Monday, May 24, 2010

Fighting to Save Flint

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that General David Petraeus’s 2006 manual “Counterinsurgency" often has passages that — with just a little tweaking — seem to apply to Flint:

Another tendency is to attempt large-scale, mass programs. In particular, Soldiers and Marines tend to apply ideas that succeed in one area to another area. They also try to take successful small programs and replicate them on a larger scale. This usually does not work. Often small-scale programs succeed because of local conditions or because their size kept them below the enemy’s notice and helped them flourish unharmed. . . . Small-scale projects rarely proceed smoothly into large programs. Keep programs small.

1 comment:

  1. I am reminded of Walt Kelly's Pogo "We have met the enemy, and he is us."


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at