But, apparently, a very charming President of the Senate.
Author Page for Robert Farley
New Hampshire is safe.
The Free State Project, a libertarian movement that chose New Hampshire as its promised land for a society based on maximum choice and minimum government, has abandoned its goal of recruiting 20,000 members by 2006.
Once the deadline was met, the group planned to move to New Hampshire en masse. Today, only about 6,800 people are members of the project, and most live in California and Florida. Only about 130 people have made the move since signing up.
Money quote from Dante Scala, of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics:
It always seemed implausible that libertarians, who above all value their individuality were going to be able to group together and accomplish such a large common goal
US casualty rates in Iraq, October notwithstanding, have been somewhat less severe in 2005 than in 2004. The biggest reasons for the (mild) decline are probably the absence of the major anti-Falluja offensive of November 2004 and of the Sadr-led Shiite insurrection of April 2004. I suppose that the destruction of Falluja is an achievement, as it seems that whether or not insurgents have returned, they do not boast the same level of control they once had. Moqtada Al-Sadr is still alive and still a leader, so I’m not certain what the April and August operations against him achieved.
What’s interesting to me is that casualty rates have remained remarkably stable since April 2004. Spikes and troughs aside, we can reliably expect about 70 or so dead Americans in a given month in Iraq. This surprises me because the situation in Iraq is not static, and I find it interesting that outcomes remain constant.
What’s changing? I have no doubt that the Army and the Marine Corps are now better at their jobs than they were in 2003. Soldiers and Marines in Iraq now have a better handle on tactics, a firmer grip on the local situations, and much more experience in dealing with an insurgency at the micro level. Even if the operational doctrine of the organizations are misguided, tactical execution should have improved simply through repetition.
Casualty levels, however, have not changed. This could mean a couple different things. One, it is possible that US tactics have improved, yet casualty rates remain the same because operations have taken on an increased tempo or are being launched in riskier situations. It’s possible that this is the case, although I’m not sure there’s a lot of evidence to support it. Soldiers are for the most part still being killed by IEDs, which doesn’t suggest that the American operational approach has substantially changed. The second possibility (and I consider this very likely) is that the insurgents themselves have improved substantially since 2003. There are some good reasons to suspect that this is the cause. Smaller organizations tend to incorporate lessons more effectively than large ones. Insurgent cells are very small, indeed. Moreover, a Darwinian logic applies to the quality of insurgent forces. Insurgent cells that do well survive. Those that do not are destroyed. We should expect that the most competent insurgents will survive the longest, and competent in this case means flexible and adaptible. Moreover, the tactics of successful organizations can be copied by other organizations, resulting in a overall tougher insurgency.
This analysis suggests that Coalition forces and insurgents are in a holding pattern. This is bad; the insurgents care more about winning than we do, and are will to endure greater losses and to incur greater costs than we are. However, I think that the situations is even somewhat worse that this, because the above arguments don’t take into account the increasing size of Iraqi police and military forces.
How does the development of Iraqi government forces bode ill? In and of itself, an increase in government capabilities is a good thing. Larger Iraqi military and police forces make things harder for insurgents. The problem, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the Iraqi forces have made a difference for US casualty rates. There are many, many more Iraqi police on the streets now than a year ago, yet the ability of the insurgency to carry out attacks, to maneuver, and to create costs for the occupation does not seem to have decreased. Rather, the insurgents are now killing roughly the same numbers of Americans, plus a tremendous number of Iraqi soldiers and policemen (2200 this year so far, including 215 in October).
Now, casualty rates are not the best indicator of the success of an insurgency. Armies can reduce casualties in ways that will ensure defeat in war. Much depends on the type of operation that the military is carrying out, and on the strategy that the insurgents employ to defeat the occupying army. Nevertheless, casualty rates ARE one indicator, and this indicator looks really, really troubling. It suggest that the insurgency is not weakening; rather, it seems to be growing stronger at an alarming rate.
Hopefully this analysis has missed some important variable, and I’m wrong.
“Once again, it shows the Democrats use scare tactics,” he complained, sounding as impotent and frustrated as Reid had the day before. “They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas. But this is the ultimate. Since I’ve been majority leader, I’ll have to say, not with the previous Democratic leader or the current Democratic leader have ever I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution.”
Odd coming from a man whose central contribution to the institution of the United States Senate has been to force it into abject subservience to a recklessly incompetent executive. Senators are not humble people, and I imagine that even many Republicans must be dismayed by Frist’s willingness to surrender the dignity and independence of the Senate to the political whim of George W. Bush and his handlers.
In a television interview to be aired next week, Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he repeatedly tried to convince American President George W. Bush not to invade Iraq .
In the lengthy interview to be shown on private TV channel La7 on Monday, Berlusconi says that: “I was never convinced that war was the best way to make a country democratic and to bring it out of a bloody dictatorship .
“I tried many times to convince the American president not to wage war… I tried to find other ways and solutions, even through joint action with African leader (Libya’s Muammar) Gaddafi .
“We didn’t succeed and there was a military operation but I believed military action should have been avoided.” The comments were released by La7 two days before Berlusconi was due to visit Washington .
Nice to mention that now, instead of when it might have mattered. But who am I kidding; it’s not as if the voice of one more European capital would have made a difference.
Via Laura Rozen
Redbeard alerts me to a crucial victory in the War on Terror, one that is happening in my own backyard.
Kentucky has been awarded a federal Homeland Security grant aimed at keeping terrorists from using charitable gaming to raise money.
The state Office of Charitable Gaming won the $36,300 grant and will use it to provide five investigators with laptop computers and access to a commercially operated law-enforcement data base, said John Holiday, enforcement director at the Office of Charitable Gaming.
The idea is to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash, Holiday said.
Five laptop computers and access to a law enforcement database cost $36000? Ain’t federalism great?
Congrats to the South Siders. A good Series; odd to say about a sweep, but every game was tight.
Ok. Lexington is not a football town.
The Kentucky Wildcats are 1-5. They gave up 49 points in the first half at home against Florida. The rest of their schedule includes #4 Georgia, #19 Auburn, and #23 Tennessee. Next week’s home game against 2-5 Mississippi State is probably their best chance at another win. Their ineptitude is not particularly surprising, given their 2-9 record last year.
I wonder what she was wearing before they got their sole victory, a win at home against the always dangerous Idaho State Bengals? A sweater? A jacket? Socks, maybe? Perhaps a hat? A watch or bracelet?
Ah. A long sleeved shirt. Good work, guys.
The lesson here is that radio stations ought to put some thought into even their hackneyed and transparently idiotic promotions. And, in case you were wondering, WKQQ is owned, of course, by Clear Channel Communications.
This may end up being the most exciting four game sweep in the history of the World Series.
“White Sox breeze through postseason” was ahead only of “Padres dominate on way to championship” on my list of expected outcomes. It certainly looked staggeringly unlikely halfway through September.