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Antiwar.com rolls in touting Col. Gian Gentile as an unrecognized savior and slams CNAS for being having several people (Nagl, Kilcullen, Exum, me) being focussed on counterinsurgency. Note to bloggers: This is what happens when someone writes about an area about which they know absolutely freaking nothing. This is one reason, for example, I try ...

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Antiwar.com rolls in touting Col. Gian Gentile as an unrecognized savior and slams CNAS for being having several people (Nagl, Kilcullen, Exum, me) being focussed on counterinsurgency. Note to bloggers: This is what happens when someone writes about an area about which they know absolutely freaking nothing. This is one reason, for example, I try to avoid writing about, among other things, basketball, golf, cats, oboes, scuba diving, physics, Maxwell’s demon, electric cars, farming, abstract sculpture, the works of Anthony Powell, South America, or Buddhism.

What’s Antiwar’s point here? Bad on CNAS, I guess, for being interested in issues like protecting the population. I mean, does Antiwar.com understand what it is advocating here? I’ve seen how the U.S. military operated in Iraq in 2003-06, and I really think we don’t want to go back to that approach. (I actually was embedded with Col. Gentile’s unit in February 2006, and remember asking him why his unit operated on a big FOB instead of being based out among the people.)

Or, as a colleague of mine says,

So let’s get this straight: Antiwar.com promotes Gian Gentile, who argues that we should conduct COIN in the form of 19th-century British punitive raids, as the Army’s shining light. Ergo, Antiwar.com is in favor of more Predator drone strikes and “direct action” counterterrorism?

Good question, Antiwar.com.

Anyway, there is a good discussion of all this over on Abu Mook’s blog.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1
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