Cowboy: interpreter, warlord, one more casualty




DARPA (the actual inventor of the internet!) has now come up with a way to "swarm" the battlefield with fleets of unmanned aircraft. The mother ship is a modified C-130 cargo plane, which will launch the "Gremlins" and hopefully retrieve them for future use. Already tested at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the system is supposedly on track for a full-scale technology demonstration next year.

Anatomy of a Genocide

This is an amazing book, a micro-masterpiece. Omer Bartov's mother came from Buczacz in a much-trampled part of Eastern Europe that the Austrians called Galicia, the Second Polish Republic knew as its own kresy (borderland), and today is located in southwest Ukraine. (Between these formal changes, Buczacz was variously occupied by Hitler's Germany and -- twice! -- by Stalin's Russia.) Typical of Eastern Europe in the inter-war years, it had a mixed population, each with its own language, religion, and grievances. Poles were in the catbird's seat until September 1939, when the Russians came and let the Jews have a turn at government while the Polish "fascists" were marginalized or killed or exiled to the Soviet Union. The wheel turned again, and more ominously, when the Germans arrived in 1941. Formerly neighbors and acquaintances -- friends, even -- the Hungarians eagerly helped murder and dispossess the Jews, while lording it over the Poles, their former masters. With admirable even-handedness, Mr Bartov interviews the survivors and marvels at how differently each group remembered the slaughter. Anatomy of a Genocide is the perfect companion to Timothy Snyder's macro-masterpiece, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Blue skies! — Dan Ford

Poland's Daughter

The essays (in more or less chronological order)

A Rebel in the County Cork, 1915-1923: case study of an insurgency
Was the Cold War an Inevitable Outcome of World War 2?
The Clayton Theorem: Did George Marshall Save the US from Economic Collapse?
To what extent is the US experience in Iraq comparable to their experience in Vietnam?
'Not Right, but British': The Superpower Role in the Falklands War
'But the Russians won, after all!: lessons from the Chechen wars
China: O brave new hegemon!
That's what presidents are for! (Why is 'planning' not the same thing as 'strategy'?)
When Sun-tzu met Clausewitz: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and the invasion of Iraq
War sucks. Get over it. ('Hybrid war' is a novel concept that captures a real change in the character of warfare: discuss)
How would John Boyd have waged a counterinsurgency?

Other good stuff to read

Gaddis: George Kennan: An American Life
Finkel: The Good Soldiers
Arreguin-Toft: How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict
Luttwak: Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace
Smith: The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World
Galula: Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice
van Creveld: The Transformation of War
Bobbitt: 'Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 21st Century'
Ricks: 'The Gamble: Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq
Wright: 'The Looming Tower: The Road to 9/11'
Adams: 'The Army After Next: The First Postindustrial Army'
Was John Boyd a new Sun Tzu? (books about the OODA Loop)
A counterinsurgency reading list by John Nagl
50 best books about terrorism, by Joshua Sinai

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

Flying Tigers
revised and updated

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