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  • Robert David STEELE Vivas - An amazingly deep yet concise review of Haqqani balancing act -- local, regional, globalThis book is in our J-2 library in Afghanistan and while I have not discussed it with others, believe it is well-regarded. For me it accomplishes something I have not seen elsewhere: it explains the Haqqani, the second most violent and largest group after the Taliban, and it does so concisely.

    What I particularly appreciate about this book is the coherent manner in which it examines the value propositions that have positioned Haqqani today at the local, regional, and global levels.

    The author's credit Haqqani's emergence in the early days to two value propositions: first, the offering of safehaven in Waziristan; and second, the ability to deliver violence on order for the Pakistani military and ISI.

    The authors conclude that Haqqani displaced Hezb-i-Islami HIA/HIG) because the Haqqani have had and still have a superior savvy of tribal politics which in turn led to their earning a larger share of the CIA money passed through the ISA by CIA. Above all the authors credit the Haqqani with being able to manage a nuanced balancing act across borders and interests.

    Here is the meat, summary notes for those without the time to absorb this excellent book directly:

    LOCAL Value Propositions

    Centers of religious instruction
    Centers for military training
    Hub for Taliban cohesiveness and extension of the brand
    Trusted supporting partner for Taliban effect and reach
    Skilled manager of local relationships to assure logistics reliability
    Trusted mediator

    REGIONAL Value Propositions

    Spolier and kinetic signaling tool
    Diplomatic "office" to shape militancy and influence local commanders
    Platform to shape Afghan political landscape

    GLOBAL Value Propositions

    Operational access and local partnering
    Enabling media and promotion of Al Qaeda relevance to Afghan jihad
    Information Operations master of the art:
    -- borrowed footage
    -- cross promotions
    -- guest appearances
    -- Martyrdom biographics
    -- Connecitons to jihadist media personalities
    Brotherhood and safehaven services, come as you are

    The book concludes with a nuanced view that I found absorbing. The book offers a model for evaluating personal, financial, ideological/religous, and circumstances cause and effect among non-state groups.

    The authors end with the observation that as Haqqani videos in Urdu begin to proliferate, this is a clue, and the question, what will it take to break the cycle? On this point I would refer to the other book I was able to skim through today (time in Afghanistan is counted in minutes, not hours, for personal browsing), God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad.

    I regret I could not give this book the time it merits, but in posting this quick review with my own notes for my own memory, I hope I am encouraging others to give it a good look. We simply do not do intelligence at the individual and sub-state level, still today, in part because we have a legacy system that was built to obsess on static state hard-targets. As I wrote years ago, we have a super highway between DC and Moscow, and several cadillacs that are fine for that highway, but worthless off the road. We need to melt them down and reconstitute a US intelligence community of thousands of jeeps, motorcycles, and bicyles, with a new multinational sharing mind-set. That's how I plan to spend my next 20 years. Learn more at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.

    Semper Fidelis,
    Robert David STEELE Vivas
    THE NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political
  • Kim Brophy - MUST READ for all who care about their health!!I read this cover to cover the first time I picked it up.(not a very long book, but I am not a big reader) It was astonishing to learn how drug companies manipulate our health for profit!! Haven't started the treatment yet, but have read tons of good stuff about the benefits of h2o2. Hope it works, bought mine today; will start treatment tomorrow.
  • Robert J. Roberts "Mr. Hurt" - Extremely Durable! LOVE IT!!! :->When I first came across this product on Amazon I wasn't sure if it would do the job, but I trust the Denon name so I took a chance, and it totally paid off!

    First off, let me make it clear: I'm not really that into music. I know a lot of people like the way it sounds in their ears, and that's fine for them. They can dance around like idiots and sing to themselves all they want (it's still a free country last time I checked), but it just doesn't do anything for me. My neighbor, though, he's a real audiophile. In fact, he listens to records all day, and many times all night. He also likes his music loud. So loud, in fact, that the bass makes the pictures on my walls rattle!

    So, anyway, I got this item for him. As a matter of fact, I bought two! You see, these cables are really quite strong. Their braided coaxial construction gives them great tensile strength with the benefit of a small diameter. That, combined with the tough-as-nails DuraFlex outer sheathing, makes it very easy to tie into knots. And at 59" long, they are perfect for tying a Dead-wrist Bowline, a Spanish Throathitch, or even a Hong Kong Balls-lock! So anyway, these made restraining my neighbor a snap. The rough texture of the sheathing resulted in some wrist-abrasions, but was pretty easy to clean the blood from, so it wasn't too big a deal.

    Also, Amazon's return policy made it super-easy to get my thousand dollars back when I was done (thanks Amazon!!!!). Now I just need to get a new liner for my trunk!
  • D. Failla - Started 2 weeks ago ... Amazing, Easy to use.I heard on TV and i couldn't believe it, so one day i was like i need to try, saw review online and wow... you know. I ordered and i once i got it i was like what am i doing, i started to read the little book and is like very simple and made me confident! Well I am using it almost 2 weeks now and looks amazing, it doesn't smell, is actually pretty good, looks like a Foam for hair, i found an easy way to apply directly on my scalp. I took a pic when i start and one today, and i found a little difference. I can't wait to see what will happen after the 1st month!! I will order another 3 months maybe just get 1 year supply lol!
  • James Skrydlak "mostlymozart" - You've Seen the Movie - Now Buy the Book!As stunning as Alan Alda's and Barbra Streisand's performances were, the movie really doesn't do justice to the depth of the randomness and deviation displayed by the original work. The book, moreover, includes the complete, unexpurgated numbers for the theme song - not the bowdlerized version sung by Ms. Streisand.