While I’m on the topic of Giustozzi, here’s something else which is important. One of the biggest motivators for a village to support a Taliban presence is a dispute that the official authorities, in so far as they exist, or the tribal authorities have failed to solve, or have solved in a manner that seems…Read More Laura Norder Goes to Afghanistan
I am currently reading Antonio Giustozzi’s Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop – The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan. I’ll review it more fully when I’ve finished reading it – now there’s an idea – but here’s something that stands out for reasons of pure partisan rage. John Reid has been mocked plenty for saying that he thought…Read More John Reid Retroblogging
OK, so have you heard the one about the bloke from Goole who was planning to start his own race war? Probably not, because it’s not been on the news at all. Rather like the BNP guy in Burnley, whose trial was also shrouded in tebbly tebbly concerned silence. Martyn Gilleard, a 31-year old lorry…Read More Get public attention with poetry, not bombs
Well, I asked for details of that Hezbollah converged telecoms network, and some appeared via the comments at Abu Muqawama. First of all, there’s a map. My first reaction on seeing this was that it looked a lot like a rather underdeveloped, dated official backbone network – there’s not much redundancy anywhere, and there’s only…Read More I’m in the phone booth, it’s the one across the hall
So we had the world’s first military coup motivated by a 3G network licence, in Thailand; we had the shootout between the Chalabi Boys and Orascom security men in Baghdad. Now, there’s the Hezbollah/Amal coup de force (or de folie as Robert Fisk preferred), motivated in part by the Lebanese government’s desire to control their…Read More scaleydelic!
Az-zaman, via Cole reports that the Iraqi government “honoured” SCIRI…sorry…ISIC militiamen for their role in the Basra fighting, and that some 10,000 of them were officially signed up to the Government’s own forces (I thought they already were). The reason for this step is apparently that large numbers – thousands – of men in the…Read More Mutiny
Crack BBC journo Peter Taylor’s film The Secret Peacemaker, about Brendan Duddy, the man who maintained secret communications between the IRA leadership and the British government from the early 70s to 1993, was a cracker; it provided rich detail about the practicalities of ending the war, the missed opportunities of the first ceasefire, and moreover…Read More What if they staged a coup and nobody came?
I promised more serious content; here goes. Right, everyone is vexed about the RUSI report (PDF download) that was recently published under the names of Gwyn Prins (a minor hero of this blog’s, for his The Heart of War: Power, Conflict, and Obligation in the 21st Century) and the Marquess of Salisbury (no less, who…Read More Rosyth RUSI Rant
So Gates has been doing the rounds of EU capitals, looking for more troops (and money) for Afghanistan. He didn’t get very far; although Germany did agree to find half a battalion of light infantry as a quick-reaction force for the northern zone, this just relieves a Norwegian force that is currently doing the job.…Read More Why Your Allies Won’t Have War With You
So what about those submarine cables then? There has been a mass of blogfroth about this, but I’m quite surprised by the degree of mis- or possibly dis-information that is circulating. For a start, Iran is not without Internet connectivity, whatever this webpage says. It shouldn’t be this difficult; after all, the route to anywhere…Read More I am a lineman for the county…