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Thread: James Madison - Greatest COIN leader in History

  1. #101
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    This the problem with intervention. But just because you have inserted yourself, unless your intent is to stay, you are still not part of the family.

    So, the neighbor across the street is a complete ass, physically and emotionally abusing his spouse and kids, and generally disliked and mistrusted by everyone in the neighborhood. Lets call him Saddam. You and a few others (we'll call this group "the coalition") decide he needs to go, so you get a court order and the cops swoop in and drag the guy out. The kids are crying and the long suffering spouse is cursing and throwing things at the cops while she and Saddam yelling over the din expressions of their love for each other.

    Now what? You don't want her or her kids, but you've just created chaos in the household. So you have a brilliant idea, you bring in some guy who used to know her 20 years ago and arrange a marriage over her objections to restore the family, or maybe you bring in her ex-husband who she had divorced 10 years ago and force her to remarry him. Problems solved, right? Of course not, we'd never foist these "solutions" on a family, but we will do them to an entire nation. Crazy. So you move in as well, "just until things settle down" you tell yourself and everyone else.

    This is what we did in Iraq, and you are right, it is a mess and our solution is what created the current problem. But we still aren't part of the family. Still an outsider, and outsider dynamics still apply. Just because we set all of this in motion in no way changes the relationships of the parties.

    So, no, we are not the "COIN" force in Iraq, the new government took on that role just as the new Dad/husband did in the example above. Obviously this guy has huge legitimacy issues that he may never overcome, he may just be transitional until she brings in the husband she really wants, but that needs to be her choice and not that of the neighbors, or you will never achieve the stability that comes with the legitimacy of acceptance. The neighborhood has certainly inherited responsibilities based on what they did, but they did not become part of the family. They have a distinct role as an involved outsider, but that is it.

    Family dynamics and national dynamics are pretty damn similar. If a national situation is overwhelmingly complex and one can't decide what is best, just consider how what you are chewing on would play in a single family, and you'll have a pretty good idea on how it will play on an entire state.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 08-01-2010 at 10:25 AM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "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)

  2. #102
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Not a bad analogy, but deficient in one respect. We didn't go into Iraq or Afghanistan to protect the people of these countries, or their neighbors, from their governments. We went in to advance our own interests. In Iraq at least I'm not entirely sure what interests we were advancing, but they were said to be terribly important ones. Something about sending a message, I guess, although what message and to whom was never clear to me. Possibly I'm just dense.

    In any event, though, these interests presumably still exist, and are still important. It's not just about settling a domestic dispute. If the end state produces the same conditions that led us to intervene in the first place, we haven't accomplished much, if anything.

    Not so much an issue in Iraq, but certainly an issue in Afghanistan... and it would not be particularly honest of us to treat either as an effort to settle a domestic dispute.

  3. #103
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Not a bad analogy, but deficient in one respect. We didn't go into Iraq or Afghanistan to protect the people of these countries, or their neighbors, from their governments. We went in to advance our own interests. In Iraq at least I'm not entirely sure what interests we were advancing, but they were said to be terribly important ones. Something about sending a message, I guess, although what message and to whom was never clear to me. Possibly I'm just dense.

    In any event, though, these interests presumably still exist, and are still important. It's not just about settling a domestic dispute. If the end state produces the same conditions that led us to intervene in the first place, we haven't accomplished much, if anything.

    Not so much an issue in Iraq, but certainly an issue in Afghanistan... and it would not be particularly honest of us to treat either as an effort to settle a domestic dispute.
    Are you implying that leader of neighborhood coalition in the example just used the abusive husband excuse as a ruse to get everyone on board, but in actuality just didn't like this guy, and being pissed off at a totally different guy in a different neighborhood altogether who he couldn't find, went after this other dirtbag instead because he was available? Even so, it still doesn't make him part of the family, and casts clouds on the intervention as a whole that makes restablishing a legitimate head of household even harder.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (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)

  4. #104
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    This is certainly true in what most of us would see as a "typical" insurgency. I'm not sure it's completely accurate in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are of course the only insurgencies we need to deal with at this point.

    We are not an external player in these insurgencies. These insurgencies exist because we intervened, removed governments, and replaced them with governments of our choosing. We can't approach these problems as if we're intervening to support pre-existing governments that have gotten into trouble with their people, because that's not what we're doing. We're trying to support governments that are an extension of our presence until they have the capacity to govern on their own... if they ever do. We can't pretend to be a peripheral player in these cases, because we're not: we placed ourselves in the center of the picture, wisely or not, and that's where we remain.
    (emphasis mine)

    Excellent point, and that brings the divide between the existing literature and our actual actions. Perhaps we should call Iraq and Afghanistan Post-pseudo Occupation Operations (POO) because it sure stinks .

  5. #105
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

    So, the neighbor across the street is a complete ass, physically and emotionally abusing his spouse and kids, and generally disliked and mistrusted by everyone in the neighborhood. Lets call him Saddam. You and a few others (we'll call this group "the coalition") decide he needs to go, so you get a court order and the cops swoop in and drag the guy out. The kids are crying and the long suffering spouse is cursing and throwing things at the cops while she and Saddam yelling over the din expressions of their love for each other.
    But you didn't realize at the time that the wife was emotionally abusive, spent every dollar in the house, and had her own mental problems. After your intervention, you realize that both the husband and wife were to blame, and you never should have gotten involved in a family dispute.

  6. #106
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Smile This a bit of COIN I learned as a prosecutor

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    But you didn't realize at the time that the wife was emotionally abusive, spent every dollar in the house, and had her own mental problems. After your intervention, you realize that both the husband and wife were to blame, and you never should have gotten involved in a family dispute.
    Cops know this as well. I can't count the number of times during arraignments that I would sit there looking at a police record for a defendant with 6-15 charges of assault IV domestic violence, with each annotated with "victim refused to sign the complaint"; while some dirtbag in the box was blowing kisses and swapping "I love yous" with some gal sporting a black eye in the gallery.

    Sad, no question about it, but do you really want to step into the middle of that mix as the new head of a household with her and her patchwork family of kids from multiple past failed relationships?
    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)

  7. #107
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Cops know this as well. I can't count the number of times during arraignments that I would sit there looking at a police record for a defendant with 6-15 charges of assault IV domestic violence, with each annotated with "victim refused to sign the complaint"; while some dirtbag in the box was blowing kisses and swapping "I love yous" with some gal sporting a black eye in the gallery.
    And why did the cops go there in the first place? Presumably someone complained and they were required to respond, it is their responsibility to enforce the law in this jurisdiction, their responsibility to intervene if it appears that somebody is in danger.

    Why did we go to Iraq? Not because someone complained, not because we had some responsibility to enforce a law, not to protect someone that was in danger. We went in proactive pursuit of our own objectives, whatever they might have been. We weren't invited, our protection wasn't requested, we weren't enforcing any law... we went because we wanted to, or at least someone did.

    Bit of a breakdown in the analogy at that level.

  8. #108
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default So what to do?

    If the issue is the concern for the safety and welfare of the children and we have proper jurisdiction, then I would suggest something similar to the SEED schools in DC. Basically, kids live at the school Mondays through Friday in order to be in a proper environment in which to learn and study. They go home on the weekends.

    A comparable analogy could be the University exchange programs that the State Department runs; however, Sayid Qutb went to one in Colorado. That didn't work out so well .

  9. #109
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Cops know this as well. I can't count the number of times during arraignments that I would sit there looking at a police record for a defendant with 6-15 charges of assault IV domestic violence, with each annotated with "victim refused to sign the complaint"; while some dirtbag in the box was blowing kisses and swapping "I love yous" with some gal sporting a black eye in the gallery.

    Sad, no question about it, but do you really want to step into the middle of that mix as the new head of a household with her and her patchwork family of kids from multiple past failed relationships?
    Yep, and just like DV cases if the victim(host nation) does not cooperate there isn't much you can do except keep putting the attacker(insurgent) in jail or he gets killed. There is much that can be learned from how police handle DV cases as it relates to COIN, in fact, in my biased opinion it is the only thing that is new to be learned , but the Military doesn't listen that well, sometimes...but not as much as they should.
    Last edited by slapout9; 08-01-2010 at 01:22 PM. Reason: spelling

  10. #110
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Dv?

    Slap,

    DV = Domestic Violence?

  11. #111
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Slap,

    DV = Domestic Violence?
    10-4

    10-4=police talk for yes

  12. #112
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    Default Running along with the LE analogy

    The cops can remove the guy from the house;the prosecutor can charge him; and the judge can sentence him if he pleads or is found guilty. All of which has everything to do with the guy; and nothing to do with the wife, kids, household or neighborhood, except to remove him from them.

    What to do with the wife, kids, household or neighborhood is the job of the social workers. That is not the job of LEOs in particular; or of the criminal justice system in general. That is a point that Slap has made repeatedly - and wisely (IMO).

    I'll forego discussion of armed social workers.

    Regards

    Mike

  13. #113
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    The cops can remove the guy from the house;the prosecutor can charge him; and the judge can sentence him if he pleads or is found guilty. All of which has everything to do with the guy; and nothing to do with the wife, kids, household or neighborhood, except to remove him from them.

    What to do with the wife, kids, household or neighborhood is the job of the social workers. That is not the job of LEOs in particular; or of the criminal justice system in general. That is a point that Slap has made repeatedly - and wisely (IMO).

    I'll forego discussion of armed social workers.

    Regards

    Mike
    DV shelters (protect the population) often have an armed safe village security component so the social workers can do their jobs. The hot idea now is the "The Family Justice Center" (jee that sounds like the Taliban), which they would understand the concept completely.

    Link below.
    http://www.familyjusticecenter.com/
    Last edited by slapout9; 08-01-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: add stuff

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