Some Links: Death of the State, IED Stats and the Reality of Afghanistan
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- Dinosaurs Can't Dance: The Impending Extinction of the Nation-State (by John Goekler): Here we have another look at the future of the nation-state, or in this case, that it has no future and "will go extinct over the next few decades". He goes on to list several reasons as why he reaches this conclusion, but overall in such an interconnected and dynamic world the nation-state just can not keep up. He always points out how the monopoly of violence no longer rests with the nation-state, he uses the term OG's (Other Guys) to best describe these new actors, though I prefer John Robb's term of VNSA (Violent Non State Actors). But the term OG seems to fit the emerging resilient communities that may be able to provide the security that people desire.
- Wikileaks Afghanistan files: every IED attack, with co-ordinates: While the recent WikiLeaks release of documents regarding the war in Afghanistan continues to be debated, much useful information can be derived from the documentation. In this case a complete set of stats regarding every IED attack from 2004-2009, from an anylysts point of view, be they political science/security/counterinsurgency, such datasets can only better inform and make for better assessments and predictions. Though over at the Monkey Cage they add a little bit of realism by asking if by using leaked data would one risk gaining, or losing, their security clearance?
- WikiLeaks and the Afghan War (by George Friedman): Continuing on from the revelations by WikiLeaks there is another revelation...so what? The documents released so far just tell us much of what was originally known about the war, just in much greater detail. Some of the more interesting parts of the details have been noted above regarding the IEDs, but we also have the reports regarding the Taliban's use of MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems). Since we know that the Taliban can not manufacture this technology we must question where these are coming from? Pakistan is working with the Taliban, covertly, and working with the USA, overtly, but this is a reality of the position they find themselves in. While the USA can not hold too much of a grudge as they do not want China slipping into the role of patron. Meanwhile another interesting question regarding these WikiLeaks documents is just how this information was gained and how flawed are the security protocols in place? Friedman ends with "Whoever it proves to have been has just made the most powerful case yet for withdrawal from Afghanistan sooner rather than later", I could not agree more.