Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

COIN's Clauswitzian disconnect

By Dave Anderson:

Before the True Surge after the mini-Surge in Afghanistan (Feb. 2009), I noted the fundamental problem with COIN in a democracy, especially a COIN campaign in an area of tertiary interest:

COIN today promises the same type of inputs --- ten to twenty year wars, operational costs of one to two points of annual GDP at a time of structural deficits and domestic fiscal crisis --- with the same type of outcomes --- weak, client states in need of continual support in secondary or tertiary areas of interest.

And shockingly the public of democracies don't like COIN nor do they want to spend those resources for minimal real gains in security that operational and tactical successes may or may not generate. 

So if we assume that democracies are not likely to support doctrines, strategies and techniques  that produce long term ongoing costs with minimal prospects of producing desired long term political benefits, the problem in the Clauswitzian perspective is not the grand strategic level, but at the strategic and operational levels where the COIN doctrine is implemented in disregard to the grand strategic appreciation of forces and reality. 

Michael Cohen at Democracy Arsenal echoes this disconnect in his criticism of COIN boosterism from Col. Nagl of CNAS:

By failing to take into account the lack of political will in the United States for an extended COIN fight - and the lack of an effective Afghan partner - counter-insurgency advocates have ensured that the tactical gains made on the ground won't be sustained. This has likely left Afghanistan in worse shape than if they had recognized this reality from the get go. The United States would have been far better off putting in place a strategy for Afghanistan that could be sustained for the long-term, both politically and militarily. Instead COIN advocates overreached, believing that they could convince the President to give them more time to implement a well-resourced COIN strategy. It didn't work out that way and the result is that now we are looking at the likelihood of a more precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan with the US having done little to lay the groundwork for our eventual withdrawal (and with even less political will to get things right before we leave). 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, but we are projecting American power and that's all these people are interested in.