Alastair Luft’s Blog


Relative Superiority, Schwerpunkt, and an Artist’s Inner Creative Battles

The Revolution in Military Affairs that supposedly began in the 1990s introduced a lot of innovative ideas for how militaries of the future would conduct operations. Recognizing the effect of improved technology and a changed contemporary operating environment, terms such as Network-Centric Warfare and fourth-generation warfare (4GW) emerged, often to mixed reviews. In Canada, the
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2011 was supposed to be a banner year in Afghanistan. Starting in 2009, the American military began surging an additional 33,000 personnel into theatre, a half-again increase of pre-surge troop levels of 68,000. With these extra boots on the ground, 2010 saw an increase in operations and tempo that pushed the Taliban back on their
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Keep Your Chin Tucked

“War is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds.” Carl von Clausewitz, On War. In 2002, suicide bombers were unheard of in Afghanistan. But in 2005, the tactic began to creep in from the neighbouring conflict in the Iraqi theatre of war. As the years dragged on, the tactic continued to evolve; using women, remote
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Step into the Arena

There was no shortage of fighting spirit during Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan. Attacks, raids, cordons and searches, reconnaissance operations; every day offensive actions were happening to wear down the enemy. And yet, for all this activity, the Taliban endured and today, they remain a viable fighting force, fed and nurtured from generally unreachable safe havens.
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Kandahar Boardwalk: Morale Builder or Distraction?

A few weeks ago, various media outlets announced that the Kandahar Airfield ball hockey rink would be repatriated and displayed for posterity in the Canadian War Museum. The hockey rink was built during Canada’s deployment of military forces to Afghanistan and occupied prime territory in the middle of the Kandahar boardwalk. The best KFC and
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Author Interview: Gregory Taylor

This week’s author interview is with Gregory Taylor, a local author from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Gregory is a mathematics teacher with a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Gregory’s been an editor and serial writer, he was a Chief Scriptwriter for Faculty, Alumni, Staff,
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Eyes on the Prize

As part of the series on applying the Principles of War to the business of writing, this week looks at the first principle, Selection and Maintenance of the Aim. ​What was the aim of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan? Consider: Canada sent forces to Afghanistan in late-2001 / early-2002 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The aim
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Author Interview: Barbara Florio Graham

This week I’m interviewing Barbara Florio Graham, a writer, teacher, and communications consultant. Barbara has contributed to more than 100 magazines and newspapers around the world, websites in 46 countries in 11 time zones, and 38 print anthologies in five countries. Her award-winning Christmas Story has been reprinted in high school textbooks for students learning
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The Golden Hour

Taking a small break from the blog over the Christmas period, so please find some war poetry. Perhaps not quite the holiday spirit, but this is what’s in the ready rack. Please feel free to leave questions / comments, and I hope everyone’s enjoying their holidays. Lastly, please spare a thought or two for those
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