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“Stalin acted ‘entirely rationally’ in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags”

The descent of Russia back into the GAP is quite noticable and continues:

Stalin acted ‘entirely rationally’ in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a controversial new Russian teaching manual claims.

Fifty-five years after the Soviet dictator died, the latest guide for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young said he did what he did to ensure the country’s modernisation.

The manual, titled A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will form the basis of a new state-approved text book for use in schools next year.

So, what should the US Russia Strategy be? My first thoughts were this:

The question is what should US strategy be? I don’t know. Goals shoudl be something like:
1) Moving the default stance of Russia toward the US from Adversary back to Neutral.
2) Getting core-sates Japan, China and India to take a bigger role in dealing with this Asian gap state.
3) Getting the NATO and the EU off their ass to be the lead in protecting new-core Eastern Europe. I like SDBs suggestion: Move NATO HQ to Poland as a signal.
4) Rush the entry of eastern European countries into institutions like NATO, WTO etc.

Ok,this is turning into a post. I have to write my post on this “Russian vs. Georgia and Russia vs. The Core: Lesson Learned and Next Actions”

I made to think more on this and write a real post. I do know we shouldn’t rush or overreact. Russia isn’t the Soviet Union. Jeez, the US and the West really don’t this distraction right now.

“…the ideal tools for cold-blooded Machiavellian strategists like Thomas Barnett…”

Really, Fabius – “Cold Blooded Machiavellian”?

Cheap shot aside, I also don’t think that is what TPMB has in mind for the Sys Admin force.

Barnett has stated that the sysadmin force could/should significantly come from China or India. It is not meant to be primarily a war-fighting force. It is a System (states,institutions,rule-sets, security) building force.

Fickr Sources: Pop!Tech 2004 and Crashworks

“The best argument for the Nagl Advisory Corps plan is how it offers the prospect of preventing large-scale U.S. COIN missions from becoming necessary in the future”

WestHawk on Nagl’s Army Advisor Corps idea:

The best argument for the Nagl Advisory Corps plan is how it offers the prospect of preventing large-scale U.S. COIN missions from becoming necessary in the future. By making it a regular practice for small U.S. advisor teams to work in all four corners of the globe, assisting allies with peacetime foreign internal defense preparation (so-called “Phase Zero operations”), the U.S. can prevent crises from happening in the first place. LTC Nagl’s Advisory Corps and its associated schoolhouse would ensure that these Phase Zero advisory efforts would be performed by well-trained and highly-prepared teams, employing best-practices tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The Army CoS and/or Army Secretary should get the ball rolling on this.

A Private SysAdmin Example

From the Entrepreneurial Mind:

Startup New Orleans is, instead, looking to free enterprise to rebuild the city one entrepreneur at a time.

To attract more of these types of individuals, Start Up New Orleans has been established by four of the city’s young business leaders. A resource for entrepreneurs seeking information and connections to other entrepreneurs, Start Up New Orleans is designed to leverage the city’s unique qualities (rich culture, low costs, economic incentives), which distinguish it from anywhere else in the United States.
This project is yet another example of how social enterprise can create real social change through the free market.

Make money and improve the world – that is “Win-Win”.

Future SysAdmin or Homeland Security Corps Members

Engineers Without Borders

The Mission For Our Generation and The Next

TDAXP writes (and cross-post at Dreaming 5GW):

The anti-Communist 5GW that was built up at the beginning of the Cold War is still functioning in spite of widespread recognition that is has been obsoleted by its own success.

The anti-Disconnectedness 5GW that must be built up at the beginning of this Long War must be similarly durable. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, globalists and internationalists, they come-and-go. They’re electoral defeats and victories are as rational as which town is hit by which tornado, which Senator uses an anti-asian slur that was current among North African Jews a lifetime ago, and other quirks of fate. Shrinking the Gap is too important to be left to chance.

Rather than decry a “money/fantasy machine” we need to build our own.

Book Notes: The Entrepreneurial Imperative by Carl J. Schramm

The book The Entrepreneurial Imperative by Carl J. Schramm is subtitled “How America’s Economic Miracle Will Reshape the World and Change Your Life”.

This is not a book on entrepreneurship, but rather a book on why entrepreneurship (practice of, promotion of, as foreign policy) is important to the a public policy for future USA.

Right from page one the thesis is presented directly:

For the United States to survive and continue its economic and political leadership in the world, we must see entrepreneurship as our central comparative advantage. Nothing else can give us the necessary leverage to remain an economic superpower. Nothing else will allow us to continue to enjoy our standard of living. We either support and nature increasingly entrepreneurial activities in all aspect of our society and around the globe or run the very real risk that we will become progressively irrelevant on the world stage and suffer economically at home.

In short, entrepreneurship in business and universities; in our approach to both government and forign policy; and in our personal lives is the only answer if we hope to continue to thrive.

Aren’t there other solutions?


The author offers these definitions:

  • Entrepreneurship is the process in which one or more people undertake economic risk to create a new organization that will exploit a new technology or innovative process the generates value to others.
  • The Entrepreneur is one who undertakes personal economic risk to create a new organization that will exploit a new technology or innovative process the generates value to others.

Those definitions work for me well enough for me.

I’d like to see what candidates for President in 2008 are going to talk this up – if any.

For foreign policy, this means promoting in entrepreneurial capitalism over democracy promoting (or even business/globalization in general) .

For domestic policy, this means creating environments were entrepreneurship is rewarded, and risks are reduced (less risk = more entrepreneurial activity). What might this mean: National systems of employer independent pension and health insurance systems (not gov run), and new financing and legal mechanisms.

For schools and universities, this means entrepreneurship should be taught and practiced.

This seems like an important book to me. At under 200 pages it is a quick read. Hey, used copies are a buck on Amazon.com too!

Update: I corrected many grammar/spelling mistakes.

Expeditionary Police – US Constabulary Service

Barnett linked to a Small Wars Journal article on the need for Expeditionary Police.

Here is what I jotted down when I read (limited Internet Access has reduced my postings):

  • US Constabulary Service
  • Office of the Justice Department (or future Department of Peace) for International Deployment
  • Separate Uniformed Service
  • Runs international police academies and schools
  • Runs exchange program
  • Law Enforcement Officer Training Corps – like ROTC but going to the Constabulary or other US service for 6 years
  • Civilian rules, not UCMJ.
  • Includes a police core cadre of permanent employees and local/state police on 1 to 3 year exchange programs
  • Contracts with state/city/county police forces, Private Security Companies, and Foreign Governments, in exchange for money and other services.
  • The cadre core consists of organizers, logistics, managers, and support and maybe has 10% to 20% of the maximum deployable folks (the first people in maybe).
  • The size of could grow and shrink because it contracts out for most of its workforce (police and/or security are what hey normally do).
  • Has police/security mission
  • Has a foreign advisory/training

Here is a United States Constabulary post-WW2.

Update: More at Intel Dump

Model Constitution

My Mom emailed me this joke:

(2 ) Our Constitution “They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don’t we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and it’s worked for over 200 years. And, we’re not using it anymore.”

Funniness (or lack of funniness) of the joke aside, I always thought it would be a good idea for the US to draft a model constitution based on the US Constitution that could be easily used by and extended by other nations.

Department of War, Department of Peace [Updated]

I have been meaning to post some ideas on re-orging the The US National Power effort.

To a large extent, I have bought into Tom Barnett’s ideas.

How do we get there from here though?

I have already outlined how DHS could be ripped apart.

He are my initial thoughts on the Military:

1) Closeout the Department of Defense

It served us well enough in the cold war. The cold war is over.

2) Create a Department of the Armed Forces

The Department of the Armed Forces (DAF) will be responsible for the care,
feeding, wellbeing, outfitting and training of all US Armed Forces – Past, Present and Future.

3) Create a Department of War (DWar – “Dee-War”)

This is the leviathan, the state crusher, with the 3GW Warfighting capability, a 2GW WMD capability, A Special Operations / Commando capability and the required logistics and intelligence support capabilities.

  • It will contract out for resources (human and material) from the sources that make sense for its mission.
  • The sources for human resources will included units contracted from and supplied from the the DAF, but also from Private Military Companies (PMC), Private Security Companies (PSC), Private Intelligence Companies, Other companies and countries. The Department of War is focused on the State Crushing mission.

4) Create a Department of Peace (DPeace or “Deep”)

This is the SysAdmin or Global Support capability.

I like calling it the Department of Peace because it shows the black-and-white with the Department of War (Destroyer vs Creator) and because it co-ops the name from a lefty idea (and will drive some of them crazy um more crazy – heh).

It should have moved to it, development portions of State, Treasury and other government organizations.

The Department of Peace does: COIN, Sysadmin, economic development, nation-building and institution-building, peace corps type goodwill stuff, civil and municipal engineering projects and the like and much much more.

The sources for human resources will included units contracted from and supplied from the the DAF, but also from Private Military Companies (PMC),
Private Security Companies (PSC), Private Intelligence Companies, Other
companies and countries, and the new National Emergency Response Authority.

Update: Here is the link to my next post in logical sequence:

I propose that that the Unified Combatant Commands be replaced with Unified Action Executives (UAE) that combine and coordinate all elements of US Power.

The President’s Civil Reserve Corps and The Non-Kinetic Part Of National Power Projection

MountainRunner has a post called the “The President’s Civil Reserve Corps” in which he lays out possibilities for the President Bush’s call:

…to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

There are really only two ways to do this. Have something organized, recruited, trained, and equiped by the government (Civilian Reserve Corps), or through the use of Private Security Companies (aka: PSC or PMC – Private Military Companies or PIC – Private Intelligence Companies).

I think while there might be a role for both type, really though, does the Peace Corps actually do useful things – or does it just make the volunteers feel good about themselves.

Mostly, it makes sense to me for the government to create a market for these types of services, but to let the private sector emerge to provide the human capital.

Thanks to J.R.  for the the link.

He’s Back, and Surprise – He’s Still a Communists!

Daniel Ortega is back.

It looks likes he will join the support network for South/Central American Totalitarian regimes too.

The ALBA is sort of an alternative globalization (non-capitalistic).

So, there are at least three globalization movements (competing, supporting, and conflicting):

Spire’s Fundamental Law of Internet Dynamics

“Badness scales better than goodness”.


Ramification for Globalization/Connectivity Corollary? Discuss.

Globalization as Soft Power

Thomas Barnett Writes:

The ultimate invasive species argument, and why we won’t need to “invade all countries resisting globalization.”

Our stuff simply sells.

Globalization as Soft Power is in America’s interest for the most part.

The problem with Soft Power is that it has magnitude, but it is hard to focus/aim. It is large magnitude/non-kinetic/low-directability power.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: 2-Sigma Solutions for the Gap

Look at and understand the last photo.

I think the thirds photo may be the PNM version of the Jedi Mind trick.

United States is lobbying to be in charge of all UN peacekeeping operations

(ht Lakeshore Laments) Times Online Reports:

The United States is lobbying to put an American, possibly a general, in charge of all UN peacekeeping operations in a move that could offer Washington an exit strategy in Iraq.

The Bush Administration is said to want to name a general to the UN post. “What they want is somebody who knows about peacekeeping and who is a good manager, and they think a general is a good manager,” one UN source said.

The peacekeeping job is so important to Washington that it is ready to relinquish its traditional control of the UN management department.

Why would the US do this?

  • Better alignment with future SysAdmin activities
  • Facilitate Exit or Transition in Iraq
  • Improve US Image (peacekeeping = good)
  • ???

Of course, there is the French problem:

The American lobbying effort will be resisted by France, which has held the post traditionally. France is fighting hard to keep it, even signalling that it is willing to replace the current incumbent, Jean-Marie Guehenno, with another French candidate[…]

Posts I am Too Lazy to Write: Domestic PNM Theory With Applications to Metro Milwaukee


  • Apply PNM Theory domestically
  • Aim ad urban/suburban split
  • Metro areas have vast ungoverned spaces with residents disconnected from the rest of the metro area economically, politically, and socially
  • Apply to Milwaukee for examples
  • Blah, Blah, Blah, etc.

Maybe I will write it someday.


Coming Anarchy is the originator of this idea with this post:

Since the primary goal of a domestically aimed PNM
program would be to connect disconneted people with mainstream society, who would be targeted (i.e. what are the signs of disconnectedness) and
how would they be connected? Given that Barnett’s theory is so
complimentary of capitalism and views globalization, the international
incarnation of capitalism, as the savior of our world, I find it
interesting that on a domestic level, his theory would tend to
recommend policies essentially socialist in nature.

Continue reading

Nobel Prize Winner Phelps on “Dynamic Capitalism”

Edmund Phelps writes in the opinion Journal on “Dynamic Capitalism:

There are two economic systems in
the West. Several nations–including the U.S., Canada and the
U.K.–have a private-ownership system marked by great openness to the
implementation of new commercial ideas coming from entrepreneurs, and
by a pluralism of views among the financiers who select the ideas to
nurture by providing the capital and incentives necessary for their

The other system–in Western
Continental Europe–though also based on private ownership, has been
modified by the introduction of institutions aimed at protecting the
interests of “stakeholders” and “social partners.”

Let me use the word “dynamism” to
mean the fertility of the economy in coming up with innovative ideas
believed to be technologically feasible and profitable–in short, the
economy’s talent at commercially successful innovating. In this
terminology, the free enterprise system is structured in such a way
that it facilitates and stimulates dynamism while the Continental
system impedes and discourages it.

When building the massive
structures of corporatism in interwar Italy, theoreticians explained
that their new system would be more dynamic than capitalism–maybe not
more fertile in little ideas, such as might come to petit-bourgeois
entrepreneurs, but certainly in big ideas.

Friedrich Hayek, in the late 1930s and early ’40s, began the modern theory of how a capitalist
system, if pure enough, would possess the greatest dynamism–not
socialism and not corporatism. First, virtually everyone right down to
the humblest employees has “know-how,” some of what Michael Polanyi
called “personal knowledge” and some merely private knowledge, and out
of that an idea may come that few others would have. In its openness to
the ideas of all or most participants, the capitalist economy tends to
generate a plethora of new ideas.

Second, the pluralism of
experience that the financiers bring to bear in their decisions gives a
wide range of entrepreneurial ideas a chance of insightful evaluation.
And, importantly, the financier and the entrepreneur do not need the
approval of the state or of social partners. Nor are they accountable
later on to such social bodies if the project goes badly, not even to
the financier’s investors. So projects can be undertaken that would be
too opaque and uncertain for the state or social partners to endorse.
Lastly, the pluralism of knowledge and experience that managers and
consumers bring to bear in deciding which innovations to try, and which
to adopt, is crucial in giving a good chance to the most promising
innovations launched. Where the Continental system convenes experts to
set a product standard before any version is launched, capitalism gives
market access to all versions.

Globalization has diminished the importance of scale as well as distance.

Instituting a high level of
dynamism, so that the economy is fired by the new ideas of
entrepreneurs, serves to transform the workplace–in the firms
developing an innovation and also in the firms dealing with the
innovations. The challenges that arise in developing a new idea and in
gaining its acceptance in the marketplace provide the workforce with
high levels of mental stimulation, problem-solving, employee-engagement
and, thus, personal growth.

Dynamism does have its downside.
The same capitalist dynamism that adds to the desirability of jobs also
adds to their precariousness. The strong possibility of a general slump
can cause anxiety.

Why, then, if the “downside” is so
exaggerated, is capitalism so reviled in Western Continental Europe? It
may be that elements of capitalism are seen by some in Europe as
morally wrong in the same way that birth control or nuclear power or
sweatshops are seen by some as simply wrong in spite of the
consequences of barring them. And it appears that the recent street
protesters associate business with established wealth; in their
minds, giving greater latitude to businesses would increase the
privileges of old wealth. By an “entrepreneur” they appear to mean a
rich owner of a bank or factory, while for Schumpeter and Knight it
meant a newcomer, a parvenu who is an outsider. A tremendous
confusion is created by associating “capitalism” with entrenched wealth
and power. The textbook capitalism of Schumpeter and Hayek means
opening up the economy to new industries, opening industries to
start-up companies, and opening existing companies to new owners and
new managers. It is inseparable from an adequate degree of competition.
Monopolies like Microsoft are a deviation from the model.

I have been meaning to write an article on this, but I am backed up with stuff. So I am trying to clear my backlog (tossing stuff, or doing short posts for future reference).

Here are some thoughts:

  • “good” globalization (based on dynamic capitalism) vs “bad” or so-so globalization (based on stake-holder capitalism). What does this mean for PNM theory which relies partially on unfettered support for globalization to shrink the gap?
  • Entrepreneurial Capitalism = Dynamic Capitalism. “Good Globalization” = Entrepreneurial Peace Theory?
  • Reference Postal’s The Dynamist blog and book
  • Bobitt’s successor state forms need more work. His “market-state” is a post-nationalism dynamic-capitalism state. Another competing form could be the stakeholder-state (post-nationalism, stakeholder-capitalism). The other forms are…[heh for long simmering post.]

A Bold Choice for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

Just when I want to dismiss the prize and their recipients out of hand, the committeee goes and does this:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, divided into two equal parts, to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights.

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi Economist by training and a Banker / Social Entrepreneur by Profession and a father of microcredit.

Microcredit (any microfinance) is an important tool for bottom-up economic development and should be an integral part of any nation-building/sysadmin activity.

Here are other related links:

Organizations and Markets
The Austrian Economists
The Intangible Economy

Sunday Afternoon LinkSpasm

These are interesting things you might like to read. It is a long post though…

Continue reading

War and Incentives and SysAdmin Economic Thinking

From commenter Jim at Marginal Revolution:

Milton Friedman, in a recent interview, argued that perhaps the key mistake of the occupation period was not setting up a private oil industry in Iraq with shares of common stock distributed to the people of Iraq. I agree. This would have provided an economic incentive for the populace writ large to work against terrorists, because terrorist activities can be expected to reduce the profitability of the oil industry. This would also have 100% laid to rest the completely false argument the the US went into Iraq to steal their oil. Did we steal Kuwaiti oil at the conclusion of DESERT STORM? Of course not; not only did we give Kuwait back its country and oil, but we put out all the fires that Sadam set in their oil fields.

All SysAdmin work doesn’t have to be top-down socialism-lite (as I often read it as between the lines). Mild economic Incentives should be implemented in all SysAdmin cases to help positive behavior emerge.

Aside: as far as the rant-meme that war was all about the Oil, the easiest way to have gotten at Iraq Oil would have been for the US to allow all UN sanctions to expire. No war required for that given that Petrol is a global commodity.

Entrepreneurial Peace Theory Thoughts

Just some thoughts I scribbled into a notebook over the weekend on Entrepreneurial Peace Theory (because Democratic Peace Theory and PNM Theory‘s Gloabilization = Building Connections = Peace seem to be incomplete to me):

  • It is not capitalism or business or globalization that is the key
  • It is the exercise of entrepreneurial capital and creative destruction…the optimizing effect
  • Wonder and advancement
  • Capitalism can be just making money
  • Entrepreneurial-ism is about progress and change and improvement
  • Striving for a new future, not just collecting rents on what has already been acquired
  • Entrepreneurs by definition are meritocracy based

“It’s better for the U.S. to shut up”

(via REDDIT) Yahoo News reports:

Sha Zukang, China’s ambassador to the
United Nations in Geneva, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that American concerns about his country’s growing military might were misguided.

“It’s better for the U.S. to shut up,” Sha said. “Keep quiet. It’s much, much better.”

Sha said the world need not worry about China’s growing economic and military might because “China basically is a peace-loving nation.”

“China’s military buildup is not threatening anyone,” Sha said. “This is a legitimate defense.”

China’s 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army is the world’s largest fighting force, and Beijing has alarmed its neighbors with double-digit percentage increases in military spending nearly every year for a decade.

I want to think that China wants to join the larger community of Core nations.

The US leviathan force capability is not going away any time soon. The US needs to continue to engage China and prod/shame them into doing the right thing.

How about a a US/UN request for a division of PRC Light Infantry/Engineers for a Peacekeeper/Sysadmin Force in Lebanon with Turkish language/cultural advisers?

Red Army Stock Photo

Update: More at BlogCritcs

Purpleslog Revisted: “No Cease Fire, Please! What Should Come After Israel Has Finished Its Work”

About a month ago, I blogged on what should come after the fighting is done in Lebanon.

We must allow Israel to finish what it has started.

We didn’t. Israel was on a “timetable” granted by the “international community” from the start.

The US/UN/Whatever should not be trying to force a cease fire and moving in peackeepers to defacto protect Hezbollah.

Well, the worse case is happening. The Lebanese army and returning civilians will be in place to be an incentive against Israeli action (but not Hezbollah actions).

The US should be organizing a sysadmin force to move in when Israel is done with Lebanon.

Not happening – Barnett addresses this better then I ever could.

Oh well.

US Policy For A Post-Castro Cuba Should Begin Now

There are reports (Milwaukee Journal / AP) circulating on U.S. Plans to assist Cuba post-Castro. The plan seems to be sysadmin-ish.

My feeling is – why wait? No I am not suggesting anything military-wise.

The US should simply end the embargo of Cuba now and let the economic and social connections start to grow between the US and Cuba naturally and privately. The US should respect all existing ownership/property as they exists now…the claims of those who fled should not be supported – but any claims post-embargo should be.

The US can open an embassy or consulate – but this should not be a US government effort for the most part.

It should be the effort of US companies, social groups, churches, and individuals all with there own agendas, goals and incentives.

The US should not fear Cuba anymore. It is not destabilising the Caribbean or South America or Africa. It is time to start connecting Cuba to the US.