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Preview: Arms and influence

Arms and influence

The political uses of violence, for good or bad.

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 10:20:55 PST

Copyright: Copyright © 2007 Tom Grant

Happy Inauguration Day

Tue, 20 Jan 2009 10:20:55 PST

Sorry to be away, but I've been absolutely buried in work. You can't imagine. While I continue to dig away at the pile, I'll just share a quick clip, apropos of the day: Leonard Cohen singing "Democracy."


Mon, 19 Jan 2009 22:35:36 PST

The last day of the Bush Administration. Now, can we have a better discussion of national security?

Man bites feral city

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 16:29:34 PST

During my days in academia, this sort of conference abstract would have tempted me, just to see what the hell they were talking about: Contemporary political discourse on armed violence and insecurity has been largely shaped by references to spatial...

Rocket balls

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 16:14:18 PST

Of course you couldn't resist reading a post with that title. A military contractor is developing a new weapon, "kinetic fireball incendiaries." But, come on, everyone's going to call them rocket balls. Yikes. How many D6 do you roll if...

Big and little crusaders

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 12:21:40 PST

I was agreeing with most of what I read in Andrew Bacevich's recent Atlantic Monthly article until I got to this section: Embedded within this argument over military matters is a more fundamental and ideologically charged argument about basic policy....

Send more stuff!

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 10:49:41 PST

Armchair Generalist has a good post about why sending more stuff to warzones isn't necessarily a measure of success--particularly if the enemy hijacks the shipments.

An Iraqi cast of millions!

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:14:22 PST

I hate the vast majority of movies about the Vietnam War, since they largely overlook the Vietnamese. Regardless of the movie's point of view--from the virulent anti-communism of The Green Berets, to the "My God we were screwed up" message...

A new Iraq narrative?

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 19:55:34 PST

Now that the election is behind us, how will the discussion of Iraq change? Here's my guess: Without Bush and his advisers running the show, many people will be ready to hear more about what's happening in Iraq, not in...

New rules for DOJ ball

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:56:31 PST

Whether or not the Obama Administration closes down Guantanamo Bay soon after Inauguration Day, the Department of Justice's role in counterterrorism is going to change: The cases against many detainees, at Guantanamo Bay and other facilities, have already been falling...

But is Lando a socialist?

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 08:29:01 PST

I'll be back to posting serious stuff later today, but in the meantime, here's a video for your enjoyment, if you're already nostalgic for the campaign season. The clip is good enough to violate my "I'm so goddamn sick of...

Congratulations, President-elect Obama

Tue, 04 Nov 2008 22:29:41 PST

Now let's see what this country can really do in the world.

The political side of counterinsurgency, part I

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 14:08:46 PST

Kenneth Payne's recent article in Parameters, "Waging Communication War," raises one of the critical questions around counterinsurgency: How does the political action part work, exactly? Payne can't possibly answer the question fully in a short article. However, it's important to...

Happy Halloween from manservant Hecubus

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 14:02:25 PDT

Since it's Friday, and Halloween, I'm forced to post something frivolous. Here are a couple of videos from YouTube that are just right for the day.

The failure of leadership

Fri, 31 Oct 2008 11:52:15 PDT

I've spent a good part of the last couple of days pondering the question, "What did Bing West really mean in denouncing Nir Rosen's Rolling Stone piece?" Yesterday, I jumped into the question that West (pictured to the right) raised...

The moral imperatives of war journalism

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 19:34:39 PDT

I've had the latest Rolling Stone article about Afghanistan on my "To Read" pile for a few days. Before I could get to it, however, I got distracted by the flurry of posts about the article. The author, Nir Rosen,...