Maybe these guys really are Al Qaeda. If so, then Al Qaeda is an organization with approximately 500 middle managers (based on the number of #3 guys killed since 2001) and less than 50 field operatives (based on the number of attacks carried out on Western targets since 2001). Too few
IndiansAfghans and too many chiefsshahs. And I should note that 19 of those field operatives died in their most successful operation, making this a self-limiting problem.
One piece of evidence in favor of this theory is the strained relationship between Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the old-school Al Qaeda operation based in Afghanistan/Pakistan. AQI under Zarqawi was a very dangerous organization inflicting a lot of casualties on the US, Al Qaeda’s sworn enemy. I was worried that AQI might some day take its urban warfare experience and use that experience to conduct operations here. Despite that, AQI got a scolding letter from the #2 guy in Al Qaeda. I am less than shocked to hear that a top-heavy organization might have strained relations with a dynamic, successful, and active affiliate.
Books like Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management and cartoons like Dilbert assume that bad management is the result of internally generated power-seeking and cruelty. Hard Facts is more on the power-seeking side-- managers want to look and feel as though they're doing something, even if it interferes with useful work and making money, Dilbert is more on the cruelty side.
But....what if all this coincidence is enemy action? What if Harvard Business School was strongly influenced by the Soviets?
I found the Unqualified Offerings article all by myself, but my thanks to bradhicks for telling me about Hard Facts.
Current reading: The Jazz, an sf novel about elite on-line hoaxing.