Monday, December 03, 2007

COIN Academy Reading List

The COIN Academy in Afghanistan, while doing good work, faces a bit of a resource shortage. From Abu Muqawama (emphasis mine):
But, as he'll tell you, he's a freaking Army captain. Charlie is quite certain that Capt. Helmer is among the best and the brightest, but he's not among those who can get @^*% done in the Army (or Afghanistan). If we were serious about such things, we might assign someone with a bit more institutional clout. Someone who could get paper copies of FM 3-24 for the Academy (it's cool, the Army posts them online. The students just wait 47 hours to download them over what passes for an internet connection in Kabul). Someone who could actually institutionalize the Academy within the Army instead of it being a Frankenstein science project dreamed up by folks who've read ATOM one too many times.

We can't win the war without places like the COIN Academy and officers like Capt. Helmer. But we also can't do it with them alone. If we're serious about COIN, about advising, about winning, we'll find a way to do this right. And to keep doing it, lest some new 26 year-old captain teach herself this all over again in 2027.

So… SWJ and AM have decided to aid in building the library with a little help from our friends. We e-mailed the COIN Academy requesting their reading list. They responded with titles of books and movies that once in hand would go a long way in establishing a world-class COIN library.

To streamline our effort we have set up the Afghanistan COIN Library page on Amazon.

The books and movies you purchase there and send on to Afghanistan will seed the COIN Academy’s library with a few titles that will allow the staff to better appreciate history, culture, and insurgency in Afghanistan. Eventually the titles will make their way to the library of the Afghan Defense University of which the COIN Academy will become a part. The shipping address (while hidden at Amazon) is direct to the Academy and we will track to ensure your book or movie makes it way to Afghanistan.

Talk about instant response. That's less than 72 hours from problem to solution. And as an added bonus, the effort led me to discover a very interesting blog from a guy whose occupation is flying people who do good things around Central Africa and who is currently a private sector pilot in Iraq. It's definitely an interesting read.

South Park Monday

We've got Mid-Week AC/DC, now I think it's time for some South Park to kick off your week. To get things started, we're gonna do a twofer. The first part is the only reason I wish I had watched the CU-NU game this year. Apparently Eric Cartman did both the offensive and defensive introductions for CU.

The second part is a pretty good fan video with some awesome music. Fans of the show should recognize the song.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

F**kin' Jagabombs!

Definitely NSFW (language), but super funny.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Right Brain/Left Brain

This is pretty cool. From the D-Ring:

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of people see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
uses feeling
“big picture” oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking
I saw it turning clockwise. Looks like my choice of political science has been validated, as well as my risk taking habits. I was able to see it spinning the other way, but only if I really concentrated. Showed it to my roommate who came out to declare that it was impossible for it to be spinning clockwise, at which point it reversed for me. I had to really concentrate to see it spinning clockwise again.


Snark of the Day

Comes from Abu Muqawama, who attended an anti-war protest in London. Commenting on the fact that it started 30 minutes late:
(Timeliness and general we've-got-our-shit-togetherness may be two of the reasons the military industrial complex seems to out-perform the anti-war crowd nine times out of ten.)

More Navy Fun

Lest I be accused of being too partial to Navy, here's what looks like a dating commercial compilation from one of the carriers (made by an E-2 squadron, of all people).

Here's another video from VAW-113 (no embedding, unfortunately.)

And just because, here's a few oldies.

What is it with those E-2 squadrons?


We've got it all. DSM is closed after a plane slid off the runway and travel is not advised for a sizable portion of the state. They aren't lying either. I was out driving earlier to get a haircut, a drive that would normally take me 15 minutes round trip. Took me 40, I was never out of second gear or over 20 mph the entire time.

Winter is definitely here.


...Beat...Army. I guess. If I have to pick sides. Although seriously, can't they just both lose?

Patches, Part II

I put up a post earlier this week about some ridiculous patches. In the meantime, Danger Room has put up quite a few more. I think my favorites are Lakenheath Is Bombing Your Ass (LIBYA), "Objectives in Sight," and of course, the ubiquitous "Morale Stops Here" patch featuring one flight suit dressed airman kicking another flight suit dressed airman in the groin. Like I said in a comment over there, I have seen that patch featuring quite a few airframes and AORs, although I think the most common are AWACS, JSTARS, USAFE, and CENTCOM/CENTAF.

So to continue, I did some digging of my own. Here's what I found:

Jiminy Cricket, 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron FAC

Crotch kicking: it's not just for USAFE

Snakes and a plane
Forget snakes, now we've got dragons!

I've got many more, but we'll cut it off here for now. Just one more, probably the favorite of all the ones I dug up.