US Government Shoots Self in Foot, Again


Crossposted from Kings of War; IRG members take note of the update at the bottom. Kimmage is giving a talk next week in the War Studies Department.

Abu Aardvark: resource tradeoffs and the war on ideas

Via Marc Lynch at the link above I note that the US government because of ‘budgetary shortfalls’ is forced to fire analysts in Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty. Those receiving pink slips are apparently to include RFE/RL analysts Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo authors of important reports on Iraqi insurgent use of media The War of Images and Ideas and Al Qaeda’s use of the Internet The Virtual Network Behind the Global Message.

I really don’t get this administration. Actually I do get something: six years into the GWOT they still haven’t got a clue about the nature of the war they are in. It’s not just the ignorance which galls its the studied, committed blindness and warped priorities which they exhibit. RFE/RL’s annual budget is $79 million. By comparison that kind of money would buy you about one half of a single F-22–pilot and fuel not included. Says Aardvark:

That’s right: the US government is cutting loose one of its best analysts of al-Qaeda’s use of the internet in order to save money which doesn’t even amount to a rounding error in the Pentagons budget.

Update: Is it a sign of the apocalypse that Jon Stewart on The Daily Show perfectly encapsulates this administration in two pithy words? ‘Seldom outdumbed.’

Another update: For some reason I completely forgot that Daniel Kimmage is coming to give a talk here in the war studies department next week. These are the details:

Al-Qaeda and the Media:The Virtual Network behind the Message
In a world where media messages travel the world instantly, groups like Al-Qaeda have used the internet to great success in spreading their message of global Jihad and recruiting new followers to its cause. How does Al Qaeda craft its media image and how does it use the internet to deliver its message globally?
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) invites you to a talk by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Senior Analyst Daniel Kimmage, author of the recently published study The
Al-Qaeda Media Nexus, to discuss the links between media branding, web technology, and jihadist organizations.
Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Place: War Studies Meeting Room (6th floor), Strand Campus, King’s College London
Time: 4-5pm
Seating is limited. If you wish to attend, you need to register. Please RSVP to before 20 May.

One Response to “US Government Shoots Self in Foot, Again”

  1. Blogs of War: Terrorism, Media, and the Clueless Bureaucrat Says:

    […] fights it at all costs. So even relatively simple concepts like these take root slowly because the roots of bureaucracy and stupidity are set stronger and much deeper: I note that the US government because of ‘budgetary shortfalls’ is forced to […]

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