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Ramping vs. Readiness: The Case for Conscription Lesson #4 (of 7) from the Aftermath of 9/11

The cost and duration of military conflicts is strongly affected by the time required to assemble, equip, train, and deploy military forces to the theatre of operations. In some cases, the ability to quickly and effectively field combatants ultimately spells the difference between success and failure. Probably the most well known example is the event that became (somewhat erroneously) known as “The Midnight Ride...Read More

The Iceberg Effect: The Hidden Nature of Conflict Costs Lesson #3 (of 7) from the Aftermath of 9/11

The vast majority of costs in major military conflicts are hidden from view at the outset of operations. In a separate article called “The Myth of Proportional Response, I recounted that In a March 16, 2003 Meet the Press interview of Vice President Dick Cheney, held less than a week before the Iraq War began, host Tim Russert reported that “every analysis said this war itself would cost about $80 billion,...Read More

The Whack-a-Mole Effect: National Borders Are Meaningless in Wartime – Lesson #2 (of 7) from the Aftermath of 9/11

The existence of national borders as a boundary of military operations is a fallacy. Acknowledgement of those borders is an application of physical restraints on the basis of an artificial line. More often than not, it results in safe havens for enemy combatants – especially when an insurgency is under way. The United States has experienced this many times, and one of the most well recognized situations was the...Read More

Coming Up Dry: The Threat of a Catastrophic US Water Shortage

It is a fact that some parts of the United States have begun to run low on water. That has been a true statement since before I moved to Phoenix back in 1990, so I am sure that it is no surprise to people who live in the arid parts of America that have had water shortages for decades. The water problem is likely worse than most people realize. Many large US cities are low on water now and almost certainly face...Read More

Do You Want a 1,000-Year Life Span? The Promise and Perils of Transhumanism

There is a movement afoot, based substantially in Silicon Valley but now taking root around the world, called Transhumanism. Transhumanism purports that illness, social maladies such as a propensity for criminal behavior, aging, and even death are avoidable and in fact will be overcome scientifically in the not-too-distant future. In a recent lecture entitled “Prospects for Extending Healthy Life – A Lot”,...Read More

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