Center for Strategic Communication

Top Billing! Grand Blog Tarkin (Jon Jeckell) – The Jedi Way of War

….While it seems the Jedi would be the only institution competent in warfare after thousands of years of peace, they were the worst possible choice on many levels. What institution within the Republic retained any practical knowledge of warfare? Some private institutions and individual planetary governments, such as Naboo, had their own modest security forces, but the Republic seemed to lack any other institution capable of employing coercion on behalf of the state. This study will elide the political, policy and civil society aspects and focus on explaining why the Jedi Order were a uniquely poor choice to lead the Grand Army of the Republic. Although it superficially appears the Jedi are the only ones capable of taking on this burden, they suffered from numerous institutional biases and a philosophy that impeded their ability to understand what was happening or adapt to realities of their new role. Leading a massive Army was not a linear extension of the skills the Jedi possessed, and they lacked the ability to gain those skills.

Although the Jedi were renowned diplomats and keepers of the peace, they were not politicians or strategists, and never critically examined the Separatist’s grievances to identify the root causes of the conflict. Without understanding the causes of conflict, they failed to develop a theory of victory. Without this, they merely continued to pursue of the Separatist leaders and the destruction of their army after the first engagement. They failed to reframe from their roles as individual combatants to leaders of an Army for a multitude of reasons explored below.

The much talked about post of the week where science fiction meets strategic analysis.

Diane Ravitch –Rahm and Other People’s Children 

One of the themes of the corporate reform movement is this:

“We know what’s best for other people’s children but it is not what’s best for mine.”

Many of the leading corporate reformers went to elite prep schools and/or send their children to them.

Schools like Exeter, Andover, Deerfield Academy, Sidwell Friends, the University of Chicago Lab School, Lakeside Academy (Seattle), Maumee Country Day School (Toledo). At these schools there are beautiful facilities, small classes, experienced teachers, well-stocked libraries, science laboratories, and a curriculum rich in the arts, sciences, languages, and other studies.

I hope you read this post about Chicago billionaire and school board member Penny Pritzker. She sends her children to the University of Chicago Lab School, which has the best of everything, but feels no embarrassment that the children of Chicago who attend public schools that she oversees do not have the same advantages.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel sends his children to this school. Arne Duncan is a graduate of it.

Remember that theme: Other People’s Children.

This reader thought about what Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants for his own children. Why doesn’t he want the same for all Chicago’s children? 

Good charter schools tend to be based upon delivering a different, innovative, curriculum well or serving a specific, generally disadvantaged, student population (the original, largely forgotten and abandoned, justification for charter schools). The founder is usually there on site, putting in long hours, leading by example, working with children, because their educational vision is a mission and labor of love. Their own kids are usually their first students.

Unfortunately, that has little or nothing to do with the Corporate Ed Reform pushed by both President Obama and Governor Romney, which rides on the reputation of the mom & pop charters but frequently fails to live up to it because their mission is a profit-maximizing business model devised by and lobbied for by hedge funds and private equities firms to divert public tax dollars to investors at the lowest delivery cost possible.  That model is not compatible with quality education and isn’t intended to be. If it were, the owners and investors would be enrolling their own children in the highly regimented, rote-learning script, worksheet based schools and “virtual charter” scams they are pushing on states, cities and school districts.

Conspicuously, they don’t.

WPR (Steve Metz )- A Necessary Evolution: U.S. Military Strategy Goes Invisible 

….It also became clear that the belief that removing Saddam Hussein or the Taliban from power would strike a mortal blow against al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations was unfounded. If anything, the war in Iraq added to the terrorism problem by radicalizing thousands more terrorists and giving them an opportunity to acquire training and experience. Even the demise of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, though it forced al-Qaida to relocate and reorganize, was not the body blow to terrorism that the Bush administration hoped. Rather than deterring extremists, it motivated new ones. 

Terrorism, it turned out, was not a nail after all. 

But a strange thing happened along the way to this simple discovery: The United States developed a different form of offensive military action — reliance on invisible or less-visible actions such as strikes by special operations forces and unmanned aerial vehicles — which held more promise. While they might not have led to a decisive and unambiguous victory over terrorism, these approaches certainly degraded the extremists’ capabilities. 

Google lends it’s analytical heft and cool graphics in a not so subtle effort to aid supporters of the UN Small Arms Treaty. Some of the stats for third world nations, or major arms exporters like Russia, appear impossibly small or are absent. For example, somehow, I think Afghanistan has imported some weaponry in the past twenty years. Click through and see if you agree.

John Robb – How Do You Attract Resilient People? Give Them Room to Grow 

Fred Leland –Check out My Latest P1 Column: Patterns of behavior, officer safety, and ‘the rule of opposites’

SWJ Blog –Why There’s Nothing Illegal about CIA Drone Pilots  

Eide Neurolearning Blog –The Steps of Creativity – Early Crowd sourcing and Prototyping 

Gunnar Peterson – Security > 140 Conversation with Jason Chan 

Abu Muqawama – Guest Post: The Last Argument of Tyrants 

Feral Jundi –California: Sacramento International Airport Dropping TSA – VIDEO: THE WORLD THAT SCVNGR/FOURSQUARE/ETC WANT