Recent examples in favour of patience

I didn't write much in the blog lately. The reasons are twofold; motivation/distraction and my own standards for quality.

I may drop a few 'light' topics in between, but I won't fill large gaps with 'light' topics.

Another quality standard is a feeling in the area of my stomach: It's an impressively reliable warning indicator when something is a poor idea. It advised me to be patient in regard to several recent topics recently:

The MV Arctic Sea mystery, for example. I want(ed) to wait till the story becomes reliable. it's enticing as an anecdote, but even mere anecdotes should be right.

The Mistral story was another example. It did apparently turn out to be a completely overblown story.

The articles about equipment deficiencies of German troops in Afghanistan were apparently only about already solved problems (good from an OPSEC point of view) and therefore not what they seemed to be as well.

This shows how being a multiplier for "breaking news" isn't necessarily a good thing. Sometimes you should simply have enough patience and wait for a final result before spending much attention on a story. Some stories take weeks, others even years till they're reliable.

And then there's the really old stuff that still holds valuable lessons without any relation to recent events...

I expect to stay away from the current Afghanistan strategy discussion as well. It's quite likely that there's no readiness for a new political Afghanistan strategy, and I have little confidence that a new military Afghanistan strategy will yield much net improvement.
The West seems to be stuck in that place and its troubles more for political reasons than for any other reasons, and generals are likely not in the right position to overcome this fundamental problem.

My "Freedom in Germany" series is struggling; there's much to write, but the motivation is lacking. It's quite depressing to mention all those worrying tendencies and developments.

An interest in operational theory and a lot of writing for other purposes than the blog keep me from writing daily posts as well.

Sven Ortmann

The Kunduz bombing incident is also such a case. So far all "info" about it should be treated as rumour, and rumours are only entertainment or inspiration for research. The real info value comes only once the affair is settled and reliable, stable information is available.


  1. After a recent extended stay in Berlin I can't say I came away particularly depressed about German society. There are problems for sure, but every country has it's share of those, right? Kein Grund für Angst. And there seemed to be a growing awareness too.

    My apologies if this wasn't the "Freedom in Germany" that you had in mind tho. The description was rather vague... Care to elaborate?

  2. http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/04/freedom-in-germany-part-i-introduction.html

  3. Seems like there is plenty to write about here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world

    Like this:"Likewise, it's already been a few years since a German general complained that putting your hopes in the CH-53 military helicopter "is like rolling the dice." In fact, the military has been calling for more helicopters for as long as it has been deployed in Afghanistan. But even with two more helicopters, to add to the fleet of six, nothing much has changed. The only improvement was to the statistics, since the helicopters arrived without any pilots to fly them.

    When other people point out the numerous failings and borderline competence of the German armed forces, you dismiss them as uninformed, or trolls, yet here the German soldiers themselves complain about their deficiencies, and you manage to downplay it. Your OPSEC concerns are an excuse to not face the situation.

    It's time to face the facts, not ignore them.

  4. Not really. I call trolls trolls, and no-one else.

    Pointing out German failures is OK, nation bashing (especially with distorted/misleading assertions) is not.

    Look up my Bundeswehr mortars, Bussard or Keiler stories - or the more recent conscription story (a blog search function is on the left).
    I am rather critical about the Bundeswehr. It's a general attitude of mine, and patriotism doesn't overpower it.

  5. Last posts appear so dense that I have to read them slowly and carefully...
    Do not feel sorry for not posting too much: quality matters more than quantity, even if in blogging terms it may bring down your daily contact I feel your choice is wise.