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Thread: The Importance of Building Local Capabilities

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    Default The Importance of Building Local Capabilities

    From CSIS, 1 Aug 06:

    The Importance of Building Local Capabilities: Lessons from the Counterinsurgency in Iraq
    The US experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that building local allied forces and capabilities will be major mission requirements in future wars and US military interventions. Placing greater reliance on local forces provides a mechanism for reducing the demands placed on US forces; it helps the US compensate for the religious, ideological, and cultural differences that the US faces in fighting the war on terrorism; and it can help compensate for the lack of US civilian counterparts to the US military that can take up many of the potential burdens in stability operations and nation building.

    History provides consistent warnings about the need for the US to build-up local forces and capabilities. This is also a key point in the new, draft US Army Field Manual (FM 3-24) on Counterinsurgency issued in June 2006, and it is touched upon in part in the new Department of Defense Directive on stability operations, DoD Directive 3000.05. Establishing security in postconflict areas has always required a broad effort at the regional and local levels to create a mix of military forces to deal with the main threats. But it has also required developing police or paramilitary forces, establishing some kind of local government presence and services to provide credibility, and creating courts and legal institutions to establish a rule of law that kept corruption, arbitrary official violence, and the abuse of minorities and human rights within workable limits.

    One of the most serious US strategic failures in Iraq was the lack of effective planning to ensure the continuity of government, police, and legal operations. The US realized late in the nation building game that the only strategy that could allow it to remove most or all of its forces from Iraq within a few years, produce some kind of victory, and solve America’s immediate problem of “overstretch” on a timely basis, was to create a mix of Iraqi forces and Iraqi governance that could relieve the burden on the US, and support this effort with added economic aid...

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Yep...

    The US experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that building local allied forces and capabilities will be major mission requirements in future wars and US military interventions. Placing greater reliance on local forces provides a mechanism for reducing the demands placed on US forces; it helps the US compensate for the religious, ideological, and cultural differences that the US faces in fighting the war on terrorism; and it can help compensate for the lack of US civilian counterparts to the US military that can take up many of the potential burdens in stability operations and nation building.
    How smart are we if it took OIF and AF to show us this... There are many unsung heroes out there that were preaching this to a deaf choir long before 2001 - '02 and '03. Some didn't get it; others chose to ignore it... As many on this board have said - we are relearning lessons learned - or for the most part unlearned.

    Not to take anything away from the linked article - this needs to be done - but how many times do we have to be told what successful COIN entails?

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default This might be interesting

    While trying to research mp occupation units in ww2 I found this.
    Mobility,Vigilance and Justice: The US Constabulary in Germany 1946-1953
    by Kendall D. Gott. GWOT paper 11 at combat studies institute press.

    I did not know but people were complaining that we won the war but were going to loose the peace in Germany much like Iraq!! So the Army developed new Constabulary units to rebuild the government. They even had their on unit patch. A big C on their uniform. It also includes the actual troopers hand book issued to them. Also a constabulary includes a MP-force,court, and jail all designed to work together. Also includes the rules to be enforced and how to do it. This is really a good stuff!!! Like they say history will get you if you forget. Dave can you help with the link it can be downloaded as a PDF file.

    ps Jed read this please!!!

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default MHI Paper on Constabulary

    You can download the actual handbook at: http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usamhi/DL/.

    I have it on the military history DVD I built here. It is an interesting read; one as you point out, largely forgotten.

    Gott has done some good work at the Combat Studies Institute (CS). A recent paper on armor in Urban Warfare is quite good, though he misses certain points on how MOUT is trained here. See: http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/downlo...gott_tanks.pdf


    Best

    Tom

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default

    For a time I worked on a project dealing with the history of cavalry in the US Army, and got my first exposure to the Constabulary forces there. They were really a fascinating bunch, held to a higher standard than normal troops and given very precise instructions regarding the use (or non-use) of force to help maintain order. They were envisioned as an elite, and expected to conduct themselves as such. They were also formed in part to counteract the sliding discipline of many of the Army units in Germany who were (understandably) anxious to go home and demobilize.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED
    ...how many times do we have to be told what successful COIN entails?
    Several times a day it seems. Between the media, think tanks, bloggers, and our own peers in the military, it seems everyone is continually reinventing the wheel as regards COIN, irregular warfare and terrorism. Refurbished ideas, both good ones that have worked and bad ones whose past failures are ignored, have been gone over ad nauseum in the past couple of years.

    I know many on SWC, and many others on active duty, clearly understand the timeless tried and true principles of COIN in reference to their application in today's context - but there are still way to many at the senior decision making levels who even today just don't get it. Even worse, at the national level, domestic politics and vested interests interfere with effective prosecution of successful COIN across the spectrum. So, although we may get frustrated at reading or hearing the same thing in a different format over and over again, there are others who just sit there not comprehending, like a pig staring at a wristwatch.
    Looks interesting. I'll sit down and read it as soon as I get a chance.

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    Default Spot on...

    Good comment Jed...

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Forward Hoooo!!!

    Steve Blair, yes i could tell from your posts that you new alot about the cavalry. I am abig fan of the air cav as it was supposed to be but never was. I met General James Gavin at his house before he died and had a long discussion with him about the air cav and his theory of there use in COIN. He actually called them "sky" cavalry. He was President Kennedy's ambassador to France because he new DeGaulle form ww2 and had many contacts with the French army during the Algiers situation. Sadly his theory has never been tried completely. He so opposed the war in Vietnam he turned down chief of staff after General Maxwell.

    He was friends with Sen. Fulbright and had him start hearings on the war in about 1966 I think. I have read the transcript of the hearings, he wanted to try the Enclave Strategy with Forts to let the people INSIDE the fort and separate the vc from them. He would use the Air Cav to chase them down and kill or capture them or put them on RESERVATIONS and try to change their beliefs and join the good guys. Any way do you have any research papers you can share??

    Tom Odom, thanks for help with the links I was out there in Cyber Space and I got lost. As a former fire team and squad leader in the 82nd I very much agree with a three fire team squad. Tom didn't you know Fullbright?? The transcript of the hearings was revealing to say the least.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Former Afghan Deminers Learn New Civilian Skills

    Office of WRA's humanitarian mine action programs and conventional weapons destruction programs

    ... With so much progress being made, the need for Afghan humanitarian deminers is decreasing, leaving a growing number of them unemployed.

    To help these unemployed deminers find suitable work, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA), in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, is sponsoring a training program. The program established a vocational training center in Kandahar to impart new civilian skills (carpentry, electrical work, painting, plumbing, and masonry), and discourage unemployed deminers from working for anti-government elements. The first class of 120 deminers from the Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA) graduated in January. A new class of former deminers from DAFA and from the Mine Clearance Planning Agency have begun training in peacetime skills at the vocational center. Like the first class, they will eventually enter the civilian workforce and help to shape Afghanistan’s future.

    This remarkable indicator of success in clearing so many of Afghanistan’s “hidden killers” is thanks to the hard work of thousands of Afghan deminers, who are renowned for their courage, dedication, and expertise. Some gave their lives in the process. It is also due to the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian mine action assistance that the United States has extended to Afghanistan since helping to launch humanitarian demining there in 1988. The generous support of other donor nations, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations over the years has also been essential.
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