Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How does a bureaucracy define a knife in its head?

No big deal...just been going on for a few thousand years - as has killed thousands of Americans throughout our history.
..even within the Defense Department there is no agreement on what irregular warfare means exactly.

“We’re working through a definition process,” Navy Vice Adm. Eric Olson, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, told a House Armed Services Committee panel in late September. Short of a definitive answer, the Defense Department has come up with a “working definition” of irregular warfare, which is characterized as a mix of “insurgency and counterinsurgency, guerilla warfare, unconventional warfare, asymmetrical warfare and much more.”

Lawmakers at the hearing — somewhat startled by the notion that the top counter-terrorism officials at the Defense Department are still dabbling with semantics at a time of escalating violence and rising death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan — wanted to know how this irregular warfare roadmap is going to help win these wars.

That is not the point of the roadmap, replied Mario Mancuso, who is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism.

Speaking in impeccable Pentagonese, Mancuso explained that the roadmap is “about how we can get better and how we can institutionalize some of the best practices … So, as we think about the roadmap it is not tied to anything — it is certainly not tied to Iraq and Afghanistan directly, nor is it tied to any particular operation … The focus of this roadmap is enhancing irregular warfare capabilities and capacity throughout the entire department.”
Sigh. Heck, give Sid a grant, he'll define it with a few hundred references in a couple of days. Then the Pentagon can get on with the busy bits.

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