Solving Afghanistan, one PPT slide at a time

Afghanistan: A complex problem made even more so

Look at this powerpoint slide! I haven’t seen that many arrows since Agincourt. From Marginal revolution:

It’s all in this military powerpoint, apparently official.  On the positive side they are aware the problem is complex.

In the Novum Organum, published in 1620, Francis Bacon presented his idea of scientific method. In it he lists four “idols of the mind” which hinder correct scientific reasoning. I think Powerpoint should be promoted as a new idol.

Despite its complexity, it is worth reading through the entire document to see how they reached this particular slide. But in no way can I imagine calling this a “model” of dynamics. It is more like a link analysis of To Do’s.

h/t to Joe. Also see: Present Arms! The military and Powerpoint.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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11 Responses to Solving Afghanistan, one PPT slide at a time

  1. Curzon says:

    “I haven’t seen that many arrows since Agincourt.”

    Very nice.

  2. Peter Hodge says:

    I love that quip…

  3. Sperweractual says:

    Were you @ Agincourt, too? I was next in line to George Patton.

  4. I’m enjoying this blog very much. Loved the Agincourt quip.

    I was the archer two rows behind Patton.

  5. Joe Jones says:

    The major sin of this slide is that it steals the viewer’s attention as they try to follow all the spaghetti lines around. This is a great graphic, but it should be printed out on tabloid or A3-sized paper and hung by someone’s desk for quiet contemplation, not hauled out in the middle of a speech to distract people.

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  7. SJPONeill says:

    Row 7, #237 here

    “I haven’t seen that many arrows since Agincourt.”

    Great line!!

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  10. Beauty says:

    “These projects are complex, large-scale and take place in resource poor geographies with challenging operational circumstances. PA Consulting Group is recognized regularly for its ability to plan, organise and manage these types of projects successfully and is committed to employing its skills and experience to help transform people’s lives.” You must be joking! The complexity of this work in progress (wip) ppt is a reason Afghanistan is likely to stay under as dark a cloud as other conflict zones managed by He-Man and MOTU. Yes, a work of art but what is it hiding?

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