from Politics, Power, and Preventive Action and Center for Preventive Action

You Might Have Missed

August 19, 2011

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

Welcome to a new semi-regular feature of 3PA: “You Might Have Missed.” The objective of this format will be to present news articles, speeches, reports, books, and recent bits of information that could be of interest to readers of this blog, but went unreported in the mainstream media. When possible, I will also highlight quotes, facts, or data that were buried in these publications and provide analysis for how they relate to current or past events.

--Damien McElroy, “Libya: rooftop sniper takes a heavy toll in Zawiyah, a city waiting to fall,” London Daily Telegraph, August 16, 2011.

“Mansur Saif al-Nasr, the opposition National Transitional Council’s representative in Paris, said yesterday the movement was two weeks away from victory. Control of Zawiyah would open the way to Tripoli. “We are entering a decisive phase. This will allow the population there to revolt.”” (3PA: This puts the predicted end date of the Libyan civil war at August 29.)

--Mark A. Bucknam, “Planning is Everything,” Joint Forces Quarterly, July 2011, pp. 52-58.

“For a new [military] plan, a combatant commander would go through three different reviews with the Secretary of Defense. Ideally, those in-progress reviews (IPRs) would be spread over a 6-month period, though it often took 12 to 18 months to get through all three IPRs with the Secretary.” (55-56) (3PA: Jump to footnote 13 for the inexplicable reason for this: “The Secretary’s availability has rarely been a factor in these delays. For operations plans, the delays in planning have been due in no small part to DOD failure to field appropriate information technology to assist military planners.”)

--United Kingdom Parliament, Commons Public Accounts Committee, The Use of Information to Manage the Defence Logisitics Supply Chain.

“The Department has engaged in military operations in Libya since March 2011, which it estimates will cost £260 million [$430 million] if the operations last six months.” (3PA: Compare this to the roughly $1.1 billion that the United States has spent in Libya so far.)

“Risks to supply routes can arise unexpectedly: for example, the Department told us that it had increased its target for delivering supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan from 77-87 days to 120 days due to industrial disputes and increasing security risks.”

--James Quinlivan and Olga Oliker, Nuclear Deterrence in Europe: Russian Approaches to a New Environment and Implications for the United States, RAND, 2011.

“In the context of the new doctrine—because of the disconnects between the new doctrine and past exercises and evident policy directions—and absent further clarification, U.S. and U.S. Air Force decisionmakers cannot be fully confident about precisely under what circumstances Russia will consider using nuclear weapons, or what sort of nuclear use it might consider.” (xii) (3PA: The full text of Russia’s February 2010 military doctrine is available in Russian and English.)

--Central Intelligence Agency, declassified history of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Four volumes: (I) Air Operations, March 1960-1961; (II) Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy; (III) Evolution of CIA’s Anti-Castro Policies, 1959-January 1961; and (IV) The Taylor Committee Investigation of the Bay of Pigs.

--“One strange and contradictory note which appeared during WH/4’s staff meeting on 15 November [1960] to plan the briefing for the DDP [Deputy Director of Plans] prior to his participation with the DCI [Director of Central Intelligence] in briefing the President elect [Kennedy] was the following item stating:

Our [CIA’s] original concept is now seen to be unachievable in the face of the controls Castro has instituted. There will not be the internal unrest earlier believed possible, nor will the defenses permit the type strike first planned. Our second concept (1,500-3,000 man force to secure a beach with airstrip) is also now seen to be unachievable, except as a joint Agency/DOD action. Our Guatemala experience demonstrates we cannot staff nor otherwise timely create the base and lift needed.” (Volume III, 149) (3PA: In other words, the CIA never thought that its plan to overthrow Fidel Castro, which the CIA briefed to John F. Kennedy before he assumed office, would work. They were right.)