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“Strategy in Real Time: Dueling with an Enemy That Moves is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Strategy is a two-way street. But many commentators act as though formulating a strategy is the same as solving a chess problem. Chess problems are artificially constructed arrangements on a chessboard where the goal is to find a series of moves that leaves the other side no room to evade a checkmate within three or four turns. The sorts of conflicts bedeviling us these days, however, are more like the game of chess itself, in which there is no determinate, continuous series of moves that will guarantee victory every time. Each new contest depends on the actions of the other side, how we react to them, how they respond to our reactions, and so on.
Ignoring this aspect of strategy seems to contribute to the widespread view that victory in warfare amounts to the destruction of the enemy, a facile assumption that is all too unthinkingly held. “Defeating the enemy” may be the definition of victory in football, or even in chess for that matter, but not in warfare. Victory in war is the achievement of the war aim, and if, after Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, we still think that victory is simply the devastation of our adversaries, we have a lot of reflecting to do. Read the rest of this entry »
Those efforts are bound to continue, especially now that the United States Supreme Court appears to be open to reaching decisions based on political considerations and public pressure, as opposed to basing their decisions solely on the U.S. Constitution.
Initially there will probably be regulatory steps implemented to restrict certain types of ammunition purchases, adding excessive amounts of taxes to various calibers or types of ammo so that it becomes cost-prohibitive to buy. You can’t target shoot with an AK-47 if the ammunition is so expensive that you can’t afford to buy it. The same goes for all the other so-called “assault weapons”.
In the opinion, Matsch took time to point out what he saw as the political underpinnings of the Brady Campaign’s suit:
It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center, and, given the failure to present any cognizable legal claim, bringing these defendants into the Colorado court where the prosecution of James Holmes was proceeding appears to be more of an opportunity to propagandize the public and stigmatize the defendants than to obtain a court order which counsel should have known would be outside the authority of this court.
“The Jihadist Trap of Here and Now is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
In recent weeks, I have found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the jihadist strategy of al Qaeda and how it compares to that of the Islamic State. Earlier this month, I wrote about the possibility that the al Qaeda brand of jihadism could outlast that of the Islamic State. Last week, I wrote about how ideologies are harder to kill than individuals, focusing on the effect that the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Nasir al-Wahayshi will have on the group and the wider global jihadist movement.
But beyond the impact of leaders like al-Wahayshi, there are other facets of strategy that will influence the war for the soul of jihadism. Specifically, I am talking about time and place. Both al Qaeda and the Islamic State seek to establish a global caliphate, but both differ quite starkly in how to accomplish this task and how soon it can be achieved.
Al Qaeda argues that the caliphate can be established only after the United States and its European allies have been defeated, to the extent that they can no longer interfere in Muslim lands — either because of a lack of ability or a lack of desire. The organization pursues a long-war approach that emphasizes the need to attack the United States, “the far enemy,” before focusing on overthrowing local governments. The Islamic State takes the opposite tack. It has adopted a more urgent “why wait?” approach and concentrates its efforts on immediately taking, holding and governing territory. This strategy banks on being able to use any conquered territory and resources for the purposes of continued expansion. The direct approach explains the Islamic State’s decision to quickly proclaim a caliphate at the beginning of Ramadan last year, after it had captured a large portion of Iraq and Syria. The group’s message to the Muslim world is that the caliphate is here and now, and there is nothing the world can do to stop its inexorable expansion. Read the rest of this entry »
The bill has been introduced by Rep. Honda (D-CA of course):
Considers as a banned hazardous product under the Consumer Product Safety Act: (1) any firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank (do-it-yourself assault weapon) that does not meet the definition of a firearm under the federal criminal code at the point of sale but that can be completed after purchase by the consumer to function as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machine gun, or (2) an assault weapon parts kit or machine gun parts kit.
Makes it unlawful to market or advertise any of such weapons for sale on any medium of electronic communications, including over the Internet. Requires marketing or advertising violations to be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
From The Washington Post:
In the wake of the Charleston shooting, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are considering ways to renew their failed push to expand meaningful background checks on gun purchases.
Politicians can’t let a crisis go to waste.
From Live Leak:
Gunmen killed at least 37 people at a beachfront Tunisian hotel on Friday, the same day terrorists lashed out brutally in France and bombed a mosque in Kuwait.
One person was beheaded and two injured at a gas factory near Lyon in southeastern France, according to French President Francois Hollande. And ISIS has claimed responsibility for an apparent bomb blast at the Shiite-affiliated Al-Sadiq mosque in Kuwait’s capital during Friday prayers, leaving at least 25 dead and more than 200 injured.
From Washington Examiner:
Karl Rove, appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, stated in no uncertain terms that the only way to stop gun violence is to remove the Second Amendment rights of citizens. Another journalist referred to Rove as a longtime advocate of gun control.
From Shotgun News:
Uber has forbidden all its supposed free-agent drivers to carry guns or to pick up anyone with a gun. So Uber gets to tell you how you may protect yourself (prayer, maybe?) and restricts you from carrying a whole class of passengers.
In concealed carry states no one is supposed to know/see that you have a gun so how would this be enforced? Quick answer: it can’t. It won’t be long now before criminals start targeting Uber cars to rob driver and passenger.
Update: I called it.
On Wednesday, an Uber driver in Queens was robbed by a man who allegedly got in his car, pointed a rifle at him, and demanded his money.
Since New York’s SAFE Act gun control law went into effect in January 2013, a total of 23,847 people have applied to register their newly defined assault-style weapons with theState Police.
Those individuals have registered a total of 44,485 weapons.
New York State has a population of just under 20 million.
On June 19, a Puerto Rican commonwealth court abolished the territory’s registry and licensing requirements for firearms, thereby making the Second Amendment the only requisite necessary to carry firearms openly or concealed.
From Ars Technica:
LastPass officials warned Monday that attackers have compromised servers that run the company’s password management service and made off with cryptographically protected passwords and other sensitive user data. It was the second breach notification regarding the service in the past four years.
In an e-mail to reporters, Ars resident password expert Jeremi Gosney said the real-world risks the breach posed to end users was minimal. He based his assessment on the LastPass response to the breach and the system that was in place when it happened. He paid particular attention to the 100,000-round hashing routine, which he said was among the strongest he has ever seen.
…the campaign to staunch the flow of such weapons into society began in the states the previous decade, when at least 27 states enacted measures to restrict or outlaw the sale and possession of fully automatic weapons prior to 1934…