|hearts and minds|
We've clearly seen in the past few generations that the availability of resources necessary to carry on armed conflict can be dependent to varying degrees on the cooperation of many non-combatants. The degree that these non-combatants engage (or fail to engage) can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of resources that are made available to the belligerents.
In the short term, the greater a belligerent's independently controlled resources, the larger the operation that can be conducted w/o requiring the cooperation of non-combatants. Conversely, the smaller the operation, the smaller the need for the resources of outside individuals and groups.
In theory, because the ultimate original source of all resources for all belligerents and potential belligerents is derived from non-combatants in one way or another, no belligerent can ignore the costs to gain the cooperation of various non-combatants over the long term. For a democratic country, the costs of cooperation are, in part, whatever it takes for pro-war candidates to remain in power so they may continue to allocate tax dollars. Very simplistically, if the non-combatant populace is insufficiently inspired, as it is stereotyped to have been the case in th FSU, the costs of conflict and preparing for conflict that can be met by the non-combatants will be smaller. Conversely and just as simplistically, with the support of a sufficiently inspired non-combatant populace, vast new pools of resources can become available - think of the stereotypical portrayal of the US in WWII.
Supposedly, with non-state actors, the cooperation (and at times merely the lack of interference) of non-combatants is even more crucial than it is for states. This would primarily be due to the disproportionately greater resources available to states vs the resources available to non-state groups.
The US et al can wack-a-mole hunt down terrorists ad infinitum; however, as SECDEF Rumsfeld noted, "The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions." While we may potentially have the enormous resources necessary to carry on this way for an indefinite period, it has to be asked if there's a way reduce or dilute the effects of our enemies' thousandfold resource multiplier.
As important of a threat as the various terrorist organizations are, they're not the sole threat that the US has to contend with. The more efficiently we allocate our resources, the more resources we have available to face other challenges current and future, predicted and unforeseen.
While it's important to hunt down committed terrorists, the war for the "hearts and minds" is essential to these types of conflicts as it serves to dry up the terrorists' pools of potential new recruits and cooperative non-combatants. This necessarily limits the operational capacity of the belligerent groups. As noted above, non-combatants more or less are the bottom of the resource food chain. They call it a chain because there're all linked- if there's a problem at the bottom of a food chain, then there's a problem at the top. As a belligerent carries out operations it consumes resources. When the resources available to it are reduced, a belligerent is forced to choose between scaling back its operations to meet the reduced availability of resources or burning its resources at the same of greater rate in hopes of turning its fortunes.
Successfully reducing the availability of a belligerent's resources, over the long term means that the activities a belligerent is capable of carrying out are correspondingly reduced. Because the resource pools of non-state actors are smaller relatively small disruptions can have a comparatively large impacts. The cooperation of non-combatants and recruitment are resources that are more crucial to smaller organizations where there's less redundancy and where each individual constitutes a large percentage of the whole.
A significant portion of the GWoT and associated conflicts takes place in the public arena. "Hearts and minds" translates to manpower, various fungibles, equipment and supplies. Because non-state actors almost by definition have fewer and lesser resources than states, the translation is more direct, more vulnerable and more crucial for them than it is for a state or group of states.
Of course none of this is really new.
Here're a few further discussions if you're interested:
Pentagon Funds Diplomacy Effort
"What's changing is the realization that in this so-called war on terrorism, [Information Operations are] ... might be the thing that wins the whole thing for you," said Dan Kuehl, a specialist in information warfare at the National Defense University. "This gets to the importance of the war of ideas. There are a billion-plus Muslims that are undecided. How do we move them over to being more supportive of us? If we can do that, we can make progress and improve security."
Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Washington, D.C. 20301-3140
The DSB task force on strategic communication has completed its work and a final report is attached The report emphasizes the ability of the US to credibly communicate to populations throughout the world is critical for achieving our national objectives the topic of strategic communication was previously examined by the DSP in October 2001 the recommendations of the current study are in harmony with the previous efforts and are even more relevant today.
Something much, much, much more nuts and bolts
Information Operations in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom – What Went Wrong?
Major Joseph L. Cox
School of Advanced Military Studies
United States Army Command and General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
This monograph examines the integration of Information Operations (IO) during Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF). As a rule, most commanders considered IO ineffective because IO was unable to respond to the complex environments of Afghanistan and Iraq. This monograph examines how the Army prepared commanders to integrate IO into operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both theaters offer good examples of how commanders integrated IO effectively and how commanders failed to integrate IO effectively.
|Notes for the upcoming front page|
These are some sites of interest. These, as well as others will make their way on to the upcoming front page.
The Week In Congress .com
Presenting legislation without partisan bias and providing the opportunity to tell your representatives what you think about it is what TheWeekInCongress.com does. The site is also designed as a source of story leads and research sources for freelance writers and staff writers in medium and small markets where it is often thought that what happens in Washington doesn't impact locally.
Public Information Research Name Base
Citations to names of individuals and groups involving :
The National Security Strategy ... which calls for "encouraging free and open societies on every continent" -- sounds as if it could have come straight from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible.
The Leadership Institute is the premier training ground for tomorrow's conservative leaders.
The New American
THE NEW AMERICAN magazine is a valuable tool in confronting the liberal, mainstream media. Stories in the news are often used to appeal to our emotions and convince us to gradually surrender our freedoms. [url=http://www.jbs.org/]John Birch Society[/url]
StrategyPage's Prediction Market
Futures market for various world events
The American Conservative
Many voices will appear in the pages of The American Conservative — often in disagreement with one another.
My Way [News]
My Way has partnered with the Internet's leading search providers - Google, Ask.com, Yahoo! and LookSmart - to feature the world's best search engine, robust content from industry-leading sources, and full-portal personalization...all without banners, pop-ups, video ads, direct marketing and privacy concerns.
The Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies
The Taxonomy is more useful than the alphabetical index for studying the logical relationships between fallacies. To understand an individual fallacy, it may be helpful to move upward in the Taxonomy via the "Type" link, in order to understand the more general fallacy of which it is a subfallacy. Also, moving downward via the "Subfallacy" link can help in understanding a general fallacy through seeing a more specific version of it. Finally, moving sideways via the "Sibling" link can help to explain the nature of a fallacy by comparing it with a similar one of the same basic type. Some individual fallacies―such as Wishful Thinking―are found in more than one spot in the Taxonomy, which is because they are subfallacies of more than one type of fallacy.
The Federalist Society
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
A fruitful website to play our part in revelations on Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, the cult that killed our valuable people and youths. For years, the MKO, by misusing the Web and to advance its cyberterror aims, created tens of internet website so that now each part of organization has a website (hidden and apparent). Instead, the websites which reveal the real nature of Rajavi's cult are few; but these few website were very efficient in their work so that sometimes the revelations of these sites foiled the insidious plots of the Rajavis.
The Jamestown Foundation
The Jamestown Foundation’s mission is to inform and educate policy makers and the broader policy community about events and trends in those societies which are strategically or tactically important to the United States and which frequently restrict access to such information. Utilizing indigenous and primary sources, Jamestown’s material is delivered without political bias, filter or agenda.
Google Alerts (BETA)
Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. We currently offer four types of alerts: 'News,' 'Web,' 'News & Web,' and 'Groups.'
AhlulBayt Discussion Forum / Shia Chat.com
ShiaChat.com is a website dedicated to serving Muslims worldwide by providing them with an online community, formed in a way to allow interactions and exchanges of ideas and thoughts both in real-time and in a discussion board format. ShiaChat is for those who wish to seek the truth, no matter what religion, sect, or school of thought.
Harris Interactive market research helps our clients understand the drivers of decision making. By focusing on the full spectrum of the dynamics involved in making choices —and especially why those are made— we can help our clients make better choices too. Providing clients with this accurate knowledge will help them achieve measurable and enduring performance improvements.
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology. Gallup performance management systems help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services.
Angus Reid Consultants
A partnership dedicated to understanding public opinion in North America and around the world. This commitment begins with our highly popular Global Scan service which provides a daily summary of published polling results from all over the globe.
This is a non-profit, non-partisan and totally independent website. It's mainly targeted for researches, scholars and investors. The site also aims at providing comprehensive information pertaining to Iran and the Middle East.
Digital National Security Archive
The Digital National Security Archive contains the most comprehensive collection of primary documents available. The database includes more than 60,000 of the most important declassified documents regarding critical U.S. policy decisions. There are 27 complete collections, each offering specialized insights. Integrated, they allow you to explore policy across several different areas at once.
Thousands of World Newspapers at your fingertips
China Daily Information Co
China Daily is the only national English-language newspaper in China.
Iranian Royalists' site
Foreign Policy In Focus
Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) is a think tank for research, analysis, and action that brings together scholars, advocates, and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner.
FPIF provides timely analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and recommends policy alternatives. We believe U.S. security and world stability are best advanced through a commitment to peace, justice and environmental protection as well as economic, political, and social rights. We advocate that diplomatic solutions, global cooperation, and grassroots participation guide foreign policy.
Free Congress Foundation
Free Congress Foundation is politically conservative, but it is more than that: it is also culturally conservative. Most think tanks talk about tax rates or the environment or welfare policy and occasionally we do also. But our main focus is on the Culture War. Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture?
The Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons
HSP is an inter-university collaboration for research, communication and training in support of informed public policy towards chemical and biological weapons.
HSP seeks to instill the traditions, practice and benefits of scholarship into the formation of public policy on issues involving biological and chemical weapons.
The National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) Terrorism Knowledge Base (TKB)
The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). The TKB is a one-stop resource for comprehensive research on domestic and international terrorism, with information on terrorist incidents, terrorism-related court cases, and terrorist groups and leaders. The TKB features a suite of sophisticated analytical tools, available free of charge to researchers, policymakers, journalists, emergency response personnel, and the general public.
GPO Access Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Search
Government Printing Office's searchable library. Public Papers of the Presidents is published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and is the official publication of United States Presidents' public writings, addresses, and remarks.
American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Yet, these reports are not made available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology, Open CRS provides citizens access to CRS Reports that are already in the public domain and encourages Congress to provide public access to all CRS Reports.
State Dept Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs
Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs
SECRECY NEWS is an email publication of the FAS Project on Government Secrecy. It provides informal coverage of new developments in secrecy, security and intelligence policies, as well as links to new acquisitions on our web site. It is published 2 to 3 times a week, or as events warrant.
Through research, advocacy, and public education, the FAS Project on Government Secrecy works to challenge excessive government secrecy and to promote public oversight.
FAS | Government Secrecy | Search
I Miss Republicans
Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who'd nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950's-1960's science guys in the movies -- Republican to a one.
National Security Archive
An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.
|About Jack Shaw, Another Presenter at the Summit|
Mr. Shaw said he acquired his intel about Russia's help in moving Iraq's WMD to Syria from a "good friend" of Dick Cheney's and that this info was derided by the DIA as "Israeli disinformation." After the Shaw launched the story, the Fox news reported "it isn't clear how this person has the authority or the knowledge to speak on such a matter."
In the recent past, it seemed that Jack Shaw did some illegal and questionable things. But, then a DoD press release seemed to have cleared him. Subsequently, the exonerating press release had to be pulled because "information has become available that indicates it may not have been accurate at the time it was issued. The matter is under review to determine the facts and circumstances involving the information contained in the original release."
AFAICT, the DoD page revoking the exoneration was last updated 2005-08-25.
Coincidentally, the previously cited article about what prompted the FBI to investigate the actions of Mr. Shaw mentioned the port of Umm al Qasr. At the Summit, Mr. Shaw also mentioned port of Umm al Qasr. He said there were floodable storage areas in Qasr that had held WMD. He also said that in Umm al Qasr, the Soviets loaded Iraqi WMD onto ships so as to sink the weapons and possibly other untold evidence in the depths of the Indian Ocean.
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