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CaptCav_CoVan
10-07-2006, 06:29 PM
I would like to share some observations with you on the counterinsurgency doctrine that is to be formally published. It appears to me that the focus of creating effective learning materials that are crisp, concise, bulleted, and easy to read must have changed in the 40 years since I was an Marine officer training and leading men in combat in Vietnam. I have read a draft of the "new doctrine entitled "Tentative Manual for Countering Irregular Threats: An Updated Approach to Counterinsurgency Operations", and frankly, it has the appearance of a 150-pages literature survey that is part of someone's Master's Thesis. The Marine Corps spent a year putting this togther and it is reassuring to know that they were able to draw on the expertise of knowledgeable warriors such as Lt. Col. Nagl who wrote "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife" (a phrase from T.E. Lawrence's 1920 report on how to create an insurgent force). Having read more than 50 books on counterinsurgency, combined with my own experience, the authors would have done well extracting the critical elements from Capt. Davis Galula's 500 pages of notes, "Pacification in Algeria: 1956-1956" or his small but very well organized book "Counterinsurgency Warfare", adding the Marine Corps relevancy and examples, and formatting the materials into topics, lessons, and modules, with learning objectives and salient points.
I feel that H. John Poole, who has written some very good books that could serve as the basis for a more readable doctrine. Among his good ones are "Tactics of the Crescent Moon", "Militant Tricks", and "Phantom Soldier" could have made a significant contribution since his books are very readable, formatted for quick assimilation of the material, and illustrated to reinforce critical points. I guess it was felt that battalion commanders, the target audience of this publication, don't relate well to illustrations and graphics to help visualize the concepts. The authors would have done well to have used a good part of the book "The Army in Vietnam" by my good friend Andy Krepinevich, as the basis for negative examples to reinforce the positive concepts that they attempted to put forth in this work.
The other publication, "Small Unit Leader's Guide to Counterinsurgency" is less lofty and esoteric, and covers the topics a little better but I wonder about the reading level of the material if this is targeted to lieutenants and sergeants. One of the more useful pieces is the chapter "The Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-Level Counterinsurgency" by David Kilcullen. Another good piece that would have provided more insight into the role of civil affairs in a counterinsurgency is the "handbook for Military Support of Pacification" publish by MACV in 1968. Other good references include "U S Army Special Warfare School MATA Handbook for Vietnam" January 1966, FM 31-73 "Advisor Handbook for Counterinsurgency" (a lot of information on engineering and construction), the "U S Army Special Warfare School Helpful Hints for Advisors (RVN)", the series of Marine Corps Bulletin 3480 "Professional Knowledge Gained from Operational Experience in the Republic of Vietnam".
Both publications need work and additional input from those of us who were advisors and CAP members in Vietnam, as well as other counterinsurgencies. to put a more practical and useable face on these tomes. The authors should reread the original Small Wars Manual (I have a copy and will be happy to lend it to the authors) for readability, format, layout, and practicality.

SWJED
10-07-2006, 07:23 PM
Countering Irregular Threats: A Comprehensive Approach (http://www.mcwl.usmc.mil/concepts/ServiceConcepts/Comprehensive%20Approach%20Pamphlet_v_Final_14%20J une%20as%202%20up%20w%20cover.pdf).

Here is the intent of this document per LtGen Mattis (then the CG of MCCDC):


A Tentative Manual for Countering Irregular Threats:
An Updated Approach to Counterinsurgency

In the early 20th Century the debacle of Gallipoli convinced many
military theorists that amphibious operations were impossibly difficult
and inherently doomed to failure. Assessing the nature of the anticipated
conflict in the Pacific, the Marine Corps concluded that the United States
could not afford the luxury of avoiding that which was incredibly
difficult. Rather than avoiding the problem, the Navy-Marine Corps
team attacked it. The result was a Tentative Manual for Landing
Operations published in 1934. Acknowledging that there was still much
to learn, this manual would be refined through numerous exercises and
experiences until 1940. This document provided a common framework
for further exploration and refinement of the tactics, techniques and
procedures that would be creatively—and successfully—applied on a
global scale.

Today we face a similar situation in regard to irregular threats. The
problems associated with countering irregular threats are complex,
dynamic, and daunting. Their solutions require a long-term,
comprehensive approach in the application of the instruments of
national power and influence. While we are naturally predisposed
toward quick and decisive conflict resolution, our conventional military
preeminence virtually guarantees adversaries will resort to irregular
means. The Marine Corps must attack these problems in partnership
with the joint and interagency communities and our multinational allies.
Marines must approach counterinsurgency prepared to combat armed
adversaries as well as influencing the environment through the use of
information, humanitarian aid, economic advice and a boost toward
good governance. This pamphlet provides insights into a Marine Corps
Tentative Manual for Countering Irregular Threats. It is intended to
stimulate innovation and creativity in preparing for, designing, and
executing operations against future security challenges.

And yes, those repsonsible for concepts and doctrine at Quantico have copies of the Small Wars Manual.

The bolded emphasis is mine.

Steve Blair
10-07-2006, 07:43 PM
I am actually rather fond of the newer manuals, since they assume that the readers are not stupid and will be using them as a foundation for further development and study.

I would actually think that Mattis views these as extensions of the Marine Warfighting manuals, which are designed to provide a common framework and reference and NOT be taken as definitive doctrine. One of the biggest challenges we face with COIN and similar issues is the fact that the majority of our armed forces were not trained for this sort of environment or even exposed to thought about it until Iraq.

CaptCav_CoVan
10-07-2006, 08:27 PM
I did read Lt. General Mattis' opening letter in the front of the work and I have corresponded with him on several occasions regarding the woeful state of training and preparation of Marines for a counterinsurgency. The Marine Corps took a long time to get around to allocating money to train advsiors. There is still no single point of contact since you have MARSOC, I MEF, and II MEF, as well as SCETC who are trying to figure out who is going to train advisors. When I met with Colonel (deleted) last October at SCETC, they were using a 4 inch binder full of Powerpoints that were pulled from umteen locations. I said that a couple of us could pull together a curriculuim and write a decent sent of training materials in a couple of months. It was not until July this year that SCETC hired instructors and I still do not know the state of their curriuclum, leader guides, learner guides, handbooks, distance learning materials. I have been doing this type of work for Fortune 100 companies for the past 30+ years and I know what can be done with limited funds and knowledgeable people. Get past the doctine and get to the training! It ain't that hard, sports fans...except in the military.

RTK
10-07-2006, 09:59 PM
It ain't that hard, sports fans...except in the military.

I'm going to have to disagree with this last statement. Surely, it takes courage to do it right and rise up against the establishment, but it isn't impossible. I'd invite you to read the 3ACR IIR from OIF III to take a look at how that unit trained for its second go around. I'd also submit that their performance speaks volumes of their prior training.

SWJED
10-07-2006, 10:07 PM
I will not go into training as a whole - what I will say is that MCWL put quite an urban training (Project Metropolis) package together for the Corps prior to OIF 1. That package became the Basic Urban Skills Training (BUST) program. Got rave reviews from the units that had gone through the training and deployed to OIF 1. Prior to 1st MARDIV's redeployment for OIF "2" MCWL, with others, expanded that training package to include SASO.

Is the state of training perfect in the Corps right now? Hardly, but good people are doing their damnest to correct all that at a time when basically all of our units are deployed, getting back from deployment or getting ready to redeploy.... Moreover, when was the last time you ran into all those other COIN required MOS's in the USMC - I mean in the numbers needed and the expertise and experience required? PSYOPs, Civil Affairs, MPs....

Now we have many other missions associated with FID to include training indigenous military forces. Have you noticed the Marine Corps authorized end-strength right now? I would submit the USMC is hanging on the best it canů

Jedburgh
10-08-2006, 02:38 AM
Here are couple of the Vietnam era pubs referred to by CaptCav_CoVan in the first post in this thread:

Handbook for Military Support of Pacification (http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?Ke7DsdL7rRBK.mpUN3TKNroUXZ.gvdpGXc5A Shq0v.gSt0x2UBr7OCUFUYn2BBIxEsX@1Ik5.7cEUWTnHAC8TA dKw58Tcne1QsY9CpP7kvI/2390408001A.pdf) publish by MACV in Feb 68.

Mil Spt to Pacification Part II (http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?Up6RYqOtAdGg3NQ8pZ9tVO.i0KhIBI9@NoxY O8O53ESrtByVlp54xVf79rA1QAGFxQnViM7EyrkN39ojsdLlfx aIfGSVH2JsqIbfT9JLS3c/2390408001B.pdf)
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U.S. Army Special Warfare School MATA Handbook for Vietnam (http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?F25ZV2IV7.AzWdHejFDSAuor@tzboTCOyjAY 43lVGUD0QC5DKWnqrVQ7jWY5Mih27QKZ.SsszdH5@sW5A37WRp cCxoJEfYX7vBIYFYJb3kQ/2171805001a.pdf), Jan 66

MATA Handbook Part II (http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?igYpRIuIlV8mCffKP0TsImuKQpRu3.ZnKsWY 0ReQ0k3Pd@ha7mqssq9H6TzHDzDq8QqtYKNER6p7yJd0Ul2lhn 0ZFNFncNDszJZ1ydkVm4Y/2171805001b.pdf)

MATA Handbook Part III (http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/cgi-bin/starfetch.exe?r4co17mbQ1kuuFqG1VD6j8MAWZg..FyvoIDR cyPsDxzjJsGzz8FVlcuiosGlUUZLiGGGEmT@DE1UpZJjOWYxg@ Z@OLJQX9jQ.h3KySOQxuY/2171805001c.pdf)
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SWJED - if you want these in the digital library, I can collate each of the sets into single documents with the full version of pdf I have at the office...

CaptCav_CoVan
10-11-2006, 08:52 PM
Jedburg:

Nice work on the postings! I knew there had to be someone besides me who kept a copy of the manuals. If I have some time around Christmas, I will pull my manuals apart and make a clean scan of each page. We can them assemble them into a .PDF and make them available as a reference in the digital library. I also have my after-action reports from the operations with the Vietnamses Marines if anyone is interested, as well as survival manuals, Vietnamese mines and bobby traps, etc.

"Those that choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

SWJED
10-11-2006, 09:10 PM
SWJED - if you want these in the digital library, I can collate each of the sets into single documents with the full version of pdf I have at the office...

Please do and ping me via PM when e-mailed.

On Edit - thanks Jed - got them and will post within a day or two to the library.

SWJED
10-11-2006, 09:12 PM
Jedburg:

Nice work on the postings! I knew there had to be someone besides me who kept a copy of the manuals. If I have some time around Christmas, I will pull my manuals apart and make a clean scan of each page. We can them assemble them into a .PDF and make them available as a reference in the digital library. I also have my after-action reports from the operations with the Vietnamses Marines if anyone is interested, as well as survival manuals, Vietnamese mines and bobby traps, etc.

"Those that choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

I'd like to add your docs to the library as well - all good stuff and would make a great addition...

CaptCav_CoVan
10-12-2006, 01:02 PM
As soon as I clear the project I am on, I will scan the manual and other advisor-related materials, put them into .PDF format, and, with your help, SWJED, post them to your site. While doing a bit of consulting and brainstorming during the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006 with the prior CO of SCETC, I shared the idea of creating similar manuals for the current Marine advisors. He liked the idea and was interested in moving it forward, but retired before we could make it happen. I have attempted to establish contact with the current CO and Deputy Director of SCETC but they have not returned my calls or e-mail. I still think it is a worthwile venture since the current MEF deployement plan has us in Iarq at least through 2010 and we definitely need to stand up the advisory effort and create MEF-wide CAP program to work in concert with advisors and MEF forces.

jcustis
10-12-2006, 05:23 PM
Gents,

Does anyone on the SWC have a handle on who far the Corps has come along in training its advisory teams (MiTT, AST, etc.)? documents I came across through the MCLL site left me discouraged that more overall time could be spent on the training, and particular areas (like familiarity with Iraqi) within the syllabus rated more attention.

Is a collection of events managed at the MEF level, or has advisor training been "reigned in" so to speak by any one organization (like SCETC) for quality control and oversight.

Also, are we leveraging off of the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, to fine tune our programs via resident or MTT training with our own instructors?

pcmfr
10-12-2006, 06:50 PM
The FID mission is moving to MARSOC's FMTUs (Foreign Military Training Units). These units are standing up as we speak.

Tom Odom
10-12-2006, 07:43 PM
Gents,

Does anyone on the SWC have a handle on who far the Corps has come along in training its advisory teams (MiTT, AST, etc.)? documents I came across through the MCLL site left me discouraged that more overall time could be spent on the training, and particular areas (like familiarity with Iraqi) within the syllabus rated more attention.

Is a collection of events managed at the MEF level, or has advisor training been "reigned in" so to speak by any one organization (like SCETC) for quality control and oversight.

Also, are we leveraging off of the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, to fine tune our programs via resident or MTT training with our own instructors?

Jon,

Part of it is coming under JCISFA - Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance at Leavenworth--and it does have a Marine component to it as I understand.

Best
Tom

CaptCav_CoVan
10-13-2006, 12:08 PM
I worked a bit with SCETC from October 2005 to March 2006 when the CO at that time retired as did several of the officers who were involved in standing up SCETC. I recommended on several occassions that we go to Ft. Bragg, dig into their libabry and pull out some of the materails that we used when I went through MATA in the fall of 1966. "Oh, yeah, good idea." But nothing happened. I also said that I had both materials and experience and would work with them for free to get this thing off the ground. I also recommended creating online (distance learning in Marine Corps parlance) learning materials because that happened to be one of my areas of expertise. Nothing.

At that time, much to their credit, they pulled togther handouts and PowerPoints from the Basic School, the Comm School and various other organizations into a 4-ich binder that was a collection of information. They had no formal instructors but relied on visiting guest speakers to put on their classes using a variety of materials and resources.

I worked with a couple of the officers to create a four-week intensive curriculum (I have submitted that as an article for publication to the Marine Corps Gazette) and volunteered to write an instructor guide, learner guide, and a pocket-size "Handbook for Marine Advisors" for the classes and students. (I am an experienced (30 years) instructional systems developer (ISD) and a multimedia training development expert that started and ran my own mutimedia development company for 9 years. Lots of "Oh yeah, good idea. When we get funding we will do that." They hired some instructors in July and were working with the US Army at Ft. Leavenworth to set up a joint advisor training program. This is different than the Foreign Military Training Unit which is part of MARSOC.

I do not know the current state of the curriculum or the development of learning materials as all of my attempts to contact the new CO and the Deputy Director at SCETC have not been answered. This prompted my comment on a previous posting that "it ain't that hard-except in the military." A number of Marine and Army units have taken the initiate and moved forward with their own training and some have created CAP units that have worked successfully (see Lt. Ishol's article in the February 2006 Marine Corps Gazette). I corresponed with him and Lt. Colonel Buhl while they were in Iraq and shared some of our experiencxes ins etting up and running the first CAP in Pu Bai in 1965. I am still more that willing to help create effective learning materials if there is a need..

selil
10-13-2006, 12:18 PM
But nothing happened. I also said that I had both materials and experience and would work with them for free to get this thing off the ground.


Sounds like it should just be done and set up for self study outside of the normal channels. Setting up distance learning technology on a server is pretty easy. Asymetric learning so to speak.