View Full Version : Restoring the Army's Culture of Irregular Warfare

08-30-2007, 09:58 PM
Making Riflemen from Mud: Restoring the Army's Culture of Irregular Warfare (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usacsl/publications/S01-07%20-%20Riflemen%20from%20Mud%20(Campbell).pdf)

.....Raising local troops and working closely with local and tribal leadership to suppress insurgency and lawlessness in loosely governed or newly conquered areas was not carried out by special troops or elite units, but was the norm throughout the Army. Any officer could be expected to either raise local scouts, or work with existing tribal organizations to accomplish his unitís goals. Yet since the Second World War a connection to indigenous or tribal soldiers has increasingly become the sole province of the Special Forces, and until quite recently the conventional Army has almost totally shunned the idea of such affiliation or cooperation; the exigencies of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have only just begun to break down the barriers. These developments have occurred in spite of the fact that aside from the relatively brief periods of large-scale high-intensity operations from 1917-18, 1941-45, 1950-54, and the Gulf War of 1991, since 1900 the Army has been operating and will continue to operate more and more in areas and situations where the ability to raise, train and cooperate with local, tribal and other non-state armed groups is, if not a prerequisite, certainly a central factor for military and political success.....

08-31-2007, 07:55 PM
;)Our armed forces need to understand that such activity is potentially critical through out all ranks and support elements. Engineers. logistcs medical etc. Our allies old and new expect it and the synergy that can be created is to great a potential payoff to ignore.

Services often encourage a almost proprietary situation. Units or personel do not usually say this but actions often show the reality ( "The navy unit is here to support marines ---we will help the army if we can..." What do you mean we need to help the indigenous army or its civilians?) These attitudes are unfortunately emotionally palpable across cultural lines and we rarely have the linguistic capability to even mitigate the damage it causes when relating to allies new and old.

Flying Carpet
09-02-2007, 09:14 PM
Divide and conquer was a standard in all colonial wars. But you end with a divided country with ethnic tensions: an ideal environment for guerrilla fighters.

In the "good old times" that the article descibes guerrilla was a local affair. Nowadays nearly every guerrillero knows about the theories from guerrilla handbooks from Mao, Che and others. So their response is more sophisticated.

In Iraq or Afghanistan the problem is quite similar to that in Vietnam: government troops are rather unreliable and unmotivated. Yet I think that part of this problem is self-created. The US has pushed for a centralized government and many of the soldiers feel only connected with their region/tribe. The new tribal approach in Iraq may be a better solution.