Eh, Charlie Stross’s blog is a machine for destroying time. Anyway. This post is going to be so wonkish it’s to not come back from. An occasional theme on this blog has been the intersection between the Bush wars and the mobile phone industry. In fact, looking back, that’s not been so much an occasional…Read More The Penrith problem – structural incentives and mobile service networks
Thinking about the political castration of Ken Clarke and the fact that not even the Treasury in its most R.G. Hawtrey-esque mood seems to be able to stop the expansion of the prison industry, it struck me that the political class’s attitude towards the public service known as justice is fundamentally different to its attitude…Read More Why not foundation courts?
Did you know ISAF has been carrying out air missions to destroy Taliban radio towers? You do now, thanks to Thomas Wiegold’s blog. Specifically, Task Force Palehorse includes UAE Apache Longbow attack helicopters and American Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters, plus (according to comments) German ELINT specialists. And they go out and identify Taliban radio networks,…Read More taliban mobile!
I think most of my readers also read Patrick Lang’s blog, but I think this guest post is the best thing yet written on the Taliban/SIS/McChrystal/Petraeus fake sheikh affair. Really, there’s a great movie to be made here – the multiplicity of motives, the ironic contrast between the absurd story and the deadly serious interests…Read More review of a movie that doesn’t exist yet
Here at the Low Expectations Journal we’ve been rather optimistic recently about Afghanistan – at least relative to our expectations. This week, there’s been a piece in the Washington Post that completely contradicts this. However, I would point out that this may not be as significant as all that: Among the troubling findings is that…Read More Afghan links
Suddenly the Afghanistan news is full of talking. Petraeus says that ISAF provided one or more significant Taliban leaders with safe conduct to Kabul in order to take part in what sound like “talks-about-talks”. The Grauniad was ahead of the story on this one, confirming that contact had been made with the Haqqani network in…Read More two related stories on Afghanistan
So, the raids on NATO trucks held up when Pakistan suspended the border crossing. A good point is made in comments at Adam Elkus’s blog – what about the people who own the trucks? What indeed. The so-called “transport mafia” played a critical role in the creation of the Taliban in the early 1990s, according…Read More Logistics!
Theo Farrell has published a new paper on the British Army in Helmand, which makes some more progress in explaining just how it went so wrong.Read More iterative post mortem
OK, so let’s remind ourselves of the rising chatter about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan from a couple of months ago. We know that there was some evidence of Hezb-i Islami cooperating with ISAF. The first group targeted as part of the diplomatic effort were the Haqqani network. Since then, we’ve learned about the build-up…Read More in this week’s edition of the Low Expectations Journal
I mentioned that the Economics Fairy gives those people who prove themselves worthy of her their greatest wish: a chance to fail. That is, of course, as nothing to the opportunities for failure and disaster offered to people with good ideas about agriculture. (You ask Nikita Khrushchev, come to think of it.) Joel Hafvenstein reports…Read More this land is…