Journal: What Al Qaeda Et Al Can and Cannot Do

08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence

[gerecht]The Meaning Of Al Qaeda’s Double Agent:  The jihadists are showing impressive counterintelligence ability that the CIA seems to have underestimated.

Wall Street Journal Reuel Marc Gerecht January 8, 2010  [safety copy of entire piece below the fold]

Amid the Hysteria, A Look at What al-Qaeda Can’t Do

TIME Magazine By Peter Beinart Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

Wanted: Dead’: With little public debate or notice, the Obama administration has significantly stepped up its targeted assassinations.

National Journal By James Kitfield Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010 [Subscription]

Hidden behind walls of top-secret classification, senior U.S. government officials meet in what is essentially a star chamber to decide which enemies of the state to target for assassination. There is no single master list, but all names pass through an elaborate, multi-agency vetting process that ends at the level of the National Security Council and ultimately requires presidential approval.

Overwhelm. Divide. Spread. Bankrupt. Diversify: Al Qaeda’s new grand strategy

Washington Post By Bruce Hoffman  January 10, 2010

Human Rights Gagged MI5 Over Abdulmutallab: Intelligence on Muslim radicals cannot be passed to the US because of privacy fears

London Sunday Times By David Leppard and Hala Jaber January 10, 2010

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Journal: Latest Greatest on Sustainable Energy

03 Environmental Degradation, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Key Players, Policies
Author's PDF of Full Cover Story
Author's PDF of Full Cover Story
Author's Briefing
Author's Briefing

This article by two young scholars is a very good one, very provocative and persuasive.  It lacks reference to other giants that have gone before, but stands as the best effort we have seen since WIRED did its own cover story on alternative and renewable energies in 2001, coming out the very week that Dick Cheney was meeting secretly with Enron and Exxon to discuss the elective war on Iraq.  Also available from the lead author:

Online interactive version (link)

More detailed analysis (pdf)

E&ES article on ranking energy solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security (link)

Report on matching hourly and peak demand by combining different renewables (pdf)

October 30, 2009 Presentation (pdf)

Return to mark Jacobson’s Home Page

Phi Beta Iota: We are often irritated by the young who represent their triumphant ideas as if arrived at by immaculate conception.  No discussion of this topic is credible without reference to, at a minimum, Buckminster Fuller, Herman Daly, and Paul Hawken, among many others.  Below are just three books among the many we have received pertaining to sustainable design, zero waste, and green to gold, and the most recent book to put all of this into proper perspective.

Review: Critical Path

Review: Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications

Review: Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

Review: The Resilient Earth–Science, Global Warming and the Future of Humanity

Review: The Resilient Earth–Science, Global Warming and the Future of Humanity

5 Star, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Science & Politics of Science
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Pushes the Re-Set Button on Both Gore and Lomborg
October 3, 2009
Doug L. Hoffman and Allen Simmons
The more I read, the less I know and the more frustrated I grow with the insanity of academic, government, corporate, and non-governmental stovepipes of knowledge in isolation.

Right up front this book, read crossing the Atlantic from Madrid with a bad case of bronchitis, forces me to go back and downgrade my reviews of everything by Al Gore, and insert an update with apology and revisit for the work of The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World whose new book, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (Vintage) I am buying today as part of my apology. In the process of just doing that, I discovered Lomborg’s edited work, Global Crises, Global Solutions and the first two words I saw, “Copenhagen Consensus,” sold me. Denmark is one of a tiny handful of “smart nations” and pioneered the citizen wisdom council concept that Jim Rough writes about in Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People.

Opening quote on page 5: “Fedor Dostoevsky once said, `A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else.” What an epitaph for partisan governance based on lies.

Before I lay out my fly-leaf notes, a comment spanning all the books I have read:

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Review: Catastrophe & Culture–The Anthropology of Disaster

5 Star, Complexity & Catastrophe

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Focus on Culture Underlying Catastrophe,

December 13, 2002
Susanna M. Hoffman
This is one of those books where the Amazon.com referal system worked for me. I would never have found it otherwise. It is a timely book, and it has direct relevance to the 9-11 catastrophe because everything this book talks about in terms of “cultures of catastrophe” (one could call them cultures of oblivion or cultures of inattention) resonates with the findings of the joint congressional panel on the many ways in which the CIA, FBI, and NSA failed America.What most engaged me about this book, apart from its outstanding attention to the relationship between cultures of inattention or distraction and major catastrophic events (the book makes clear that catastrophe’s don’t have to happen–they make the jump from disasters when the over-all system of first responders and related parties fails to act quickly and correctly in harmony, precisely because of their past culture), is its focus on the total system, on every feature of society in relation to the environment.

The editors write: “One of the common sources of the policy-practice defect is its construction on culturally bound assumptions. In disaster contexts, aid often gets delivred in inappropriate forms and according to unsuited principles.” The book excells at looking at the uneven record of disaster preparedness, and the lack of understanding to local contexts that often help turn disasters into catastrophes.

I recommend this book as a primary reference for national security practitioners as well as state & local responders. The … billions now in the Homeland Security budget was not designed with this book’s lessons in mind, and will in all likelihood do more damage than good when we are tested again.

The message of the book is so important it merits emphasis–no amount of money is going to prevent catastrophe–absent a commitment to creating a culture of attention and interoperability and information sharing, we will create our own catastrophes each time we are challenged by what could have been nothing more than a localized disaster.

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Vote on Review