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Total number of comments: 2 (since 2014-07-20 18:17:48)

Joe

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  • Falluja and Gaza: Why Counter-Terrorism fails when the Problem is Political
    • " US security analysts wrote me at the time saying that killing leaders was crucial, because leadership skills are rare and leaders are hard to replace."

      That's the crucial error that most people, particularly people who are associated with government, the military and academics make. Leaders are NOT "difficult to replace" --- but a key aspect of being a successful leader is to create that illusion.

      In fact, almost every major war and political event can be primarily analyzed in terms of strategic elements. WWII involved the obvious candidates --- there was no "Ethopia makes a run for it" or "The Chilean offensive". Thus, it's trivial to show that if you have the right community with the right tools, the right leader can be invented.

      But the incorrect belief is a huge problem, leading to strategic mistakes. Instead of minimizing the damage from objectively emerging communities, the damage is maximized by focusing on the "leadership" rather than on the community that is creating them.

      But it's hopeless to convince people that they aren't the end-all and be-all --- hell, the communists kept on falling into this illusion, against their ideological commitments. Even the religious will think about their prophets rather than their gods...

  • Israeli Ads against Marriage with American Jews are Part of a Population War
    • 1) As an American Jew, I've been regularly astonished at how much Israelis can just be insufferable dicks. (I'm not even talking about the politics.) In my 30 years of life, I can attest to very few genuinely warm and pleasant interactions with Israelis. It's gotten worse over time. There's an edge and a defensiveness there. I've felt more comfortable just about anywhere in Europe. It's not a wonder American Jews aren't flocking there.

      2) Isn't this a country with quasi-riots in the streets over housing costs and shortages? Wasn't it something like 5% of the national population moved to demonstrate? Maybe they should figure that out before closing off marriage opportunities in the U.S.

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