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SWCAdmin
03-03-2008, 09:21 PM
The Patton of Counterinsurgency (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/822vfpsz.asp?pg=1)
With a sequence of brilliant offensives, Raymond Odierno adapted the Petraeus doctrine into a successful operational art.
by Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan

The Weekly Standard
03/10/2008, Volume 013, Issue 25



Do you think the Kagans have the Odierno / Petraeus weighting dialed correctly?

Granite_State
03-03-2008, 10:09 PM
Abu Muqawama had some choice words about the article:

http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/2008/03/kagan-kagan-on-odierno.html



Abu Muqawama was feeling pretty good about his new estimation of Odierno until Fred and Kimberley Kagan -- two allegedly serious military historians -- published the kind of sycophantic puff piece in the Weekly Standard that Fred Barnes usually writes about President Bush. Folks, there is absolutely ZERO critical analysis taking place here. One friend of this blog writes that the article perfectly encapsulates all that usually goes wrong with the stuff produced by second-generation neoconservatives:

1) Intrafamilial byline? Check

2) Hyperbole opening? Check.

My favorite sentence, nay, my favorite word in the whole essay is the gratuitous "easily" in the following: "As a purely military operation, the series of MNC-I offensives easily bears comparison with Patton's race across France or the Soviet destruction of German forces in 1944 and 1945. "

3) Civilian perfidy? Check.

4) Military apotheosis? Check.

Note that the thesis is not that Petraeus and Odierno corrected previous generals' errors. It is that P&O are just more awesome than the awesomeness that preceded them.

5) Foregone conclusions? Check.

Ken White
03-04-2008, 12:08 AM
Great line. Widely appropriate, too...

Gian P Gentile
03-04-2008, 12:53 AM
Abu Muqawama had some choice words about the article:

Well now I donít feel so bad that our good friend AM pummeled me pretty hard on a posting on his blog last week (shown on SWJ too). I thought he was part of the matrix but with his biting, and correct criticism of the Kagans's happy-speak he is clearly one to listen to carefully.

Of course in my own writings I like to dabble in historical comparisons and analogies; but there needs to be at least a semblance of a line between the two poles. Nothing against General O (I served under him in 4ID in 03) but a fairer comparison would have at least tried to square the conditions; that is to say compare him to another senior general who fought a Coin campaign. Maybe he is close to Thompson in Malaya for example. But AM is right, this kind of ideological driven pop-history doesnít contribute to knowledge and understanding, only AEI's political interests.

Well said, AM!!

gg

Tom Odom
03-04-2008, 01:03 AM
Big :)

Big Big Big :D


Abu Muqawama had some choice words about the article:

http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/2008/03/kagan-kagan-on-odierno.html

SWCAdmin
03-04-2008, 03:35 AM
I wish I had seen AM's piece earlier. It would have spared me a sedative and afforded a much needed laugh.

Ski
03-04-2008, 01:30 PM
I can't believe this article. Zero analysis, zero history, zero common sense. Everything any Kagan writes is now to be considered suspect until proven differently.

SteveMetz
03-04-2008, 01:43 PM
Well, in Fred's defense (sort of), The Weekly Standard is what it is. Balanced and objective it ain't--and doesn't purport to be. (And I say that as a subscriber). I don't think anyone looking for objectivity and analysis would be duped by this essay. Those seeking ammunition for partisan skirmishes might find it useful.

William F. Owen
03-04-2008, 03:32 PM
AQI's approach--and Odierno's new understanding of it--made traditional military concepts like lines-of-communication, support areas, and key terrain relevant to the counterinsurgency strategy. Insurgents moving from the belts to the capital required access to particular roads. Maintaining that access required holding neighborhoods bordering the roads. Car-bombers needed factories in which to make their weapons. IED-users needed ammunition stores and ways of moving their IEDs from depots to frontline fighters. Leaders needed safehouses to allow their free movement in the city and headquarters outside the capital from which they could direct operations. Thinking of the enemy as a network, as U.S. forces had previously been doing, underemphasized the importance of geography and of controlling key terrain to the enemy's operations. Odierno prepared to take that terrain away.

If anyone ever thought anything different from the utterly banal statements of the obvious in this quote, then they need to resign from the Army and go and work in Starbucks.

If someone really did not recognise these fundamental facts then someone really screwed up. Of course this is how Insurgents work. Always have, always will. Look at Rhodesia, look at Mao, look at the IRA, etc etc etc.

Boot
03-05-2008, 02:05 PM
I agree with the article. I have a much different perception, I'll leave it at that.

selil
03-05-2008, 04:59 PM
Abu Muqawama had some choice words about the article: ......


...
1) Intrafamilial byline? Check....


....



Hey what's up with slamming the married couple? I'm married to a scholar we met each other in graduate school. We're not allowed to write together because we're married? I can't wait to tell the Denning's or half a dozen married author teams I know...

Commentary on topic? Check

Inappropriate anti-marriage tripe? Whackem with a stick

Adam L
03-06-2008, 05:51 AM
If anyone ever thought anything different from the utterly banal statements of the obvious in this quote, then they need to resign from the Army and go and work in Starbucks.

If someone really did not recognise these fundamental facts then someone really screwed up. Of course this is how Insurgents work. Always have, always will. Look at Rhodesia, look at Mao, look at the IRA, etc etc etc.

Thank you for saying what I wanted to say. I lacked the courage to be so blunt/direct. :D

Adam L