The Insurgents… the Plot to Change the American Way of War… Extracts

The Inurgents CoverBold emphases added

Page 355: The officials involved in these new discussions understood the president’s–and the American public’s–reluctance to get embroiled in another Iraq. But they were also keen to preserve what the Chiefs were now calling the “lessons learned from 10 years of war.” Among these lessons: that conflicts of the future are likely to be a mix of offense, defense, and stability operations; that, in such wars, awareness of the local culture would be as important as an assessment of the enemy’s order of battle; and that, therefore, it was essential to retain officers who were skilled in the sort of warfare–and to educate and train the coming generation of officers in its principles and techniques.

Page 358: One space they filled was to transform the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, a school for armor and infantry officers at Fort Benning, Georgia, into a training ground for “full-spectrum operations,” combining tank maneuvers with counterinsurgency and humanitarian assistance, devising scenarios and exercises in which junior officers would have to switch back and forth from one mode of warfare to another, teaching them how to make judgments and decisions in a complex environment.

Page 361: By the time he hung up his uniform, not quite five years after signing his counterinsurgency manual, the American Army had evolved into a different institution. It was more flexible, more adaptive; it was in John Nagl’s phrase, a “learning organization.”

In the aftermath of wars, especially unpopular ones, armies tend to revert to traditional practices. But this was less likely to happen after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There would be no going back to a frame of mind that defined “war” strictly as a titanic clash between uniformed foes of comparable strength–and not just because the prospective foe in that clash, the Soviet Union, had in the meantime imploded. Another factor at play was that an entire generation of American officers had risen through the ranks fighting what were once called small wars, waged among the people in villages and cities, wars in which lieutenants often took as much initiative as commanders, and soldiers of all rank were attentive to the local culture as to the enemy’s order of battle.

It was extremely unlikely that official Army doctrine would ever again refer to these sorts of battles as “low-intensity conflicts,” much less as “military operations other than war.” The colonels and generals of the post-Petraeus era had spent what seemed like a lifetime fighting in these sorts of battle; they were not low intensity, and they certainly felt like wars.

Page 362: But knowing how to fight these wars didn’t necessarily mean winning them. There’s an old military adage: “The enemy has a vote.” You can go into battle with a brilliant plan, but if the enemy adapts and shifts gears, the plan is rendered worthless after the first shots are fired. In counterinsurgency wars, it’s not just the enemy that has a vote; the ally does, too. If you send troops overseas to bolster a regime whose leaders lack legitimacy or the will to reform, the most brilliant strategy–and strategist–will have little chance of prevailing.

-Text: The Insurgents, 2013, Fred Kaplan, 418 pages

Scalable Avatar Role Play Experiment #3 Now Open for Public Registration

moses dsg #1 slide with caption

Scalable Avatar Role Play Experiment #3 Now Open for Public Registration

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Maxwell, Douglas <>
Date: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Subject: MOSES DSG #3 Now Open for Public Registration

Good Afternoon All, I am pleased to announce the MOSES DSG #3 Experiment is now open for role player registrations.

Please disseminate the links below as widely as possible.

We have made accommodations for over 150 users.


Scenario Details:

Experiment Description:

Registration Page:

Douglas Maxwell, MSME
Science and Technology Manager
Virtual World Strategic Applications
U.S. Army Simulation & Training Technology Center (STTC)
(407) 208-5097
DSN 970-5097
twitter: @vrdeity

Posted in 3D Web, MOSES, Notes. Tags: . 2 Comments »

MOSES Distribute​d Scene Graph #2 Results

See attached… here are the highlights…

21 June 2013 DSG Server Perf AnalysisResults of Scalable Avatar Role Play #2: 101 Registrations, 63 Max online at any one time; Both US and European participants, 3 of 4 client managers stable and in the simulation throughout, 4th dropped communication but was recovered successfully and brought back in.

Translation: 60 plus avatars successfully engaged in a complex, environmentally and culturally-detailed, highly interactive, one-region training simulation with no lag.

Next, Scalable Avatar Role Play #3: allow for 150 Registrations, additional client managers, earlier start, on a Saturday rather than a Friday, to accommodate US and Euro time zones. registration opens Friday, July 12th


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Maxwell, Douglas <>
Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Good Afternoon All, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who participated in the June 21 experiment. The attached pdf has a quick look analysis of the data we collected.  In the graphic, "cm1 agents" are total human agents in the MOSES DSG Grid. The times are in UTC, so subtract 4 to get east coast time (18:18 is 14:18ET, 2:18PM).

Notice the abrupt drop in human agents at 22:15 and 22:58.  This was due to an issue with client manager 2, on the Amazon EC2, which lost communication with the simulation. Everybody logged into the other client managers remained stable and in the simulation.  When CM2 rejoined the simulation, people could log back into it. We are investigating the cause.

We are actively preparing for the next experiment, DSG #3. Thank you for your feedback and please keep it coming. Below is a list of responses I have for the most common concerns…

1. Registration Process is being re-written and updated. It will be smoother and we will allow pre-registration for those of you who wish to retain your previous roles.
2. The number of roles will be expanded to at least 150 and we will continue adding roles to accept over 300 participants by September. We are writing a new role database that will help us keep up with who’s who as well as streamline the creation process.
3. There will be separate soldier orientation and civilian orientation sessions. We will go over basic responsibilities and behaviors of the soldiers as well as culturally relevant advice for the civilians. You have asked me "what are we supposed to do?" or "how am I supposed to behave?". Although this is role play, we understand you need a little more guidance.  I will have some subject matter experts logged in during these orientation sessions.
4. We will redistribute and/or add more client managers to help support more east coast and european participants.
5. We had 101 discrete registrations; we peaked at 63 max. We noticed an overlap as it got late in Europe, people left however the east coast US folks were just getting home from work and joining us. The next DSG experiment will be held earlier in the day and on a Saturday to promote more overlapping participation.
6. DSG Chat will have a much higher cap and everyone is encouraged to use it as out-of-grid communication with the experiment organizers.

Timeline of events:
7/11 DSG#3 Pre-registration
7/12 DSG#3 Public registration opens
7/16 Soldier Role Orientation
7/17 Village People Orientation
7/20 MOSES DSG #3

If you have any questions or discussion, please feel free to join the MOSES mailing list ( or email me directly. Have a great day everyone.  -douglas

Douglas Maxwell, MSME
Science and Technology Manager
Virtual World Strategic Applications
U.S. Army Simulation & Training Technology Center (STTC)
(407) 208-5097
DSN 970-5097
twitter: @vrdeity

Scalable Avatar Role Play

moscow_city_modelWould you like to master Scalable Avatar Role Play?

Role play is widely acknowledged as a powerful face-to-face teaching technique. Participants take on the roles of specific characters in a contrived setting. Role play builds first person experience in a safe environment.

Metaphors for role play include theatre and martial arts. There is a role play mediator, aka director and sensei, and there are role play characters, aka actors and students. The mediator provides the role play learning scenario and character roles, aka script and kata. The characters learn their parts and interact. The role play may be repeated, becoming more sophisticated as learning occurs.

Now add Avatar role play. Participants take on roles, but now they interact in a 3-D virtual world. For the mediator, it is possible to construct broader realistic environments. For the participant, there is a fuller sense of immersion into the character and role.

Now add Avatar Scalability. A mediator can design a role play for 100 on-line participants divided into multiple factions. Not only can each character have their own temperament and skills, but also each faction can have their own internal organization and agenda. For the mediator, it is possible to construct more sophisticated scenarios, with hundreds of communication and learning factors at play. For the participant, there is a richer environment of protocols to learn and greater depth of understanding.

Scalable Avatar Role Play can be considered a genre of Serious Games. If you would like to learn more about Scalable Avatar Role Play, and even participate in one, read about MOSES Avatar Scalability Experiments here.


SL10B extravaganza presentations and exhibitor pod tours

sl10b_002Second Life is a 3-D world where everyone you see is a real person.

SL10B is this year’s Second Life anniversary resident-run gala celebration.

Today, I gave two SL10B auditorium presentations:
. “Is One Life Enough” (IOLE) Professional Social Media Course
. “Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy (MOSES)” Community

Afterwards, I toured the entire SL10B build using the the convenient, highly reliable, clickable/ridable Pod Tours Station links at: