1. Jamelle Bouie on Tapped. He’ll be here all week folks!
2. Maj. Niel Smith on Small Wars Journal. I strongly recommend you read this.
“Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them.”
– T.E. Lawrence, Twenty Seven Articles, Article 15
T.E. Lawrence’s quote has become quite possibly the most over-used quotation by the U.S. Army in recent memory. Nearly every military presentation regarding our recent conflicts has some form of it embedded in the text. Nearly all U.S. military officers can parrot it with rote precision. However, application of Lawrence’s wisdom in the field remains spotty. One doesn’t have to look far to find accounts of U.S. soldiers and advisors emulating Larry the Cable Guy’s “Git r’ Dun” philosophy to prevent failure in Iraqi (or Afghan) forces. Sometimes this is required, but too often our own hubris and self-perception as the all-knowing American military overcomes the wisdom of listening to the host nation.
And it gets even better from there!