Archive for January, 2010

Out of Office AutoReply

January 18, 2010


I’m going to be on the road for the next couple weeks, so “posting will be light.”  Ha ha – like it has been heavy thus far!  I always wanted to write that, though.  I am now done with my first semester of graduate school, so I should have extra time to post things here – except that I will be conducting “TouristOps” for most of the semester break. (Classes resume after the Chinese New Year.)

Like some of the other bloggers I aim to emulate, I am going to leave some reading suggestions for you.  Here’s what I am going to have on the plane to Tokyo with me:

  1. David Finkel’s book The Good Soldiers.  It has been hailed in multiple places as one of the best on the Iraq War, so I am to see for myself.  I’ve read other acclaimed accounts like Craig Mullaney’s The Unforgiving Minute and Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War (if you haven’t read these two, you should), and I want to see if Finkel’s book measures up.
  2. The report “Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network” from The Information Warfare Monitor and the U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report  on Chinese cyberwarfare.  The recent big kerfluffle with China and Google is a neat window into the spooky world of computer network operations, and in fact is an area of research that I am very interested in.  There’s a lot of breathless, overheated stuff in the day-to-day media about cyberwarfare, but reports like these (both published last year) are a lot more objective.
  3. Earlier this month, CSIS released a new report on Taiwan Strait security called “Building Trust Across the Taiwan Strait: A Role for Military Confidence-building Measures.”  Taiwan Strait security is another one of my research interests, so this one ought to be good to.  (If you missed CNAS’s China-Taiwan report last month, then you should go ahead and fix yourself right now and read it.)
  4. If that’s not enough, then I’ll finish myself off with the latest edition of the National Bureau of Asian Research’s Asian Policy.  It’s got an interesting-looking “roundtable” piece devoted to training the next generation of Asia experts.

I can’t help but “pile on” here – if you are reading this and haven’t yet read CNAS’s other new report about fixing the intelligence effort in Afghanistan, just stop and go read it.  Excellent stuff.

More Marines coming to Guam?

January 14, 2010

I ran across this opinion piece while browsing at and couldn’t resist putting it up here.  It speaks to the challenge that U.S. officials are going to have “selling” the proposed Guam buildup to the people of Guam and the friction that has been caused in the timeline for the project by the Japanese government’s decision to re-consider its 2005 agreement with the U.S. about relocating a Marine airbase on Okinawa and transferring several thousand American Marines from Okinawa to Guam (read more about it in my last post on the subject here).

I wonder how those Draft EIS public hearings on Guam went?

More Marines coming to Guam? Japan wants to make it official.

Posted: Jan 13, 2010 7:27 AM TSTUpdated: Jan 13, 2010 7:40 AM TST

by John Davis

Guam – New stories coming out of the Japan Media report Japan’s Social Democratic Party is pushing not just for the relocation of Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam, but also for the complete closure of the Futenma Air Base and relocation of at Least 2,000 additional military personnel and 3,000 dependents to Guam.

The Futenma Air Base is located in the center of Ginowan City, which lies just north of the Okinawan military base where the first surge of military personnel will come from during the Guam buildup.  The Futenma Air Base covers 480 hectares or 1,200 acres, which makes up a quarter of land in Ginowan City.  The 2006 plan negotiated between the United States government and the Japan government included relocating Marines from Okinawa to Guam and the closure of Futenma and it’s relocation to an existing Marine base called Camp Schwab, which lies a few hundred meters away from the current Futenma base location.  Did you see this coming?  I did.

Read the full article at

More Marines coming to Guam? Japan wants to make it official. – News: On Air. Online. On Demand..

Are Outcomes to National Security Predictable?

January 9, 2010

Getting set to listen to “It’s Your World” on (NPR station in San Francisco, CA).  Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a political scientist famous for his use of game theory, will be the guest.  Starts right about…now.  Tune in yourself here:  Should be interesting.  More about it here:

Are Outcomes to National Security Predictable?
The program’s guest is Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Julius Silver professor of politics at NYU. He’s an expert on game theory — the idea that people compete and that they always do what they think is in their own best interest. Bueno de Mesquita uses game theory and its insights into human behavior to predict events, and his forecasts have a 90 percent accuracy rate. He boldly predicts that President Obama is unlikely to quash the terrorist influence in Pakistan, that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons and that global warming will prove immune to government prescriptions. In his new book “The Predictioneer’s Game,” Bueno de Mesquita uses his mathematical model to predict outcomes in business, national security and day-to-day life based on the self-interest of decision makers. He joins the show to detail his system of calculation. Since the early 1980s, CIA officials have hired Bueno de Mesquita to perform more than 1,000 predictions. A study by the CIA, now declassified, even found that his predictions “hit the bull’s-eye” twice as often as its own analysts did. (from

The World Affairs Council of Northern California sponsors this program.

China’s Capacity for Cyberwarfare with the U.S.

January 8, 2010

China’s Capacity for Cyberwarfare with the U.S. – TIME

Testing out a new way to post…via HootSuite

January 7, 2010

Testing out a new way to post…via HootSuite. Here’s a older article in the New York Times from last August about JSOTF-P staying put in the Philippines that I recently stumbled across. Re-emphasizes that in the foreseeable future there will always be a need for more special operations forces and no shortage of work for them world-wide.

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