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Old 06-23-2009   #34
Bob's World
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While I can't get on board with all of the Major's points, his frustration is certainly valid.

But at the heart of the matter, as he alludes to, and WILF states above: If you don't understand what the problem is that you are trying to solve, any solution you devise is likely to come across as a confused, inefficient mess.

(Though WILF, I do have to call you out a little bit: I thought your position was that insurgency is war, but now you identify the difference as critical? Shed some light, brother. What factors are you seeing that are making you see this as trending across some line, and what that line is.)

For me, I would set "Clear-Hold-Build" on a shelf, right next to the concepts that we can either kill enough "bad guys" to win; or build enough infrastructure to win. In fact, toss up on that shelf the concept of the coalition "winning" or "losing" altogether, as this tends to shape our actions more to save our own face rather than to stabilize Afghanistan.

What I would take down from the shelf is a shift to a focus of attaining localized "goodnees" and doing so in a manner that minimizes any perceptions of legitimacy of the Coalition over whatever government the Afghan people choose to put in place. I would then seek a strong partnership with Iran to help implement this process, and also thereby diluting any perceptions of western legitmacy over the Afghan government. Simplify the solution and reduce the amount of control we seek over that solution. We must merely enable an Afghan solution, not impose a western one.
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Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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