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Subject: How a Zombie Wargame Explains Our Failed War in Afghanistan rss

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Michael Peck
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http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/28/sometimes_t...
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Michael Dorosh
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That presupposes the war is a failure. I guess you can ask Osama bin Laden about that.

Oh wait. You can't.

Because he's dead.

I guess if you really do believe in zombies, you can wait for him to assume non-corporeal form and ask him.

Let us know how it goes.
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Nick Allen
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Erm...not entirely.

There are of course far more factors - and The Taliban is not Jaysh al Mahdi is not Al Qaeda in Iraq is not Al Qaeda Core is not the Haqqani Network is not Kata'ib Hezbellah. You are also looking at foreign intervention in all wars of drastically different foreign national interests.

Further, you are certainly not factoring in things like the Sunni Awakening (which was extremely effective in Iraq) vice less effective implementations of similar programs in Afghanistan, etc etc.

Vietnam is an entirely different animal, where a very different form of counter insuergency warfare was waged.
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Steven
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Orville Redenbacher's or Act II?
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Michael Dorosh
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patton1138 wrote:
Orville Redenbacher's or Act II?


How about just employing moderators who shut down crap-shows from the get-go. Posting bare URLs then departing for parts unknown without a single comment should get you banned. If you find something genuinely interesting, or, more importantly, relevant to the topic of board, miniatures or video wargaming, you should have no hardship in stating why.

As it turns out, you have to be registered to read the article in any event (and people keep pointing us to the FP site for dubious reasons to begin with). So quoting from the article, paraphrasing what was said, or in some way indicating what the big deal about it was is kind of necessary.
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Doe Gibson
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Michael Peck is the author of the linked article. It's an article written by a BGG member, which compares the mechanic of All Things Zombie to real world scenarios. Agree or disagree, but the fact that he shared it with us is nothing to get your knickers in a bunch about.
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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From zero to flame fest in half a dozen short posts. AWOL.
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Nathan James
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But All Things Zombie All Things Zombie: The Boardgame isn't a wargame!
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Matthew Jones
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doelion wrote:
Michael Peck is the author of the linked article. It's an article written by a BGG member, which compares the mechanic of All Things Zombie to real world scenarios. Agree or disagree, but the fact that he shared it with us is nothing to get your knickers in a bunch about.



No kidding. And to say he's disappeared for "parts unknown" a mere 22 minutes after he posts it is crazy-talk. He probably just went to... GASP... work. I don't hang around the boards all day waiting for someone to reply to my posts. shake

To try to get this back on track: Michael, I would like to read your article. Is there a way I can see your it without having to sign up for another website and make up a new password?
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Rob Ryan
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doelion wrote:
Michael Peck is the author of the linked article. It's an article written by a BGG member, which compares the mechanic of All Things Zombie to real world scenarios. Agree or disagree, but the fact that he shared it with us is nothing to get your knickers in a bunch about.


thats the point..he didn't share it with us, he just posted a link to a restricted site which looks more about boosting membership to FP than about sharing his ideas...

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Michael Dorosh wrote:
That presupposes the war is a failure. I guess you can ask Osama bin Laden about that.

Oh wait. You can't.

Because he's dead.


Defining what would be "Success" in Afghantistan is difficult to do. everyone has a different assessment of the goal of the exercise and whether that goal could realistically be accomplished.

There are numerous complications that are difficult to address. The government we are "supporting" is a complete kleptocracy which has shown no signs of reforming. But everyone in the West agrees that the return to power of the Taliban would be even worse for the Afghan people. There had better be a third alternative if Afghanistan is going to succeed in rebuilding or unifying.

Bin Laden ended up taking refuge in an area of Pakistan where the central government holds little sway. We know that didn't turn out well for him, but it illustrates the complexity (and possible futility) of containing the war to Afghanistan. Pakistan's stability and/or commitment to secularism is a problem we have not been able to address.

Holding to the plan to withdraw the bulk of US forces in 2014 is probably a good idea. For that third alternative to emerge becomes more difficult the longer we have forces there. We as a nation do not have the inherent right to create new governments wherever we wish. The Afghans have to decide for themselves and we will have no choice but to live with their decisions.
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Kev.
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
That presupposes the war is a failure. I guess you can ask Osama bin Laden about that.

Oh wait. You can't.

Because he's dead.

I guess if you really do believe in zombies, you can wait for him to assume non-corporeal form and ask him.

Let us know how it goes.


In my opinion it is a failure Dorosh. Go talk to the guys actually fighting there.
I dont believe the USA went to just to kill Bin Laden. If that is how you define the 'success' bravo.

I had lunch with guys on leave from Kandahar yesterday. The US is barely patrolling due to Green on Blue attacks.

The Warlords run the joint and all the USA and its base hugging Allies appear to have done is postpone a Civil War whilst arming one set of factions. Whilst the Pakis arm the rest.

The Poppy Money will buy allegiance and drive motivations and that will allow the simmering Civil War to ferment.

But of course, that is just the opinion of people on the ground there. You clearly no better right? Yet have deemed to judge the poster and the link in your usual fashion. So you got your wish its in BGG oblivion - AWOL. Bravo.

Your idea of a forum is hilarious by the way, you'd have an audience of one all to your little self, banning people... shake
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Kev.
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NJames wrote:


IS too.... it has guns...hexes, wargame style rules....surely that qualifies.?. whistle
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Michael Dorosh
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hipshot wrote:
In my opinion it is a failure Dorosh. Go talk to the guys actually fighting there.


I talk to them weekly, sometimes daily. How often do you talk to them?

The ones I've talked to tell me they would go back tomorrow.

One or two have a pretty low opinion of the American way of doing business there because of the contrasts with the approach of other NATO partners. Apparently, though, the relationship between the British and U.S. Marines is far worse.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/03/us-army-battles-...

Don't know what to tell you. Canadians viewed their efforts as very successful:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/999582--...

Quote:
The number of uniformed Afghan police in the region jumped to 541 from 165 between last September and last month, they say.

And they most proudly point to Route Hyena, an 18-kilometre, $10 million, largely paved road on the western edge of the Horn of Panjwaii in what used to be a Taliban stronghold.

Harper said there are now 150,000 teachers in this country, seven times the number of 10 years ago.

He said Canada alone has built or repaired 50 schools, helped in the rebuilding of 4,000 more across the country, trained more than 1,500 doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers.


Body counts don't mean much; the fact that girls are attending those schools speaks volumes. They are there because U.S., British, Polish, Canadian, et al soldiers enabled them to go.
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brant G
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wow - you guys are really going to hammer Michael Peck for dropping a link to an article about wargaming in a major media outlet and not deigning to bother to excerpt it for you?

I guess it would be nice to be so firmly entrenched on the 'proper' side of the hex, buried in self-reighteousness that I was the über-guardian of wargameness that I never had to come up for air and recognize, or appreciate, the hard work of others who are flying the flag of wargaming to the general public.
Yes, the rest of the public that doesn't hang out on BGG, but reads Forbes and Foreign Policy, where Michael's work regularly appears and he talks about wargaming to people who probably never got past Risk.

Sorry his post etiquette failed to live up to your lofty niche-guardian standards. Maybe he'll re-focus his efforts toward widening the wargaming pool in the hopes of diluting the influence of endless negativity that seems to seep out of this place.
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Kev.
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
hipshot wrote:
In my opinion it is a failure Dorosh. Go talk to the guys actually fighting there.


I talk to them weekly, sometimes daily. How often do you talk to them?

The ones I've talked to tell me they would go back tomorrow.

One or two have a pretty low opinion of the American way of doing business there because of the contrasts with the approach of other NATO partners. Apparently, though, the relationship between the British and U.S. Marines is far worse.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/03/us-army-battles-...

Don't know what to tell you. Canadians viewed their efforts as very successful:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/999582--...

Quote:
The number of uniformed Afghan police in the region jumped to 541 from 165 between last September and last month, they say.

And they most proudly point to Route Hyena, an 18-kilometre, $10 million, largely paved road on the western edge of the Horn of Panjwaii in what used to be a Taliban stronghold.

Harper said there are now 150,000 teachers in this country, seven times the number of 10 years ago.

He said Canada alone has built or repaired 50 schools, helped in the rebuilding of 4,000 more across the country, trained more than 1,500 doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers.


Body counts don't mean much; the fact that girls are attending those schools speaks volumes. They are there because U.S., British, Polish, Canadian, et al soldiers enabled them to go.

your so sad.
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Isaac Citrom
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Regardless of all that, so what is the point of the OP and thread? One has to subscribe to Foreign Policy online to see the article. A line or three about why I would want to would be useful, I think.
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Michael Peck
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Folks, the FP registration wall (which went up in December) supposedly doesn't pop up for game articles if Firefox is your browser (but it does appear for IE and Chrome - I have no idea why).

Synopsis of story: using guns to shoot zombies in All Things Zombie only generates more zombies, which is a bit like how using firepower against insurgents tends to generate more support for the insurgents.

Michael
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dtomato wrote:
Folks, the FP registration wall (which went up in December) supposedly doesn't pop up for game articles if Firefox is your browser (but it does appear for IE and Chrome - I have no idea why).

Synopsis of story: using guns to shoot zombies in All Things Zombie only generates more zombies, which is a bit like how using firepower against insurgents tends to generate more support for the insurgents.

Michael


Not knocking the link at all Michael, but I use Firefox with pop-up blockers and I still get the registration pop-up. I'm not going to register but thanks for the effort.
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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It pains me exceedingly to need to post this, but the number of flags in this thread borders on ridiculous and it's not even a page long.

I think there are two take aways from this thread:

1. if you want to post a link, it would be helpful to make sure it doesn't require access through a pay wall or registration, and

2. even if the link does require such a thing, discussing the content of the linked article would be the point of the discussion, and not contriving opinions about how the forum ought to be run and administered.

We're all theoretically adults here (chronologically at least), and while the internet isn't always the best place to attempt to have a rational discussion about things, self-righteous finger pointing doesn't help elevate the level of discourse in our forums.

Remember - if you see something you want to react negatively to, flag it and forget it.

Using the icon serves two functions - first, if enough users flag a post then it will be collapsed from general view. Second, flagging posts helps bring them to the attention of the forum moderators.

Thanks!
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Rob Ryan
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Osprey wrote:
dtomato wrote:
Folks, the FP registration wall (which went up in December) supposedly doesn't pop up for game articles if Firefox is your browser (but it does appear for IE and Chrome - I have no idea why).

Synopsis of story: using guns to shoot zombies in All Things Zombie only generates more zombies, which is a bit like how using firepower against insurgents tends to generate more support for the insurgents.

Michael


Not knocking the link at all Michael, but I use Firefox with pop-up blockers and I still get the registration pop-up. I'm not going to register but thanks for the effort.


...and I use Safari (older Mac) and it hit the wall as well.
 
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leroy43 wrote:


We're all theoretically adults here


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Theoretically speaking, if one were to click on that link using Firefox, and then hit Ctrl + A, Ctrl + C, really, really fast, before the paywall notice popped up, then one, could - again, this is just a theory - paste the article into Notepad and read it at one's leisure.

In theory.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Sometimes They Come Back
How this zombie game explains our failure in Afghanistan.
BY MICHAEL PECK | JANUARY 28, 2013

It was zombies and a pair of Vegas hookers who gave me an epiphany of why America lost in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I was playing All Things Zombie, a board game where two Vegas streetwalkers must lead a party of humans to safety through a zombie-infested world.

As the human characters move across the map, they can search buildings. If they survive combat with zombies in the building (which they sometimes don't), then the humans can loot the place and possibly find guns. Guns are good for allowing people to blast zombies at a distance, because tough as those Vegas hookers are, even they want to avoid fighting hand-to-hand with creatures that chew off hands, and other body parts, too.

But in All Things Zombie, using guns has a catch. Every time the humans fire a shot, they must roll the dice. There is a 50-50 chance that the sound of each shot will attract the attention of other zombies, which means more undead pieces are placed on the map. Desperate to save yourself from a horde of homicidal monsters, you fire off six rounds from that Glock you were lucky enough to find in the farmhouse, only to discover that that three more have appeared with an insatiable appetite for your tasty flesh.

And with a blinding flash, like a zombie popping out from behind a door, I finally understood the fundamental dilemma of counterinsurgency. Don't bomb the Viet Cong entrenched in the village, and they keep shooting at you. Bomb the village, and the villagers join the guerrillas. Don't drone-strike the Taliban chieftain, and he plans another IED ambush. Blast him with a Hellfire missile, and the resentful locals join the insurgents.

And just like a zombie movie, no matter how many insurgents you cut down, they keep coming back...and coming back...and coming back. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. While the living dead may be damnation incarnate, they offer a valuable lesson. Don't go down into the cellar. And don't fight a counterinsurgency war in Asia.
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brant G
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isaacc wrote:

Regardless of all that, so what is the point of the OP and thread? One has to subscribe to Foreign Policy online to see the article. A line or three about why I would want to would be useful, I think.
.


I'm using Safari on a Mac, and when the interstitial ad for registration comes up on an article on FP, I dismiss it and read on. Never had an FP subscription, either. Maybe it's just Michael's articles; maybe it's all articles that aren't published in the dead-tree edition. But I read them all just fine.
 
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brant G
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leroy43 wrote:
Remember - if you see something you want to react negatively to, flag it and forget it.

Using the icon serves two functions - first, if enough users flag a post then it will be collapsed from general view. Second, flagging posts helps bring them to the attention of the forum moderators.

Thanks!


Yes, but unfortunately neither of those options puts a dissenting opinion in front of the public to allow them alternate perspectives to consider before making decisions. "Marketplace of ideas" and all that.
 
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