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Thread: Syria under Bashir Assad (closed end 2014)

  1. #181
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    Its been interesting to watch the american reaction to the report by the UN stating that it may have been the rebels who were responsible for the release of sarin, if it happened at all.

    The white house has serious doubts that the rebels could have done this since they are totally just some good down to earth guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Its been interesting to watch the american reaction to the report by the UN stating that it may have been the rebels who were responsible for the release of sarin, if it happened at all.

    The white house has serious doubts that the rebels could have done this since they are totally just some good down to earth guys
    It did seem odd that someone apparently pressured the UN to withdraw their accusation. The finding may be ultimately prove to be unfounded, but this administration is starting to show a trend of denial. Islamic terrorism is alive and well and the death of UBL simply means justice for those he murdered not the end of the conflict.

    It would benefit both sides of this conflict to convince the world that their adversaries used chemical weapons, so I suspect the truth will be hard to pin down.

  3. #183
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    Default Syrian air defences

    A short CSIS commentary on Syrian air defences after the Israeli air strike last week:http://csis.org/publication/syrias-u...e-capabilities
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    Default Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria: update

    Reference Post 152 an alternative point of view:http://www.jihadica.com/jabhat-al-nu...ate/#more-1738
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    Default Jabhat al-Nusra's Benefactor(s) ?

    Tying into the preceding post, from the Guardian, Free Syrian Army rebels defect to Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra - The well-resourced organisation, which is linked to al-Qaida, is luring many anti-Assad fighters away, say brigade commanders (Mona Mahmood and Ian Black, The Guardian, 8 May 2013):

    Syria's main armed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is losing fighters and capabilities to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist organisation with links to al-Qaida that is emerging as the best-equipped, financed and motivated force fighting Bashar al-Assad's regime.

    Evidence of the growing strength of al-Nusra, gathered from Guardian interviews with FSA commanders across Syria, underlines the dilemma for the US, Britain and other governments as they ponder the question of arming anti-Assad rebels.
    ...
    Illustrating their plight, FSA commanders say that entire units have gone over to al-Nusra while others have lost a quarter or more of their strength to them recently.
    ...
    Abu Ahmed and others say the FSA has lost fighters to al-Nusra in Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Deir al-Zor and the Damascus region. Ala'a al-Basha, commander of the Sayyida Aisha brigade, warned the FSA chief of staff, General Salim Idriss, about the issue last month. Basha said 3,000 FSA men have joined al-Nusra in the last few months, mainly because of a lack of weapons and ammunition. ...
    ...
    The FSA's Ahrar al-Shimal brigade joined al-Nusra en masse while the Sufiyan al-Thawri brigade in Idlib lost 65 of its fighters to al-Nusra a few months ago for lack of weapons. According to one estimate the FSA has lost a quarter of all its fighters.

    Al-Nusra has members serving undercover with FSA units so they can spot potential recruits, according to Abu Hassan of the FSA's al-Tawhid Lions brigade.
    The above suggests that JaN would do well in an election among the anti-Assad fighters.

    Besides having a presently appealing message and a good "ground game" (using American political jargon), JaN also appears to be well financed:

    "If you join al-Nusra, there is always a gun for you but many of the FSA brigades can't even provide bullets for their fighters," complained Abu Tamim, an FSA man who joined Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib province. "My nephew is in Egypt, he wants to come to Syria to fight but he doesn't have enough money. Al-Nusra told him: 'Come and we will even pay your flight tickets.' He is coming to fight with al-Nusra because he does not have any other way."

    Jabhat al-Nusra is winning support in Deir al-Zor, according to Abu Hudaifa, another FSA defector. "They are protecting people and helping them financially. Al-Nusra is in control of most of the oil wells in the city." The Jabhat al-Nusra media, with songs about jihad and martyrdom, is extremely influential.

    Abu Zeid used to command the FSA's Syria Mujahideen brigade in the Damascus region and led all its 420 fighters to al-Nusra. "Since we joined I and my men are getting everything we need to keep us fighting to liberate Syria and to cover our families' expenses, though fighting with al-Nusra is governed by very strict rules issued by the operations command or foreign fighters," he said. "There is no freedom at all but you do get everything you want.
    Has anyone looked into the source(s) of JaN's funding ?

    Regards

    Mike

  6. #186
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Default S-300s to Syria...with Russki crews

    That is what Jamestown is reporting today. Also reporting that is something called ynet out of Israel though they didn't mention Russian crews.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...380773,00.html

    Boy are things going to get interesting if they actually do that.
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  7. #187
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    It's like Spain 1936 all over again.

    Meanwhile, file under "Hell, Handbasket, one each".


    Syrian rebels: Dozens hurt in chemical weapons attack in Damascus
    Assad forces reportedly drop chemically laced mortars; in separate incident, Free Syrian Army says it killed 4 Iranian, 7 Hezbollah men
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/syrian-...k-in-damascus/
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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Good frontline episode just came out. Does a decent job of getting a sample of each factions perspective on the war.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ind-the-lines/

    Moderator's Note: not available in the UK.
    Just got around to watching this, and while much has happened on the ground since then tactically in favor of the government this is still worth watching if you haven't seen it. Reporters focus on one town that is now divided by two factions separated by a river. They conduct interviews with both the Syrian military and Syrian rebels.

    The interviews with the Syrian rebels was more enlightening, in my opinion the soldiers interviewed were either plants or well prepared to communicate Assayd's message to the world, but their points are still part of the reality.

    The show tended to focus on a young man who was a former police officer and now a rebel fighter. At the end he is wounded, but now claims he wants to join the Al-Qaeda affiliated group.

    The rebel group leader (of 10,000 fighters, probably means 2,000), was reportedly a former construction worker. You could tell he was well respected, but he seemed to lead through charisma alone, and demonstrated no military skill.

    It was a bit comical in a sad way as they were preparing to attack a Syrian Army outpost and wanted to use a vehicle mounted rocket launcher they acquired. The rebel leader was disappointed when the man who said he could fire it told him that he could fire it, but he didn't know how to aim it. Their attack failed in short order. It was apparent throughout that these rebels were poorly trained, equipped, organized, etc., but they have plenty of heart. I see no sign that their will to fight is abating.

    Most telling was watching life in the village. They were constantly under artillery and air attack, and after one horrific air attack that killed several civilians you could sense the level of hate they had for their opposition. One Syrian said they need to slaughter Alawite civilians in revenge.

    I just get the sense that there won't be a peaceful end to this, at least anytime soon, since the wills of both side to continue remain strong. I also think all our COIN theory that is largely academic based means little once the conflict crosses a certain threshold and passion surpasses reason. Ultimately tough decisions will have to be made by regional and global actors, but good options appear elusive for now.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 05-20-2013 at 03:40 AM.

  9. #189
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    Bill Moore:

    None of our various methods of small war fighting encompass unlimited, indiscriminate application of violence. They basically have nothing to do with the way the Syrian gov has gone about its business now or in the past. There is a reason "our COIN theory" doesn't cover this kind of thing.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Very interesting story on how Jabhat al-Nusra has gained control of the oil wells in the north, thus gaining an additional stream of revenue that will allow it to become self-sustaining:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...rian-oilfields

    There is a completely unverified nugget here:

    The impact is immediately visible. With a new independent source of funding, the jihadists holding the oilfields between al-Raqqa and Deir Ezzor are much better equipped than their Sunni rivals, reinforcing the advantage originally provided by Qatari backing. They have been able to provide bread and other essentials to the people in the areas under their control, securing an enduring popular base.

    This serves to marginalise the western-backed rebels, the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council (SMC), even further. The blustering claim by the SMC commander, Salim Idriss, that he was going to muster a 30,000 force to retake the oilfields served only to undermine his credibility.

    More importantly, as so often in history, control over hydrocarbons has solidified new lines on the map. The fact that the Syrian army has withdrawn from the heart of the country and that the victorious Salafist groups have not pressed their attack, but instead entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with Damascus over the oil, show that both sides are satisfied with the dividing lines.
    Also an article about possible splintering within Jabhat al-Nusra over its declared allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq:

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...divisions.html

    But Jabhat al-Nusra's yesterday seems to be much better than today. A serious split is threatening the group's unity at a very crucial and sensitive time, given the preparations and negotiations for a US-Russia sponsored conference on Syria — in which Jabhat al-Nusra will have no part and will want to spoil.

    Why are brothers in arms, ideology and blood fighting? Weeks ago, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic state of Iraq (al-Qaeda in Iraq), called on Abu Mohammad al-Golani, Jabhat al-Nusra's leader, to merge under one name, the answer came back negative.

    Golani instead linked his group directly to al-Qaeda's general leader Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahri. He clearly wanted to say that Jabhat al-Nusra is just another direct branch from al-Qaeda, not a franchise.


    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...#ixzz2TreB9Abu
    Last edited by tequila; 05-20-2013 at 08:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Bill Moore:

    None of our various methods of small war fighting encompass unlimited, indiscriminate application of violence. They basically have nothing to do with the way the Syrian gov has gone about its business now or in the past. There is a reason "our COIN theory" doesn't cover this kind of thing.
    You are misreading my point. No one is advocating mimicking Syrian strategy, but pointing out our doctrinal focus on winning over the population in a civil war as a way to reduce violence, especially through a nation building approach does not address the underlying hatred driving the conflict. If governments can address underlying issues before passio n and hatred override reason that approach may work . Once the red line is crossed it won't.

  12. #192
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    Bill Moore:

    I can't think of a conflict that gets to a point where people kill each other that doesn't involve strong hatred, so I don't see where that has anything much to do with it.

    As far as the dreaded nation building goes, that is only part of a good small war fight. The way we do things of course often has next to nothing to do with good practices. Ultimately you have to win over the population, or at least get them stand aside from the fight to the extent they don't support passively or actively the opposition. If you don't do that the only alternative is to get beat or do it the Syrian gov way.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Very interesting story on how Jabhat al-Nusra has gained control of the oil wells in the north, thus gaining an additional stream of revenue that will allow it to become self-sustaining:

    There is a completely unverified nugget here:

    Also an article about possible splintering within Jabhat al-Nusra over its declared allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq:
    Tequila, glad to see you back.
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    Carl:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    You are misreading my point. No one is advocating mimicking Syrian strategy, but pointing out our doctrinal focus on winning over the population in a civil war as a way to reduce violence, especially through a nation building approach does not address the underlying hatred driving the conflict. If governments can address underlying issues before passio n and hatred override reason that approach may work . Once the red line is crossed it won't.

    No, I believe Bill's point is that a complex sectarian and civil war with multiple ethnic militias and splintered anti-government factions is different than a classical Maoist insurgency/an insurgency in the mold of classical wars of liberation (post colonial).

    To switch examples, would you have fought the American Civil War as a classical Maoist insurgency?

    Population centric counterinsurgency with its emphasis on providing government services by a third party on behalf of a quasi Sovereign entity in order to win over locals, as in the case of Afghanistan--sometimes we respect sovereignty, sometimes we don't--is something almost sui generis and it hasn't worked very well because it doesn't do the trick for a variety of reasons. Safe havens because of our heavy logistical needs, the Af Pak strategy paying or training two armies, the Taliban taxing our nation building work, our money serving as a corrupting source that prevents good goverment.

    Why do you think this can be fixed? Developmental aid as nation building has been tried in many places around the world and it has often been a big fat failure. And that is in peace time.

    What evidence supports the thesis that money for development projects changes the essential governing situation?

    I keep quoting the following book but there are so many passages pertinent to the conversation on multiple threads:

    That spring, traveling around Iraq, reading the various commander's memos and intelligence reports, Casey had an epiphany: the was had degenerated into a battle for political and economic power among many ethnic and sectarian factions; in other words, the enemy was no longer an "insurgency". That being the case, he inferred that it no longer made sense to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy.
    Kaplan, The Insurgents

    Nation building as understood from population counterinsurgency is built on much bad science, poor quality studies, and outright mythology when examined clinically, IMO.

    What is the evidence to support that it worked? The actual, hard evidence by past example?

    For instance, Algeria: violence and coercion were used against the population but somehow pulling out the examples of providing services is supposed to work in a different country in a different century against different people. And Algeria didn't even work.

    If factors X, Y and Z add up to a particular small wars pacification, then how can one justify taking only Y out and saying it will work every time?What if you needed all three to break the insurgency?
    Each event is contingent.

    On some of the famous papers from Military Review circa 2005, well, I understand the pressure the military was under and why practical papers were rushed out and it is noble when viewed in that context, noble and wonderful and admirable, and, unfortunately, flawed upon reflection. They are basically just a bunch of random opinion when examined critically. I am sorry to say that, but that is what I get from reading a few.

    When examined at a distance and clinically, they are bunch of war stories about what some guys thought. Fine, that is one important data point but it has to be backed up with other data or you are basically just repeating a bunch of myths. Maybe they are correct, maybe they are not, but the evidence is not, "hey, this is what I think and my opinion is the same as a fact or evidence."
    Last edited by Madhu; 05-21-2013 at 03:48 AM. Reason: Added address at beginning

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    Default Evidence to support the assertion

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Bill Moore:

    I can't think of a conflict that gets to a point where people kill each other that doesn't involve strong hatred, so I don't see where that has anything much to do with it.

    As far as the dreaded nation building goes, that is only part of a good small war fight. The way we do things of course often has next to nothing to do with good practices. Ultimately you have to win over the population, or at least get them stand aside from the fight to the extent they don't support passively or actively the opposition. If you don't do that the only alternative is to get beat or do it the Syrian gov way.

    Where do you get this information that a good small wars fight involves certain good practices? What are you basing your information on? Galula's book is hugely flawed, carl, there are huge problems with it and the situation he described didn't exist in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

    It doesn't mean that tactically we can't learn things from it but it has to be put in context and matched up with other things.

    Seriously, hard evidence? Sorry to be such a jerk but I can't understand this largely male fantasy. It's like male chick lit.

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    Default Harvard Crimson, 1962

    The Centurions review:

    M. Larteguy's argument, revolutionary though it is meant to sound, is a familiar one. If anything, that is its strength: The Centurions is a call for a radical defense of the old values. The Communists have remembered what we have forgotten; if we rededicate ourselves to the ideals of strength, independence, self-reliance, we can destroy them and thereby save ourselves. Indeed, we will have saved ourselves by the rededication itself.

    Larteguy is probably right on military grounds. The day of Napoleonic Grande Armee has passed; the French experiences discussed in The Centurions prove it, and the United States is learning the same thing today in Viet-Nam.

    But his contention that a revolutionized Army is the key to a new Revolutionary France is wide of the mark. Sartre's contrary theory of involution--that the desperation and violence of the Army is corrupting whatever survives of a healthy France--is, I think, more accurate. Perhaps Larteguy is just when he blames domestic decadence for the impotence of the Army in the colonies; but he does not convince me that it can and must therefore save France.

    In fairness, I should say that I doubt anybody could sell me on such a theory. But if anyone could, it certainly wouldn't be Larteguy. The problem, as I suggested above, is that The Centurions is a very bad novel. Larteguy has allowed his venomous feelings towards France and his intoxication with the military to overwhelm his book.
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-army-needs-a/

    No, this is not a thread jack, promise

    Aw, maybe it is. I seem to have this stuff on the brain. That review is weird, though. Seriously, male military fantasy. Don't get mad, okay? You all know I'm on your side.

    PS: To pull this all together, it seems to me that a bunch of people romanticized guerrilla warfare and colonialism and certain novels and memoirs and somehow, doctrine incredibly followed this romantic, unsupported view of how to fight based on a bunch of idealized notions that weren't really what happened. That Americans with their own history could do that! I guess if the people are brown, the Constitution and our foundational values go out the window.

    Now you can all yell at me and tell me what I've got wrong!
    Last edited by Madhu; 05-21-2013 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Added PS

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    Madhu, you captured my point accurately. Carl I think you're perpetuating our COIN doctrine myth, and blaming the failure of it to work so far because we simply don't do it well. I admit the doctrine seems logical, but having participating in more than two of these conflicts as an advsior in multiple countries in Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East I know the logic of doctrinal assumptions tend to fall apart when it hits the reality of a complex convergence of psychological, social, and political influences. There are a few insurgencies around the world where the doctrine would work, but in most cases the conflict is much more complex than simply insurgents battling a so called illegimate government or in our case (when we do COIN) an occupying power.

    Back to Syria, there have been some articles suggesting we should intervene in Syria and the authors imply we can use all the lessons learnt from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to stabilize Syria. This implies our COIN doctrine actually worked in those cases, and therefore it would work in Syria. It implies that the population in Syria can be won? What segment is that? The Alawites? The Kurds? The AQ affiliates? I'm sure if we rebuild their schools and create petty jobs with our CERP money that they all forgive each other, Al-Qaeda will retreat, Iran and Hizbollah will withdraw, and we will have denied a future safe haven for terrorists at moderate cost. However, just in case this doesn't work out, what can we do?

    At best we can achieve limited military objectives of seizing and securing certain facilities to limit the distribution of weapons to the growing extremist network. We can assist the resistance movements by attacking the Syrian regime, but to what end? I hope we think this one through very carefully. We can shape this conflict, but we can't control it. We can achieve limited objectives if deemed necessary, we can't impose a legitimate government that all the people will embrace.

  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    Carl:No, I believe Bill's point is that a complex sectarian and civil war with multiple ethnic militias and splintered anti-government factions is different than a classical Maoist insurgency/an insurgency in the mold of classical wars of liberation (post colonial).

    To switch examples, would you have fought the American Civil War as a classical Maoist insurgency?
    Every war is different from every other in some ways and the same as every other in other ways. Your description above isn't that different from China in the 20s and 30s. It wasn't always the the KMT vs. the ChiComs. In the beginning there was seemingly all against all plus the Japanese and it took decades to sort itself out. The same could be said sort of for Mexico from 1910 to the mid 20s. Societies that have come apart will take some time to put themselves back together. Different kinds of things will be needed in different places at different times.

    The trick is to know what to do when. Bill said originally "our COIN theory" doesn't cover this. It also doesn't cover amphibious operations or operations to counter operational maneuver groups. If somebody tries to apply small war fighting to those kinds of fights, it is their fault, not the fault of the small war fighting practices that seem to work over the years. Somebody will eventually prevail in Syria and they will probably have to fight everything from small tank battles to pacification. And they will have to use the gamut of things from tank heavy formations swinging around a flank to get an HQ to small groups of soldiers garrisoning towns and villages. We did the same thing by the way in the American Civil War. In addition to the big fight there were lots and lots of small war operations that were conducted throughout the war and for years afterward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    Population centric counterinsurgency with its emphasis on providing government services by a third party on behalf of a quasi Sovereign entity in order to win over locals, as in the case of Afghanistan--sometimes we respect sovereignty, sometimes we don't--is something almost sui generis and it hasn't worked very well because it doesn't do the trick for a variety of reasons. Safe havens because of our heavy logistical needs, the Af Pak strategy paying or training two armies, the Taliban taxing our nation building work, our money serving as a corrupting source that prevents good goverment.

    Why do you think this can be fixed? Developmental aid as nation building has been tried in many places around the world and it has often been a big fat failure. And that is in peace time.
    What you are describing is the screwed up American way of doing things in the age of pro-force, power point, 1 year armies replaced by another 1 year army every year, completely impossible chains of command whose primary purpose is to soothe professional egos rather than win, state dept people who won't go into harms way, national leadership elites short on determination and on and on and on. Arguing that as an indictment is like arguing the failure of Arab air forces to get much of anything done in their history means airpower isn't very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    What evidence supports the thesis that money for development projects changes the essential governing situation?
    None. It can't work if nothing else accompanies it. But it appeals to the American elite governing class because they have easily quantifiable metrics to point at when they prepare their resumes for their next step up. We don't do small war fighting so much as we more often do 'Career Centric Coin'. (There is a brilliant article about career centric coin somewhere back in SWJ about two years ago.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    Nation building as understood from population counterinsurgency is built on much bad science, poor quality studies, and outright mythology when examined clinically, IMO.
    War fighting isn't a science, it is an art. People are too variable for it to be a science. But there are certain things that generally work, generally. Say this for example '"Hit the other fellow, as quick as you can, and as hard as you can, where it hurts him most, when he ain't lookin'." I think people who are good at it have a feel for it that can't be taught. An inborn talent, like great artistic ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    What is the evidence to support that it worked? The actual, hard evidence by past example?
    What worked? Career centric coin? Never. Successful small wars using say lots of patrols, quadrillage, local self defense groups, units staying in place (especially officers) a long time, minimizing sanctuaries, controlling the population etc? The Philippines, twice. Iraq, once. Check out the history of the Indian Army, multiple times. The Marines in Haiti. The fight against Sendoro Luminoso. The French conquest of North Africa and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    If factors X, Y and Z add up to a particular small wars pacification, then how can one justify taking only Y out and saying it will work every time?What if you needed all three to break the insurgency?
    Each event is contingent.
    Yes each event is different. And you do need to do all the things. Dependence upon one at the exclusion of the others is foolish. Who are you arguing with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    On some of the famous papers from Military Review circa 2005, well, I understand the pressure the military was under and why practical papers were rushed out and it is noble when viewed in that context, noble and wonderful and admirable, and, unfortunately, flawed upon reflection. They are basically just a bunch of random opinion when examined critically. I am sorry to say that, but that is what I get from reading a few.

    When examined at a distance and clinically, they are bunch of war stories about what some guys thought. Fine, that is one important data point but it has to be backed up with other data or you are basically just repeating a bunch of myths. Maybe they are correct, maybe they are not, but the evidence is not, "hey, this is what I think and my opinion is the same as a fact or evidence."
    That is one thing about war, this forever a civilian thinks, when a guy who is good at it says this is what I think and here is my opinion; it is evidence and it should be considered. Warring does not exactly lend itself to the scientific method.
    Last edited by carl; 05-21-2013 at 06:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    Where do you get this information that a good small wars fight involves certain good practices? What are you basing your information on? Galula's book is hugely flawed, carl, there are huge problems with it and the situation he described didn't exist in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

    It doesn't mean that tactically we can't learn things from it but it has to be put in context and matched up with other things.

    Seriously, hard evidence? Sorry to be such a jerk but I can't understand this largely male fantasy. It's like male chick lit.
    Which Galula book are you talking about? I only skimmed Counterinsurgency because I read Pacification in Algeria and it covered everything in greater and more readable detail. You should read that. It's great...and free at RAND. I don't think Galula's ideas are flawed hardly at all. Our interpretation by career oriented interpreters is very flawed however. But if you don't like him how about Lyautey? Most of the things Galula advocated had been done by Hubert. Or the US Army experience in the Philippines and Moroland? Or The Village? Or the Snake Eaters? Or the fight against the Huks? Or on and on.

    Obviously the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan differs from Algeria or Peru. If somebody believes that what worked in one place can be precisely applied in the same manner someplace else there is something wrong with them, not with the overall idea. Just like you say it has to be adapted to the situation.

    There isn't any hard evidence. It isn't science. It is things that generally work. You want hard evidence, stick with ballistics, except for terminal ballistics, which involves humans again so things get complicated.

    You ain't a jerk.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  20. #200
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post
    The Centurions review:



    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-army-needs-a/

    No, this is not a thread jack, promise

    Aw, maybe it is. I seem to have this stuff on the brain. That review is weird, though. Seriously, male military fantasy. Don't get mad, okay? You all know I'm on your side.

    PS: To pull this all together, it seems to me that a bunch of people romanticized guerrilla warfare and colonialism and certain novels and memoirs and somehow, doctrine incredibly followed this romantic, unsupported view of how to fight based on a bunch of idealized notions that weren't really what happened. That Americans with their own history could do that! I guess if the people are brown, the Constitution and our foundational values go out the window.

    Now you can all yell at me and tell me what I've got wrong!
    It's a novel and if I recall right, it reflects the ideas of a certain group of French officers who were really impressed by their captivity at the hands of the Commies. They actually believed that if they go the propaganda right everything would fall into place. It didn't but they had some influence for a while. The Constitution goes out the window in many wars including ours. It has to. Check out the fate of Vallandigham.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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