Journal: MILNET Selected Headlines

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Cultural Intelligence, Military, Peace Intelligence

British Search And Rescue Team Turned Away From Port-Au-Prince

There were reports that the airport at Port-au-Prince had run out of aviation fuel, one of the factors that is understood to have led the US military to close it. . . . The scene at Santo Domingo airport was one of chaos, uncertainty and often despair for aid workers.

Ethno-Colonial BIG Africa

Phi Beta Iota: Lesson learned by the USMC the hard way (as of 1992):  need Forward Area Refueling Points (FARP) in the FIRST lift.

U.S. Army Africa Boss: ‘I Feel Like The Lone Ranger…'

“Africa’s not high on America’s priority list these days.

Sometimes I feel like the Lone Ranger trying to get people to bring resources to bear out here.”

I had pointed out in an earlier interview that U.S. Army Africa and Africa Command in general are notably absent from the wars in Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, conflicts Garrett said are “currently the world’s two deadliest.”

Full Story Online

For Israel, a Reckoning

A new global movement is challenging Israel's violations of international law with the same strategies that were used against apartheid

Phi Beta Iota: Israeli influence on the US Government has been as bad as post-war Nazi influence on the Cold War ubbas–both have spawned policies that have murdered and displaced millions, with attendant atrocities.

Pakistan: U.S.-Backed Broadcast Begins

Phi Beta Iota: Too little too late and they almost certainly have no idea about the history of the Pashtun Peace Army.

Full Story Online

Taliban steps up violence in Afghanistan

Recent Pakistani military operations in insurgent strongholds in Pakistan also have driven greater numbers of Pakistan-based Taliban back into Afghanistan, the officer said.

UK plans ‘trust fund' to woo Taliban fighters

Phi Beta Iota: Turn in one weapon, get enough money for two…or go enlist and training and food along with a new weapon.  Money corrupts and it is not a substitute for Whole of Government Stabilization & Reconstruction accomplishments.

How To Apply ‘Smart Power' In Yemen

Developing a coherent strategy focused on the right objectives is important, and hard to do. The country team in any normal American embassy (like the one in Sana) does not have the staff, resources or experience to do so. The limited American military presence in Yemen does not either. Despite years of talk about the need to develop this kind of capability in the State Department or elsewhere in Washington, it does not exist. It must be built now, and quickly.

Phi Beta Iota: Start with Tony Zinni's The Battle for Peace and implement Robert Steele's DoD OSINT-M4IS2  Strategy along with Whole of Government Intelligence (Decision-Support).

Journal: Evaluating the Gaza Confrontation

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 11 Society, Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney

The American strategist and military reformer Colonel John Boyd argued that nations and groups should shape their domestic policies, foreign policies, and military strategies so that they:

  • pump up one's own resolve and increase one's own solidarity,
  • drain away the resolve of one's adversaries and weaken their internal cohesion,
  • reinforce the commitments of allies to one's own cause and make them empathetic to one's success
  • attract the uncommitted to our cause or makes them empathetic to one's success
  • end conflicts on favorable terms that do not sow the seeds for future conflicts

These criteria are the essence of grand strategy and can be thought of as guidelines for evaluating the wisdom of specific policies or actions. And while they make sense logically and intuitively, the difficulty of defining policies that simultaneously conform to and strengthen to all these criteria is equally obvious. The latter challenge is particularly difficult for the unilateral military strategies and the coercive foreign policies like those preferred by Israel or the United States. Military operations and political coercion are often destructive in the short term, and these destructive strategic effects can be in natural tension with the aims of grand strategy, which should be constructive over the long term.

Moreover, the more powerful a country, the harder it becomes to harmonize the often conflicting criteria for a sensible grand strategy. Overwhelming power breeds hubris and arrogance which, in turn, carry a temptation to use that power coercively and excessively. But lording over or dictating one's will to others breeds resentment. Thus, possession of overwhelming power increases the risk of going astray grand strategically.

That risk is particularly dangerous when aggressive external actions, policies, and rhetoric are designed to prop up or increase internal cohesion for domestic political reasons. Very often, the effects or military strategies or coercive foreign policies that are perceived as useful in terms of domestic political cohesion backfire at the grand-strategic level, because they strengthen our adversaries' will to resist, push our allies into a neutral or even an adversarial corner, or drive away the uncommitted … which together, can set the stage for continuing conflict.

With these general thoughts about grand strategy in mind, read the following article by Uri Avnery and ask yourself if Israel's most recent war in Gaza made sense at the tactical level of conflict?, the strategic level of conflict? … and most importantly, at the grand strategic level of conflict?

Chuck Spinney

Full Story Online

Cast Lead 2

December 28, 2009

Did we win? Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Gaza War, alias Operation Cast Lead, and this question fills the public space.

Continue reading “Journal: Evaluating the Gaza Confrontation”

Journal: Common Sense on Palestine & Israel

01 Poverty, 02 Infectious Disease, 03 Environmental Degradation, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, Communities of Practice, Cultural Intelligence, InfoOps (IO), Peace Intelligence

Gershon Baskin
Gershon Baskin

Encountering Peace: Getting serious about ‘economic peace'

More than 10 months have passed since President Barack Obama entered the White House and seven months since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took over the reins in Jerusalem and there is still no peace process worth mentioning.

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Phi Beta Iota: Imagine an “Information Wall” available online and projected on walls around the world, showing the stark contrast between the day to day conditions of the Palestinians and of the Israelis.

Journal: Israel as Its Own Holocaust

06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 11 Society, Ethics, Government, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Chuck Spinney sends…

The Israeli Exception: Gilo and East Jerusalem


In 1987, the conservative author Midge Decter described her association with Israel and those willing to place it above conventional judgment.  ‘We know ourselves to be bound by ties so deep, so essential, so unconditional, that they are beyond daylight examination.  To be a Jew is not an act, it is a fate.  The existence of Israel is absolutely central to that fate.  The rest is mere details – knowable, unknowable, makes no difference.’

This vein of thinking can be gathered from Israel’s leader David Ben-Gurion in a New York Times Magazine article in December 1960.  On that occasion he was defending the illegal abduction of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who had been nabbed by Mossad agents from Argentina.  ‘I know they [the abductors] committed a breach of the law, but sometimes they are moral obligations higher than formal law.’

This idea of Israel, and Jewish fate, being placed in the realm of an obligatory ‘higher law’, does lend itself to various, dangerous implications. Decter’s observations resonate with the recent decision by Tel Aviv to allow 900 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem in the sprawling Jewish neighbourhood of Gilo.  40,000 Israelis are already resident there.  President Obama has gone so far as to see the move as ‘dangerous’.  The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon has publicly seen the gesture as one that undermines the peace effort.

International conventions and views, which tend to find such settlements illegal, are considered inapplicable by the rank and file in Tel Aviv.  The law of nations, that seemingly abstract body of customs and norms that are often more honoured than people might realize, are cast aside as undue hindrances to the functioning of the state.

The perceptive social theorist, Zygmunt Bauman, claims that Israeli policy persists in being made in the shadow of the Holocaust.  The narrative of threatened existence girds such policies, whether they be ruthless measures against the Palestinians, or the issue of constructing more settlements. A state of affairs like an ‘indivisible’ Jerusalem are created, an assertion of something supposedly non-negotiable.  Lines are drawn across borders, and there is a stubborn refusal to budge.

Search: Conops for genocide prevention

06 Genocide, Searches

Conops for genocide prevention. The master work on this topic is by John Heidenrich, the first and last true employee of OSS.Net, Inc. at the time finishing his book,How to Prevent Genocide: A Guide for Policymakers, Scholars, and the Concerned Citizen while also doing the daily Genocide Report for the Department of State (until the Bush-Cheney Administration shut down that office early in their regime).  The single most important thing to know about genocide prevention is that it is EASY to achieve Early Warning.  Dr. Gregory Stanton's web site, Genocide Watch, and Dr. Stanton's Eight Stages of Genocide also found free online and in the book,2002 THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political. See John Heidenrich's briefing on Genocide detection and prevention here: 1999 Heidenrich (US) Early Warning of Genocide: The Utlity of Open Sources & Methods. Other references: World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability;Genocide in the Congo (Zaire);Review: Imagery of Lynching–Black Men, White Women, and the Mob.

Nothing evil can survive the orchestration of enough eyeballs.  That is our mission.


Journal: Israel, USS Liberty, & Palestine

06 Genocide, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice

Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Golda vs. Goldstone: A Cultural Evolution of Getting Away With Murder

The date when the United States became Israel's unquestioning benefactor can the fixed with precision: June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the six-day 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

It was on this day that Israel's air and naval forces attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 US Navy sailors, in what is still the worst loss of naval personnel due to hostile fire since the end of WWII.  It was on this day that the Johnson Administration aborted a rescue mission in the process of being mounted by aircraft of the US Navy's 6th Fleet.  With the cooperation of the US Congress, the Johnson Administration put into motion a series of responses and non-responses that cumulatively resulted a complete whitewash any serious investigation into the question of whether not Israel deliberately chose to attack a neutral US naval vessel sailing in international waters, 14 miles off the Sinai Peninsula.  To date, the Liberty incident is the only major naval disaster that has not precipitated an in-depth investigation by the US Congress.

Continue reading “Journal: Israel, USS Liberty, & Palestine”

Journal: Chuck Spinney Flags Israel’s Use of Economic Strangulation (A Form of Genocide or Other Atrocity)

06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, Peace Intelligence

Sancitmonious Heresy
Sancitmonious Heresy

SANCTIMONEOUS HERESY: Right-wing Israelis demonstrate in Jabal Mukabber after hundreds ransacked the village in occupied East Jerusalem, destroying Palestinian property, March 2008. (Meged Gozani/Activestills)

A third uprising?

Gary M. Burge,The Electronic Intifada,3 August 2009
Gary M. Burge is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Chicago. He is author of Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians are not being told about Israel and the Palestinians (2003). He will soon release Jesus and the Land. How the New Testament Transformed “Holy Land” Theology.
I recently returned from the Holy Land after leading about 40 Presbyterians from Galilee to Jerusalem. This isn't new territory for me. I've been in the country many times leading students, working at archaeology digs, speaking at conferences, and occasionally taking a church such as this. And this time what I saw and heard was worrying.
Many important developments have taken place over the last six months. There was Israel's winter invasion of Gaza and a few months later, right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister. Even recently US President Barack Obama has called for a change in America's posture toward Israel's settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For Middle East news junkies, these have been solid months. Continue reading “Journal: Chuck Spinney Flags Israel's Use of Economic Strangulation (A Form of Genocide or Other Atrocity)”