Sunday, August 01, 2010

Let me introduce myself

Hi, My name is Marco - I have five children, three dogs, a worm farm and a pregnant wife - And I've just turned forty. So much is happening in my day to day life that is interesting, but I have absolutely no time to reflect. I am quite tempted to switch to posting updates to facebook, because Ironically, when I post to my blog that can be accessed globally by anyone... no-one reads it, but when little odd tidbits get posted on facebook, many strangers as well as most of my friends find out one way or another.


Chris Fellows said...

I log in fifty times looking for something new for every time I see something new! :P
*and* you aren't interested in talking about Afghanistan exit strategies.

Marco said...

The truth is, I'm not interested in the USA exiting at all. The US should really be in Somalia rather than Afghanistan, but I don't think it benefits anyone if they just go home altogether and semi-abandon Iraq and Afghanistan without a clear mandate to involve themselves somewhere else.

Marco said...

The question I ask is, what is the best strategy for Australia to take given what the Yanks have decided to do?

Chris Fellows said...

"The question I ask is, what is the best strategy for Australia to take given what the Yanks have decided to do?"

* Stay for as long as they stay, doing the things they do instead of wussy meanwhile-back-in-Kabul activities, to earn reliable ally points.

* Develop an independent nuclear deterrent as the only guarantee of security in a world where the US may succumb to 'multilaterality'/isolationism.

* Continue our downward spiral in international cricket so India will be happier to have us as junior members of an Indo-Pacific Democratic Prosperity Sphere.

Marco said...

My argument on Afghanistan/Iraq/any nation building rests on my premises:

1) Country building policy must have - if not popular backing - a popular consensus on which country is the most important to build/rebuild.

2)What ones army does in the process of country-building, policing or countering insurgencies can be of immense value in and of itself, giving the best kind of training for future likely efforts, whether they be humanitarian, peacekeeping or outright war - ie. these huge sums (and lives) spent on these fairly fruitless campaigns can still be money/lives better spent than on home training/wargames that are unlikely to be useful in "real" combat situations.

The benefits to the populace of the country in question is ayway hostage to the attitudes of neighbouring countries - although they are the day to day goal of the field commander.

The usual job of armies - killing the bad guys, is not going to bring conflict closer to an end if there are such huge incentives in neighbouring countries to keep the conflict going at all costs.

An exit strategy just needs a new country for us to train our next generation of recruits on. Until then, Afghanistan is as good a place as any for real war training.

As far as Australia is concerned, I think the strategy is ideal - concentrate on rebuilding and the Hearts and minds thing. At the very least a positive impression will be felt about Australians and Australia. Risking lives in the pursuit of making it a better place.

Chris Fellows said...

As I've said before, we've had enough of this desert/mountain training, we need some jungle next. Unfortunately there isn't much chance of a nation-building intervention in the DR Congo, so we have to wait for President Rodham to invade Venezuela and go along as usual.

Marco said...

we must then, as by 1) wait for or build a consensus of a new place to invade. Somalia is possible to become top of mind for consensus. You're right about the jungle. Haven't had any of that since Vietnam.