How will the Taliban govern? — Ashley Jackson, New York Times, 8/17/2021

This is an interesting article for a few reasons. While revolutions and insurgencies can be emotional and live on through feelings, but governance is a business. Governance is bureaucratic, process-driven, and often boring. A new government need to do the little things, especially if the group wants to be taken seriously by other international bodies.

I don’t predict the Taliban will improve their image at all. There was a huge brain drain in Afghanistan before the US left. Thousands of city administrators either left or have no interest…

This is the Most Affordable Way to Get Into Bitcoin — Captain Sidd, Bitcoin Magazine, 8/28/2021

This article confused me. While it sets up a great argument that various forms of savings — savings accounts, bonds, stocks, and home ownership — have lost their luster, its conclusion was too weak.

According to the author, because all of the above vessels for savings and accruing interest have become too stable and hence have produced little real return, Captain Sidd recommends investing continuously in Bitcoin. …

How open-source intelligence is disrupting statecraft — Shashank Joshi, The Economist, 8/10/2021

Interesting podcast on how open source intelligence is affecting global intelligence gathering. Thanks to companies such as google and other collectors, national defense intelligence is no longer only in the hands of the military. Gathering this intelligence are “normal” people coming to conclusions and informing the world on things such as missile launches and secret base location, among other things.

This type of collection will continue to democratize intelligence gathering. It will check nation-states and allow “citizen scientists” to have very unique power through “technology transparency”.

Although they…

Two articles of the day today. I think they tail into each other well, at least in concept. I am sure there are some rules and regulations that would get in the way, but in theory, these articles provide two good points.

Assessing the Alignment of U.S. Diplomatic and Military Power to Forestall Armed Conflict — Michael D. Purzycki, Divergent Options, 9/20/2021

DoD planned to spend billions on Afghan security forces. This group has a suggestion for those funds — Leo Shane III, Military Times, 8/27/2021

For 20 years, the United States has spent billions, if not trillions, of dollars…

20 years after 9/11, ‘fusion centers’ have done little to combat terrorism — Cyrus Farivar, NBC News, 9/9/2021

Interesting article on the effectiveness of local and state “intelligence fusion centers”. These centers were spawned out of the lack of intelligence sharing prior to September 11, 2001. They are designed to assist local and regional law enforcement by combining and analyzing intelligence information from national and parallel assets and organizations.

Sounds good in theory, but according to the article, there have been many complaints on the execution. …

This post was inspired by The Taliban, not the West, won Afghanistan’s technological war — Christopher Ankersen & Mike Martin, Technology Review, 8/23/2021.

Very interesting article that reminded me a bit of David Kilcullen’s premise in his recent book Dragons and the Snakes. In that book, Kilcullen states that the West stopped innovating in approximately 2003 and that adversaries have been able to catch up due to the nature of non-technical combat. That is exactly what this article talks about as well.

However, Ankerson and Martin also add in the idea of existential war versus war of choice. Which is…

Michael Lortz

Writer. Analyst. Instructor. Sometimes serious. Sometimes creative. Just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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