Tiny gently guides Tuck as to where to cut the fabric to cover the diningroom chair seats.
"This inability to absorb and apply, much less even study, the lessons learned in previous counterinsurgency campaigns is a problem that has long afflicted the world’s governments and militaries when they are confronted with insurgencies. Guerilla groups and terrorist organizations, on the other hand, learn lessons very well," writes Bruce Hoffman in his foreword to a Rand republication of what Winds of Change terms "a timely analysis of the Algerian War by David Galula, who deliberately sought a leadership position on the French side during the rebellion, the better to understand the tactical challenges":
Algeria was the first modern terrorist thugocracy, a nation born of a cowardly father -- European lack of will -- and a cruel mother -- unrelenting terrorism on a grand scale. Naturally, the country fell into complete economic collapse. Twenty years after he served as its first president Ben Bella admitted, "We have nothing. No industry -- only scrap iron." That would have been bad enough, but throughout the '60s and early '70s, Algeria served as "the chief resort of international terrorists of all kinds." The terrorist-state survived there, and spread its seeds across Africa and the Middle East.
Tiny keeps Tuck on his toes as she draws a bead on the jugular of his latest craft project, a metaphor for the eternal arms race between predator and prey.
"Our forces were vastly superior to the rebels. Then why couldn’t we finish with them quickly? Because they managed to mobilize the population through terror and persuasion . . . It was therefore imperative that we isolate the rebels from the population and that we gain the support of the population. This implied that under no circumstances could we afford to antagonize the population even if we had to take risks for ourselves in sparing it.”
Paleontologists have typically ignored ecological interactions like predation, many focusing instead on how large-scale, physical factors like climate change shape life in the fossil record. Dr.Vermeij's views have forced them to rethink the importance of animals in shaping each other's evolutionary fates.
"It's anything but the romantic idea that nature is kind and stable," said Dr. Vermeij. "To some people it isn't a pretty view of the world. It's nasty, and things get nastier and nastier. Everyone is affected mostly by their enemies."
Fortunately, the arms race between sparring partners sometimes redounds to the good of both, as with Barry McGaffrey's latest under-the-radar, 13-point post-Iraq-visit, post-Oval-Office-visit memo to Colonel Mike Reese and Colonel Cindy Jebb, both of the United States Military Academy, expertly excerpted for your effortless edification by our fellow sub rosa blogger Tom Bowler of Libertarian Leanings. As we commented at Tom's blog, our favorite of McCaffrey's thoughtful points was # 12:
There is a rapidly growing animosity in our deployed military forces toward the U.S. media. We need to bridge this gap. Armies do not fight wars -- countries fight wars.
That's a huge point, writ large in the last couple of news cycles by the MSM's mindless trashing of our military over what may or may not have happened at Haditha November 19, 2005. Be sure to read the whole thing, of course.
Update: Mycah hosts the 115th Carnival of the Cats at TacJammer.