Friday, February 10, 2006
Review Center for Chet Richards' "Neither Shall the Sword"
My review of Chet Richards' Neither Shall the Sword in three words? Buy this book.
I expect a number of posts to come out of Neither Shall the Sword, and this page will serve as an guide to them. While I won't give away the surprise ending on page 82, the most radical proposal in the book is for what Mark Safranski has called "free companies," or in Dr. Richard's words
An obvious solution for a grand strategy of rollback, and I believe the correct one, is to private the Sword/Leviathan function and put direct government resources into the more complex Sys Admin mission of construction, once Sword/Leviathan has done its job
Once again: buy this book.
$24.95?! (j/k, I paid that for Peters and Kaplan, I'll pay it for Richards)
While very interested in the concept that Dr. Richards suggests, I just read a book that makes me nervous about our nation's over reliance on private military forces (PMF's), "Corporate Warriors" by P.W. Singer. I'll post a review on my blog tomorrow to flesh out more of what Singer has to offer, but essentially, given both the track records of the 90's and the WOT track record, PMF's are a very mixed bag. Utilizing the extensive footnotes and secondary information he provided, as well as more recent articles and studies by him and other authors in various publications, this aspect of modern warfare has become even more dubious to me.
The sheer ineptness of firms like Vinnell (subsidary of Northrop Grumman) which badly botched the training of Iraqi military forces early on and the serious accounting issues between the government and PMFs (with credible accusations of fraud rising into the hundreds of millions of dollars over time) gives me pause when considering we would begin to depend upon them for security and power projection.
I look forward to learning what Dr. Richards has to say regardless.
Posted by: Eddie | Sunday, February 12, 2006
Thanks for the "Corporate Warriors"  mention. I look forward to the review on your blog, "Live from the FDNF." 
I think that Chet's retort would be book "The Pentagon Wars,"  which was later made into movie I enjoyed watching . Because of incompetence or inability to perform, many private military companies will go out of business. But the Pentagon is too big to fall, so it doesn't.
Through that section, Dr. Richard compares the Pentagon to Chrysler, Digital Equipment Corporation,  and Delta, as examples of dinosaurs that were once evolutionarily fit but are no longer.
My own take  is slightly different from the books. I'm more concerned about China and the political sustainability of defense than Dr. Richards is. Yet his ideas are interesting, and I hope to expand this "review center" as I am able.
By the way, he constantly mentions the "Sword" force from his previous book.  Shorter and cheaper, it may have been wiser for me to read that one first!
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Sunday, February 12, 2006