, or because the institutions set up to take care of emergencies are so overburdened with layers of bureaucracy that they are ineffective.”

Haiti Reality Check

William McNulty Former Asst Team Lead Team Rubicon January 24, 2010 http://blog.teamrubiconhaiti.org/2010/01/deputy-tl-mcnulty-aar-pulls-no-punches.html



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Please tell me why the historian’s report on this needs to be reviewed and “revised” and then redone by Petraeus.

Oh, never mind; now I understand; a senator (Webb) is involved. Webb may have the background to understand all this, but I will bet any of you lunch that the only person who testifies on this to the esteemed Senate Armed Services Committee has eagles or better on his shoulders and certainly will not be the original historian author. To permit otherwise would impede the SASC staff from groveling for jobs in the Pentagon.

The key questions of who we are really fighting and why we are fighting them are simply ignored. Similar questions were not asked in Iraq either with the result that we made war on the Sunni Arab population until we and they found it advantageous to stop it. AQ in Iraq did not turn out to be the monolithic powerhouse the generals insisted they were. The Sunni’s had good reason to cooperate. We had stupidly established an Iranian-backed government in Baghdad the Sunni Arabs wanted to survive and potentially destroy in our eventual absence. Without Sunni Arab support, AQ became irrelevant. We could not take the casualties and stay in Iraq. Hence, the cash for cooperation strategy, not COIN, worked.

In Afghanistan, we are once again killing lots of people who are not the enemies of the United States . They are simply killing us because we are there. Meanwhile, AQ is not there nor is AQ in Waziristan the powerful force claimed. But we cannot buy off the Pashtun Tribes the way we bought off the Sunni Arabs. The Iraqi conditions don’t exist in Afghanistan . The whole business is depressing.

U.S. Review Of Battle Disaster Sways Strategy On Afghanistan

New York Times October 3, 2009

U.S. Review Of Battle Disaster Sways Strategy On Afghanistan By Thom Shanker WASHINGTON

— The paratroopers of Chosen Company had plenty to worry about as they began digging in at their new outpost on the fringe of a hostile frontier village in eastern Afghanistan. Intelligence reports were warning of militants massing in the area. As the paratroopers looked around, the only villagers they could see were men of fighting age idling in the bazaar. There were no women and children, and some houses looked abandoned. Through their night scopes they could see furtive figures on the surrounding mountainsides.


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This is a movie that gets at the heart of why the country I love has lost its character. The end-money-has become more important than the means- anyway you can. No morals or ethics. And our fucking government keeps letting these bastards get their bonuses (7 lobbyists for every congressman/woman and senator) on Wall Street (a place that produces nothing for a lot).

What is health care reform really about?

Well how to protect the insurance companies, and the fat people.

WOW, who runs the Federal government?

Not you or I.

That is why guys like Ron Paul are our only hope (well also Winslow Wheeler for President in 2012). But, people, do you want the the hard truth? I did not think so, keep electing the same dirt bags!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for free enterprise and capitalism, as long as it is done with some ethics involved.  Like “when is enough, enough?” How about giving something back to the nation that allowed you to get all that stuff?

Friends of my good friends Chuck Spinney and Winslow Wheeler (September leader of the month), Andrew and Leslie Cockburn (who I have had the h0nor to meet and talk too) have produced a blockbuster documentary describing the “social ecology” of the financial meltdown, in the words of David Denby, who wrote the attached review in the Sept 7 issue of the New Yorker. I urge you to read the review and to see “American Casino” at your earliest opportunity.


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Another great email impacting leadership and the art of decision making by my friend COL (ret.) TX Hammes, who is the author of the book Sling and Stone.  For further details on what PowerPoint has done when laid over the culture of control see Chuck Spinney’s blaster from nine years ago, www.d-n-i.net/fcs/comments/c353.htm


Every year, the services spend millions of dollars teaching our people how to think. We invest in everything from war colleges to noncommissioned officer schools. Our senior schools in particular expose our leaders to broad issues and historical insights in an attempt to expose the complex and interactive nature of many of the decisions they will make. Unfortunately, as soon as they graduate, our people return to a world driven by a tool that is the antithesis of thinking: PowerPoint. Make no mistake, PowerPoint is not a neutral tool — it is actively hostile to thoughtful decision-making. It has fundamentally changed our culture by altering the expectations of who makes decisions, what decisions they make and how they make them. While this may seem to be a sweeping generalization, I think a brief examination of the impact of PowerPoint will support this statement.


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Below is a commentary from the leader of the U.S. Army Armor Center’s Scout Leader’s Course at Fort Knox KY. They are adapting the new Army training and education doctrine called Outcomes Based Training and Education (OBT&E), in which Adaptive Leaders Methodology (ALM) is described in detail in my book Raising the Bar. In Raising the Bar it is called the Adaptive Course Model (ACM), but the Army changed it to ALM.

Begin the commander’s commentary.

Commentary #1 2009 -Scout Leaders Course Is Adapting: Enter the Army
Reconnaissance Course and Outcomes Based Training and Education (OBT&E)


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Read more Deciding Under Pressure…and Fast Workshop Success and Evolutionary Adaptability.



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William S. Lind
March 3, 2009

On the surface, the antics of Somali pirates and the comic opera response of the maritime powers is worthy of a re-visit by Gilbert and Sullivan. Despite the presence off Somalia of the largest concentration of international warships since World War II, Somali pirates go on their merry ways, taking ships and holding them for ransoms. While they seldom make their captives walk the plank and most prefer the green flag of Islam to the Jolly Roger, they are pirates in the full sense of the word, owing allegiance to no state. Pirates might be justified in claiming they were the original Fourth Generation warriors.

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