“Ennui Gas,” COIN Primer and Stupid Laws

Okay, so you’ve probably heard about the “gay bomb,” which when deployed is supposed to spark homosexual lust within the enemy ranks, thus destroying unit cohesion and allowing the U.S. (or whatever force uses the weapon) to destroy said enemy.

Well, now there’s the ‘Ennui Gas,’ “a nerve agent that overwhelms its victims with sudden philosophical distress over the meaningless tedium of human life and a sinking sense that everything they have ever accomplished ultimately amounts to dust.”

What would Camus do?

More seriously, Captain Craig Coppock has written a wonderful Cliff’s Notes for Counterinsurgency (.pdf!) which should be read by not only his intended audience — “Rifleman through Platoon Leader” — but by a civilian audience with little knowledge of COIN theory and strategy and what’s currently happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. His paper breaks COIN strategy (which has been implemented in Iraq since Gen. Petraeus’ arrival and, increasingly, in Afghanistan) down so that it can be understood by laypersons. And, with the election coming up, it is especially important that we know what is really happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how our military leaders and military scholars are confronting the difficulties there.

And, finally, a man has been arrested for complaining too much. All I can say is, I can’t believe it wasn’t me.

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