Friday, September 11, 2009

This is kind of ugly. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I've read neither Fiasco nor the Gamble, although I've read a ton of reviews and analysis of both books. After reading that both the positive portrayal of a particular officer & his unit in Fiasco and the harshly negative one in the Gamble are based on the exact same five-day period of time Ricks spent with that officer & his men, I'm not sure I'll get around to it. That information is, frankly, damning. Especially in conjunction with Ricks' admission that the difference is based entirely on the officer's post-Fiasco public opposition to Ricks' favored strategies. It suggests to me that Ricks is incapable of processing information in a semi-objective manner: doesn't this mean that his analysis is highly colorable by personal factors?

I recognize the glass-houses character of that observation, but nonetheless, I'm a little tired of COIN pieties this month. I can't help but feel that there are good Marines like Sgt. Bill Cahir dying in Afghanistan while wearing ideological shackles forged by Ricks' beloved counter-insurgency specialists.

H/T Jason van Steenwyk

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