Monday, July 20, 2009

Unleash your inner Galula

and win a $3,000 Grand Prize as well as the respect and awe of fellow COINerds worldwide: the Small Wars Journal is launching a writing competition.

I am slightly disappointed by the topics chosen, though:

“1. Security vs. [Jobs & Services & etc.] -- horse and cart, or chicken and egg?

[…] What does security really mean in a small war, how much is needed when, and how do you make meaningful security gains through the pragmatic application of affordable capabilities? How does security relate as an intermediate objective or an end state? Include examples of real successes and failures.

2. Postcards From The Edge – the practical application of the Whole of Government approach.

Organizational issues are being discussed from Goldwater-Nichols II to unity of effort and simple handshake-con. Whatever the structure on high, people from different walks of life and different functional expertise need to work together on the ground at the pointy end of the spear to deliver effects that matter. Discuss real experiences (personal, known firsthand, or researched and documented) of real people facing real challenges that offer relevant insights into the conduct of a small war. […]”

In my humble opinion, Steve Metz had more inspiring suggestions.

Pondering over the last sentence of topic 2 (real experiences of real people facing real challenges), I suggest that this blog launches a counter-competition on imagined experiences of fictional characters facing minor dramas—with a fictive $3,000 Grand Prize for the winner.

No entries longer than a haiku will be accepted.

37 comments:

  1. Pondering over the last sentence of topic 2 (real experiences of real people facing real challenges), I suggest that this blog launches a counter-competition on imagined experiences of fictional characters facing minor dramas—with a fictive $3,000 Grand Prize for the winner.

    LOLZ @ Alma.

    Fake COINdinista
    Wanted to write about war
    But faced no challenge

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gunslinger bores wife
    With COIN. Gulliver will hear
    Speechboy on NPR.

    http://www.kcrw.com/media-player/mediaPlayer2.html?type=audio&id=tp090721afghanistan_casualti


    SNLII
    says to skip 20 minutes
    Before Speechboy's speech.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or, in Sicilian Haiku:

    O, Lady Alma,
    COIN is so Vietnam-a.
    Try atom Bomb-a.

    SNLII-a

    ReplyDelete
  4. Triage for Exum.
    Soup-knife, group hug for Nagl.
    Me? I'd try Callwell.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, I effed Iraq.
    Oh, he effed Afghanistan.
    Let's eff Darfur, too.

    SNLII, punning on acronyms...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Or a limerick...

    There once was a man from CNAS.
    Who got stuck up an Afghan's ass.
    A COINdinista 'til the end,
    He thought we could win,
    But instead flunked strategy class.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tom Ricks went to Wanat
    To find a metric or stat.
    But it was a quagmire,
    The sitrep quite dire,
    And ISAF out cold on the mat.


    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  8. F-22 ain't
    COIN. Neither is JSF.
    People need to work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good God, Alma, look
    What you've done to S-N-L
    I-I, and our blog.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gunslinger sighed and frowned,
    Then he fired a sabot round.
    His employers were dead,
    Lead poisoning in the head,
    And I sensibly hugged the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've decided in Army fashion to adapt and overcome, Gulliver. I'm going with limericks.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  12. On the day Tom Friedman was born,
    He began to write war porn:
    "We must fight on in Kabul!
    "That's the Golden Rule!
    Even if the grunts are forlorn."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/opinion/19friedman.html?_r=2

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now he's on about fragging,
    And clearly the others are lagging,
    So I'll take up the bait, and respond to the spate
    Of SNLII posts -- it's better than nagging!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rick Perry went to Iraq,
    To show off his Texas sack.
    "It's just like U-Tee,"
    He said with some glee,
    The stupid, effing hack.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  15. Back to haiku...


    Gentile and Nagl,
    COINtra and COINdinista.
    One heart and two minds.


    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kelley B. Vlahos
    Next to Gulliver at Cee-Nas.
    Hot blonde. Bacevich.


    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  17. There once was a man from Kabul,
    Who didn't want to be a tool.
    They called him the "Pope,"
    Said he's nobody's dope,
    But on drone strikes he acts like a fool.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gulliver, himself, is a nag
    No blood, nor treasure, in his bag.
    Federalist Six,
    Bacevich and his kicks --
    Banned, oh, what a drag.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  19. King David brought a lesson from Iraq,
    That everyone grunt said was a crock.
    "Pop-centric is the way,
    "I don't care what the realists say,"
    Yes, his ID card is a rock.

    SNLII

    OK, that's enough for me. I'm going home.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Grrrr... Typo...

    King David brought a lesson from Iraq,
    That every grunt said was a crock.
    "Pop-centric is the way,
    "I don't care what the realists say,"
    Yes, his ID card is a rock.

    SNLII

    OK, that's enough for me. I'm going home.

    ReplyDelete
  21. SecDef Gates is a big fraud,
    But everyone here thinks he's a god.
    He was A&M's dean,
    But he acts like a drama queen,
    And Gulliver still gives him the nod.

    ReplyDelete
  22. After Abu Muqawama jumped the shark,
    SWJ tried to hit it outta da park.
    Three thousand dollars is the prize,
    Metrics, stats -- damned lies,
    Or so saith Twain, the guy we call "Mark."

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  23. There once was a prof from Carlisle,
    Who sat and stared at SWJ's pile.
    "Three thousand -- that's real class,
    But the whole thing smells like ass."
    And he wasn't wrong, not by a mile.


    SNLII, with grave apologies to Dave (I don't mean it!)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Good grief.

    "Organizational issues are being discussed from Goldwater-Nichols II to unity-of-effort and handshake-con." - to an outsider, this sounds like word salad (schizophasia). By word salad, please do not think I am referring to the attempts at poetry. I've read worse in The American Poetry Journal, so some of you may have a future in all this.....

    ReplyDelete
  25. Another haiku:

    The graduate school
    of War. People are the key.
    Two lies from one mouth.


    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  26. From the desk of Bacevich:

    Crikey Dave is at Crumpton to make moolah
    Off of COIN and half-baked Galula,
    The dead Frenchmen from RAND,
    He and CNAS continue the brand,
    And they're just as likely to fool ya.


    SNLII (tongue firmly in cheek)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Some call him a policy whore
    Because it's all half-assed 3-24.
    COINdinistas' profits rise high
    'Cept they can't look a mom in the eye
    As she tugs the body bag in the door.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  28. USMA, he was top of the class,
    His head firmly up his ass.
    Insufferable now,
    Riding his COIN cow,
    And everyone gives him a pass.

    ReplyDelete
  29. How did King David get his C.A.B?
    Sure wasn't fighting the war of the flea.
    Probably a load of crap,
    Some jundhi farted near his MRAP,
    Just when he got out to pee.

    ReplyDelete
  30. OEF is the chance to eff a goat,
    Everyone better get on the boat.
    Pop-centric COIN is the fad,
    Always be good and never bad,
    And forget the enemy gets a vote.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  31. OEF has gone to sh*t,
    Even if the Pope "gets it."
    Bin Laden will stay free,
    A card-carrying Pakistani,
    Living high and completely legit.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  32. Somebody needs to put this thread out of its misery.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Germans hate to fight,
    The French told us to fly a kite.
    But when the Taliban come back,
    That kite goes in the sack,
    And the Mayor of Kabul says "good night."

    ReplyDelete
  34. These developments are really disturbing --
    It's a trend we ought to be curbing.
    Stick to prose! Not the poetic fire-hose!
    You're so prolific, it's kind of unnerving!

    ReplyDelete
  35. When you open Pandora's Box,
    Ya ain't gonna get bagels or lox.
    The verses come fast,
    The zingers, they last,
    Like a good stiff kick in the crotch.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete
  36. There once was a soldier-scribe,
    Whose rhymes none could abide,
    With lurid prose,
    And an arrogant pose,
    'Kill the enemy' he endlessly cried!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Too bad that isn't his bag.
    He's just not riding that nag!
    He's centric as much to terrain
    As he is to the foe, the hearts and a brain.
    Only the doctrinaire does he slag.

    SNLII

    ReplyDelete