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Thread: France's war in Algeria: telling the story

  1. #81
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    Default A mix of agree and disagree

    from Wilf
    [1] My effort is to take the population out the competition as a whole. [2] They will support who ever wins. [3] Why ask them to be part of the fight?
    1. Isolating the population may work if the facts allow it (as in Malaya, where a minority of a minority were isolated from the bush-based guerrillas). If the insurgents permeate the entire population (as in the case of Vietnam), your proposal is not practical.

    2. Not necessarily so. They may submit; but if the factors that drove the insurgency to begin with continue to subsist, they will probably lead to future outbreaks.

    3. Counter-insurgency is manpower intensive (if done right - e.g., Malaya). If the masses are mobilized, they can provide their own security (as well as their own political and economic development) - thereby allowing the pros to go on to neutralize other insurgents and to mobilize other masses.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The "let's kill as many enemies as quickly as possible till the others give up" path only knew one destination in Algeria; failure.
    Only because for whatever reason they did not get that right.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Only because for whatever reason they did not get that right.
    Aha!! - at last! Concur. Doing stupid stuff is stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    1. Isolating the population may work if the facts allow it (as in Malaya, where a minority of a minority were isolated from the bush-based guerrillas). If the insurgents permeate the entire population (as in the case of Vietnam), your proposal is not practical.
    I beg to differ. Criminals and drug dealers "permeate" populations. You still go after them without forcing the population to take a side. - and Context, context and context.
    2. Not necessarily so. They may submit; but if the factors that drove the insurgency to begin with continue to subsist, they will probably lead to future outbreaks.
    Armed force can only be used against armed force. Politics is for the politicians. Military force sets a condition that politics exploits. It's not the solution and never can be.
    3. Counter-insurgency is manpower intensive (if done right - e.g., Malaya). If the masses are mobilized, they can provide their own security (as well as their own political and economic development) - thereby allowing the pros to go on to neutralize other insurgents and to mobilize other masses.
    Sure. Raise some "local defence militia." - then they are on your team. You are not "winning their support" or doing "armed social work."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Context, context and context

    Fine with me.

    1. Criminals are not in the same context as insurgents. However, taking criminals as an example, you (if you happen to be in criminal justice) want a great deal of co-operation from the people - as informants, witnesses and jurors who will convict.

    Your initial assertion was "My effort is to take the population out [of ?] the competition as a whole"; which has now morphed to "You still go after them without forcing the population to take a side". Treating the population like a bunch of department store dummies is not a formula for success.

    2. Is armed force really the only tool in your personal tool kit ? Maybe so; which is no personal sin if you (like Brig. "Trotsky" Davies) insist on being a pure soldier. But, it does end the conversation with those who believe that military affairs and political affairs have to be co-ordinated - and that insurgency is often a mixed military and political problem - as exemplified by Davies' end of conversation with Enver Hoxha: "...I am a soldier and not a politician.".

    3. If you can mobilize the people for a local defense militia, you can also mobilize them in other areas where they also become part of the team.

    Frankly, I can't understand why you insist on building such a strict firewall between military action and political action.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    1. Criminals are not in the same context as insurgents. However, taking criminals as an example, you (if you happen to be in criminal justice) want a great deal of co-operation from the people - as informants, witnesses and jurors who will convict.
    Well the use of the criminal justice system will flow from policy. In Irregular warfare, I just want to get to the kill and/or capture part, with capture always being preferable, but the choice is theirs.
    Your initial assertion was "My effort is to take the population out [of ?] the competition as a whole"; which has now morphed to "You still go after them without forcing the population to take a side". Treating the population like a bunch of department store dummies is not a formula for success.
    With respect, there isn't any morphing here. There are degrees of application within the context. The population is a constraint on the use of force, and that is driven by the policy. The population is also a sources of information. I don't have to do anything "POP-centric" to exploit those two conditions.
    2. But, it does end the conversation with those who believe that military affairs and political affairs have to be co-ordinated - and that insurgency is often a mixed military and political problem - as exemplified by Davies' end of conversation with Enver Hoxha: "...I am a soldier and not a politician.".
    Soldiers set forth policy, using violence (or threat of). They do not make policy, but yes, they have to support it, so they have to understand it.
    You do not go to a therapist and ask for financial advice - but the therapist has to understand you have money problems. Make sense?
    Frankly, I can't understand why you insist on building such a strict firewall between military action and political action.
    I do not. I just wish people would realise that military force is a specific tool for a specific problem.
    To use a medical analogy, Military force is surgery. Politics is therapeutics. Both are needed. Both need to understand the other, but both are done by separate folks.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Only because for whatever reason they did not get that right.
    I do contend this.
    The French won militarily, and lost politically/strategically.

    Their basic assumption/assertion was that Northern Algeria was a province of France itself, not a colony. It was France.
    The military actions against the non-European insurgents proved that the government was a government of Europeans, and not at the same time a government of the people of Northern Algeria.

    The heavy-handed military actions proved the opponent's point and led quite inevitably to political defeat.


    It would have required a counter-intuitive behaviour that did fit into the political assertion in order to win the conflict (possibly even with great elegance and at low cost).

    The "kill! kill! kill!" approach was the dumb and wrong path.


    Keep in mind that CvC did not cover the conflict in Spain yet before he died and left an unfinished work. The Napoleonic conflict in Spain was more relevant for the Algerian Independence War than his "break their will and/or disarm them" theory about forcing another government to make concessions.


    The "kill! kill! kill!" approach would in my opinion even have been the wrong (way too slow & expensive) path if it could have worked. It was at best suitable to break armed opposition, while a smart approach (cracking down on violent European-descent settlers and behave as a government for all Northern Algerians) could have solved the conflict for decades.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The "kill! kill! kill!" approach was the dumb and wrong path.

    Keep in mind that CvC did not cover the conflict in Spain yet before he died and left an unfinished work. The Napoleonic conflict in Spain was more relevant for the Algerian Independence War than his "break their will and/or disarm them" theory about forcing another government to make concessions.
    That is a grossly simplistic misrepresentation of Clausewitian teaching and observation.

    Clausewitz's thinking was informed by every armed rebellion in history, that he was aware of. The Spanish insurrection was no different from the native South American insurrections against the Spanish in Peru. Armed Rebellions and insurrections have always been as prevalent as wars between societies and nations.
    The issue is the use of arms to prevent the opposing use of arms to present policy. It really is very simple. It is nothing to do with "kill, kill kill." That is childish.
    It is to do with the destruction of will, via the instrument of killing. Mao understood this, and so did Thucydides.
    The French lost because of 28,000 KIA. That is what broke their will to endure, so the FLN succeeded militarily and strategically solely by killing as a means to set forth their policy.
    If the US had only suffered 15,000 casualties by 1973, while inflicting 750,000 on the NVA, the chances are, the US would still be there, - just like Korea.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Your points

    at the end:

    from Wilf
    I do not. [1] I just wish people would realise that military force is a specific tool for a specific problem.

    [2] To use a medical analogy, Military force is surgery. Politics is therapeutics. Both are needed. Both need to understand the other, but both are done by separate folks.
    with triple emphasis on "I do not" (B, I and U ); and also this:

    [3] Soldiers set forth policy, using violence (or threat of). They do not make policy, but yes, they have to support it, so they have to understand it.

    [4] You do not go to a therapist and ask for financial advice - but the therapist has to understand you have money problems. Make sense?
    do clarify to me your position re: the military effort and the political effort.

    So now we have a military effort (you) and a political effort (me). How does command and control work in our little party ?

    Regards

    Mike

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    do clarify to me your position re: the military effort and the political effort.

    So now we have a military effort (you) and a political effort (me). How does command and control work in our little party ?
    OK, no real context, but...

    a.) You are in charge. I work for you.

    b.) I provide a service. With good enough preparation, I can find and kill/capture those who are using armed force. Given time, and resources, I can destroy their organisation and/or force them to negotiate, in terms of wishing to abandon the armed struggle. That is why you have an army. If we cannot do it, you need a new army.

    c.) I need the necessary legal instruments to do that and I also need the legal support for various forms of long term detention (with and without trial) and intelligence activity.

    d.) AND - I need you to have a coherent policy (elections - party political reform? Housing?) that addresses the political dimension/causes of the conflict, so that I can restrict my use of force in line with the policy you wish to set forth. You need to make clear, that the political action will only take place in safe areas, and once the violence has stopped.

    e.) and I need lots of money!

    So, do I get the job?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Hey Wilf,

    I'm not a novelist, but I'll try to flesh out our imaginary journey into small war land. I am putting some parameters on this: we're both indigenous to Country X and no foreign elements are involved to any material extent. So, this is not an FID, SFA, etc. tale.

    The insurgency in our country is widespread and cannot be resolved quickly via political, police or military action on a limited scale. We start with a clean slate - new government, successful coup, whatever. The insurgency, from our viewpoint, is an existential threat.

    Addressing your points:

    a.) You are in charge. I work for you.
    OK, Civil Authority takes the lead and, if it prevails, proves its legitimacy. First off, we have to determine how much civil authority and military forces actually exist; as well as what areas are Ours, Theirs and Contested. Our organization is a triangle: Civil Authority (top level), Military Officer (2nd level - you) and Political Officer (2nd level - actually that was me in my original concept before you promoted me ).

    Generally, Rule of Law governs Ours areas; Theirs and Contested areas are under martial law (i.e., the Laws of War). An essential part of this is that the Ours areas must really be that and fully secured. The Military Officer and Political Officer have no authority in the Ours areas, except in cases of invasion of or rebellion in the Ours areas - and then only with respect to the immediate area of the invasion or rebellion.

    b.) I provide a service. With good enough preparation, I can find and kill/capture those who are using armed force. Given time, and resources, I can destroy their organisation and/or force them to negotiate, in terms of wishing to abandon the armed struggle. That is why you have an army. If we cannot do it, you need a new army.
    Since this is an indigenous, internal armed conflict which is an existential threat to us, we have all the time in the rest of our lives to carry on whatever struggle is required.

    The Military Officer and Political Officer can fill in the military and political blanks; but my basic concept as Civil Authority is a co-ordinated military and political strategy which would, if carried to its conclusion, result in the insurgency's neutralization (not a euphemism - it encompasses kill & capture by the military; surrender and conversion to the political).

    That strategy would also be flexible enough to negotiate with the insurgents if that has more plusses for us. Obviously, we have to know the military and political sides of the insurgency. Generally, we confront military with military and political with political.

    c.) I need the necessary legal instruments to do that and I also need the legal support for various forms of long term detention (with and without trial) and intelligence activity.
    As stated, Theirs and Contested areas are under martial law and are considered theatres of war, where the Laws of War ("FM 27-10") control. ROEs and RUFs are wartime, which does not mean that troops have a hunting license to kill everything in the forest. The Ours areas are Rule of Law ordered, except in cases of invasion or rebellion where the Laws of War trump. The basic rule on insurgents is: if you (Military Officer) don't bag 'em, tag 'em and toss 'em into the Poltical Officer's lap for status determination and detention.

    My suggestion as to long-term detention, psyops and intelligence activities in general is that they are under the Political Officer's control. Whichever of these functions you feel you need as organic assets are yours to duplicate (tactical intelligence, I'd suppose).

    d.) AND - I need you to have a coherent policy (elections - party political reform? Housing?) that addresses the political dimension/causes of the conflict, so that I can restrict my use of force in line with the policy you wish to set forth. You need to make clear, that the political action will only take place in safe areas, and once the violence has stopped.
    Yes, we will have a narrative - in fact, two basic narratives. One is our vision for our country's future which should be what we really want; and that, that vision cannot be realized because of the insurgents.

    Reduced to a short slogan (expressed in four sets of contradictions):

    we = legitimacy + construction + progess = security and opportunity for you.

    they = illegitimacy + destruction + regression = insecurity and privation for you.

    The second narrative is developed by examining the claims made by the insurgents to decide whether any of those claims can be co-opted by us. If so, political-side would implement those improvements.

    In the Ours areas, those narratives have to come to life - another reason to be careful in deciding that an area is fully secured and thus Ours.

    As to this, "You need to make clear, that the political action will only take place in safe areas, and once the violence has stopped," - yes and no.

    Yes, in the Ours areas where Rule of Law prevails and the Civil Authority (with its normal civilian administrators) carry on.

    A qualified "no" In the Theirs and Contested areas, your troops (once they've sliced the salami into smaller pieces) would be immediately followed by Gendarmerie-Intelligence-Civil Affairs units under the Political Officer. They would set up local governance, intelligence nets, and justice systems (detainees, for example, would pass through those courts).

    Those units would have status as a separate branch of the armed forces - simply to provide them with combatant immunity when they have to kill insurgents. Once a Theirs or Contested area is secured as an Ours area, martial law ends and the Civil Authority (with its normal civilian administrators) replaces the Gendarmerie-Intelligence-Civil Affairs unit.

    e.) and I need lots of money!
    No doubt. Your generousity is well known and indeed your need for money is based on that virtue which is one of your pleasures. To seal the deal, I give my IOU secured by all of the gold in the chest at Akiba.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 06-19-2010 at 02:03 AM.

  11. #91
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    I'm not a novelist,
    Well I was once....

    A qualified "no" In the Theirs and Contested areas, your troops (once they've sliced the salami into smaller pieces) would be immediately followed by Gendarmerie-Intelligence-Civil Affairs units under the Political Officer. They would set up local governance, intelligence nets, and justice systems (detainees, for example, would pass through those courts).
    Be careful here. If you are going to dump an administration into this area, you are giving me a lot more work in terms of folks to protect and you are forcing more agencies into my span of command.
    Now, I would hope to have Special Branch and my MI guys out collecting HUMINT and "all sources" to support the killing and capture of the Rebels, which will forces them to leave the area.
    If we can have relatively good security, then the control of that area can be handed over to the Gendarmerie-Intelligence-Civil Affairs units under the Political Officer - IF they can do the job...
    Those units would have status as a separate branch of the armed forces - simply to provide them with combatant immunity when they have to kill insurgents. Once a Theirs or Contested area is secured as an Ours area, martial law ends and the Civil Authority (with its normal civilian administrators) replaces the Gendarmerie-Intelligence-Civil Affairs unit.
    OK, but I'm not ever going to be that comfortable with handing over all my networks to some one else - because I may need them back in a hurry.

    I would suggest the formation of a "Combined Operations Unit" that would be a one-time Intelligence agency comprising Military/Police/Parks Service/Civ Admin, - that would be the one stop shop in the hard areas, and remain so until the end of the emergency. It operate on the "Committee System" - everyone at the table has to share ALL they have - and they would conduct operations against the rebels. They would cease to exist once their reasons for being ceased.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    That is a grossly simplistic misrepresentation of Clausewitian teaching and observation.

    Clausewitz's thinking was informed by every armed rebellion in history, that he was aware of.
    IIRC he admitted in a letter that he hadn't covered people's wars such as the Spanish insurgency properly yet. That was one of the things he had no time for left.

    There's a huge difference between breaking the will of a top-down enemy and a bottom-up enemy.


    Besides; I meant you with "kill! kill! kill!" approach, not CvC. CvC wasn't so specific about how to disarm the enemy leadership.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    IIRC he admitted in a letter that he hadn't covered people's wars such as the Spanish insurgency properly yet. That was one of the things he had no time for left.
    True, but we have no reason to believe that his specific addressing of that issue would have changed his insight. I admit CvC was left incomplete, but what he did commit to paper has never been proven wrong in its general terms. - and especially in the relationship between Strategy and policy, where armed force is used.
    There's a huge difference between breaking the will of a top-down enemy and a bottom-up enemy.
    There's a difference. I am not sure it is "huge."
    Besides; I meant you with "kill! kill! kill!" approach, not CvC. CvC wasn't so specific about how to disarm the enemy leadership.
    BUT I do not say that. To recap.
    a.) Use armed force against armed force.
    b.) Armed force must be used in line with policy
    c.) Armed forces can only kill/capture/destroy or thus deter, based on those things.
    d.) Yes! The primary instrument which armed forces use to serve policy is killing.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default The harsh reality of numbers--is it worth it? No way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabee View Post
    Here is a thought from the peanut gallery....

    Did France "loose" or just come to the conclusion that in the modern world there is no place for Colonies. especially ones you have to fight for.

    At what point do leaders sitting around the table say "we CAN keep going for another 50 years... but is it worth it?"

    Best
    Chris
    Chris, that is the fundamental question our leaders need to ask. Let's not forget that just a Algeria was heating up, France was reading the ledger on Indochina. 90,000 DEAD between 1946 and 1954. After dorking around in Algeria, CdG finally had the guts to say "enough!" That's what we need today -- a leader who has the guts to stand up and say "enough!" That individual will not be from the the military. It is going to have to come from the political left, because the right makes too much hay by kissing the military's butt. Obama is not the man for the task ... he had the chance, and acted liked a politician.


    BTW, check out this link

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/wo...19bigeard.html

    to get us back to the torture piece. I'm just so happy that we Americans have taken the fundamental values that we hold most dear and sacred and taken a great big old sh!t on them so we can have a stalemate (at best -- mark my words, we will "lose" in both AFG and Iraq) in our neo-colonies from which we don't even extract the resources (like there is anything to get from AFG -- at least they have or had oil in Iraq).

    What a sad and pathetic state of affairs.

  16. #96
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    BUT I do not say that. To recap.
    a.) Use armed force against armed force.
    b.) Armed force must be used in line with policy
    c.) Armed forces can only kill/capture/destroy or thus deter, based on those things.
    d.) Yes! The primary instrument which armed forces use to serve policy is killing.
    1) You liked metrics. Measurable stuff.
    Show a metric to attempt to prove your point.

    2) Common practice does not necessarily equal best practice.
    The German states did not win against France in 1870/71 by killing more or better or the most. They did so by taking prisoners.
    Similar in 1940 France, 1940 Belgium, 1940 Denmark, 1940 Norway, Barbarossa '41 saw much more POW than KIA as well.
    I do also bet that Britain took more Italians prisoner than it did kill in WW2.

    The Middle Ages and Renaissance had dozens if not hundreds of wars that were not primarily about killing either.
    Even some Mongol wars were often not so much about killing as about dissolving opposition.


    Your emphasis on killing is *unhealthy*. It does not even come close to lead towards best practice or best innovations.

    I observed your morphing into a CvC extremist, hardcore Israel partisan and "kill! kill! kill!" advocate of the last two years and I have to say you were a more impressive theorist before that morphing.

    Even CvC emphasized disarming the enemy leaders - this includes KIA, WIA, POW and rendering forces irrelevant by other means (cutting off, fixing them through diplomacy at another threatened border, bribing them, keep them busy guarding a coast, letting them fall ill on sieges, and others).
    See how awfully short fell your list at (c)?

    An emphasis on killing is an emphasis on the most obvious, the least "art" of war and the most "brute strength" approach.

    There's not much insight and not many clever options to find in the realm of "kill! kill! kill!", not even on the tactical and much less on the operational level. It's a braindead concept on the strategic level where much more finesse is required.

    (Superior) finesse on all levels can improve the current Western forces, a "kill! kill! kill!" doctrine isn't helpful.


    The Algerian War of Independence was probably completely unnecessary during the 60's. Clever political decisions could have avoided the costs and risks of that war by sending the military on a completely different mission.
    The French followed the "kill! kill! kill!" approach, won militarily - and were still total and unlimited losers of the conflict.

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    Default Admiration can meet reality

    From the UK perspective:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obit...l-Bigeard.html

    A reminder what torture means:
    Le Monde published an interview with Louisette Ighilahriz, an Algerian grandmother who told how, as a 20-year old FLN fighter, she had been taken prisoner by French paratroopers who had subjected her to three months of interrogation, during which she had been repeatedly raped and tortured and eventually left to die in a pool of excrement and blood. What made her interview persuasive was that she seemed to be moved less by hatred of her torturers than by gratitude to the French military doctor who had rescued her and whom she now wished to thank in person. At the same time, she had no qualms about naming the officers who presided over her ordeal, notably Generals Jacques Massu and Marcel Bigeard.

    Her charges provoked an uproar and stimulated vigorous debate. But while General Massu admitted the credibility of Louisette Ighilahriz's testimony and regretted the behaviour of French forces during the conflict, Bigeard dismissed her claims as a "tissue of lies" and accused those who had stirred up the issue of being communists or intellectuals of the sort whose "treason" had given comfort to the FLN during the war.
    davidbfpo

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    I will play the devil advocate here.
    at the end of Algeria war, almost all the FNL leaders were in prison. And some since quite a while. I believe some may think that if they would have been dead, it would have been easier to win the political battle as there would be noone to negociate the Accords d'Evian...

    Now let come back to reason
    But the point is also foolish because what really made France loose that war is that colonial empire were no more acceptable (for many reasons, cost, politic, ideology...). And also, the army would have not tried to win the war she lost in Indochina, the situation could have been different.

    But we cannot rewritte the past.

    I would like also to signal the threat started on the death of General Bigear in general news.
    As it was written in the french blog Secret Defense: he was the perfect image of the French army and the French want of it. (In the light as in the dark). From private to 4 start general... A kind of a career!
    With his departure (and the one of some others) at least in France, we will be able to look at this war with some objectivity...

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Algeria was different. Its coastal region was officially no colony - it was considered to be part (department) of France itself.

    The waging of a colonial anti-insurgency war was the cardinal error.
    The military didn't behave as was necessary to fit into the narrative of the government.

  20. #100
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Algeria was different. Its coastal region was officially no colony - it was considered to be part (department) of France itself.

    The waging of a colonial anti-insurgency war was the cardinal error.
    The military didn't behave as was necessary to fit into the narrative of the government.
    Can't agree more than that with you. As I said, I play the devil advocate for free for Wilf's "kill, kill, kill".

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