TPM Reader PS chimes

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January 14, 2007 1:37 p.m.

TPM Reader PS chimes in on our man Fred Kagan …

Just a note on Fred Kagan – the guy is not an expert on insurgency, civil war, or stability ops. He has a Ph.D in history, with a focus on the 19th century Russian military. His major scholarly book is on Napoleon from 1801-5. From what I can tell, he has no serious background studying the issues that are at the core of his “surge” plan (his AEI bio page is below). So I am completely baffled by the extent to which the media has given him credibility as a “military expert”; one imagines how the surge would have been received if Kagan was accurately identified as “an expert on Napoleon and the early 19th century Russian army.” His CV reveals no publications in refereed history or political science journals in the last decade.

Basically the intellectual architect of the surge is an oped/Weekly Standard writer whose only substantive expertise is on Napoleon. Great. . . .

And it gets better.

BelgraviaDispatch notes that Kagan seems to have trimmed his necessary number for the surge from 80,000 to 30,000 over the three and a half weeks from early to late December. They’ve got him kowtowing so bad you’d think the White House were a tenure committee.

And if he’s a Napoleon expert, what does he say about the Peninsular War.

Late Update: TPM Reader SR speaks up in Kagan’s defense: “Your downplay of Kagan as a military expert is baseless, he stayed at the Holiday Inn last night.”

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