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Thread: On Policing the Frontiers of Freedom

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default On Policing the Frontiers of Freedom

    July issue of Army Magazine - On Policing the Frontiers of Freedom by By Brig. Gen. Huba Wass de Czege, U.S. Army retired.

    We Americans and our usual allies will be warring and policing on the new 21st-century frontiers of freedom for the foreseeable future. Often we will be doing both in the same place. A survey of the strategic problems U.S. forces have faced since the dawn of the 21st century, arguably beginning with Urgent Fury in Grenada, would uncover only two commonalities. One could describe them as “messes” or “wicked problems.” The literature of policy planners dealing with urban, ecological and social programs define such problems, their usual sort, as ill-structured, even problematic to define. Invariably they beg for a solution even though no clear solution, with wide consensus, is readily apparent. One could also describe these wicked problems as wicked social problems because they seem lodged in a complex social ecology. Solving them always requires restoring a bargain in which the people provide support and soldiers and marines provide a safe environment, not only for the people, but for the nonmilitary actors who really have the expertise and means to deal with the root social causes.

    Much of the discussion of how to cope with such problems is about how the leaders of those soldiers and marines, and military overhead structures, can compensate for the non- military problem solvers who are absent because the environment is not safe. While this is an important issue, it is the subject of a different article. A more important issue is how soldiers and marines provide the safe environment at the real root of local popular support when security forces collapse or are overwhelmed. The first step in answering that question is to realize that we make war on an enemy, and we police a problem. When we need to make war, we ought to make war wholeheartedly, and when we need to police a problem, we ought to do that wholeheartedly as well. Applying this principle and understanding the difference is of tremendous importance...

    Twenty-first-century soldiers will need to be proficient in both warring and policing. The flexible and smart soldiers and sergeants the U.S. Army has in the field today are ample evidence that the same units can do both equally well, provided they are well-trained and led, and know how to think differently in the novel situations they keep finding themselves in today. There is no real need for specialized soldiers and units. The impracticality of that idea is not addressed here, but the nature of the wicked problems they will encounter will often favor units that can readily switch from a warring to a policing mentality and back again even in the same tactical action.

    U.S. forces are currently combining warring and policing in various locations throughout the world. While the logic outlined in “War with Implacable Foes” may apply to one group in a particular situation, the policing approach may be more useful for attaining political policy aims with other violent groups. While the best intuitively understand the difference and can show the way for the rest, real success will come only when all leaders and soldiers, as well as statesmen and generals, understand the logic of policing on the rough 21st-century frontiers, whether we find these in the wake of major combat operations to change a regime, in scattered pockets of failed governance on “the Pentagon’s New Map” or at home during major disasters.

    U.S. doctrine does not provide much advice on the important question of the crucial difference between these approaches and how they relate. Discussions of operations on these rough frontiers say far too little about the M in the acronym DIME (referring to the diplomatic, informational, military and economic instruments that nations bring to bear in such crises)...

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Dec 2005

    Default This should be in the new COIN manuals

    This is one of the best articles I have seen about the means that are required to secure a population against an insurgency or heavy criminal activity. I did not see this in any of the new COIN manuals!!! he also talks about Policing problems. POP (problem oriented policing) is one of the most successful new theories in law enforcement that I have ever seen or been involved with and it would be a great help in Military Policing both in and out of the US. this article should be part of the new COIN manuals!!!!


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