View Poll Results: Frederick Kagan's Plan for Iraq?

Voters
19. You may not vote on this poll
  • Thumbs up - go for it...

    11 57.89%
  • Thumbs down - it won't work...

    8 42.11%
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 26 of 26

Thread: Victory in Iraq

  1. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1

    Post Re: Victory in Iraq


  2. #22
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default Question for SWJED

    Dave, a few days ago(week or so) you recommended the westhawk blog and to read all it. Did you read his Plan to win? What do you think of it?

  3. #23
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Dave, a few days ago(week or so) you recommended the westhawk blog and to read all it. Did you read his Plan to win? What do you think of it?
    Here's the plan

    I disagree with 85% of it. It's the "turtle" approach in some parts, edging to the brink of extremely stupid in others. Here's some lowlights that I could pick out.

    1. Advisors turn into combat liaisons for logistics, intel and fire support. Yeah, like I'd want that job.

    2. Advisors don't interfere with planning operations. Kinda steals away the purpose of even being there.

    3. Al Anbar and Baghdad get offered up for a massive show of force on the Iranian border - with no task or purpose.

    4. The police and IA training point threw me for a loop. Most of the academies I saw last year *were* being run by Iraqis to Iraqi standards. I understand we run some academies, but most of the big ones are run by the government already.

    5. By abandoning counterinsurgency, it's like the kid who puts his fingers in his ears, yells really loud, and tells you his not listening to you. It's too late for that. Counterinsurgency operations are the primary task and purpose in theater. Defeat of insurgents is the decisive point. This proposal makes no mention of the new decisive point, key tasks, or endstate.

    6. The argument that moving tons of combat power to the Iranian border would "intimidate the Iranians" is utter nonsense. It would likely piss them off and perhaps escalate things to a position we need them not escalate to.

    7. US forces quit patrolling in the cities and towns. Again, what's the task and purpose, then, of the forces remaining? QRF to the logistic liaison?

    As for Keane's proposal: I know quite a few people who worked on that. It Tal Afarizes Baghdad. It works. I've seen it happen. And judging from the names I saw on the last page and those I know well, the OPLAN has probably already been written to include the BUILD part that another blog felt was lacking entirely. After working with some of them, I know that's a good plan and could easily see it work.

    My major question to it, however, is why not have a test run of it in Ramadi, which is a haven of its own but far easier to isolate, not to mention smaller?
    Last edited by RTK; 01-03-2007 at 12:41 AM.

  4. #24
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    RTK, thanks for responding. I didn't know if anybody would. I was for the Keane plan the first time I saw it. Couple of comments from an LE standpoint.

    1-I don't think Iraqi Police have standards.

    2-In the end if we are going to stay we have to go to B'Dad and clean it out and restore some basic security and sanity to the place. There is no other way to do it. You have to deal with those assholes and I mean lead pipe,blow torch and ranger hatchet personal combat I gonna seriously kick you ass once and for all. No more shooting or bombing or head chopping. We have to get respect! then you can do that huggy wuggy nicey stuff, but until we show who is in charge nothing is going to change.

    Later

  5. #25
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    RTK, thanks for responding. I didn't know if anybody would. I was for the Keane plan the first time I saw it. Couple of comments from an LE standpoint.

    1-I don't think Iraqi Police have standards.

    2-In the end if we are going to stay we have to go to B'Dad and clean it out and restore some basic security and sanity to the place. There is no other way to do it. You have to deal with those assholes and I mean lead pipe,blow torch and ranger hatchet personal combat I gonna seriously kick you ass once and for all. No more shooting or bombing or head chopping. We have to get respect! then you can do that huggy wuggy nicey stuff, but until we show who is in charge nothing is going to change.

    Later

    Agreed. Additionally, and I know this invades upon another divisive thread somewhere on here, Baghdad is, at the least, key terrrain. At the most, it's the decisive point. Either way, it must be dealt with.

  6. #26
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default The Belmont Club Update...

    Here is The Belmont Club post US Strategy in Iraq for 2007? Welcome to all the visitors from the Belmont Club and Pajamas Media - feel free to jump in here or on other Council threads...

    A informed reader believes the eventual shape of the President's future plan in Iraq is taking shape. Pointing to informed speculation at Small Wars Journal, he thinks it is likely that there will be a "shift in mission" in Iraq, emphasizing a security solution over a political one: changing "our focus from training Iraqi soldiers to securing the Iraqi population and containing the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the U.S. military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority," as the AEI study he quotes puts it. A lot of readers may say, 'finally the US is going to kick ass', but the informed reader notes the plan will also require a greater effort on the American part, in particular an extension of tours of duty. He also has reservations about whether the non-military capabilities of the United States are up to the task of the followup to combat. In earlier correspondence the reader noted the Belmont Club talking about mobilizing the nation to fight the information and political warfare -- the levee en masse -- or, as the reader put it, to redress the fact that "the rest of the elements of national power are not present on the battlefield in ways that they should be". The military may be able to clear, but what does the rest of the US government to for an encore? The quotable parts of his email are given below and I hope it will spark discussion among other readers.

    I noted this post at The Small Wars Journal with interest a couple of weeks ago. Since then, every couple of days there has been a news story leading me to believe that the plan developed by General Keane and Fred Kagan at AEI is the one that the President is going to adopt and announce in January.

    Some of these signs: statements by Bush at a press conference before Christmas; a dramatic increase in op-eds by Kagan in nearly every major newspaper, including some British ones; stories in outlets such as the NYT alluding to possible force increases; Gates' well-publicized trip to Iraq, with the ostensible conclusion that larger forces are needed; and now, Joe Lieberman's op-ed in the Washington Post (which is linked on Instapundit), calling for a larger force.

    I encourage you all to follow the links to the AEI plan and read it -- it's a ppt presentation and in classic Pentagon course-of-action style -- indicating that it has been wargamed by military officers, not just academics or civilians such as the ISG.

    I don't have time to blog about this, but these are my thoughts:

    a) the plan calls for a surge in forces, but what is less publicized is the manner in which this surge will be sustained: by increasing the rotation time of Marine units from 7 to 12 months and Army units from 12-15 months. I wonder if this detail is the reason why the President is waiting until after Christmas to announce. Anyway, this jives with what I am hearing from several sources on the need for longer rotations for Marine units, due to the nature of counterinsurgencies and the length of time required to build trusted local networks.

    b) the plan calls for what is a shift in mission: from a priority of training Iraqi forces to a priority of providing a secure environment for the people. This might get lost in the coverage, which will dwell upon the increase in forces -- along with cries of "escalation" a la Vietnam. But it is a very important shift. The coming year might see some new battles possibly on the scale of that of Fallujah in 2004, but this time in both Baghdad and Ramadi. This is a guess though and is not crystal clear in the plan -- the battles could also be smaller in scale, given the strengths of Iraqi forces in some areas.

    c) finally, I feel the plan is not detailed enough when destructing reconstruction: the "build" part of "clear, hold, and build." There needs to be a dramatic decentralization of funding, a renewed commitment to the CERP program; full staffing of provincial reconstruction teams; and the USAID and State Dept need to become expeditionary and fully staffed virtually overnight -- there's no reason why USAID personnel shouldn't be asked to work at the company level. My thoughts here are not enough. I'm not a reconstruction expert. But several Marine officer friends have noted this problem. Robert Kaplan did so as well in an Atlantic piece not long ago. Basically, the rest of the elements of national power are not present on the battlefield in the ways that they should be.

    I could be way off the mark: Bush might propose something completely different. But I'm calling this one: he's going with the AEI plan, perhaps with some modifications.
    Having a good plan is one thing, but the enemy also gets to vote in its execution. He will kick back. As in the past, the enemy can be expected to emphasize political and propaganda countermeasures against any new US initiative. If the US shifts the mission to emphasize security, expect a plethera of articles to emerge decrying extended tours of duty, revealing more atrocity stories, etc. In general, expect a full-court press in both the political and media areas to blunt any new strategy. Washington DC will be part of Iraq battlefield...
    H/T to Wretchard at The Belmont Club - check out the post - 57 comments so far...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •