View Full Version : U.S. Troops in Iraq Adopt Oil Strategy (Andrew Krepinevich)

02-01-2006, 11:04 PM
1 Feb. Associated Press - U.S. Troops in Iraq Adopt Oil Strategy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/01/AR2006020100482.html).

... Anyone looking to understand the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq in the last few months need look no farther than Andrew Krepinevich, a prominent analyst who came up with the "oil stain" theory.

Both by explicit instruction and by nature of the battlefield they face, Iraq has become a laboratory of sorts to test Krepinevich's belief that the United States must shift from battling insurgents directly to establishing security and winning over regular Iraqis.

Once security and goodwill have been established in one place, the theory holds, they will spread like an oil spot. This is "hearts and minds" - a term much maligned in the Vietnam War - at its most basic.

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, is an advocate of the theory, as are many leading commanders in the field, some of whom have passed around Krepinevich's writing to their officers. In the last few months, the military has launched a counterinsurgency training program in the Iraqi city of Taji where company commanders are schooled specifically in Krepinevich's "oil-spot" strategy.

Evidence of Krepinevich's influence is immediately apparent during time spent with soldiers. They mimic his language and cite Britain's use of similar strategies in the 1950s in Malaysia when it was a British colony. Their focus is not so much on battling terrorists but making nice with the population...

02-03-2006, 02:39 AM
While the oil-spot method has been used with success by both the British and the French, it like all other COIN campaigns will fail so long as insurgent resources can free-flow across the borders in Iraq and Afghanistan.