February 2, 2010
I registered another blog a few days ago on wordpress. Check it out!
February 2, 2010
Excellent article on Afghanistan strategy.
January 26, 2010
I am currently re-reading Bevin Alexander’s “How War’s are Won”, As well as Julius Caesar’s “The Battle for Gaul”. I read both of these books about three years ago, and I’m slightly surprised with how my view and thinking on warfare has changed. I don’t think I was aware of the extent which Bill Lind and John Robb had influenced my thinking until I reread these books, and then my reviews of them. Let’s start with “How War’s are Won”
Mr. Alexander’s (probably my favorite military historian) view of future wars is distorted. When I first read the book three years ago I agreed with everything he said, I have since changed my mind. First, where Mr. Alexander erred in his thinking:
*Terrorism – Mr. Alexander said that terrorism would be ultimatly defeated, somwhat dismissing them as an illogical fringe group who are out of their minds and have no real hope of ever accomplishing anything.
**What I think now – they aren’t some psycho fringe group and they do stand a good chance of accomplishing their actual aims.
*American superiority – Mr. Alexander somewhat assumes that America will be at the front and will ultimatly succeed in every attempt as if we were predistined.
**What I think now – I’m glad for his patriotism, but it’s irrational to assume that we will be the top dog indefinitely, see point below
*State control – Mr. Alexander also assumes that states will be at the front, and maintain their control, and will continue to function as the main arbitator in society
**What I think now – Here’s where my thinking has changed most – states are losing control, “tribes” will be the main social organization in the future, the state system is decaying (economically, socially, militarily and just about every other way imaginable).
Now having said all that, it’s a good reread and I’m getting alot more out of it than the first go ’round. Here’s where I think Mr. Alexander got his thinking right:
*Swarming – Mr. Alexander is a advocate of swarming as the dominant form of future warfare.
*History – Mr. Alexander identifies (not perfectly I think, but very well) key principles of war throughout history. I agree that war has always been, and always will be the same at the most fundamental level, and that military history should be studied rigorously. (A point where I think I difir slightly with most 4GW theorists).
*Look at Battles – The thing I love about Mr. Alexander’s writings is that he makes sense. When he takes a look at the battle, he tells what happened, why it happened, and how it could have happened differently without going overboard on details. I think he is also correct in most of his opinions about historical events.
As I read through Mr. Alexander’s thirteen rules, and his historical examples I see new opportunities for each one. Although his view of current events is a bit shallow, his historical view and perspective on warfare are why the book is worth reading.
Now, Caesar’s the Battle for Gaul. Without going into detail, it’s the battle memoirs of the great Gaius Julius Caesar on the Gaelic war. Gaul was inhabitted by several distinct factions, and the way that Caesar subdued them is worth a close look. The reason is that Islam is currently split in a similar fashion. If we (the western world) can use the same methods that Caesar used to remove the Islamic threat, it might work. I might write a later post about this looking into more detail. For now I will just note that Caesar exploited the fault lines between the factions, and destroyed them one at a time without allowing them to unite (which is probably what would have happened if he had just marched in like most men would have). It’s just a thought……..
January 25, 2010
The below is a speech I wrote for Competition for this season in NCFCA.
“Jason Drummond is richer than all of the Spice Girls put together and virtually unknown. At 30 he is a relative old-timer – the youngest on the list is just 21. Many have set up companies in the past 12 months and are now millionaires. Welcome to a new generation of Young Rich Entrepreneurs” This quote, from an article written in 2000 from the Observer demonstrates a turning point in business. We have now entered an age when the individual can compete with a multi-million dollar corporation. In the midst of a dismal economy and falling job market I believe that entrepreneurship is the most viable option for the future and that it is the key to success in the modern world. The reasons for this are more than can be fit into a single speech, but I will examine some of the larger reasons why this is the case. We’re going to look at how modern technology gives the entrepreneur unprecedented opportunity, we’re going to look at how entrepreneurship promotes personal freedom, and last we’re going to look at how it’s beneficial to the overall economy, and why it is the key to success in the modern world.
Once upon a time there was a country full of patriots, a nation where everyone believed in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In this nation, virtually all of these patriots owned their own farms, shops, restaurants, stores and services. In this country, almost everyone was an entrepreneur. This country was America before the mid 1800s and the rise of industrialization.
When industrialization came this spirit of the entrepreneur, every man living his own American dream began to die out as people began to become employees instead of employers, and the middle class began to become controlled by massive companies. This trend has continued to the present day. However, recently there has been growing potential for those who do not wish to continue to work for large corporations who have a gained a monopoly on the world economy. The driving factor behind this counter trend has been the technology developed in the last twenty years.
The development of the internet has been the single most important event since the invention of the printing press. This can hardly be an understatement. The internet allows people from opposite ends of the earth to come together in real time. The effects of this are many and far reaching. To the business world, it spells the beginning of the end of massive centralized corporations and the rise of motivated individuals: the entrepreneur. The Internet has allowed for the buyer to connect to the seller – regardless of distance, language or nationality. The internet has also allowed these motivated individuals to network and develop products and services much faster than centralized corporations can. This means that the individual, the entrepreneur, can compete globally, just as well (and often better) than any large business.
It also means that an entrepreneur can order parts, look up design plans, read books and articles on business and get advice from those who have already succeeded. This last point, being able to contact successful entrepreneurs is an important one. Knowledge is power, and listening and learning from others is more valuable than investors, partnerships, or even receiving a large inheritance. Now, you might not be able to contact Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but there are literally hundreds of successful entrepreneurs, many of who will be happy to reply to your e-mail’s. One of these men is John Robb. Mr. Robb has started several businesses growing many of them to multi-million dollar proportions in under a year. I’ve e-mailed him on several occasions and Mr. Robb has been kind enough to answer. His advice to me has been clear: “Learn how to make things…learn how to sell…be a one man company.” Mr. Robb served in Air Force special operations units along with SEAL and Commando units. He was one of the pioneers in RSS feeds and blogging software. Currently he is preparing to begin developing a software to help the growth of what he calls Resilient Communities. I have volunteered my services for the project as soon as Mr. Robb gets the project funding in order. Now Robb wouldn’t have been able to get volunteers (many of whom are much more talented than myself) without the internet. I consider him to be one of the most successful entrepreneur’s of our day, in spite of the fact relatively few people have heard of him.
So, now that we know that it is possible for these undertakers to not only compete, but compete globally, the question now is why? Entrepreneurship still means taking risks, sometimes big ones, so what are the advantages? This brings me to my second point: that Entrepreneurship promotes individual freedom. When you own your own business, you are in control of your own and your business’ destiny. You are not dependent on whether or not your company will go bankrupt because of the decisions of some far distant CEO. Instead if your company goes bankrupt, it gets to be your fault!
Another benefit of not being under the direct control of a company is the fact that it can be decidedly family friendly. Children can often become assets instead of liabilities aka slave labor, the wife becomes a senior executive and more distant family connections become marketers. This strengthens the bonds of not only your individual family, but the entire fabric of society. It utilizes the things that people have used for thousands of years and only recently forgotten about. When it comes to entrepreneurship, family becomes one of your biggest assets.
John Robb said that “One of the best ways you can prepare for the future is to train yourself to become an entrepreneur — essentially a person that makes their own economic opportunities. It’s going to become a major differentiator between those that succeed and those that fail in a harsh global system” When your in charge, your job doesn’t get outsourced.
Now the question arises, what is the effect of such things on the economy and business world? Which are the external factors influencing one’s business. As it turns out, entrepreneurship actually is beneficial to both economy and innovation. As we saw with the big business failures in the past few years, large corporations are more of a threat, to both the job market and the overall economy. Entrepreneurship also has more potential to grow new markets and innovate faster. The prime examples of this are of course, Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Apple. Each one found a need and filled it, and grew to unimaginable sizes. Entrepreneurship is good for economy, it’s good for business.
The director of the US patent office said that everything that could be invented already had been invented. The year was 1899. Virtually everything we use today was unimaginable in 1899, and entrepreneur’s made it happen. From airplanes to I-pod’s entrepreneurs have been at the forefront of innovation, invention and industry. Without entrepreneurs an economy is inevitably doomed.
Look at all of the things we use today. The lights in this room were made possible by Thomas Edison. The cars that you drove here were made possible by Henry Ford. The computers that we use were made possible by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. These men were entrepreneurs who drove innovation and technology to places that no one ever thought possible.
So in conclusion, entrepreneurship now has greater opportunity than it has for nearly two hundred years, it’s good for the family and society, and is good for the economy. Entrepreneurship is the key to success in the modern world. If you’re willing to take a risk, you can reap the rewards. As J. Paul Getty, Former oil tycoon and once the richest man in America said, “There is only one way to make a great deal of money; and that is in a business of your own.” And this is more true now than ever before. Thank you.
January 8, 2010
BUY MY TEE SHIRTS! HELP A STUDENT PAY FOR COLLEGE!!!!! I recently opened a Cafe Press shop, you might want to check it out! (especially if you like blonde jokes….. )
PS: I don’t think you’ll ever find such a direct method of adversising than the above. LOL!
January 4, 2010
In my persuit of a way to pay for college I’ve opened a Cafe Press shop here. It’s certainly nothing spectacular, but it’s a start.
January 1, 2010
I just thought this was cool. It’s a device for zapping radio frequency ID tags. http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/24/rfiddler-zapper-kills-rfid-tags-dead-the-hard-way/
December 27, 2009
Geert Wilders gives a speech on Islamization in California. Wilders is a Dutch politician in the Netherlands, and is probably the formost European fighting against the spread of Islam.
Turning Back Islam’s 1,300-year Assault on Western Civilization
By Bevin Alexander, May 30, 2008
There has been nothing in history like the war of annihilation that Islam has waged and continues to wage against all other religions and cultures, but especially against the Christian West, its most formidable opponent. Present-day Islamic attacks are identical in concept to past attempts, only different in tactics. But they can be stopped by resolute action.
The West’s historic position has been to contain Islam, not to destroy it. Islam’s historic position has been the opposite: to wipe Western Civilization off the face of the earth. The West, for example, is trying to influence events the Middle East, but not settle it with Westerners. Fundamentalist Islamic imams or leaders have precisely the goal of populating Europe with Muslims, converting it to Islam, then using Europe as a launching pad to move against the United States.
The true war between Islam and the West is being fought in Western Europe.
Fundamentalist imams have chosen Western Europe for their battleground because they do not have sufficient leverage in the U.S. to open a new front, since there are many fewer Muslims in the U.S. than in Western Europe. Accordingly, the United States can defend itself best by joining with our European allies to stop the advance of Islam in Western Europe.
The U.S. will have to take the lead. Europe is divided and lacking in resolve. For example, only a minority of NATO countries are permitting their forces to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. One Dutch unit has a policy of withdrawing every time the Taliban fires on it.
In Western Europe today, Muslim imams are trying to force governments to apply Islamic laws and customs to Muslims. Western governments must resist this effort, and insist that only European laws be applied to all people, including Muslims. If the governments of Western Europe allow Muslims to be judged by their own laws and customs, the imams will insist that Islamic laws and customs be applied to all the people. There already have been efforts to bring this about.
In 1988, for example, the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death warrant against the English author Salmon Rushdie because his book, Satanic Verses, was critical of the Prophet Mohammed. Khomeini’s pronouncement set off wild protests in Muslim lands and forced Rushdie to go into hiding for years. In 2006, Islamists all over the world rioted, demanding that Western newspapers and stations not show Danish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, thereby challenging press freedom and freedom of expression everywhere in the West. Islam is a religion of extreme intolerance. The history of Islam shows that subdued populations either accept Islam, or they die. Christians and Jews, being considered people of “the Book,” can be accorded a degree of tolerance—but not equality.
Despite these threats, the West has great strength, and can turn back Islam’s advance.
The West should reduce its presence in the Middle East drastically, and concentrate on thwarting the Muslim advance in Europe. We can do little to change conditions in the Middle East anyway. The people of Iraq will stop killing each other only when they decide to do so themselves. Western military forces cannot influence this decision, and they should be withdrawn. The West should focus on reducing its imprint on Muslim lands, not increasing it.
We should abandon our efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East. Muslims have a world view that sees the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed as the source of all laws and all actions. Muslims deny people individual choice. They repress their women. They believe that Allah, speaking through their imams, is the only authority they should respect. Democracy, like a lot of other Western values, is alien to Islamic thinking and Western efforts to change it are useless.
The aim of Western policy in the Middle East should be to stop threatening Muslim efforts aimed at the West, but otherwise to allow Muslims to live as they wish within their existing territorial bounds.
The resurgence of Islamic attacks in Europe is only a continuation of a drive that started with the rush of converts to Islam out of the Arabian peninsula on the death of Mohammed in 632 a.d. Islam’s aim has always been to destroy all other religions and societies, especially the West, which has been the main barrier to Islamic advances, and against which Islam has directed its greatest efforts and animus.
Islam experienced a meteoric expansion in its early centuries primarily because of the fanaticism engendered by the charismatic leadership of Mohammed, and by his teachings that promised everlasting pleasure in heaven to those who died in holy war against the infidel. No other religion has been able to inspire so many persons to be heedless of death and of personal danger in battle. Although this spirit was suppressed or lay dormant during the century and a half of Western imperial dominance of Islam that ended after World War II, it motivates a renewed assault on the West by Islamic fundamentalists and inspires suicide bombers today.
Muslims blame the West—not their own anti-democratic, anti-rational, repressive and misogynistic impulses—for their failure to advance economically, or to provide more than a small minority of their people with the standards of living enjoyed by most Westerners.
No encounter of Western Civilization with any other culture or civilization has come close to the threat posed by Islam. Western Civilization has never faced another opponent with Islam’s relentless hostility and drive to destroy it. Muslims want no peace treaty or modus vivendi with the West. They want total submission. They believe theirs is the only true society and their goal is to eradicate all false societies.
In 1993 Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington said that there are deep divisions between civilizations and predicted: “The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” The collision of the Christian West with Islam commenced well before either had even become a civilization, and it has been ongoing. The conflicts between the two did much to shape both civilizations and to distinguish one from the other. Each hostile encounter threw up examples of what one was and the other did not want to be.
Muslims state flatly that Islam is the religion of Allah and needs no justification. Thus, it is superior to all other religions, and the Koran states that Muslims, when they gain control, can tolerate Christians and Jews only under limited terms and conditions. The Islamic faith is based on the concept that sharia, or Islamic law, must be observed by all people. Sharia—which calls for punishing persons with 50 to 100 lashes for small offenses, cutting off the hand of a thief, and stoning adulterers to death—encompasses every sphere of human activity and supersedes all governments, economies, and moral and spiritual institutions.
The laws and rules of secular Muslim states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Tunisia, do not fully implement sharia, because to do so would mean their extinction. Sharia does not recognize secular states. It would require the abolishment of states and the establishment of a caliph (or successor to Mohammed) who would impose a religious dictatorship and sharia law on everyone.A caliphate would be a universal society based on rigid religious rules of behavior and thought. Fundamentalists regard secular Muslim states as defenders of Western society and as alien bodies imposed on Islam by the West. The basic Islamic viewpoint was expressed by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who set up an Islamic state in Iran in 1979: “If laws are needed, Islam has established them all. There is no need after establishing a government to sit down and draw up laws.”
Fundamentalists, therefore, are fighting two separate battles. One is to destroy the states that encompass the Muslim world—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and the rest. The other is to attack all aspects of Western society, which they consider to be sinful.
The chances of the fundamentalists abolishing all Muslim states and establishing a caliphate are small, because the kings, emirs, and dictators of the Muslim world have great power, and because large numbers of the populace would oppose living in a rigid religious society. Resolution of this issue should remain an all-Muslim affair. The West should not take sides, except to prevent disorder from spreading beyond the region.
The West should concentrate on preventing terrorist attacks on our cities and on stopping fundamentalist imams from trying to force Islamic ideas on Western societies. Governments in Europe have been slow to respond. Among the Muslim methods being used is insistence not only that nothing disrespectful of Mohammed be printed or broadcast, but that women cover their heads or even more of their bodies in public.
Imams are pushing for Muslims to be ruled by sharia, not Western law, as the first step in imposing sharia on all Europeans. In March 2007 a German judge refused a quick divorce to a Muslim woman on the grounds of abuse by her husband. The judge concluded that the Koran says that “men are in charge of women” and are allowed to beat their wives if they are disobedient. Although the judge was removed from the case, her willingness to apply Islamic law in a German court shows the extent to which Islamic thought has penetrated into Western Europe.
More than half a million immigrants are coming into Spain (and thus into the European Union) annually, mostly illegally, and mostly from Islamic west and north Africa. A major reevaluation is going on in Europe today to decide how to reverse the penetration of Islam into the continent. The entire West needs to launch a full-scale war to protect traditional Western rights of free speech and free expression. Europe and the U.S. cannot continue to crumple to Muslim protests, as they did over Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet.
European states are realizing that a large percentage of resident Muslims, under the influence of fundamentalist imams, have not become part of the culture and are unwilling to live under the laws and customs of the West. In Britain, for example, many Muslim women are wearing the niqab, a form of dress that covers the body from head to toe in flowing black gowns and allows only a slit for their eyes.
The Muslim world view is at the opposite pole from the Western world view. Muslims believe in polygamy, subordination of women, and the death penalty for apostates and gays. They suppress any conduct they do not like. For example, the Iranian Supreme Court exonerated six persons in April 2007 for killing five people they considered “morally corrupt.” A young couple engaged to be married were selected among the victims because they were walking together in public.
The Princeton Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis calls the Muslim approach to religion “triumphalist,” in that Muslims consider their views entirely right and all other views entirely wrong. Christianity also originally possessed a triumphalist approach, but in recent centuries it has become much more relativist, defined by Lewis as: “I have my god, you have your god, and others have theirs.”
The collision between the West and Islam has been marked by war and conquest. The conflict has been continuous since the first encounters in the Mediterranean in the seventh century. The first Arab-Islamic invasions conquered the then-Christian lands of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain, and surged into France, to be stopped by Charles Martel and the Franks at Tours in 732. The Arabs were thwarted from overrunning the Byzantine Empire by the walls of Constantinople and by Greek fire in 672 and on later occasions.
But in the eleventh century the Muslim Seljuk Turks conquered Byzantine territories in Anatolia. Byzantium and Eastern Orthodox Christianity retreated slowly before the Ottoman Turks, the successor regime to the Seljuks. The Islamic advance in the West, however, generated Roman Catholic rejoinders: the Reconquista in Spain, and the Crusades into the Levant. The Crusades ultimately failed to hold the Holy Land for Christianity, but they did succeed to some extent in opening the Mediterranean to Western trade.
The Spanish threw out the last Muslim kingdom, Granada, in 1492. The Ottoman Turks continued to press into southeastern Europe, capturing Constantinople in 1453, and driving to the gates of Vienna, where they suffered a culminating defeat in 1683. Thereafter the Islamic flood receded, to be followed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by a great European counterattack into the lands of Islam, an assault that usually goes by the name of imperialism.
The last major imperialist imposition on Islam occurred in 1948, when the West established a Jewish state on half of the territory of Palestine, and then armed this state with modern weapons. The creation of Israel is analogous to the establishment of Christian kingdoms in the Holy Land during the Crusades. That is, Western power was inserted into the heart of the Muslim world. Opposition to Israel set off an upheaval among Middle Easterners in general and among Arabs in particular that has accelerated in recent decades.
Islamic fundamentalists have taken the leadership in assaults on Israel. Attacks there and elsewhere represent an Islamic form of Reconquista, exemplified today in al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the al Aqsa Brigades—but also in the deep penetration of Muslims into Western Europe.
In Europe we have the means to stop the Islamic advance. What we are lacking in sufficient degree is the will. This must change.
The war against the Islamic advance in the West has been complicated by the attacks of fundamentalist terrorists. They have launched a guerrilla-like campaign in Europe and America. Such a war is characterized by sneak attacks against ill-defended or undefended targets, as for example the efforts to blow up two cars near Piccadilly Circus in central London in June 2007.
We may seem to be unable to prevent such attacks, except by fortuitous chance. But this is not so. Guerrilla attacks can be sustained indefinitely only in a country where guerrillas have a large base of support among the native population. Although there is a large Muslim population in Western Europe, most Europeans are scandalized by sneak attacks and support the governments in their efforts to locate terrorist cells and destroy them. We can never entirely prevent suicide bombers, but strong public opposition and firm police intelligence work can reduce their occurrence to a minimum. Terrorist strikes into Europe and the United States, while not impossible, are much harder to pull off than strikes against American and NATO forces within Iraq or Afghanistan.
The West has never possessed a goal to destroy Islam. The West has generally warded off Muslim attacks, in the hope that Muslims and Westerners could live in peace.
Only rarely has the West advanced into Muslim territory on a permanent basis. In the majority of cases, the West’s aggressions were only to recover territories that had been seized by Muslims—examples include the Reconquista in Spain, the Crusades, reoccupation of Sicily, and the long effort to reclaim southeastern Europe from the Turkish Ottoman Empire after its defeat at Vienna in 1683. Only in the imperial period did European powers seek to control Muslim lands. The collapse of imperialism after World War II resulted in withdrawal from Muslim lands other than for temporary military operations. The only exception was the West’s establishment of Israel in 1948, and its support of Israel thereafter.
The West’s refusal to embark on a war of annihilation is a valid strategy, and the West’s best defense is to withdraw as much as possible from the Middle East, but to resist strongly all attempts by Muslims to impose their views and their laws in the West.