Thursday, November 11, 2004

Good night!

Tomorrow . . . Blogging will be from 1pm to 5pm central time. So you'll have a reason to be in front of your computer at work on a Friday afternoon. Also in the morning if time. Also, by way of explanation: An anonymous reader has asked I stop using technical terms like phase, stage, etc. and instead describe the battle in a narrative fashion, and not to try to figure out what the planners envisaged. Also to stop quoting Mao. Response: No more Mao. You're right. His thoughts are old. I still think them relevant though. To discuss guerrilla warfare, you have to start somewhere and that's what I pulled off the bookshelf. It is a good book. And you have to understand guerrilla warfare before you can start to think about Netwar. As far as the first point, sorry, but I will continue trying to see the battle from both a planning and an executing mindset. That's just what I do.


Blogger Huichieh said...

What's wrong with quoting Mao? I'm no fan of the chairman, but presumably, he did know a thing or two when it comes to guerrilla warfare; and though the technology of war has changed, it hasn't changed so much that it's no longer relevant. I thought your earlier citation of Mao on the importance of bases was very illuminating.

November 11, 2004 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger M said...

Chester should continue to post in technical terms. That is what makes him unique in the blogasphgere. He actually have training in the field.

I am guessing Chester was a junior officer (01/02), but the USMC trains it's people to act at a rank much higher than they might ever have to, and in my biased opinion, at a higher level than the other services train their personnel.

Now, I am not saying there are not competent and talented people in the other services, there are. But I am stating as far as training and expectations: That is what the Corps is famous for.....

November 11, 2004 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Peyton said...

To understand the evolution of the battle of Fallujah, it's important to realize that its planning and execution are done in stages. To change from one stage to another means that some objective has been achieved, or some important circumstance has changed. I think that this blog is doing an outstanding job of bringing clarity to an inherently confusing situation. I'm not sure why anyone would want it dumbed down, but the context of the discussion makes the use of terms quite clear.

November 12, 2004 at 3:25 AM  
Blogger Lola said...

It would help if there were definitions for these technical terms, especially for those of us with no military background. This could be posted as a blog, and a permanent link to it provided on the right side.

November 12, 2004 at 6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I appreciate your detailed and accurate posts. The technical terms you use add clarity to a little understood field. I have learned more from reading your blog these past 2 weeks than I have from reading CNN, BBC, and all those other MSM sources. My thanks & complements to you, sir.

November 12, 2004 at 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name's Rob.

I'm not a military professional. I'm definitely a layperson. I found your quotations of Mao to be quite informative, and I've not even noticed your use of jargon. Seems to me that phrases like "Phase" or "Stage" have the same meanings in jargon as they do in colloquial use. So, from this layperson's perspective keep it up. Throw in some Sun Tsu, if you like. ;-)

If there is some piece of jargon that is particularly arcane, please post/link to a definition. But, so far you've been terrific. I really appreciate your analysis, as does my older brother (retired 101st Airborne Ranger)


November 12, 2004 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger SOG475 said...

Well, I don't know about anyone else but Mao (bless his little nasty heart) is the definitive guide to guerrilla warfare and insurgency. We studied it alot when I was in the Army.

I don't know how much of the Mao writings apply to terrorism. I do know that "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad does give some insights into terrorism (how he ever got off on that track is beyond me but very perceptive).

Also, the biographies of Lawrence of Arabia, indicate that many of the tactics being used in Iraq were originally taught to the Arabs by the Brits during WWI.

I think the Marines are doing a great job of applying 50 years of experience fighting guerrillas and terrorists. When it is all over and done with Fallujah will be taught at Command and General Staff, West Point and the War College as text book solutions to urban warfare.

November 12, 2004 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Ramrod said...

Leave the technical jargon in, Sometimes it makes a difference to the meaning

November 12, 2004 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Lawful Good said...

Executive Summary:
Don't change a thing!

I agree with the other comments that both the "technical jargon" and the historical analysis (including Mao) should be retained.

Your jargon isn't the spillage of alphabet soup that would turn non-military readers off - rather, it's simply a more precise way of talking about a fairly complicated subject. Precision is important in this kind of work - not the least because it's not a very precise field to begin with.

Second, in keeping with the above, a historical perspective allows readers to realize two things: First, this kind of warfare is neither unprecedented nor unexpected. This is contrary to the image of the war the media often likes to present. Second, it helps in the fomation of a big picture - understanding the strategy is necessary for undestanding the tactics.


November 12, 2004 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think they are recording the locations of found weapons caches , so they can perform follow-up investigations or round-ups when the people return to the city?

November 12, 2004 at 12:04 PM  

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